Whats the worst thing that ever happened to you on stage?

Bum notes are one thing, i think we have all had a couple of those, the right solo to the wrong song, my friend John was actually booed off stage by most of the audience, they were saying 'get off, your crap' and in the end they all gave up and packed away, they still had 5 numbers to do but thought what the heck, what made it worse was that this was a wedding do !! they had been booked the previous summer and had to keep the booking, meanwhile the band had split and rejoined for this wedding gig, and of course nobody rehearsed, a lot of the songs were forgotten, and he said it sounded an absolute shambles, id loved to have seen that one, there must be a viseo somewhere :lol:

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Lee, I think you're drawing another "Bass really is a pillock" story out of me. Still...

19yo, joined a rock-covers band called "Pariah". Do a search on what "Pariah" means (I didn't know at the time). Anyhoo, our first gig was arranged by me. Student's Union, 600 people (lots of other bands, but still :shock: ). Because there were six bands, we agreed on backline (my bass amp - yey!) and the FOH, PA, soundmen, mics (everything) was provided for by the "name" band playing later.

Our 2nd cover was "Fool for your Loving" by Whitesnake. A real pick-nose bassline. Once it got to the title line, and that instrumental pause, I decided to jump up in the air, kick my left leg out and whack that open E with gusto. No sound whatsoever from the bass. My cable had got trapped under a lead-weight mic stand so, when I jumped, the whole electrical guts of my bass stayed put while I leapt a metre or two upwards.

Destroyed bass, briefly considered miming. Four songs to go, though, so I ran off to the dressroom where the next band ("Trick the Jester" - I remember everything) were lounging. "Bass burgered. Gotta borrow yours. Sorry, thanks, 'bye" The bassman seemed quite cool about it. Meanwhile, the stage soundman couldn't see that I'd exited, but definitely noticed the lack of bass. He went on a wander (that stupid half-crouch engineers do on stage) and kicked out the extension lead for the two guitar amps.

Quick as a flash, our singer shouted "Drum Solo!", which our stickman duly did. That's when I came back in, plugged in and "improvized". I had no monitor whatsoever, but got the nagging feeling something was wrong. The E-string (even on a borrowed, upside-down bass) felt flobby. At this point, the rhythm guitarist just had enough and walked off. Suddenly, the soundman on stage flicked the switches and we were back to normal. That was when I realized the borrowed, right-handed bass had been tuned DADG.

Of course, we didn't wait for the non-applause and went straight into the next song. Semi-challenging anyway, I was now playing it on upside-down strings and having to move two frets up for the bottom string.

Absolute ghastly nightmare. I still shiver if I hear that dratted Whitesnake song out of a jukebox or radio.

I was going to post but I think you've killed off this thread with that post...what else COULD go wrong!

I think you win this one hands down Bass, moral of the story? always carry a spare/backup instrument, just in case, i carry spare everything, amp, guitar, leads , strings, but that is a killer story.

I definitely do now, in fact I've finally traced a lefty 5-string cheap enough to languish as backup. This isn't a comp, so I'd love to hear other's miseries, even if not as catastrophic. I might have mentioned this elsewhere on guitarsite, but I played a three-bander and the bassist for "Furburger" snapped his "A". He didn't even have spare strings. He opened up my case and saw it was a lefty. When he opened up the third band's and saw it was fretless... I wish I'd had a camera. I restrung his bass while he made low humming noises in the mic.

I sent my above story to "Making Music" when they asked for similar tales of woe, but they couldn't use it as I was a freelancer for the mag. I remember two of my favourites they did publish:

A band got a prized support slot for a mega-big band. The vocalist got a bit over-ego and went for a stage dive. No-one catches a support band singer. They just stepped out of the way. He avoided serious injury but (shortarse) the stage was higher than him. He lobbed the mic back on stage (loud "Thunk" at several kilowatts) but still couldn't climb up. Of course, no help from the audience who were laughing themselves silly. So he took off, going through this door, that door, the other door in a search for the way back onstage.
Finally, the next door clanged shut behind him and he was in the cold night air. He ran around to the entrance but the bouncers wouldn't let him back in without a ticket.

My other fave was the drummer who got a round of applause from four girls every time he did a roll. So, of course, he squeezed in as many as he could; getting enthusiastic claps each time. After the set, he nonchalantly wandered over to the girls.
"Hi, I'm the drummer in the band."
"Yeah. Do you know that, every time you did a drum roll, your scrote dangled out of the right leg of your shorts?"

hahaha - made my monday 1b.

i had quite a 'Brown Stripey Underpants' kind of evening on saturday, we (our band 'Land) had been booked to play a 45 min set at a local all dayer, there were about 10 bands on during the day, and we was due on 2nd from last at 9.30pm, so saturday eve i get a call from our 'Leader' Paul the drummer at 7pm to say that the other guitarist Kevin was in bed too ill to move, had the flu, and could i cover his guitar parts??? he plays quite an interesting repotoire of solo's and riffs of which i have never learned to play, no need is there? so paul says can you learn them?? uh? with 1 hour before i have to leave for the venue!! so i say i will try, we cant let the organisers down, so i do my best and head off for the venue, i get there and we start getting our gear on backstage and their was a realy good band on playing behind the curtain in front of us, they finnished their set and a big cheer goes up, the singer opens the curtain and comes off stage i see at least 300 people out their!! it was packed, so now im looking for the exit but before i can get my legs to move a roadie picks up my gear and loads it on stage, anyway we get through the 1st number and it sounded quite good, my nerves are settling a bit, but halfway through the 2nd the lights on stage go out, and the only light working is a strobe light blinding me! i cant see a thing i playing, im hitting a few bum notes and its sounding bad, that song ends and i walked up to Paul the drummer and said 'if i dont get any light on stage we are f**ked' so he shouts his didpleasure over the mic to the lighting guys and tells them to sort it out, 3 guys come racing on stage pushing plugs in and pulling cables, we lose half the audience to the lure of the bar, and they manage to get a single 100watt green light going, it was murder, we just about blagged our way through it, turns out a fuse blew and they lost most of the front stage lighting, never again, ive never been so terrified as the moment the lights went out, i just wanted a hole to open up...

Ouch, that's a nasty one. I've had the one-hour-notice, but that was to an empty - which is nowhere near as bad:

The singer/guitarist got a "scramble" and the idea was we had to cover a pizza 'n' pasta place that had been let down with an hour to go. He'd agreed, but I managed to 'phone them up and explain we were original material, indie-type stuff. Not exactly restaurant band. Fine, fine, anything will do - any port in a storm, free food, sort out the payment later, etc.

We set up (facing a lone couple over a thin-crust) and the owner suddenly appears "Where's your crowd?" He actually expected us to bring a coach load of ravenously hungry fans with one hour's notice. We were allowed one song, no food and no pay, then he'd pull the plug on us. Our song had a line in the chorus "Little boxes".

Our man Chris ad-libbed, "Little boxes, little boxes, you can stick your pizza, in your little boxes." The owner had the grace to laugh as he pulled the plug out.

I was at Clapham Common for an "Artists Against Apartheid" gig in the 80s. Not playing, of course - just watching (Sting doing Roxeanne, that sort of thing). Then the MC introduced one of those earnest, female, singer-songwriter types with an acoustic. "Put your hands together for... (whoever she was)..."

I, and several thousand others, simultaneously went "WHO? :?: "

Now, that must have settled her in nicely.

Well, not that i'm anywhere close to your levels, either of skill or embarassment on stage, but here's my story from when i had my first and nightmerish time on stage.
Our band was rehearsing in a small studio and for the first time we were actually doing pretty well.The drummer, during a pause throws in the idea to participate in a small gig at a bar we all knew.There would other bands like us (which meant tottaly unskilled ones) he said and it would be cool...

Well what he said was slightly off, as we realised in terror that the other two bands playing were something like underground stars with their own audience and even a groupie or two!!
Eventually we got on stage, in front of a completely surprised and drunk audience who thought that the gig was over....My face went through numerous colour alterations and i ended up staring the pavement all the time while my stomach was somewhere in the front raw begging me to stop.
The singer came to me several times asking what was the next verse!!!!
The bassist was the only one who was ok, but the drummer was constanly losing the pace and songs were like slowing down and speeding up all the time...
But the worst was at the end when we decided to play something easy and went for Punk Rock Song from Bad Religion: Total disaster!!!The drummer went on a rampaging tempo that didn't let the singer take a single breath between verses and it all ended up on a mix of applause and laughter....gosh, at least they were nice with us and didn't throw us anything!!!!

Nice one, Italos. I guess 2nd moral of the thread is "don't accept a slot at short notice". Best of all, the bassman kept his cool - amen to bassmen.

The story kindof reminds me of the old (but true) jokes:

How do you know the singer's at the door? He hasn't got the right key and he doesn't know when to come in.

How do you know the drummer's at the door? The knocks get faster and faster.

:) Now going into hiding...

Nice one!Couldn't stop laughing!! :D kinda reminds me the drummer from the gig, he indeed was hitting faster and faster....

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