Gig “War” Stories Part Deux

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At the time of this writing, it’s Saturday night.  Actually, late Saturday night!  I thought maybe I’d just keep things a little light tonight.  After all, we can’t always be involved in heavy thinking activities!  Comedy is a good therapeutic thing, and we’ve all heard the scientific studies that say how good smiling is for you.

Awhile back I put together a post talking about some of the weird, wacky and sometimes humorous things that happen to a musician (namely me) at a gig.  The old adage “Truth is stranger than fiction” definitely applies to me many times.  Over the past couple of weeks, since my original post, I think my psyche has allowed a few of these “landmark” moments of my musical career to resurface so that I can relay them to you.

As I mentioned before, I hear all kinds of things when I’m doing gigs on my steel pans.  Keep in mind; they are called steel pans. Steel Drum is another acceptable term.  A Kettledrum is a name used sometimes to describe a Timpani.  This is important to get the punchline of this first story…

Back in the day I was involved in a group called the Super Action Heroes.  We were sound-checking for a show, and as usual we had all kinds of electronics and gear onstage.  In fact, we were usually a sound man’s worst nightmare when we went to do a gig.  It wasn’t because we were difficult, it’s just that I’ve found that 50% of the time (I’m being generous), sound guys are just lazy and often jaded and bitter individuals.  They don’t like change.  We were change – we weren’t the typical 4 piece rock group coming into the club.  Anyway, after a very lengthy and unnecessarily arduous sound-check was coming to a close, our “wonderfully delightful” sound man (wearing an oversized Hawaiian shirt and definitely upset to be there) said to me over the microphone; “OK, let’s hear that weird kettledrum…” (referring to my steel pan).  I played for perhaps 12 seconds, then heard over the microphone: “Great! Let’s hope we don’t hear too much of that tonight!”

Nice…

Everybody is familiar with the Cajon, correct?  It’s a traditional instrument from Peru originally created from fish boxes.  After playing a gig with a songwriter, a lady came up to me and said “Oh Chris, I love it when you play your cojones!  If you haven’t found the humor in this yet, then you don’t know what ‘cojones’ means in Spanish.  Look it up, then catch the irony.

This next one didn’t actually happen to me personally on a gig but I was a witness to it and I think it’s hilarious.  I was at a party, and just like most parties in Nashville, inevitably, at some point, someone will break out a guitar and start singing.  Ever seen the movie Joe Dirt?  Two ‘seats’ away from me and my friend sat a typical redneck music enthusiast with a mullet who loved his PBR just as much as the music.  After a couple of tunes he turned to me and my friend, made the devil horns gesture with his hand, and yelled “Back yard Rock’n’Roll rules!!!”  Then promptly fell back in his folding chair and passed out for a minute.  Priceless…

As time rolls on, I’ll have some new stories and I’m sure that some of the old ones will keep resurfacing.  I guess I’m going to have to start carrying a journal around with me to write stuff down when it comes to mind!  Not every gig is bad or extremely eventful. However, I guess that if they were all the same, that would be kind of boring, wouldn’t it???  :-)

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