It occurred to me that I never finished answering all my "Thank you for your suggestions" questions.
VE was kind enough to ask me several questions (many of which I may actually answer some day), but for now I only have time to address his first question.
Even that question I can't answer completely, because after 10 years on the road I can't possibly remember every "worst gig" I ever had. There were just too many. However, here are 10 general "less-than-desirable" situations I've experienced in my career as a musician.
By definition, a "worst gig" constitutes any engagement where:
1... the band members and bar staff are the only people in the club the entire night.
2... you can't set up your gear until the strippers have finished their 7:00 set.
3... the band "housing" consists of rooms upstairs of the bar, and you have to bring your own sheets, pillows and blankets because the ones they provide have been used by the previous bands and haven't been changed in weeks.
4... the bar you're in doesn't have a stage so you have to set up on the dance floor - and you have to quit playing for the night because drunk people keep falling onto you and your equipment.
5... you routinely have to travel 600 - 800 miles on the Sunday between gigs because that's the best routing your booking agent can provide.
6... the inside club temperature approaches 100 degrees in July because it does't have air conditioning, and opening the windows only fills the room with mosquitoes because all the screens were ripped apart years ago.
7... the building only has one electrical circuit for the entire band so you have to bring your own fuses because if you blow one you're done for the night - and you won't get paid! (these were the days before breaker switches and you had to use this kind of fuse)
8... your booking agent mistakenly puts you in a heavy metal nightclub but your first three songs are from Rick Astley, Michael Jackson and Kool and the Gang. As soon as you finish Celebration the club owner threatens to fire you on the spot if you don't quit playing that "disco shit and start rockin it up immediately!"
9... a band member is sick but still plays because "the show must go on." Actual examples of this include nights where:
- I had pneumonia and went straight to the hospital after the last song10...the bar owner can't pay you cash so he offers you a gig for burgers and a case of beer -
- our drummer had the stomach flu and had to step off the stage between songs to vomit into a pickle pail
- our bass player had to sit on a stool all night because he had foot surgery the day before
AND YOU TAKE IT!