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SimonSlick

United States
151 posts
since 1/25/17

02/16/2017 18:17:07 View SimonSlick's MP3 Archive View SimonSlick's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

In 1979 or 1980 the band I was in in New Orleans opened for Ralph Stanley at a show in Gretna, LA. The weather was lousy, and the show had been poorly promoted and advertised. My guess at the time was that less than 50 people actually were in the audience. We had been playing both in the Quarter and festivals all over the deep south and had just done the N.O. Jazz Fest so I thought the event was something of a joke. We did our set only inspired by the fact of who would be following us.

When Ralph came on - from start to finish - the whole band played and performed like there was 50,000 in the audience. He and Curly Ray Cline put on a hell of a show. It was a lesson in professionalism I never forgot.

eagleisland

United States
12580 posts since 12/2/05

02/16/2017 18:35:29View eagleisland's MP3 Archive View eagleisland's Photo Albums View eagleisland's Blog Reply with Quote

Both Bill Monroe and ZZ Top are reputed to have performed full shows to audiences of two.

Don't know if it's true or not, but it underscores your point: if there are people who have paid good money to hear you play, they deserve everything you can give 'em. word of mouth counts for a lot.

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tloftis

United States
213 posts since 9/20/07

02/16/2017 19:35:41 View tloftis's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

Back in the coffe house days a crowd of fifty was a full house😎 We also had a steady gig at a Steak and Ale, and it didn't matter how may people were In the bar as we played for all the waitresses.

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Meles_Meles

United States
6801 posts since 4/15/12

02/16/2017 20:29:30 View Meles_Meles's Photo Albums View Meles_Meles's Blog Reply with Quote

About years ago, I went to see Dick Dale perform in a dive in Baltimore. Of course, he didn't have hisold group (the Del Tones) with him, but he appeared with his son on drums and an electric bass player. There was an audience of only about 50, but they put on a fantastic show. Aside from his guitar work, he also played trumpet, doubled on a drum soo, and played the bass with drumsticks, demonstrating great mastery of all four instruments. He performed all out despite the small crowd and the youth of most of those present. The young'uns were astounded, as they were probably used to listening to instrumentally incompetent 'grunge' and 'rap' performers.

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desert rose

Japan
14009 posts since 2/7/03

02/16/2017 21:04:49 View desert rose's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Dick is an old friend from my Fender days, known as the King of the Surf Guitar, he is still a very unsung hero in my book. And one hell of a human being

 

 

Scoot

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banjo5280

United States
22 posts since 3/25/16

02/16/2017 22:09:00 Reply with Quote

My wife and I saw Hot Rize at a show in the basement of the old Tivoli Brewery in Denver, with probably no more than a dozen folks in the audience.  This was early, way early in their band career, and I had seen them not just at the Niwot Grange but also at a mountain-bike race at Eldora (Ski) Mountain, as well as other venues.  Nick Forster, Pete Wernick, Charles Sawtelle, and Tim O'Brien put on a great, complete show.  They focused in clothes and attitude as professionals, and it showed.  Hot Rize even did their Red knuckles stint to break up the show, and even came out to visit with the audience in an "intermission."  We ended up seeing them in several dozen shows in many settings, but the brewery basement was also special in memory--for that professional approach!

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DH#52

United States
471 posts since 6/6/07

02/17/2017 03:35:43 Reply with Quote

Several years ago my wife and I traveled to rural Missouri to see the great Norman Blake at a small winery.  The show was held in a sort of barn where barrels of wine were stored.  Sitting just feet from a makeshift stage, we greatly enjoyed Norman and Nancy playing to our audience of 50 or so.  I mean, I felt kind of bad for them that more people weren't in attendance.  After the concert, Norman signed autographs, and I got a chance to chat with him about Martin guitars.  Man, what a night!

Steve

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revellfa

United States
1741 posts since 9/25/06

02/17/2017 07:49:34View revellfa's MP3 Archive View revellfa's Classified Ads View revellfa's Photo Albums View revellfa's Blog Reply with Quote

I met a guy who learned "Dill Pickle Rag" from Don Reno at a dive in DC in the 70s. Apparently Don was performing there during the week and nobody but that guy showed up!

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steve davisPlayers Union Member

United States
63877 posts since 5/9/07

02/17/2017 08:22:29View steve davis's MP3 Archive View steve davis's Classified Ads View steve davis's Photo Albums View steve davis's Blog Reply with Quote

I was at Churchill Downs for the 1988 Breeders Cup Race and went to the infield beer tent to find JD Crowe and the New South on a pallet stage playing 2 sets to around 40 or 50 people.
Best live performance I've ever seen.

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OldPappy

United States
2611 posts since 5/12/10

02/17/2017 09:03:14View OldPappy's MP3 Archive View OldPappy's Photo Albums View OldPappy's Blog Reply with Quote

There is a middle sized amusement park near where I grew up, and they used to have shows on a small stage tucked away behind the bumper cars.

Back somewhere in the early 80s I took my kids there to have some fun, and much to my surprise, I saw a flier about the show they had planned that day, which was to be Bo Diddley.

There were only about 20 people in the audience, but he performed just as if he were again on the big stage. I watched the age slide right off the man when he started playing that driving rhythm on his guitar. I enjoyed the show a whole lot, and even noticed my adolescent daughters catching the beat.

I guess his time in the spotlight had passed a while before then, as I heard some youngster beside us asking his friend "who is this old guy?". I just turned and said "I don't know, but I've been told, Bo Diddley put the rock in rock and role". 


Edited by - OldPappy on 02/17/2017 09:04:42

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Banjophobic

United States
12682 posts since 3/6/06

02/17/2017 10:06:17View Banjophobic's MP3 Archive View Banjophobic's Photo Albums View Banjophobic's Blog Reply with Quote

Being a professional player goes far beyond playing ability and how one acts on stage and interacts with audience members is one of the most important,p. 

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steve davisPlayers Union Member

United States
63877 posts since 5/9/07

02/17/2017 10:47:14View steve davis's MP3 Archive View steve davis's Classified Ads View steve davis's Photo Albums View steve davis's Blog Reply with Quote

My old 8 piece band has outnumbered the audience a handful of times since the 70s.

I don't mind playing to a small crowd,but it can be difficult to get all the money from a venue having a "broker".We have settled on a lesser amount which is good for future bookings when things are better.

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dhergert

United States
3786 posts since 9/6/06

02/17/2017 11:57:10View dhergert's MP3 Archive View dhergert's Photo Albums View dhergert's Blog Reply with Quote

If you play the typical 9am Sunday morning Gospel show at festivals, you'll often see the few dedicated people out on Sunday morning, especially if jamming has been heavy the night before.  That's been our gig for the last 8 or so years.  We've had some small crowds, but we've all had a great time.

The most memorable of these was 2 or 3 years ago when there was a scheduling hiccup and the sound guys didn't make it.  So that we could be heard, we stepped down off the stage and into the middle of actually about 150 people in that audience and played and sang directly with them.  Wow, what a thrill.  It made me want to do our shows that way all the time.

-- Don


Edited by - dhergert on 02/17/2017 12:00:14

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mikehalloranPlayers Union Member

United States
8796 posts since 10/27/06

02/18/2017 10:03:03 View mikehalloran's Classified Ads Reply with Quote

A number of years ago, we were hired for a private party.through the Musicians Union. Deposit had been paid and I was handed the balance as we arrived. Well, not many people showed up and we had played 20 minutes when the husband decided to shut it down, chased the few guests away and told us to pack our gear. Ok...

Well, as the PA was being loaded, the woman comes out yelling at him that she had hired us and he had no right to send us away. I looked at her and told her she was right—we'd been paid and owed her three hours. We certainly didn't need the PA to perform for an audience of one, however. It was fun and nice to have the equipment already loaded when done. 

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steve davisPlayers Union Member

United States
63877 posts since 5/9/07

02/22/2017 09:43:35View steve davis's MP3 Archive View steve davis's Classified Ads View steve davis's Photo Albums View steve davis's Blog Reply with Quote

One late,late night after playing The Yardarm Tavern in Waterville we stopped at the local Mr.Donut shop and while we were waiting for our orders someone asked if we were playing the music earlier.
We ended up bringing in our instruments and jamming at a couple of tables for a half hour,basically for the employees.

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arnie fleischer

United States
3434 posts since 6/15/05

02/23/2017 14:14:26 View arnie fleischer's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

The first time I booked the Spinney Brothers to appear at the Emelin Theatre bluegrass series, Allan Spinney, who sings leads on 90% of their duets, had just gotten out of the hospital a few days earlier and could barely talk. His banjo-playing brother Rick, who usually sang harmony, effortlessly (or so it seemed) assumed all the lead parts except on a couple of songs that Allan felt he could handle. They never mentioned Allan's condition, and the audience (except for me and two or three others in the audience who were familiar with the band) was none the wiser because their show was, as always, excellent. This was nine or ten years ago, when they had just decided to make their band a full-time endeavor. After the show, they apologized to me because, as Allan put it, our audience hadn't experienced what the  Spinney Brothers were really like. Talk about professionalism and class under trying circumstances! They returned several years (and much success) later, and showed us all what they had been unable to the first time.

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eagleisland

United States
12580 posts since 12/2/05

02/23/2017 16:08:09View eagleisland's MP3 Archive View eagleisland's Photo Albums View eagleisland's Blog Reply with Quote

Great story, Arnie.

And as always, it was MY HONOR to see you - and, especially, to pick with you - at Joe Val this weekend. Sunday night was special!!

I will always be pleased to be under the same roof.

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chuckv97Players Union Member

Canada
24292 posts since 10/5/13

02/23/2017 16:21:14 View chuckv97's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

I was in a band in the '70's playing a week at a hotel barroom/lounge in Ottawa for five nights. One evening we were in the middle of a song and a major breaker somewhere flipped off, leaving our sound system dead, but the lights still on. Without any pause our lead singer urged us to keep playing, we walked off the stage and stood on chairs close to the audience to finish the set. The crowd loved it.

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arnie fleischer

United States
3434 posts since 6/15/05

02/23/2017 19:07:04 View arnie fleischer's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Same here, Skip, that jam was a blast. You were in fine form, my friend, that Hatfield was smoking!

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kat eyz

United States
999 posts since 10/1/03

02/25/2017 08:47:03 View kat eyz's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

  around 1987 or so i found out that Bill Monroe was playing about 30 minutes away from my home  "Nashville North" was the venue in Taylorville Illinois .   i showed up early to get a good seat .  10 minutes till show time and me and about 6 others were the only ones there ....i'am thinking ..oh know ..show will be canceled .  they played a full show and Bill talked a couple minutes between each song i think to give the setting a more personal touch and started asking us if we had any requests ...which we did LOL !   ..great show i will never forget !    Can't remember the band members he had other than Blake Williams  on banjo .    got to talk with him a while after the show too.  

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BJD

United States
351 posts since 3/26/12

02/25/2017 09:19:28 View BJD's Classified Ads View BJD's Photo Albums View BJD's Blog Reply with Quote

I was part of a company in 1983 that did a show at a downtown theater during our county fair.  The first two weekends we sold out, then the county fair started the next week.  Third Friday 8 people were in the audience.  Our creative director told us those folks paid the same as the folks last week and they deserve as good a performance.  I never forgot that.  It was sage advice.  All 8 people brought friends and family back the next few weeks to see our show again.  

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The Old Timer

United States
9853 posts since 10/30/08

02/25/2017 09:35:20View The Old Timer's MP3 Archive View The Old Timer's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Played two shows in separate places back in the 1970s where exactly NOBODY showed up, due to weather, except the band. One of them had not publicized at all, either. You live and learn. And if it doesn't kill you it makes you tougher.

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bohemian

United States
888 posts since 5/25/10

02/25/2017 16:45:52 Reply with Quote

I recall a concert where a well known and successful reso guitar player showed up.. unkempt, slovenly, self absorbed, a total boor and then he played forever with never ending self indulgent ethereal noodling and then went back into his monolog extolling his own virtues, accomplishments, latest recordings ad nauseum.. he was the warm up act for his band and they were likewise unkempt, slovenly, dirty, .. out of tune , seemed bored etc.. they exceeded their stage time by 30 minutes and then finally Del McCoury and Band showed up.. what an incredible , respectful, musical, professional, presentation ...

I almost walked out before Mr McCoury and group came on stage,  and the real reason I was there.   

I will never, ever listen to , watch, attend and event  where the other "musician" shows up.  What an insult and  a disgrace.

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steve davisPlayers Union Member

United States
63877 posts since 5/9/07

02/26/2017 04:55:00View steve davis's MP3 Archive View steve davis's Classified Ads View steve davis's Photo Albums View steve davis's Blog Reply with Quote

You never know exactly what you are going to get in any live performance.
People have good and bad nights.Comes with being human.

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