Wow, some doozies. Cathi's reminded me of a wedding I played
where the wind quintet hired for the reception dinner started on
the dot and played to an empty garden while the wedding ceremony
ran late, then refused to play longer even for more money. We -
the dance band - got extra money instead for attempting dinner
music - not our strong suit, but at least we were game. Pity, all
that beautiful Mozart played to the foliage.
My worst gigs all make me smile because they were usually fun in a
perverse sort of way. Like when I was about 17 and we played a
spring dance at a little community hall in the Fraser Valley.
Some bikers showed up (More like greasers, really), and we let
their leader get up and bark out a song to a one-chord R&B vamp.
Then they decided to get wild. Someone started flashing the
lights off and on, at which cue the biker guys started opening
and closing their pants in time with the music while doing that
snake-footed dance that bikers find so suave, exposing themselves
to their consorts (and each other) in their age-old courting ritual
(did Vikings do this?). Then they started dancing on the folding
tables, which promptly collapsed, and the ashtrays started to fly
toward the windows. This all happened in pretty quick succession,
followed by a hasty termination of the evening's frolic. Bummer.
We wanted to play.
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