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Tin Pan Alley, baby, must be your home, when it ain't nothin' down there, honey, but blood and bones - Curtis Jones, Tin Pan Alley

Author Topic: I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)  (Read 1071 times)

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Offline Mike Brosnan

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I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)
« on: April 14, 2010, 07:55:48 AM »
[This story doesn't really have much of a point to it... Just sharing an awkward milestone moment...]
I booked this gig knowing that my bass player might be out of town, but I was pretty sure either the harmonica player or fiddler would be there. Until I heard otherwise a couple hours before the show...
But... I didn't really care too much. Cuz... Y'see... The gig was at a freakin' APPLEBEE'S!!
THERE! I confessed. Somebody offered me a gig at an icky corporate chain and I took it. I've honestly never even set foot in one of those places before tonight. I guess I haven't missed much.
[Brief side note: I've been playing guitar for about 7 years... I've played out with a band less than a dozen times in the past year or so. But I've never even played solo at an open mic for 5 minutes... Prior to tonight, my solo performances have been limited to playing for a few friends here and there.]
So here was my big chance to play solo for two hours. At Applebee's. Happy hour...
So I decided to celebrate and/or calm my nerves with a few extra beers at home before the gig. Then all of a sudden I'm almost late for the gig... Rushing out of the house... Just as I'm almost there I start thinking: "I don't remember putting the Blueridge in the trunk..."
Just as I'm thinking that... I took the wrong exit, tacking on another five minutes of late time...
Finally get there and unload and apologize and scramble around and remember: "Not only did you forget your main standard tuning guitar... All your best slides, picks and capos were in that forgotten guitar case."
 :D
Luckily I had spare gear, but not the choice stuff. The spare slide had a lip and was too long. The spare fingerpicks were Dunlops instead of my preferred Propiks. The thumb pick was too thin and the Shubb capo doesn't always work so well on my old V necks.
So I tuned the old Trojan to standard and used Alvin's archtop for slide stuff I usually do on the Trojan.
The Trojan did well in standard, but it didn't have the sustain that my wood body has and there was some annoying buzzing. The archtop has a dirtier tone than the Trojan, but it worked out.
By the time I picked up the 12 string I was too drunk to deal with tuning it.
About two songs deep, I decided to go ahead and flatten my picks with my boot, making them feel that much more awkward when I bent them back into shape.
But... I got through it. Certainly not how I would've wanted my first solo gig to go, but... It coulda been worse.
I really didn't feel any more anxiety from playing solo. I felt anxiety from not having my Blueridge and my favorite accessories, but that's my own dumb ass fault.
I've been wanting to play solo for a while now. Playing with the band is a lot more fun, but $100 sits a whole lot better in my wallet than $25... Hmmm...
I might do some more solo shows, but last night I learned that (for me) it's really not that much better or worse than playing with the band. More freedom. More money. Less fun. Less interesting sound overall. Hmmm...
Why am I playing out again? I think it was supposed to be about the love of music, right?
I'm ordering more Propiks today. And I'm gonna put some shorter, lipless slides in my car...
And I don't guess I'll ever set foot in another Applebee's...

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 08:23:26 AM »
This made me laugh out loud.  At work.  And then had to explain.

Especially the bit about the picks and being too drunk to tune the 12 string...

Congratulations on doing it.  From what we've seen on the back porch, if there were any interested people in the joint (and there are usually one or two even if you dont spot them), they'd have had an enjoyable show.

I'm kinda jealous.

Offline Stuart

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Re: I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 08:33:22 AM »
Thanks for sharing this with us, Mike. It's a great story, well told. As for being too drunk to tune the 12 string, it could have been worse--you could have been too sober to tune the 12.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2010, 03:20:29 PM »
Hey good for Applebees for hiring you! One thing's for sure, Blues guys end up playing THE weirdest venues.
If they call you back again let us know. The Blues and Applebees.....could be a match made in...Wisconsin?
ALWAYS do an equipment checklist thing before you leave the house. I hope you weren't driving under the affluence of inchohol, but another thing I've learned is to always check the roof of the car and the hood of the trunk, before pulling out! Congratulations for doing a hard thing in a weird place by yourself and digging it!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: I just played my first solo show... (Unintentionally)
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2010, 03:37:57 PM »
Thanks, folks.  Mr. O'... You're the second one to call me on the drunk driving thing and I thank you for it.  I can't believe what an idiot I am sometimes.  Doing it in the first place is bad enough without blabbering about it all over the internet. Oy... I need to check myself sometimes.  Thanks for the reality slap. 
I'm fairly certain they won't be inviting me back.  They're expecting the musicians to bring the crowd and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I was playing there, so...  Liquor sales were unimpressive, I'm sure.  Plus the fact that I was late and solo instead of on time and with a band... I think it's over between me and Applebee's.  I'm not losin' sleep over it though.

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