Monday, December 19, 2005

How To Get in Good with the Band

As regular readers of this blog are aware, I have been lucky enough to be able to play some live music with my great and uber-talented friends Dicky Scearce and Jack Ketner this year. I've developed a profound respect for what they do and what they put up with at some venues. Trying to make music and keep things in check when half the crowd has drunk themselves "sideways" is quite the feat. Dicky sent me these rules for all you live music fans-from the bands perspective. Enjoy!

MUSICIANS ARE EXPERT MIND READERS


When requesting a song from the band, just say "play my song!" We have a chip implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favorite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar and all songs ever recorded, so feel free to be vague, we love the challenge. If we do not remember exactly what tune you want, we're only kidding.

Bands know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder if need be... it helps jog the memory.

If a band tells you they do not know a song you want to hear, they either forgot that they know the tune or they are just putting you on. Try singing a few words for the band. Any words will do.

It also helps to scream your request from across the room several times per set followed by the phrases, "AW COME ON!" and, "YOU SUCK!" Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well, such as the thumbs down or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band's memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of "Personal Friend Of The Band."

Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters and never really prepare for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do once they arrive. An entertainer's job is so easy, even a monkey could do it, so don't let them off the hook easily. Your request is all that matters.

If a metal band had played at the club a few weeks ago, the next band that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band ever played, even if the current band is a blues or country band. It's the law. Feel free to yell "AC/DC!" or "SLAYER!" to a band that plays strictly originals or jazz for example. Conversely, Deadheads may yell for Grateful Dead tunes at a dance or metal band.

IMPORTANT

When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head in both hands and yell directly into their ear, while holding their head securely so they cannot pull away. This will be taken as an invitation to a friendly and playful game of tug of war between their head and your hands. Don't give up! Hang on until the singer or guitar player submits. Drummers are often safe from this fun game since they usually sit in the back, protected by the guitar players. Keyboard players are protected by their instrument, and only play the game when tricked into coming out from behind their keyboards. Though difficult to get them play, it's not impossible, so keep trying. They're especially vulnerable during the break between songs.

TALKING WITH THE BAND

The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of a song when all band members are singing at the same time. Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us.

Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, it's because they didn't get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips. Simply continue to scream your request and be sure to over emphasize the words with your lips. This helps immensely. Don't be fooled. Singers have the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time. If the singer doesn't answer your questions immediately, regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it's because they are purposely ignoring you. If this happens, immediately cop an attitude. We love this.

HELPING THE BAND

If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain standing on stage. Just pretend you're in a Karaoke bar. Simply feel free to walk up on stage and join in. By the way, the drunker you are, the better you sound, and the louder you should sing.


If by chance you fall off the stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, fifth and sixth part harmonies, or a tambourine played out of tempo. Try the cowbell; they love the challenge. The band always needs the help and will take this as a compliment.

VERY IMPORTANT

Remember to allow enough time to make it from the stage to the bathroom in case of an emergency. On stage accidents are bad form. The band will carry on.

BONUS TIP

As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you are ejected from the club, you can rest assured in the fact that you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you immediately the following day to offer you a position.

See you at the next gig.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sandy said...

Oh man that was too freakin' funny!

"FREE BIRD"

haha..kiddin'...I NEVER yell FREE BIRD..nope just wouldn't do it.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scearce says: Here is one of my favorites that is not on the list. I love it when people come up to us and we are half way through packing up our equipment for the night and say " Hey you guys aren't through are you? they have even asked that same question as we are putting stuff in the van.

10:41 AM  

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