Someone muscled in on my gig!


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Yesterday I went to a village party in Germany. This was organised by a pensioners' group and everyone had a great time. We all paid 8€ each (plus a voluntary contribution) and there was lots to eat, all washed down with beer and plenty of local wine.

They'd engaged a keyboard player who sang old hits (Schlager) and traditional German songs that they all knew – everyone joined in. He was a pro and there was no way that I'd have attempted to have a go … although I did secretly hope that someone might say, "And how about an English song from our guest?" If thus invited I'd have given a rendition of 'There was I waiting at the church' and left it at that.

Anyway, this got me thinking about how pros react to a show-off in the audience who wants to impress his friends by trying to take over. It would seem very bad form to me but does this often (ever) happen? And how do you react?

It would be interesting to read comments and recollections of such things.

M
 
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I've never had it happen in 25+ years of live playing nor would I allow it to happen.

I have played gigs where people have approached me or other members of the band in breaks or after the show to ask if they can have a go on our instruments (must admit that's never included keyboard) and the answer is always a friendly but firm "no".

And that cuts both ways, I was on a cruise ship recently and someone tipped off the bar band that I was a keys player. The band leader was a great guy and came up to me in the break and invited me to join them for a song. I politely refused and said that I was having far too much fun being entertained by them - and that I wasn't good enough to be in their band anyway!
 

Rayblewit

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Rayblewit

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Great story! So Moon was never an official WHO member . . Just filling in for 15 years . :D lol!
Ray . . NP Quadrophenia . . Awesome!
 
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Thanks for the comments - didn't know about Keith Moon. Also to Cowboy for explaining how he's dealt with the issue of pushy sitters-in over the years.

I've read that the Prince of Wales (later EviiiR) liked to play drums at London nightclubs - it was hard for bandleaders to say no.
Also, in the days of transatlantic liners famous musicians would sometimes sit in with the dance bands of 'Geraldo's Navy'.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldo_(bandleader)#Geraldo.27s_Navy

But getting back to the thrust of my query - I've been at gigs where I've seen this happen. It's different if someone has been invited but the resident musician often looked uncomfortable and I found the showing-off distasteful.

M
 
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SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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My sister-in-law likes to sing, and has a few local musicians she sings with-- one of whom she says used to play guitar with Procol Harum (but not a founding member). She was singing at a local hotel a few months back while The Masters golf tournament was in swing in our neighboring city of Augusta, GA. The crowd was rather small and quiet, but then suddenly a group of boisterous young men came in shouting "The Aussies have arrived!" She said that during the rest of the evening one or more of them would occasionally get up on stage, grab the microphone, and start singing-- I think that was between numbers, not in the middle of one. Needless to say, the crowd was no longer small and quiet, and what had looked like a snooze of an evening turned into a lively affair. :)
 

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