My recent tale of a colleague who mistakenly left his instrument 250 miles south of his gig definitely struck a chord with many readers. Here are some of the great comments relating similar panicky tales:
I just played a concert yesterday that was held at a high school about 1/2 hour from where I live. I decided not to use the directions provided on the group’s website, because I had my trusty ADC map for that county! I drove to where the high school was according to my map, and there was a school there all right, just not the one I needed! I drove up and down that road 3 times, took side streets to search, all to no avail. I finally stopped at a gas station to ask for directions, and found that just two years ago a huge new high school had been built about 5 miles outside town, and the old school rebuilt into a new middle school. My map was about 5 years old and of course didn’t show it. The high school was in the middle of nowhere; I would never have found it on my own. I hated that panicky feeling driving around thinking, “What’s going to happen if I just plain can’t find this place?” Thank goodness I always leave myself plenty of time to get places for just this reason! (more)
I’ll admit it, once I did forget my trombone on the way to a gig! I had just moved, and I was so concerned about getting the extra boxes out of my car that I didn’t think to put the trombone in. Fortunately, one of my good friends (also a trombonist) was playing as well, and the gig was in her hometown. I called her in a panic, and she laughed and brought two trombones to the show. (more)
I decided to get a bite to eat at an Evanston restaurant before heading into Chicago for my gig. I had my bass guitar with me. When I got downtown, no bass! I called the restaurant, no bass there. I then called the Evanston police and they had it! A lady in a house across the street from where I was parked saw me lean the bass against my car, open and close the trunk, and get in my car and drive off without putting the bass in. The bass fell in the street, she went out and got it and turned it in. What a relief. I found a quick sub and she got a reward.
Possibly the most embarrassing occasion was when I turned up at a theatre gig having left my suit hanging on the back of my bedroom door. I only realised this as I was unloading my bass and amp. I wound up doing the show in my jeans and trainers with a luminous green linen shirt borrowed from one of the backing singers. Not really the right look when the rest of the band are in black suits… (more)
Update: We’re continuing to get more great “where’s my gear?” stories in the comments for the original post. Check it out and add your two cents if you’ve got a tale like this!