Here’s the next “worst gig ever” submission in our series, this time from double bassist Eric Hochberg. Eric is located here in metro Chicago and has contributed several times to doublebassblog.org in the past (as well as being a part of the quite successful 2010 Chicago Bass Festival).
This story is the latest submission for the Upton bass pickup raffle. If you’d like to be a contestant in the raffle, just email me your worst gig story (either personal or second-hand is fine) by March 15. You can send them to jasonheath -at- doublebassblog.org.
Gig Story from Eric Hochberg
My band was scheduled to play at a private residence in Glencoe, IL (tony Chicago suburb) for a reception on a Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful summer day when we arrived at the house. When I enquired where we would be setting up, I was told by the boat dock. When I asked where the boat dock was, I was directed to a tram that went up and down a ravine from the dock on Lake Michigan to the residence. Ok, pretty weird, I thought, but manageable. So, my bandmates and I made a few trips getting our equipment down to the lake on the tram. When we got there I realized there was no covering for us to play under, ( a usual requirement for outdoor gigs), but being a sunny clear day, I thought nothing of it and we set up.
The guests started to arrive and we began playing. By the middle of our second tune I see a bit of blackness over the water out in the distance and for the next five minutes or so it gets blacker and closer. I’m getting a little worried at this point, but we keep playing, until you guessed it, we’re in the middle of a thunderstorm. Naturally, the guests were all rushing to the tram and stairs to get back up to the house. We were stuck on the deck, out in the open with no cover and all of our gear. I noticed a small shed that I opened and found a nasty old tarp in, so, we gathered our instruments and sound equipment in a pile and covered them along with our tuxedo clad selves under that funky tarp (complete with dirt, spider webs and leaking holes) until the rain stopped about 20 minutes later. What a damn mess!
We made it back up the ravine, packed up our cars and when our employer came out to say that she would like us to meet them at a restaurant in town to continue the “party”, I told them our equipment was more than likely damaged by the rain and we wouldn’t be able to make it… I guess she didn’t notice our rain soaked tuxes, either!