Remember Your First Paying Gig?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by stucker, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. tonyhay

    tonyhay Member

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    1974, I was 14, stood in for the guitar player in my uncle’s band for a night. I used a 120watt Sound City stack with two 4x12s! (dialed in very low!). It was an experienced band, quite a bit older than me, and they took care of me. It was a nice gig, got me started, and I have carried on to this day. Got paid five pounds.
     
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  2. Fred132

    Fred132 Member

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    1972...My share was something like $15, don’t remember exactly.

    I had crap for equipment. I don’t even remember who made the guitar or amp I used.
     
  3. stephax

    stephax Member

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    Do gigs within being in the army's orchestra count ?
     
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  4. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    Yes.
     
  5. Flogger59

    Flogger59 Member

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    Mid 70s at a youth drop in center. Setlist was a dog's breakfast of tunes we liked. Everyone else in the band was a year younger than I was, do we did half of Kiss Alive, but I managed to get some Zep in.

    Borrowed the keyboard player's Dad's 53 Blackguard Tele. We even had production values, like chucking confetti through a fan under a strobe light. Management was displeased.
     
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  6. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    I've told this story before. Early 70's, Sunday afternoon, my buddy's garage in Johnston RI with the door open. We used to jam every Sunday. On one of these occasions we were doing our usual drill - quart bottle of Schlitz in front of each of us, a few joints to the wind, and well into our typical hour or so version of "I'm So Glad" - when we see someone come up this driveway. We thought it was a neighbor coming over to complain. It was a neighbor, but he didn't want to complain. He wanted to hire us to play at his pool party going on just a few houses away. "Uh we don't know any songs; we just jam." He assured us that was fine. Just bring our stuff over and keep doing what we were doing. He'd pay us $50 apiece. "Okay!". So we lugged all the gear down the street and set up by the pool. It was the most incongruous scene imaginable. Them - bikinis and leisure suits. Us - stoned hippies in tank tops and jeans. We resumed the Glad jam. At some point, the host comes over and has a request. He doesn't know the name but the hook goes "hey girl I luv ya, tell me what you wanna do". Those old enough will instantly recognize it as the Hully Gully, a cancer that infested clubs in the 60s and 70's. Kinda the Mustang Sally of its day, but ickier. We hadn't heard of it yet, but he insisted, so we said we'd give it a shot. Back to "I'm So Glad" and every once in awhile I'd signal to the band, we'd stop cold, and I'd say "hey girl... etc" over the microphone, then back into Glad again. Everyone was drunk and wet enough that it seemed to be acceptable. So my first paying gig - free food and booze, bikinis and leisure suits, ersatz Hully Gully, and $50. I'll never forget it.

    /rick
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  7. Multicellular

    Multicellular Member

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    Early 1990s. IIRC I wasn't even legal to get in the place. Club in Knoxville. Man, forget the name. We were fortunate to have older friends with home (or warehouse precisely) studios and had a decently produced album. (link below). That got us in the door to places and we were a bit early bloomers and they just didn't ask our ages. That was good times!

    Or maybe it was one of the shows we organized ourselves in the local armory. That actually paid a lot more. I can't remember exactly what was first, but pretty sure that was the first band I was paid for.

     
  8. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Ah..remember it pretty well.
    Around 1974, 18, band had practiced together for over a year and we were tight and had a set list I’d be proud of today (Allman brothers, foghat, bb king, Neil young, AND several original songs I had written that were pretty good!) and we started getting a following.

    First gig a local city nearby for a street festival, big stage, I recall having to meet up with someone in an office and sign the contract...god it seemed like I was in the big leagues!

    Only drawback, the festival did the promo stuff, and we had a great name “Blackrose” and I saw the newspaper ad, and in there it said the tightest thing... “The Black Roses will bloom at the Highwood street festival at ...”

    So lame. But was a great concert gig, and we played a bunch for money after, and then...everybody got swelled heads and we broke up.
     
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  9. taez555

    taez555 Member

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    I remember being 19 and we played a show at Club Metro in Northhampton MA. The offered to pay us $10 and pitcher of beer, but since we were all underage they gave us a pitcher of soda instead.

    Living the good life. :)
     
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  10. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    My teacher got me a gig playing the Bread song "If" fingerstyle acoustic with a singer for a wedding. I got 60 bucks for that 1 song!
     
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  11. Goldie Glocks

    Goldie Glocks Member

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    April 2019, I played bass to support a friend. He got paid $75 and offered to split it with me and the drummer (we thought we were playing for free). I only took $3 bucks so I could get a good chewy draft beer at the bar. Then my wife and I went home.
     
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  12. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    A crappy dive bar in San Jose, Costa Rica when I was in 9th grade. I was like 15 and had no business being in a bar. I got the equivalent of like, 20 bucks. Did it a few times. Crowds were big and enthusiastic. Fun times.
     
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  13. sausagefingers

    sausagefingers Supporting Member

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  14. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    15 yrs old
    1969
    At a saw dust dance floor honky tonk in Tulia, Texas,
    I was the bass player for a country band and the only guy in the band under what seemed to be 60 at the time. But I'm pretty sure those old dudes were probably in their 40's.
    The band supplied the P bass and the Fender Bassman amp.
    They paid me $5 a night for Friday & Saturday nights and I 'toured' the Texas panhandle with them for about a year.
     
  15. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

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    Fall of 1962. I was 12 and was asked to fill in for a sick guitar player in my buddy's band. Played at a teen club ( The Kandy Kane Lounge). Made my first $10 as a "professional" musician. I played several instrumentals and sang one song..."Shortening Bread". I had my own band within 2 months (The X-Rays). And the rest is history.
     
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  16. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Yes, I recall mine. Sometime in late 1967 or early 1968. I had been hanging around a coffee house and a guy heard me playing in the cellar between sets, fooling around with somebody else's guitar. I was playing "Keep On Truckin' Mama". This guy said he wanted to do "Alice's Restaurant" (which was getting a lot of radio play at the time and was basically the same tune as "Keep On Truckin'") at a gig. He'd memorized the whole song and story, but he didn't play guitar.

    I don't recall how much he paid me, but it definitely wasn't much. I sat on a stool behind the guy and played the song over and over for about half an hour while he retold the story of Officer Obie and the Group W Bench and the father rapers and everything else. Wasn't exciting, but I liked the way everyone sang along with the chorus towards the end. I wish the gigs I've done since all went that smoothly.
     
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  17. Pablomago

    Pablomago Member

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    Get paid to play? You can do that? Who knew? What a novel idea.

    It was probably a Jr. High dance where we split the door with another band, but that's about all I remember.
     
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  18. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Good thread idea?
    Your first paid tune.
    Mine might've been Louie, Louie.
     
  19. Kevy_Metal

    Kevy_Metal Member

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    To paraphrase that Woodstock quote:

    "If I remembered my first gig, I really wasn't there".
     
  20. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Silver Supporting Member

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    Playing jazz standards on a baby grand in the middle of a mall shoe store on football Saturdays. $40 an hour.
     

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