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LucSulla

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You guys ever have that experience where you're hanging out at a gig, get called on stage, and the moment you get up there, you realize you cannot make the main dude's setup work? Like, it just will not happen. 

That happened to me last night.  I get asked to sit on on "Tennessee Whiskey" in front of a crowd of probably 500  or so.  I take a shot and say, "Sure."   I know the song, easy enough.   Dude is playing a Supro/Friedman dual amp setup and a 335, so the gear is all great.  Why not?

He hands me the 335, and it hangs down to my knees.  I wish I could sling a guitar that low, but I can't do it.  Then I notice the strings are like 9s tuned down the Eb, the action is high, and they are old as fuck.  Now I'm getting nervous.  No problem, hit the gas, and go!  Well, the amps have all the highs rolled out, and their are no cabs.  Everything is going direct to the board and his "cab" is just the cheap wedge in front of him.   He sounds good, but everything about it was just alien to me, and I acquitted myself about like it sounds I would.   

The band is a pro touring band, and the guitarist used to be in EMF.  I didn't want to be bitchy about someone handing over a $2K guitar to some stranger and letting them play, but I sounded like some guy who's been playing two years wanking off in a Guitar Center.  I even got they, "well, that was cute," pat on the back when I finished.  Luckily, I just sucked it up and said thanks without pleading that I'm really better than that.  Sounding desperate on top of sounding like a hack...

I'm still salty about it.  Not at anyone in particular, but I hate playing like shit in front of people.  Plus, it sucks to get that chance to get up on stage and be "that guy" and then play like that, mostly because the set up is completely opposite of you do yourself.  I got done, and the singer mentioned me seeming to be nervous. I felt like I was 16 years old playing at the high school talent show all over again, lol. 

Edited by LucSulla
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Hey, you did the best you could with unfamiliar gear. Leave it at that.
People's taste in setups and tone are all over the map.

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HA!!  Was that you at The Library???  That was HILARIOUS!!

 

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That was me. Were you there? 

Of all the fucking times for one of y'all to see me play... 😂

Edited by LucSulla
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45 minutes ago, LucSulla said:

I felt like I was 16 years old playing at the high school talent show all over again, lol. 

Been there done that! In ‘84/‘85 I was at a Fasching festival in Zweibrueken, Germany listening to a cover band (they were playing rock of the day, Scorps, Ratt, Deep Purple, Maiden etc)and during a break I was chatting with the guitarist, talking about gear when he asked if I wanted to check out his new Kramer Pacer. I said sure and was just noodling around with his full stack and hundred watt head on standby, he asks me if I know Eruption, and I said sure. Began playing it for him while on standby and he flipped the switch!!! Completely caught me off guard, as I was squatting in an awkward position and looked up to see close to a thousand people staring at me LOL. I got on my feet quickly and while I was finger tapping he asked if I know the VH version of You Really Got Me, I nodded yes, the band all joined me on stage and we played for the following hour. Had a lot of fun that night, but during that first couple of minutes I just wanted to hide, completely unprepared for what was about to happen!

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I'm still getting over being mortified that someone here was there, lol. 

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3 hours ago, LucSulla said:

That was me. Were you there? 

Of all the fucking times for one of y'all to see me play... 😂

Nah...I just did a quick bit of sleuthing and thought I'd bust your balls a little

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3 minutes ago, cynic said:

Nah...I just did a quick bit of sleuthing and thought I'd bust your balls a little

That's some cold shit - but funny! :-)

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13 minutes ago, cynic said:

Nah...I just did a quick bit of sleuthing and thought I'd bust your balls a little

Lol, well played.

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I almost always refuse to play anyone else's guitar when it is handed to me... too many memories of middle school and high school parties where some kid would find an old guitar in a closet and seek me out and thrust it in my hands to play in front of 100's of kids --- guitars that looked like they were bought in Saigon or Bangkok during the Vietnam war.... I just couldn't do it.

Funny - was at a buddy's 49th the other day with some high school friends I have not seen for 30 years ---- they remembered those times different --- "Remember when we'd hand you a guitar and you'd just start playing Eruption or some crazy Malmsteen shit...?"  My answer was "uh? -- sure!".... So who knows. Maybe 30 years from now when you are an old man some guy will come up to you and say - "Dude -- remember that time you knocked it out of the park when they called you up on stage...?"

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57 minutes ago, Dasein said:

I almost always refuse to play anyone else's guitar when it is handed to me... too many memories of middle school and high school parties where some kid would find an old guitar in a closet and seek me out and thrust it in my hands to play in front of 100's of kids --- guitars that looked like they were bought in Saigon or Bangkok during the Vietnam war.... I just couldn't do it.

Funny - was at a buddy's 49th the other day with some high school friends I have not seen for 30 years ---- they remembered those times different --- "Remember when we'd hand you a guitar and you'd just start playing Eruption or some crazy Malmsteen shit...?"  My answer was "uh? -- sure!".... So who knows. Maybe 30 years from now when you are an old man some guy will come up to you and say - "Dude -- remember that time you knocked it out of the park when they called you up on stage...?"

From piecing together the data, I'm not much younger than you, lol.  But given the way I am, I will no doubt still be mulling this over when I am 70.  Self flagellation is my favorite pastime. 

It probably wasn't quite as bad as I remember, but it wasn't very good either.  I've knocked that song out of the park before, so it was really frustrating not being able to do that night in front of a packed house of Ole Miss coeds. Maybe it's PTSD from when I was just finishing up at MTSU 15 years ago and was starting to make a little bit of a name for myself among the locals.  I had a real, "I can play any guitar," kinda attitude, and had a swollen head from this blow out, final show that my original band did three days before.  

I go see a friend's band, and they ask me to play "House Is A Rockin'."  There is this beautiful, green ASAT sitting there, and I said, "I'll play that."  The guy playing it said it was his slide guitar and that it was strung with elevens and had pretty high action.  I smiled and said, "I'll be fine."

I was not fine.  I could barely do a damned thing on it, and as soon as I walked off stage, some redneck in the crowd patted me on the back and said, "Keep at it kid, and maybe one day you can play like those guys."   I was so pissed because I was pretty sure I already could and let my ego get way ahead of my sense. Good lesson about hubris, that. 

Seriously, my actual guitar was in my car in the parking lot, and they told me they'd wait for me to grab it.  But I was waaaay too cool for that, and my wings subsequently melted right in front of that redneck. 

I guess on the upside, I definitely didn't act like a smug asshole before I got up there.  In fact, I try to be pretty low key in general about such things these days.  But man, as soon as I tried to do my first warm-up run, I knew I wasn't impressing anyone last night. 

 

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I'm trying to imagine someone slinging a 335, and no matter how I try, it still look ridiculous.

Of course, in general it looks ridiculous, IMHO, and it's hard as hell to play like that. Carpal Tunnel waiting to happen.

 

Old strings though... wtf?

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Lol -- Nice Luc!

My worst experience with this was after a festival performance when I was 14, where my parents had already left and taken my gear home, and I was approached by the festival organizers to play lead for a band that for whatever reason had the audio/video recorder "fail" during their performance and they wanted at least to have a video to send home with them per the festival contract. The band's lead player had already gone home so they were stuck.  I said sure but that I'd need a guitar -- the songs were (and I still remember vividly) "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner and "That's All" by Genesis...

The festival organizer said - no problem and brought me her personal guitar - I think it was a Japanese neck through body Aria... I get on stage and start tuning up.... I realize right away I'm in trouble. Tuners are slipping - it just won't stay in tune - I quickly rewrap the strings and get some stability - but the action is bad -- like a mixed bag - high and low - some strings bottoming out - others floating high..... but the worst part -- intonation -- like there was none. I couldn't even play a pentatonic box without sounding horrible... NO rehearsal - count in and go.... lights camera action....

It was a horrific disaster --- and it's all on video somewhere ( I never saw it but you know some family would queue it up every Holiday)

 

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I have seen your videos and I am sure you acquitted yourself far better than you think....but not as well as you could have, or wanted too. I will not play other people’s guitars in situations like that unless I know they will work with me. I played one of Greg Martin’s Les Pauls once and felt I could step onstage immediately if invited.  It was set up very well. But local stuff? No way. 

I need my guitars. 

 

Yet the 10 year old who has gone viral playing Dave Grohl’s Trini Lopez didn’t have issues, did he lol.

 

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And we all want to be that 10-year-old at least once. 

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My former band asked me up after I'd sat there for a couple hours getting sh!tfaced. Was handed the worst Tele ever and proceeded to make Yoko noises for the next 5 minutes.

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On the flip side, a buddy of mine (a local legend) had the habit of spotting guitar players in the crowd and running out and handing them his guitar mid-song. I always knew when it was coming and would wander to the back of the crowd or to the  bathroom or somewhere out of sight.

They were playing Summerfest in Milwaukee (opening for Frampton) when the a$$hole flies off the stage and finds me about halfway back in a crowd that looked to be about 3000 people.

"Here', he says, "It's in 'A'", and drops his guitar in my lap. I got no pick so it's right to tapping stuff. When it was over there was a pretty good cheer and some slaps on the back, so it wasn't all bad, but it scared the crap out of me.

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