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Instruments-Embarassing Moments

Mr Happy 28 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Jan 10 - 09:24 AM
Mr Happy 28 Jan 10 - 09:33 AM
Hamish 28 Jan 10 - 09:54 AM
olddude 28 Jan 10 - 09:57 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Jan 10 - 10:07 AM
Will Fly 28 Jan 10 - 10:13 AM
Nick 28 Jan 10 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 28 Jan 10 - 11:10 AM
VirginiaTam 28 Jan 10 - 11:11 AM
Will Fly 28 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM
Mr Happy 28 Jan 10 - 11:19 AM
VirginiaTam 28 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,WireHarp 28 Jan 10 - 03:13 PM
Tim Leaning 28 Jan 10 - 04:10 PM
PHJim 28 Jan 10 - 06:39 PM
bill\sables 28 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
bill\sables 28 Jan 10 - 07:18 PM
Will Fly 29 Jan 10 - 04:34 AM
Hamish 29 Jan 10 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Ray 29 Jan 10 - 05:54 AM
Mr Happy 29 Jan 10 - 06:12 AM
Nick 29 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 29 Jan 10 - 06:59 AM
Leadfingers 29 Jan 10 - 08:24 AM
Mr Happy 29 Jan 10 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Ray 29 Jan 10 - 10:33 AM
scouse 30 Jan 10 - 09:53 AM
Nick 30 Jan 10 - 10:25 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jan 10 - 10:37 AM
MikeL2 30 Jan 10 - 10:41 AM
Will Fly 30 Jan 10 - 10:50 AM
Paul Burke 30 Jan 10 - 12:19 PM
PHJim 30 Jan 10 - 12:49 PM
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Subject: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:18 AM

Over the millennia, attending seshes at fests, fc's all over, I've experienced some tricky moments with instruments, either mine or others ones.

Most frequent kind of incident is uncut strung insts catching or hooking onto things.

I've had me guitar getting caught in a girl's hair, tangled up in net curtains & even attempting copulation by becoming entwined in the strings of another guitar.

Anyone else similar?


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:24 AM

Didn't happen to me but I saw my good friends and co-club organisers, Staff Folk, get onstage at a Methodist Hall at which they had been booked. On opening his guitar case and seeing about a dozen cans of Guinness cascade over the stage, Dave realised he had forgotten that the Guitar was already on stage and he had filled the case with said Guinness to get around the drink ban:-)

Luckily everyone saw the funny side.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:33 AM

Dave,

Good one

Reminds of chums Taggart & Wright at a gig, Mrs Taggart opens her guitar case to find someone else's instrument inside!

The guitars, both Martins, had got switched in a sesh the previous week as the cases were identical


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Hamish
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:54 AM

Not quite on topic, but I remember when Vin Garbutt broke a string at our local club. One of the regulars volunteered to change it for him while he played a whistle tune and whatever. "I've lost dozens of guitars that way" quipped Vin as the regular headed off to a back room...


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: olddude
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 09:57 AM

Large crowd, were I was performing a couple of weeks ago. I forgot the words to one of my own songs. started again and still forgot them .. Moved on to the next one, came back later when I remembered. I made some jokes the crowd was fine but I felt so embarrassed.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 10:07 AM

Finding guitar out of tune. Ask "Pete, mine's out, can I play yours" "Sure he says". One chord and - - "Er, I think I'll play mine if it's all the same out you".


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 10:13 AM

Brighton Arts Club. Saturday night gig. Packed room. Fitted up the guitar wireless transmitter and started playing with the band (60's New Orleans funk stuff). After about 30 minutes in, a stream of Brighton and Hove taxi driver instructions issued from my guitar amplifier. Hilarity all round except me. Band cracked up. Punters in hysterics. Took off transmitter and threw it on floor. Plugged in ordinary guitar lead and continued...


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Nick
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:01 AM

I used to play with a guy whose electric guitar pickup used to pick up the tick from his watch. It was ok if his watch was in time with the music but very distracting if not.

Why on earth as a right handed guitarist he had the watch on his right hand I don't know


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:10 AM

I've cleared the drings off a waitresses tray with the headstock on my Ode Longneck five more than once. Same bar, same waitress.

Don


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:11 AM

Me - standing up in front of a small sit down audience of utter strangers, trying to adjust my more than ample Sigma beneath a somewhat ample right bosom.

And then blurting... "These things just aren't designed right." only to be answered by several males in the room... "Oh yes they are."

I was talking about the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:15 AM

Was it just the right bosom that was ample? :-)


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:19 AM

........& the young lady asking to borrow a flat pick and being asked 'Do you prefer a hard one or a soft one??'


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 02:09 PM

Tsk tsk Will.

Should send you to the CELLAR for that.


Got this image of limp picks and guitars on heat, in my head Mr. Happy and it's not good.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: GUEST,WireHarp
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 03:13 PM

I was playing at a little house concert/historic site, it was the last tune of the night. I'm doing "The Wild Geese" on union(uilleann) pipes and for once, my single row of regulator is in tune, and sounding sweet. So I get to the last note for the big finish, with harmony and...

Now I should mention this house is over 250 years old and has an enormous fireplace in the room. The site director loved to crank the beast up for atmosphere even if it was 55F outside, and it tended to dry the air horribly. Harp out of tune, fiddle strings slacking, bow, etc. Well...

On the last beautiful not the main stock shoots out with all the drones and the reeds inside, and all I could do was just sit and stare at it along with everybody else. No applause, just silence. I think they were all waiting for me to start swearing, crying.. I don't know.. SOMETHING. I picked it up, checked for damage (there was none)stuffed it back into the socket and simply said : "Thank you for coming, good night"

Robert Mouland www.wireharp.com


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:10 PM

Hows about finish song, turn to whistle player to say You played that really well darling and knocked the still live mic on its stand of the stage.or finding my guitar and music bag had been moved(for safety) while I was a the bar.
Discovered them a the side of the stage and pick them up.
Failing to notice that the handle of the music bag was wrapped around a guitar stand.
OOOps.
Good thing those custom built American guitars are well made eh?


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: PHJim
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:39 PM

1. I have a very heavy case and once showed up for a gig with an empty case. Luckily someone who lived nearby was willing to lend me a guitar.

2. I plyed in a bluegrass group at a festival a few years back. I got changed into my stage outfit about a half hour before we went on and left my mandolins locked in the car. When I went back to get them, I realized that I'd left the keys to my car in my shorts in the back seat. The CAA arrived in time to get my mandolins out about 5 minutes before we went on. It made for some good stage patter - "I almost ended up singing all my mandolin solos."

3. My brother lives a couple of hours away from me, so we only get together a few times a year. One summer he said to me,"Howe often do you change your mandolin strings?" I asked why he wanted to know and he told me to look at my tailpiece cover. At the time I was playing a Washburn mandolin, but the tailpiece cover said,"The Kentucky". It turns out that he'd switched our covers the previous Christmas and I hadn't noticed.

4. Not my story, but one told to me by Raymond McLean. He told me about playing the fiddle with his family and his sister Ruth, who had her hair in a bun, got too close to him and he pierced the bun with his fiddle bow. The rosin was so sticky that they had to stop playing and undo Ruth's bun in order to free the fiddle bow from her hair.

5. Also not my story - My son Clay played mandolin with Washboard Hank. Hank used to finish his washboard solos with a Pete Townsend like swing of his arm and come crashing down on a pot lid on top of a helmet he wore. Clay got a bit too close once and they had to stop the show to stop his nose from bleeding.
It was humourous to watch him duck when Hank took a solo in every show after that.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: bill\sables
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM

Once playing melodeon with Eric the Viking somehow the nails that hold the bellows together had come out (or been sabotarged)and I ended up with a lump of unconnected squeeze box in each hand. Another time playing with a band and the singer decided we should start playing behind the curtains and he would signal the stage manager to open the curtains as he was about to start singing. All went well till the electrically driven curtains billowed out taking the two speakers with them and the singer appeared running from one side of the stage to the other trying to catch them. We still played on but couldn't help laughing like hell along with the audience.
Just about four months months ago we were playing for a wedding ceilidh while in the next room Sho-waddi-waddi were playing for a birthday. I had just switched on my radio mike when through our PA came the announcement "Ladies and Gentlemen for your entertainment tonight we've got Sho-Waddi-Waddi so I just answered through my mike "and if you don't want to see them you can join in a ceilidg next door


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: bill\sables
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 07:18 PM

One embarassing moment happened while doing a wedding ceilidh in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle on Tyne. It was a cowboy themed wedding with around 250 guests dressed as Cowboys, Indians, Gamblers and Saloon Girls. I usually start by demonstrating how to swing your partner and try to pick an attractive girl to demonstrate with me so on this night I chose a saloon girl with a low cut clevage. When I asked her to dance she said straight into my radio mike in the broadest Geordie accent
"Y'll hev te watch oot in case me tits drop oot"
I answered that I had been watching all night in case they did. When I eventually got her into a swing they did drop out and I was the only one who missed it as my head was over her shoulder at the time.
Then there was the time we did a ceilidh in a marquee and in the middle of the intro a dog ambled into the middle of the lawned dance floor and dug up a bone and then buggered off.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 04:34 AM

We were playing (amplified) at a celidh for a church event some months ago when the Vicar - not a very pleasant man - came up to the mandolin player and said, "Could you turn your banjo down?"

Ian's mandolin has been known as "God's banjo" ever since...


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Hamish
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 04:56 AM

Alan Marshall, the luthier from Derbyshire, told me about the repair he did a while back. There were two little holes in the side of this chap's guitar. Apparently, the handle had come off the case, so the chap screwed it back on. When he got to the gig, he couldn't get the guitar out of the case... Doh!!!


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 05:54 AM

Not specifically instrument related but a band I play with occasionally were looking for the correct room in which to set up their PA. They opened a door which turned out to be at the back of a stage upon which were several people addressing some sort of seminar. A very nice chap asked the participants to hold on whilst he directed the band to the right room. Only then did they realise that the "nice chap" was the Archbishop of Canterbury.

On another occasion they were playing at a miners gala in Sheffield when a man from next door came in to complain about the volume of their drummer. He wouldn't be persuaded that they didn't have one until they showed him the stage. They all went outside and, sure enough, they could clearly hear drums - Bruce Springsteen was playing a football stadium in Sheffield five miles down the road.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:12 AM

.........then there's the ever popular game of 'Shake Guitar upsidedown overhead'!!

So many folks drop picks down the soundhole & its happened to me as well.

However, I got cheesed off with the 'game' so evolved a strategy to address this prob.

Being a multi-instrumentalist, I have in the toybox an assortment of tin whistles & other accessories.

To retrieve a lost pick, I stick a bit of blu-tack on the end of a whistle to make the perfect pick-fishing tool!!


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Nick
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:57 AM

Not an instrumental embarassment but a singing one. I was singing 'Trouble In Our Fields' on Wednesday and got to the second verse when the shitzu ('what's a shitzu?' - one with no animals ho ho) in the pub suddenly came rushing up - tail wagging and very excited - and sat down in front of me and the started singing along with me.

It's very off putting but everyone was in fits of laughter. I did Hound Dog afterwards but he didn't like that.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:59 AM

You know, it's thread titles like this one that sometimes make me wish I didn't think in pictures! LOL I am sooooo rolling around with naughty visions here... :0)


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 08:24 AM

Dogs in Clubs ?? I was in Full Flight doing a floor spot when my mates Red Setter came up and had a piddle right in front of me !

EVERY ones's a critic these days


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 08:34 AM

Was it's name Pete?


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 10:33 AM

Sorry to change the subject but whilst we're on about dogs; I was at a seminar a few years ago. A blind chap had put his dog "off-duty" and it had been lying at his feet for an hour or so when a cat walked across the room behind the speaker. The dog spotted it and set off in pursuit. You can imagine uproar particularly as the blind chap hadn't the slightest idea what was going on.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: scouse
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:53 AM

One afternoon at a festival I sang "the last thing on my mind." from Tom Paxton.I borrowed me mates guitar 'cos his had a DI. It was tuned to 440. but unknown to him everyone else had tuned to 442 for someones's Accordion. First verse went well as I was alone... then everyone joined in.. Guitars,fiddles mandolins electric piano the lot... I dam near froze when I heard the discorded sound along side my own guitar coming from the Monitors. But... I finished the song!!!

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Nick
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:25 AM

Like the last post, a friend of mine has an electronic tuner that has a button that he wasn't aware of which is a semitone different. He played and I thought I'm way out of tune so tuned to him. Next was a set of fiddle tunes and as I knew I had just tuned my guitar I dived in a semitone out. Whoops. Retuned with me looking daggers at the fiddles and them returning for being so far out. Right. Borrow the tuner again to check...

It was only later that he found the little button on the side that he had clicked by mistake.

Clapton in his drinking days apparently spent most of a gig playing a semitone out from the rest of the band. Bizarrely noone seemed to care.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:37 AM

I was reminded of this by another thread.
Some years ago our local dance/song/music session became the victim of a bodhran nut who turned up every week and totally destroyed the evening.
The elderly musicians, being far too polite to protest, suffered in silence, and any hints thrown out by the rest of us went either unnoticed or ignored.
One Sunday night he came in and foolishly propped his 'instrument' (very loud, but extremely attractive to look at) against an adjacent vacant bar stool.
One of our regular dancers, having had "drink taken", wheeled through the door, swayed over to the bar and hoisted herself up onto the stool, supporting herself by placing her foot on the offending instrument - which shattered into many pieces.
The following week the regulars held a ceremony where they presented her with a medal.
And the rest is silence....
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: MikeL2
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:41 AM

hi

An embarrassing moment happened to me and a group I was playing with ( that gives my age away lol) many years ago.

I hadn't got into folk then and was doing pop/rock & roll.

We were all still at school and were all in the same year. One of the guys owned the amplifiers that we used. We were all electric at that time.

This guy used to set up the stage and connect all the amps etc.

We were playing at a local working mens club and were in the middle of of song - That'll be the Day - when as I was singing I leaned close to the mike stand and my steel guitar strings touched the stand.

There was a huge bang and all the lights went out and a strong smell of smoke. A bit scary at the time but embarrassing and funny afterwards.

We never got asked back and we got an electrician to sort things out and one of the parents set up the gear on future gigs.

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:50 AM

Clapton in his drinking days apparently spent most of a gig playing a semitone out from the rest of the band. Bizarrely noone seemed to care.

Not even the guy(s) who produced "Layla", apparently. The slide guitar noodling towards the end of the record is absolutely bloody.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:19 PM

Years ago, I had a keyed simple flute. The keys stuck down when the pads got damp, so I kept a little tin filled with talcum powder and some Rizlas in the flute case, sprinkle a little talcum on the paper and close the key on it to unstick it.

Until one day I was just about to unstick a pad when "'Ello 'ello 'ello" and a hand on my shoulder. An off- duty copper in the room. I had to let him snort a great fistful of the powder before he conceded my innocence.


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Subject: RE: Instruments-Embarassing Moments
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 12:49 PM

The "out of tune" posts above reminded me of a radiothon that I did many years ago. I had been playing the guitar for a tune in Bb. The next tune was I Saw The Light in G and I played the banjo. The fellow who had been playing banjo handed it to me and took off the capo, but left the fifth string tuned to Bb. It was obvious that something was wrong when I started the intro.
These days I'd stop, fix the string, make a joke and start over, but being very nervous and inexperienced I continued playing. By the time I got to my break, I'd discovered the problem and fixed the tuning of the fifth string, but the intro sounded terrible. I still have a tape of that show. I hope no-one else has.


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