Below is some light weekend reading for all you live musicians out there…
Now this rant has been around the internet for a while now and I first stumbled across this on Facebook.
My initial thoughts were that the following passage below was hilarious but at the same time a little too close to home in some places.
I wondered how many live musicians reading this would agree with me so I rediscovered the full rant and posted it below for your enjoyment.
HOW TO REQUEST A SONG FROM THE BAND
“When requesting a song from the band, just say “Hey, play… [insert song here]”
We all have chips implanted in our heads with an unlimited database of the favourite tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar, and all songs ever recorded. So feel free to be vague, we love the challenge.
If we say we really don’t remember that tune, we’re only kidding. Bands do know every song ever recorded, so keep humming.
Hum harder if need be… it helps jog the memory, or just repeat your request over and over again.
If a band tells you they do not know a song you want to hear, they either forgot they know the tune, or they are just putting you on. Try singing a few words for the band.
Any words will do. It also helps to scream your request from across the room several times per set, followed by the phrase, “YOU SUCK!”
Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval are a big help as well, such as the thumbs down or your middle finger up, are the best way to jog a band’s memory.
This instantly promotes you to the status of “Personal Friend Of The Band.” You can bet your request will be the next song we play.
Entertainers are notorious fakers and jokesters, and never really prepare for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do once they arrive.
We don’t actually make setlists or rehearse songs. We mostly just wait for you to yell something out, then fake it. An entertainer’s job is so easy, even a monkey could do it, so don’t let them off the hook easily.
Your request is all that matters.
Once you’ve figured out what genre of music the band plays, please make your requests from a totally different genre.
The more exaggerated the better. If it’s a blues band playing, yell for some Metallica. Likewise, if it’s a death-speed metal band playing, be sure to request Brown Eyed Girl or some Cold Chisel.
Musicians need to constantly broaden their musical horizons, and it’s your job to see that it happens… Immediately.
TALKING WITH THE BAND
The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of a song when all band members are singing at the same time.
Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us. We can converse with you in sign language while singing the song, so don’t worry that we’re in the middle of the chorus.
Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, it’s because they didn’t get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips.
Simply continue to scream your request and be sure to over emphasise the words with your lips. This helps immensely but don’t be fooled, singers have the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time.
If the singer doesn’t answer your questions immediately, regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it’s because they are purposely ignoring you.
If this happens, immediately cop an attitude. We love this.
When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head in both hands and yell directly into their ear, while holding their head so they can’t pull away. This will be taken as an invitation to a friendly and playful game of tug of war between their head and your hands.
Don’t give up! Hang on until the singer or guitar player submits.
Drummers are often safe from this fun game since they usually sit in the back, protected by the guitar players. Keyboard players are protected by their instrument, and only play the game when tricked into coming from behind their keyboards.
Though difficult to get them to play, it’s not impossible, so keep trying. They’re especially vulnerable during the break between songs.
HELPING THE BAND
If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain standing on stage. If you’re too drunk to stand unassisted, simply lean on one of the band members or the most expensive piece of equipment you see.
Just pretend you’re in a Karaoke bar and simply walk up on stage and join in.
By the way, the drunker you are, the better you sound, and the louder you should sing. If by chance you fall off the stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing harmony.
Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than outrageous dancing, fifth and sixth part harmonies, or a tambourine played on one and three and out of tempo.
Try the cowbell; they love the challenge. The band always needs help and will take this as a compliment…
Finally, the microphone and PA system are merely props, they don’t really amplify your voice, so when you grab the mic out of the singer’s hand be sure to scream into it at the top of your lungs, otherwise no one will hear what a great singer you are.
Hearing is overrated anyhow. The crowd and the sound guy will love you for it.
A BONUS TIP
As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments. They love this.
Even if you are ejected from the club, you can rest assured that you have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you the following day to offer you a position…”
Did you find yourself wincing every now and then? I know I did.
There is a rock horror story in every sentence and I’m sure we’ve all lived out at least one of them. Is there anything that really resonates with you? If so, let me know.
You show me your horror story and I’ll show you mine.
Long live live music,