May be, May be not, but mostly true.

I've been thinking that the only thing I do on the Internet is flog various gigs, which is boring to me, so I can only imagine how you feel. So for a change of pace, I thought I'd see how much I can recall of The Worst Gig I Ever Played. Don't worry, you'll still get the free-form commerical at the end.

It was 1976, and I was in a band called Dallas Hodge and His Disco/Rhythm and Blues Review. This was the first band I was ever in with guys way better than me, so I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. Had a 2-piece horn section and a chick singer, as we used to say Back in the Day. Not much Disco in the Disco/Rhythm and Blues review, Average White Band, Rufus, Temptations (Shakey Ground was in the charts then) and a medly of Dancin' Fool (by The Guess Who) and Dancin' Fool (by Frank Zappa). A pretty good Funk band but not much Disco. Dallas was a young old Blues man who had bent as much as he could towards the domanant paradigm that was Disco (even in Rock City Detroit) back then. You kids today don't know how lucky you are.

Anyway, we had a gig at a place called the Underground Disco, in the basement of a hotel by the Metropolitan Detroit airport. The place was a cavern with 50' ceilings decorated by hanging silver-painted mannequin body parts (not the mannequin, just the separate heads/arms/legs/torsos) on ropes from the ceiling. Quaaludes were a hell of a drug. Probably held at least 1000 people. They had a massive sound system even for those days (back then a band would play a bar seating about 60 with a PA that would handle a room of around 500). The deal was the band would alternate with the DJ and play 2 "shows", sharing the house system.

There's a few things you may not realize if you didn't play bars in the midwest in the '70s. The first is the people who go to Underground Discos are not much fans of Funk and Soul, let alone Frank Zappa and the Guess Who, believe it or not. The other thing is that no matter how loud a live band can get, they absolutely cannot compete with a DJ setup. The dynamic range of live music guarantees that it will always be much quieter than a recording played at high volume over the same system.

So, the dance floor is full for the DJ's opening set. We get up and everyone sits down and stays there, with tepid applause that grandually fades to no applause at all. We finish up the first set by blowing the ending of Love Machine by The Miracles, which gets us a good round of laughter, along with a round of applause when Dallas announces we are taking a break. The DJ starts at a much louder volume than us and the dance floor is packed. We get back up later to a round of boos that don't stop until we quit early, which gets us our last ovation of the night along with more boos. The only time I've ever been booed off a stage. Not much fun. And I never even got one of the steak dinners from room service that Dallas charged to the promoter. My career in a nutshell.

So now the commercial. Kathleen and I are playing Fri May 5 at a benefit for the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica in the Mildred Owen Concert Hall on-site there. We open and sit in with the headliner Wall Of Blues, who are.  Tix at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sanchez-art-center-20th-anniversary-benefit-dance-party-and-concert-tickets-33032484049?aff=ehomecard

We play Sat May 13 at the San Gregorio Store at  11AM, but then Sun May 14 at the Freight & Salvage with Margaret Belton and her Patsy Cline show Today, Tomorrow and Forever. 2 shows, 3pm and 7pm. This will be a really great show, as she is amazing. We're going to see Marty Stuart at the Freight the next night, you should too. Then we have a Bueno Vino Club show at the Cannery Cafe in Hayward May 18 at 5:30 PM. Guest winemaker pouring and reallyreally good food from chef Jeff Rosen. Sun May 21 on the ocean at the Chit-Chat Cafe in Pacifica at 3pm, and Fri May 26 7pm at Caffe Trieste in Oakland on Piedmont ave.

That's our show. Goodnight everybody, and thanks.

Leave a comment

    Add comment