[Dixielandjazz] The View From The Band Stand

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 15 07:28:07 PDT 2005

For all the musos on the list who do club dates. Just came across this bit
of wisdom. But then we knew there was an "Audience Handbook" out there
somewhere that folks read and follow. ;-) VBG.

Additions welcome.




When requesting a song from the band, just say "play my song!" We have a
chip implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favorite
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 do not
remember exactly what tune you want, we're only kidding.

Bands know every song ever recorded, so keep humming. Hum harder if need
be... it helps jog the memory

If we tell you we do not know a song you want to hear, we either forgot that
we know the tune or 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 phrases, "AW COME ON!" or "YOU SUCK!" Exaggerated hand
gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help as well,
such as the thumbs down or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to
jog a band's memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of "Personal
Friend Of The Band."

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. 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

If a country/western band had played at the club a few weeks ago, the jazz
band that follows will automatically know every C/W tune the previous band
ever played. Feel free to keep yelling "On The Road Again" to a jazz band.


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
securely so they cannot 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 player or leader 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 out from
behind their keyboards. Though difficult to get them play, it's not
impossible, so keep trying. They're especially vulnerable during the break
between songs.


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 (or playing) 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.

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 emphasize the words with your lips. This helps
immensely, especially if you spray them a bit. Don't be fooled. Singers have
the innate ability to answer questions and sing at the same time. If singers
doen'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.


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. Just pretend you're in a Karaoke bar. Simply feel free to 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
out of tempo. Try the cowbell; they love the challenge. The band always
needs the help and will take this as a compliment.


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 in the fact that you have successfully
completed your audition. The band will call you immediately the following
day to offer you a position. See you at the next gig.

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