[Dixielandjazz] Wives and lovers at Gigs

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Fri Jun 9 08:28:20 PDT 2006

The wife who attends just about all of our band gigs is the driver for her
husband. And so even at weddings, I write her attendance into the contract.
Never has been a problem.

LW- Good Idea

When wives or girl friends attend the more public gigs, we do have one
unspoken rule. That they do not comment on choice of tunes, manner of
presentation, sound, etc. Among the audience, (including wives) there are
some individual opinions which can create problems within the band, if we
try and please individuals, instead of the majority of the audience.

LW - I wonder what caused this?

There are only a few of our gigs where we enforce a no companion rule. Like
last Monday night for the Director's Dinner at the Hagley Museum on the
grounds of the original 19 century du Pont munitions factory. This is a
formal "society" gig of the sort Lester Lanin did in times past. Attendees
are those who contribute Mega Dollars to the museum. They included 15
members of the du Pont family and other rich and anonymous patrons. Caterer
is best in the Philadelphia area, venue is a former du Pont mansion, etc.
No friends, no CD sales, no sound system, just continuous Dixieland and
American Songbook music as background to their socializing.

LW - Everyone that I work with more or less regularly wouldn't even think 
about coming along for even the standard gigs much less at something like 
this.  It's just understood.  It sounds like you have to tell them to not 
come.  Is that really the case?

Their favorite songs? Jazz Me Blues, I Get A Kick Out of You, Take The A
Train, Satin Doll, Fly Me To The Moon etc.  Plus Struttin With Some BBQ
which we play after the Dinner March from Aida, both of which are played
after the dinner gong is sounded, and help move them from the Great Room to
their dining room. It's become a tradition over the past few years.

LW - Great List - Add "Ease on down the road" from the Wiz

Interesting gig. Never any applause, nor outward sign that we are even
there. Except the tapping of feet, and a surreptitious glance or two in our
direction when we surprise them with a song like Besame Mucho. That, plus  a
song request or two, (usually Ellington or Gershwin) the museum director's
compliments and a rebooking every year.

No doubt the musos on the list know about "background" music. Fun to do if
you understand the setting, because you can indeed create freely. You just
have to get used to the lack of outward audience reaction.

LW - its a great time to do all those Bossas and other Latin's.

Steve Barbone

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