Great, well-attended gigs that go well do not make for interesting stories. When an interviewer corners a band, they never seem to ask the softball question of "Tell us about your favorite show". It's always the nightmare story people want.
Gig Story: Halloween At A Nudist Colony
Posted by Charlie Recksieck
No Need For A Subtitle
Well, this wasn't a nightmare. But it was sure as fuck weird.
Nudist Colony Show
Bill Maine is a Bigfellas bass player and I continue to gig with him regularly with The Water Spots www.thewaterspots.com. He called me or took me out for a Rocky's burger to talk me into playing with an oddball cover band. I think he did it because misery loves company, or just wanted a second pair of eyes and ears to confirm how goofy the band was.
I'm not gonna mention the band here because I don't want to knock anybody online. And I particularly don't want to knock this group. Everybody was super nice, especially the organizer and lead singer, lets call her Samantha. All the musicians were friendly and welcoming to me. Lots of regular bar band stuff like Pointer Sisters "Fire", Doobies' "China Grove", Darius Rucker "Wagon Wheel" and the only please-shoot-me selection for me "Play That Funky Music".
But I played two different gigs with two different drummers who weren't very good. In fighting among others about what chords were right (I stayed out of it despite usually knowing these songs better than the people having me play them) and a really bitchy email exchange with another guy who quit. So I wasn't gonna play long with them - but when I heard we were playing a Halloween Party at a nudist colony about 90 miles east of San Diego, you're not gonna get a send off than that.
Let me remind you, this was a fun but barely competent band playing garden variety rock covers. This is not The Police clashing with "creative differences."
Oh it's a scene, man.
Again, everybody involved was VERY nice. They put us up at cabins and I think the band got something like $800-1000 plus the usual open bar tab.
As for the nudity there - just like with a nude beach, it's never the people who you want to see naked whom you do see naked. It's usually the woman with rosacea tits or the old guy with testicles hanging down around mid-thigh height.
When you're looking for nudist colony hijinx there are two things you don't want to spoil the fun: 1) Cold weather, and 2) Costumes. I got cheated by both that day since it was a Halloween show.
Although I will tell you, the winner of 1st place in the costume contest was Dracula from the waist up and nothing on the bottom. That was pretty good.
All In All
That was my last gig with this band. First of all, how were they gonna top a nudist colony for a fun booking. And secondly, that wasn't my jam of music. The lead singer and organizer of the band is a sweet woman and god bless here getting out there and living the dream.
But everybody's availability for The Water Spots jam band came back and we got that going. That playing situation is 400% more to my liking and objectively 200% more interesting. Alas, my last show with the group.
Looking back, it is nice to play keys as just a minor cog in a 6-piece band doing songs which you could play in your sleep. Always particularly nice to be the keyboard person since you can keep a hand free and that's usually where the waitress puts the pitcher of beer.