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  • Clubland tales

    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

  • #2
    Re: Clubland tales




    </p>

    Wombat here.</p>

    Yes,I served my `apprenticeship` in working men`s clubs,mainly in the Midlands.</p>

    It was a tough job and essential that youwere a good reader.</p>

    `T`` Cabaret artiste` would arrive and hand out his(or her) `dots to the two musicians-usually and organist and a drummer. A very short `talk through` ensued and then,you were on,`flying by the seat of your pants`,and woe betide you if you made a `cock up!!`
    </p>

    some `dots` had been messily modified,with crossings out,returns to the beginnings of songs that were a nightmare to negotiate,whilst tryimg desperately to play some obscure tune. One `artiste` even had pages that were stuck together with paper clips,and I had to skip so much and somehow join what was left and make it sound `half decent`-for goodness sake,I was a musician,not a magician!</p>

    One place I played in a club and a little known singing comedian arrived for the `band call`-he was full of himself and expected the `star` treatment..</p>

    Without giving me(or the percussianist)time to even look at the `dots`(he threw the books at me and the drummer)then started clicking his fingers in a count in. It was a disaster-I just couldn`t cope and he flew off in a rage and reported me to the management. Just as I was about to go on stage,</p>

    I got a message that I was to `stand down` when the cabaret was on,and that he had managed to obtain the services of a `professional session man`,from down in the `big smoke`(London)</p>

    I was a bit miffed,but politely did this.</p>

    Was I sort of pleased when the supposed `pofessional` musician made a right mess of it(much to the utter disgust of the cabaret act)?</p>

    Yes,I`ve seen them all-including artistes that could easily `wipe the floor` with many of today`s `stars(celebs`)</p>

    They spent a lifetime hawking their wares from club to club,but somehow never got that break.</p>

    I`m afraid that I am unimpressed with some of today`s so called `stars`,both here and on a wider scale.</p>

    That said,I am in awe of some of the true artistes on the organ circuit-now,and in the theatre-that`s real talent and dedication. </p>

    Wombat 11
    </p>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Clubland tales



      ,</p>

      Wombat here.</p>

      Yes,I served my `apprenticeship` in working men`s clubs,mainly in the Midlands.</p>

      It was a tough job and essential that youwere a good reader.</p>

      `T`` Cabaret artiste` would arrive and hand out his(or her) `dots to the two musicians-usually and organist and a drummerA very short `talk through` ensued and then,you were one,and woe betide you if you made a `cock up!!`
      </p>

      some `dots` had been messily modified,with crossings out,returns to the beginnings of songs that were a nightmare to negotiate,whilst tryimg desperately to play some obscure tune. One `artiste` even had pages that were stuck together with paper clips,and I had to skip so much and somehow join what was left and make it sound `half decent`-for goodness sake,I was a musician,not a magician!</p>

      One place I played in a club and a little known singing comedian arrived for the `band call`-he was full of himself and expected the `star` treatment..</p>

      Without giving me(or the percussianist)time to even look at the `dots`(he threw the books at us)then started clicking his fingers in a count in. It was a disaster-I just couldn`t cope and he flew off in a rage and reported me to the management. Just as I was about to go on stage,</p>

      I got a message that I was to `stand down` when the cabaret was on,and that he had managed to obtain the services of a `professional session man`,from down in the `big smoke`(London)</p>

      I was a bit miffed,but politely did this.</p>

      Was I sort of pleased when the supposed `pofessional` musician made a right mess of it(much to the utter disgust of the cabaret act)?</p>

      Yes,I`ve seen them all-including artistes that could easily `wipe the floor` with many of today`s `stars(celebs`)</p>

      They spent a lifetime hawking their wares from club to club,but somehow never got that break.</p>

      I`m afraid that I am unimpressed with some of today`s so called `stars`,both here and on a wider scale.</p>

      That said,I am in awe of some of the true artistes on the organ circuit-now,and in the theatre-that`s real talent and dedication. </p>

      Wombat 11
      </p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Clubland tales



        Yes, been there and done that, complete with messy dots and mega-egoe'd primadonnas. Sometimes you were lucky, and you'd play for a 'real' pro, and have a whale of a time. They were often so used to having just a C3/Leslie, that they were amazed when I started to give them strings, piano and brass, not to mention rhythm. Mind you, the MU weren't so pleased - I was apparently taking the food out of the mouths of a real band. Doh. The club wouldn't have paid any more for a dozen musicians and 1 man's share of my earnings wouldn't have bought much grub!</p>

        Andy
        </p>
        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

        New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

        Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
        Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Clubland tales



          talking about the MU.</p>

          When I did my first seasonal job,as solo organist,in Clacton-on-sea,a condition was that you had to be a member of the musicians union.</p>

          It wasn`t so militant as the one I had left(in the engineering works-Shropshire)but the entertainments manager was pretty strict about membership(he was local steward)-so,if I wanted the job,I had to join.</p>

          I finally became exasperated with the other union when,as a lowly apprentice,I was standing out in the snow just outside the factory gates,early one morning(hey,that`s a cue for a song!?)as the union had discovered that the factory was 1 degree below the minimum temperature allowed for a working man to operate in. I used to dread those words-"come on,brothers and sisters-all out!"
          </p>

          That was in the sad days of electricity cuts and four day week-I thought I had excaped all that nonsence(I was all for a worker to be adequately represented,but this was lunacy)...........but no-I was to have more in another form!</p>

          Anyway,I got this rhythm unit(it was the very first one of it`s kind,I think-the Japanese `rhythm ace`-it sounded like someone rattling biscuit tin lids together(except for the latin American rhythms-they were half decent)`.......................................... ..ah,pioneering days`
          </p>

          Straight away,I was in trouble. The union deemed that I was doing a drummer out of a job,and the ents` manager stated that it would only be OK if the unit was an intrigal part of the organ-so I pulled it to pieces,bit by bit(it was a laborious process and all the many wires had to be numbered and screened to prevent signal leakage)a special switch gear designed and built it into the organ,utilising some of the skills I had learnt at the engineering factory.</p>

          It worked quite well,but I was still thrown out,eventually,of the union,and my job was in jeapordy.</p>

          A bit of `smooth talking`(and grovelling) finally resolved this,I was allowed to rejoin, and I continued,but it was a difficult episode in the continuing life of a `gigging` organist!</p>

          Talking about accompanying artists-I was official accompanist for the South East in the Trumans talent trail1960s)-now,have I some stories about amatuer nights!!!?`
          </p>

          Wombat 11(I used to be called `wee willie wombat`,by my musical collegues,but dropped the `wee willie` after my street cred` suffered a crash,and girls were heard to make derogatory comments about my sexual performance!).</p>


          </p>

          Comment

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