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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Tell us about the sweetest gig you’ve ever had in the studio or live.


Have you ever done a lucrative gig that was so easy or so fun you couldn’t believe you were getting paid for it? Ever had the opportunity to work with one of your musical idols? In short, tell us about a time in the studio or at a gig where you thought, "I can’t believe they actually call this work!"
August 10, 2001 @09:10pm

In the late 80's I went from the sales floor in a sleepy music store in Vancouver, BC directly to a keyboard/guitar/vocals gig opening up for ZZTop on the Eliminator tour. 3 months on tour I believe it was. We had two tour buses on the road (one for band/crew and one for the artist - Jimmy Barnes).
The pay was better than the store, we played a 45 minute set (any longer and they'd pull the plug) every day and we were fed at the arenas so I could stash my per diems.
Following that, the band and I were flown to Australia for a two week stint with only two gigs - Tauronga park zoo (we were LOUD - animals sedated) and New Zealand open air concert (60,000 attendance). EZ Money and good tan!
August 13, 2001 @04:43pm

Not a "gig", but still a great (true) story:
Some years ago my cousin went shopping for a new banjo at a music store here in So Cal (I think it was "House of Strings"). The salesman showed one of their best banjos, well beyond what he could afford, so before he put it back, my cousin decided to go out in a blaze of glory by playing "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". This is like playing "Stairway to Heaven" in a guitar store... it should have cost him some kind of a fine.
However, the expression on the salesman's face soon changed, first into shock and then into a big grin, and he kept looking at someone over my cousin's shoulder. Finally, my cousin stopped playing and turned around to see what the fuss was about... and there stood Buddy Ebsen himself! Buddy had just walked into the store to get new strings for his violin.
My cousin says Buddy just smiled, gave him a nod and said, "I like what yer' playin' there", and enjoyed the serendipity of the moment.
We talked about this for years afterward, wondering who we could conjure up with the right combination music, place and time. Now that's the ultimate gig!
August 14, 2001 @08:41pm
Chris McGary

Jack Hamilton and I once played at a wedding on the Army base at Fort Campbell, KY. Jack is a master violinist, and I was accompanying him on guitar. We usually trundled a small Gibson GBO amp with a pair of mics plugged in to use as our PA. This reception was at the Officer's Club on post, and a DJ was all set up to play dance music after the wedding dinner. He was a great guy, and invited us to plug in to his massive audio delivery system. It was inspiring to play with every note and nuance perfectly amplified, not overloud, but wonderfully present in the room. We were especially well prepared that day, and we really were enjoying the pieces. When it came time for the groom and bride to lead the first dance, we played "Could I Have This Dance For The Rest Of My Life". I sang it, Jack fiddled as only he can, and you could feel the emotions of every person in the room focusing on the couple, the music, the moment. The DJ kicked off the first dance set, and Jack and I stepped aside and were enjoying the glow of finishing a well played performance. An officer who was in the immediate family of the bride approached me. "I consider myself a tough guy", he said. "I've suffered hardship and combat, and never blinked. But today, you made me cry. " It was a humbling review.
August 15, 2001 @03:09pm

I had the great honor of providing sound for Mickey Rooney and Jan Chamberlin. Lovely couple. Really. Prior to the gig, I had asked a few people 'in the know' what to expect. They painted Mr. Rooney as a grumpy old man. Well, I found Mr. Rooney quite pleasant to work with and his source of grumpiness was the road manager. I had a blast.
I've also worked with Stephen Marshall and Pam Thumb - both great to work with.
Turtle Island String Quartet was a fantastic gig also.
Man, all of this 80 min North of Sweetwater in Hillsdale/Coldwater Michigan - of course, it's been over the course of 10 years or so.
July 14, 2008 @01:01pm

In college (Georgia Southern University) I was a pretty hot trumpet player, playing lead trumpet in the jazz band, blues combos on the side, and playing with anyone and everywhere at every chance I got. I was in our college basketball pep band for a couple of years, and we traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina one year for the Southern Conference basketball tournament.
After ripping up a "Georgia On My Mind" solo with the rest of the basketball pep-band (about a 23-24 piece combo), I had an elderly gentleman from the other side of the coliseum walk over to the band and seek me out, shake my hand, and give a big, broad smile, as if to say, "Man, that was a hell of a solo!"
Here's this fellow, who had to be close to 80 years of age, and he took the time & effort to walk over from the opposing side of the coliseum, just to shake my hand... That was probably my proudest moment as a performer. Money can't buy moments like that.
October 13, 2008 @07:43pm