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» Lead Balloon

Back in the days of my playing in a band
We had a contact in the RAF and got to play a few local bases. One night we played on the same bill as a comedian whose name escapes me. He started doing stag party material to a mixed audience who weren't ready for his barrage of racist and sexist jokes. He was supposed to do 30 minutes but after 10 he walked off to the sound of his own footsteps. We were given the nod to get on as soon as we could. Whilst we fiddled with our instruments the singer grabs the mic and takes a few sniffs then shouts 'it smells like someone has died up here' which got more laughs than the comedian had managed all night.

Same singer (on the night Sinatra died) started the evening's show by singing "Start spreading the news...I stopped breathing today" to a massive silence that shook the room.

Whilst working in the local theatre a self-promoted comedy show 'Haggis and Curry' was on. A Scottish comedian followed by an Indian one. The scots bloke was ok - got a few laughs and made me laugh which considering I was seeing two or more comedians a week was something. The Indian bloke read off a sheet and was wildly out of his depth. He got heckled off. Whilst clearing the stage at the end I asked the Indian comedian 'have you left anything on the stage?' "Only my pride" he retorted.
(Fri 23rd Aug 2013, 18:00, More)

» Celebrities part II

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During my days of working in provincial theatres I managed to annoy a few Z listers.

I recall being so bored during one of Pam Ayre's shows I started playing battleships over the comms system with the bloke on lights (I was stage-side and no further than 15 feet awaty from Ms. Ayres). She complained loudly after the show that my calling out of HIT and MISS had put her off of reciting her dull tweeness.

We also nearly killed Dave Benson (think that was his name - used to be in Goodnight Sweetheart and does a passable Kenneth Williams impression). We flew in a tab track which caught some scenery during it decent missing him by inches.

Happy days...
(Fri 9th Oct 2009, 16:24, More)

» Your Weirdest Teacher

A few that I can remember
include a music teacher Mr. W who used to spit when he talked, could never get your name right and was like a firework with a very short fuse - without any warning he'd just flip. He used to leave lessons to have showers in the changing rooms if he got really pissed off. Punishment was invariably copying japanese out of a book of his, or having a chair thrown at you.

The there was Mr. P the woodwork teacher. Wore awful paisley kipper ties. Used to ask the girls (mainly third year +) whether they would like to go to his place over the weekend and pose for photos.

Dr. B once lost his temper during a chemistry lesson when we were learning about Hydrogen watching footage of the Hindenburg exploding. After the lad next to me made the comment "anyone got a match?" he spent the next twenty minutes ranting about how "we should think before we speak". He used to tell us "You are scientists not Hollywood stars" if we put our safety goggles on top of our head when not using them.

A few of the girls in my year have told me subsequently (during late drunken nights down the pub) that Miss. C used to feel them up in the changing rooms and make comments along the lines of "You're developing well".

Mrs L whose crippling arthritis used to prohibit her from writing very well on the blackboard. The snapping noise when she did attempt to write on the board wasn't the chalk breaking, it was usually her fingers.

Mr. B who sold the Socialist Worker in the High Street at weekends, and used to smell very strongly of drink - you used to get a can of lager off him if he knew it was your sixteenth birthday.

Miss G the sexy Geography teacher who was the fantasy of most of the boys. I see her every day now as her son is in the same class as my daughter. She has not aged very well at all - she also seems to be a bit of a social climber having married a very rich guy. I'm saving my moment for when I reveal to her in front of all of the other parents that she used to be my teacher (I am a hairy-arsed 30+ male) which should take the wind out of her over-inflated sails quite nicely.

Finally:

Mr. H the RE teacher (RE teachers seem to crop up a lot on this QOTW for some reason). His lessons were a complete doss - more of a half hour free period than a lesson as he couldn't control never mind educate the pupils. He used to give 2p to anyone that showed interest and answered a question. He also used to do very strange train impressions. A mate of mine decided to push him and wrote up a piece in his excercise book on the resurrection as "The Erection". My mate got pulled up before the year head on that one.
(Fri 11th Nov 2005, 16:15, More)

» Bad gigs

One other story
I'm lucky enough to have a mate in the industry who through a couple of borrowed passes, some nail varnish remover and a sharpie pen meant I could alter the dates and bands on a production pass and sit in the dressing room area at the Sonisphere festival in 2010. This entailed watching the best of the bands, then sitting in the dressing room area afterwards and 'hanging out' (terrible expression) in their company post-gig.

Managed to get a photo and some chat time with some interesting folk (some of whom I have been fans of for donkeys years) including Kerry King, Ian Astbury, Nicko McBrain and Jerry Cantrell amongst others.

And then...there he was. Iggy Pop. Fuck. Iggy Fucking Pop. Punk godfather, legend, creator of some of my favourite music, giver of great interviews. I was on a roll. I was less than 10 feet from what could be described as a hero.

He was a lot smaller than I thought he would be, but that platinum hair was unmistakable.

He was talking to someone, and as I got closer I could hear that Detroit drawl. I was slightly shaking but armed with the knowledge in about 5 minutes I would be uploading a picture of me and Iggy on Facebook as my profile photo I steadied myself and walked within two feet of him.

Just as I was about to open my mouth and ask for a photo a hand came within 2 inches of my face followed by "CAN I HELP YOU??!"

Dazed I replied "erm yeah I was just going to see if I could get a photo with Iggy". The reply was "NO! YOU HAVE TO BACK AWAY...GO!"

Felling slightly dejected I wandered off and found somewhere to hide (didn't really want any questions as to which band I was with and why was I not loading a van) and grabbed a (free) beer.

As showtime approached Iggy got out of his dressing room, staggered about looking very much worse for wear, took a swig of water and threw it up. He then got on the golf cart thing and got taken to the stage. I watched the Stooges show from the crowd. He was bloody magnificent but I just couldn't enjoy it. I kept thinking...'Stupid car insurance salesman...won't even acknowledge your fans...YOU HAVE TO STEP AWAY!'

This could be my worst gig experience, not the worst gig (see my other post for those).
(Tue 30th Jul 2013, 14:15, More)

» Bad gigs

1996 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle
in those days it was $10 a day for as many bands as you wanted to see (except Elvis Costello which was extra for some reason). Had a brilliant four days but also managed to catch the worst act I have ever seen live - The Spin Doctors. Started on Two Princes (a bold step) then there was a 20 minute bass solo. I went and got a coffee, came back and the same solo was being played. I drank my coffee and left.

Worst UK show was The Monkees at Wembley Arena. Four very bored men going through the motions, padding out a two hour show with 30mins of good material at best.
(Tue 30th Jul 2013, 13:52, More)
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