I have played at casinos only twice: the first was a sparsely attended afternoon gig in Marysville with Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies, and the second was this weird gig that occurred at a casino in Shelton a few years ago.
The Shelton gig was found for us by a friend that specialized in booking casino and golf course gigs. And yes, as you can imagine, golf course gigs are a real riot!
On the appointed day, an abbreviated version of the Midnight Movers (myself, bassist Patty Mey, drummer Kirk Tuttle, and guitarist Steve Yonck) headed out to Shelton, a small town about a 90 minute drive from Seattle.
We were instructed to check in with the casino security types upon arrival. They told us to go around to the back of the facility to the kitchen where we could unload our equipment. We then hauled our stuff through the kitchen and down a labyrinth of hallways to the lounge where we were to perform. The bar was full of folks taking a break from gambling, but there didn't appear to be a stage for the band.
A closer look revealed that there was a stage alright, but it was located immediately above the area where the bartenders were working. To get to the stage, we had to pull down this hidden trap door with attached stairs located in the ceiling of the hallway behind the bar. Each piece of our gear had to be wrestled up this contraption one at a time to the tiny stage. All of the instrument cases had to be brought back down and carried back out to our cars, which then had to be relocated to a parking lot far, far away.
The floor of the stage at this place was about 12 inches above the bottles of booze that the bartenders were serving from. There was no safety rail around the space, so when Steve accidently bumped into my music stand it went over the side and almost brained one of the bartenders. Also, since we were so close to the bartenders, we had to play very quietly so that the staff could communicate with each other.
I practically had a mutiny on my hands when the bar manager told us that since we were considered casino employees for the duration of the gig, drinking alcohol was not allowed! Whatever, we made it through the gig with a minimum amount of complaining from the staff, and total disinterest on the part of the customers. There was a large roll up screen located above the "stage." It seemed to me that the event would have been equally successful if they showed a sports event on the screen while we played behind it. I'm just sayin'...
You can check out the Boneyard Preachers here. See you at the nightclub!
Fellow musicians - Do you have a Weird Gig story that the Jet City Blues readers might enjoy? If so, let me know!