sitting in was: 'drunk-o-meter'

P.W. Fenton
Thu Nov 18 19:28:33 EST 2004

At 05:58 AM 11/18/2004 -0500, Walter Potter wrote...
>So what to ya'll think about people asking to sit in? As an audience
>member I have some mixed feelings about it myself.

 From experience, it can range from wonderful to disastrous.  So if I am
playing a gig, I will not allow an unknown entity to sit in, no matter what
my best friend in the world says about them.  If I know and respect them,
that is another story.  I know some people who would never allow a person
to sit in, for fear that they would impress the management and steal future
gigs.  But I'm not about that.  I think we are all in it together, and your
success is my success.  The way I started was by "sitting in" with some
generous and supportive heroes.  I can't ever forget that.

But I really must know what the player can do before I decide to let them
sit in.  If my decision produces a lame performance, that only hurts me in
the eyes of the management.  The guy sitting in doesn't lose anything....
but I can lose a future gig.

When I was playing regularly, we built up a little cadre of folks that
frequently "sat in".  I believe that every time I have played Skipper's
Smokehouse in Tampa, Jimmy Thackery has shown up and sat in with us (I
believe it was his wife who was a fan of my band).  My only regret is that
I usually handed him my guitar and then "sat out" while he did a few tunes.

 From the other end of this discussion, I sort of hate having bands ask me
to sit in.  Not because I don't love any chance I get to perform, but
because I feel like I'm intruding on their gig, and that they are asking me
up because they feel like they should.  If I'm in the audience, it's
because I want to see THEIR show, not because I want a chance to sing to
their audience.

That reminds me... the only thing wrong with gigging... is not being able
to see the other people playing that night.

P.W. Fenton
New Port Richey, FL
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