I play a lot of solo guitar gigs. In my city (a small one at that) I am basically the king of solo guitar. Some can do it better on selected (transcribed) pieces but no one beats me for repertoire, execution and variety.
So I equate so solo guitar versions of songs to doing impressions. If I do them right you know the song if I do them wrong I have to tell you and you then recognize it and it I really miss the mark I tell you and you still can’t hear it.
So it is ok (and a little rewarding) to have people come up and say “Oh I loved your version of “Angie” or “Take it Easy” or, when I get a little out there with quartal harmony and such, for someone to recognize a jazz standard.
What happened last night was none of that.
Last night I was playing a re-harmonized version of a famous song from the Movie “The Wizard of Oz” when an inebriated patron starting yell/sing “IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN” Besides the irony meter being pinned it threw me off and I pooched the tune for the rest of the non-obnoxious patrons.
Then he proceed to sing other songs while I played but not songs I was playing (and not as loud) which I found a little less distracting until the final set and then as I was starting to play my version of “Day Dream Believer” he goes into a rousing version of “Girl from Ipanema.”
He wouldn’t stop.
So I did. He sang it as he and his companion strolled out and you could hear strains echoing about the place. My last tune of the night was Moon Dance and gads they came back. While I was prepared for the yell/sing onslaught of this most famous tune he opted to be quiet and put $10 in the tip glass.
I think his wife/friend had a little talk.
So rude all night is placated by paying for my parking.
I have had lighter versions before but have been able to deal with it the whistle alongs, I start to solo. The clap finger snap types? Well if they can groove I play with them…but that never happens so I’ll go rubato or odd time signature.
Hey folks it’s not all roses living the dream.