Strange Stage Moments

Randy Seol/Strawberry Alarm Clock: “We got to play the big music festival, Cal Jam II [in 1978], on a side stage. It was a big production, with modern dancers and backing singers. For some reason, we had our keyboard player playing from a hot-air balloon tethered to the stage. A woman ran out of the audience and started tugging at the rope and just about tipped the gondola over while our keyboard player screamed for someone to stop her.”

Scott Anderson/This Holiday Life: “At one show, when it was time to hit the stage, we couldn’t find our drummer, Mark [Nagel]. After freakin’ out, we had to take the stage without him. We started into one of our most rockinest songs without drums. Meanwhile, Mark, sitting on the toilet, heard our song and thought, Weird, why are they playing our CD right before we go on?”

Anna Troy: “I played an outdoor gallery opening in North County on a makeshift stage. The gig itself was nothing unusual except that I was told to keep an eye out for poisonous spiders because the stage had been built in an area that was known to have them. I had a hard time concentrating on the music while looking around for spiders, especially since I noticed the soundman occasionally making squishing motions with his foot.”

Jordan Reimer: “When I was on tour in San Francisco in ’06, I was playing at a near-empty coffeehouse/laundromat called the BrainWash Cafe when a homeless man came in with a tree branch that had a large, white, blooming flower on it. He walked up to the stage and set it on top of my amp for me. For a while I thought it was really creepy, but after a while I realized the true meaning of it: he gave me all he could, and that is a very touching action.”

Dave Humphries: “In England, we were playing in a workingmen’s club halfway through a number and noticed we no longer had bass. We looked around and saw our bass player with the neck of his guitar at somebody’s throat up against a wall. Some guy had been messing with his girlfriend, and he wasn’t very happy about it.”

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There was no side stage at Cal Jam 2.

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