Strange Stage Moments

James Brady/New Day Mile: “During my teens in New Jersey, I attended a Sunday Bible study every week. The woman running it asked if my band would like to play at the youth-group meeting at her church. We were a metal band, so we were a little shocked at the request, but we were happy to get our first gig. It turns out we were opening for a slide show that depicted our kind of music as the type that leads to violence and suicide.”

Mary Dolan: “I was booked for a performance at an AA convention in Las Vegas. I got there with about a half hour to spare. I had a raging headache from the desert drive, the air conditioning, and the tension of bad traffic, so I asked a friend for some aspirin. She didn’t have any, but she asked her sister and she had a bottle of Advil in her purse. So I took two.

“I’m on stage and I’m starting to feel weird, like maybe I had more than just a headache. I was having a hard time feeling my fingers on the fret board, and the audience was getting blurry. No one was saying anything. Maybe it sounded okay and looked okay, even though I felt a kind of lousy I’ve never experienced before. For my last tune, I gave ‘Piece of My Heart’ whatever I had left. I cut it short, and then I started to dry-heave as I was getting off stage.

“My friend and her sister came running up to me as I was telling them that I was really very sick. My friend’s sister had tears streaming down her face, and she was saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ What? Huh? I thought. Then my friend told me that her sister had accidentally given me her disguised muscle relaxants. I was loaded at the AA convention.”

Ed Been/ Y3K: “One night at the Blue Haven in Chula Vista, there was a heavyset woman in a dress that insisted on doing handstands. Much to our horror, she was not wearing underwear at the time.”

– Bart Mendoza

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