Jam Session Ethics Insight #3: A Slight Diversion
Alright I’d like to tell you a story of a very interesting situation that I experienced at my session at Wally’s about 8 or 9 years ago on a hot July day.
So the session is going along quite smoothly. The front door is open to get some air circulation in and out of the club. A lady walks in who seemed to be my age or few years older than me. She approaches the bartender as I’m soloing. When I’m done with my solo the bartender tells me that this lady would like to perform a spoken word piece. I said that this was cool because every once in a while we’ll have some decent spoken word artists perform with us at the session. So I invited her to the stage after we were done with the tune we were playing. She told me that before she was to begin she would need us to close the door and that there was to be complete silence. I found this to be a rather odd request but we went along with it anyway. By this time, all eyes are on her because I’ve introduced her and she asked for these things on stage in front of the audience and the musicians.
So now it’s time to begin the piece. I asked her if she would like any backing from the rhythm section and she said that she would do a solo piece. So I said cool and stepped to the side and gave her the stage. She closed her eyes, put her head down, and started to scream at the top of her lungs!! It was the loudest scream that I’ve ever experienced in person. I, along with everyone else in the club was completely stunned for the next 30-45 seconds. The screaming went on and on and I didn’t know whether to interrupt her or let it go on. Before I even had a chance to act, the bartender had already come from the back of the bar and grabbed the lady and escorted her out of the club and told her not to come back.
This was one of those instances where I felt totally helpless in a situation that I was supposed to be in charge of. It was definitely a learning experience for me. From that moment on, I made it a point to emphasize the fact that it’s called a jam session for a reason…we are supposed to play with each other…