Grumble! I don't want to go into it now, but I once played a horrible, horrible gig (in the room shown to the right). Despite the organizer's claim that the show would have musicians from lots of genres, it turns out it was a classical music concert in which, by some cruel joke, I was expected to perform. And because the program (What shows have programs? Classical shows. It should have been a tip-off.) listed my set, I couldn't cut it short or choose songs that would not appall the dressed up, overwhelmingly smug audience.
Having done a good job repressing this memory for almost a year, I had it dredged up again at gig #18 at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls, MA. I was under the impression that I was opening for a group of very talented folk/roots musicians, who were going to play a technically accomplished, folk jam session. I found out only a few days before that they thought we were all just going to play round-robin style, myself included. I dropped hints that I'd thought I was the opening act, and that I certainly don't jam (I just don't; every time I play with a bunch of guys I feel railroaded [I say "guys" because I feel like jamming is more of a guy thing, maybe that's sexism]; and when people jam on my songs without practicing first, the songs get messed up.) Long story short, I sat with my hands folded on stage for 3/4 of the time while the other musicians played and jammed on their songs and I felt like a failure, and then for 1/4 of the time I played incongruous music that was completely out of keeping with the show's roots music theme.
People told me afterward that I didn't seem incompetent or look upset, but I wanted to throw up the whole time. Lesson learned--I'm going to communicate my needs before getting into shows from now on. I don't mind playing with other people, I just like to practice first. On a lighter note, I have a website now, www.franciejones.com. It's homegrown, and definitely needs more work over time (it would help if I had something other than paint to edit my pictures). But seriously, thanks for sharing in this little rant with me. I feel a little better now. Sniffle.