Ask Mother Maple: Don’t touch my stuff!
Dear Mother Maple:
I was playing a wedding reception (favour for a friend) with a band of friends the other weekend. As we took a break, the MC for the wedding got up and plugged a laptop into the PA for dance music. Then he started moving our gear around.
My question is this: how many times do I have to ask someone like this to not do it before I get to punch him out?
I don’t know if there’s a number I can give you, but I understand your frustration. Your gear is just that — yours. Even if you rented some of the gear, it’s your credit card (if you have one — you are a musician, after all) that will take the damage hit. So you have every right to ask for it not to be touched. In an ideal world, the wedding party would have made arrangements beforehand to get their dance music into the PA system somehow. Since you say this was your band, and your friend, it seems to me you had two choices: either sacrifice your break to get the music set up, then convince Mr. Master of Ceremonies to confine himself to making tired jokes about shotguns and manliness, or tell Mr. Master that he is going to pay for every penny of damage done to the gear.
One other thing, dear — don’t take your ’57 Les Paul to a wedding gig and plug it into your vintage Vibrolux; in Mother’s opinion and experience, weddings are the lowest-common-musical denominator. Play the cheapest instrument that will stay in tune for “Brown-Eyed Girl” and the Bird Dance, and make sure your friend realizes the sacrifice you’ve made to the musical gods on his behalf.