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So an old band friend of mine recently got married down in Florida and asked me to play at his wedding. I flew down, made sure everything was working. Went to practice with his band down there, everything was going perfect. Got to the wedding started playing outside under a tent and in the middle of Soul Eyes, I noticed that getting into the upper register wasn't happening. Panic sets in. So at our first break, I take a look at my horn and can't see what's going on, DAMN!! Second set same thing. Second break, I look again and I saw that the flat spring on the neck is gone. Well that explains some things. I was looking for it which was impossible to find in taller grass. So now what? Lucky for me his trumpet player was a repairman, and handed me a rubber band. It gave my enough tension so that it would work again. I enjoyed the rest of the gig.

It was just one of those things where everything is perfect and then something happens and the oh crap moment. Just had to share.
 

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I think I'm going to put a few rubber bands in my sax case! Just in case....
 

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I was playing with a trumpet player once and his second valve slide flew off. I couldn't play for a bit due to laughing.
 

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Never forget the time I was playing and the dance floor was packed - something bad happened to my sax and it wouldn't play - about that same time I saw my palm F pad rolling across the crowded dance floor. I jumped down, chased and got it, put it in the key and used my butane lighter to reheat the shellac. It worked. As with most players, I have had my share of gig emergencies but most have been lost in the sands of time. Only the biggies remain accessible, like the time I was out of town playing my Martin tenor and the thumb hook bridge popped off! Tell you what, I have always heard a sax played noticeably better without the thumb hook, and I'm here to tell you its true - I couldn't believe it! I didn't want to put it back but I had to, of course.
It is also true that you should carry a few things in your case, like rubber bands. Remember those old 'Micro' sax repair kits in the little box? Most of my problems came from leaving the wet horn in the car trunk in freezing weather, which can pop out pads that are in with shellac. Hot glue is better for this purpose but I haven't left a horn to freeze since I 'grew up' a 'few' years ago.
 

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I was mid-way through a solo on a July 4th gig when I had a G# spring break. Not a great way to end a solo :) That was the day I demoted my Barone Classic tenor to a practice and loaner horn since this was the SECOND spring failure I had on a gig. The good thing was it was the last set so I was able to transpose to alto for the last few songs.
 

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I played 2 or 3 gigs in a row where I thought something was really off. Intonation seemed really weird and certain notes were kind of stuffy. Discovered there was one of my Link STM's lodged in the body tube up around the top stack. Yeah,,, face palm. All things considered, I was shocked the horn played as well as it did with that thing stuck up there.

Now I just wish I still had a few vintage Links rattling around in my gig bag even if they did get stuck in the horn once in awhile.
 

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When I first bought my 1941 Balanced Action Tenor Sax it had a port for some kind of an electric pick up in the neck. The pick up didn't come with the horn and the port was closed by a little nickel plated plug of sorts that snapped into an o-ring. One night playing someplace I must have bumped the plug with my hand or something but I hit it hard enough to pop it out. I couldn't play a single note...just a squeak. I realized what had happened and I was crawling around on the stage looking for the plug. Luckily, I found it and popped it back in. Not too long after that I had the port removed and a flush plug soldered in.
 

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Runaway C#:
Once the low C# pad fell out and rolled across the dance floor into the crowd never to be seen again. No notes below low E for the rest of the evening.

Trick baffle:
I had removed the baffle in my Stathon and glued it in place so it was no longer adjustable. On a gig, the baffle came loose. When I tried to play, the baffle kept the reed from vibrating. When I took the reed off it would fall back in place and looked perfectly fine. I could not figure out what was going on. Luckily I had a backup mouthpiece.
 

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I was playing with a trumpet player once and his second valve slide flew off. I couldn't play for a bit due to laughing.
The other night a trumpet player was sitting in and I watched one of his valve caps roll across the floor.
I know what you mean about it being funny. It’s like watching people slip on ice. You can’t help but laugh.
I was playing a Xmas show a few years ago and I took my back up tenor. I stood up for a solo and watched the high E pad roll across the stage. Not a great feeling.
 

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I try to take my horns in for a checkup before stuff like that happens.
I better take my own advice since my alto has been played a lot for more than a year.
 

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Rubber band saved my life once too. My horn fell slightly to the side just before the gig. High F# was bent a little and no longer sealing. Rubber band did the trick as well that day ;-)
 

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I was shooting in a music video a few years ago, there was a live "band" on stage and they hired actual musicians so we'd look like we know what we're doing. 13 hour day... We are, of course, playing along to the music track to look more accurate even though we're not being recorded.

About hour 11, one of my palm key pads fell out and suddenly my sax was just making the weirdest sounds. Didn't actually matter because we weren't being recorded. But man that freaked me out!
 

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Rubber bands are great. This was at a rehearsal not a gig but my top post from the LH stack popped off - there went the octave mechanism. A down side of vintage horns I guess. A rubber band from a box of reeds got me going again. Luckily there are 5 tenors in the ensemble so I could have just stopped playing and none would be the wiser. (Might sound better! ;-)
 

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There are some amusing anecdotes. I had a simple and unavoidable bit of sloppiness once. I was principle altoist with a symphonic wind ensemble and had a featured solo on Shostakovich's Jazz Waltz. The solo has a bunch of G#s and, without checking first, my G# key was stuck closed. So my solo, instead of being in a conventional key was in some mode. What should've been G#s all came out as G naturals. Sure sounded, er . . uncomfortable.
 

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I hear you. I always (almost always) check the G# and the body octave key as both stick regularly (even with the roo pads!)
 
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