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Discussion Starter #1
I believe down beat did an article on this subject years ago. I was just curiouse as to what you feel is apropriate etiquette at a jam or sitting in. Also any horror stories would be great.

Horror Story #1
There's this alto player in town who at some point played with the messengers. He was actually kicked out for being strung out. Since then he has lived on the street and been on drugs most of his life. He comes out to one of my gigs every once in a while. He never asks or anything he just gets his horn out and starts playing. It isn't even a jam session. We don't mind people setting in, but we usually wait ttill the last set and invite them up. Many times this guy will bring his alto and tenor and try to solo twice on some songs, 2 SOLOS!
We tried to say something to him and he just got angry. I feel like I should be very respectful towards him just for the sheer fact that he played with Art Blakey, but he doesn't play well anymore and he vomits all over my gig, not in a literal sense.
 

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You don't owe him a thing.

This is not judgemental, but every morning when he wakes up he has a choice to seek help or continue his habit. He calls the tune, he must pay the piper. And among the things that he is personally responsibility for, is being bounced from clubs for disorderly conduct. I would tell him very nicely that:

- he needs to seek help and you'll even get him started
(this is where the honouring and respect for his past comes in)
- when he gets his act together he's more than welcome to sit in
- if you get on my f**+*% stage again I'll call the bouncers or cops!

His days of riding on what-was are over. Everyone who enables him and doesn't make him bear the consequences of his actions is helping destroy him. If he has a chance at all of getting straight -and he may not- that's his choice and it is out of your hands. Humouring him will not help him...or you or your band.
 

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This page has some beautiful guidelines for jam sessions.

As for a horror story, I remember a jam session at a restaurant in which a drunk patron started singing over the combo on stage. Sitting in front, she wailed various vowels loudly and flamboyantly, disturbing the rest of the audience attempting to enjoy the group. She was a drummer who had sung before, but never quite so inebriated. It wasn't so bad at first, really, but after five minutes or so, the audience was starting to get a bit irritated. Suddenly and without warning, she stood, threw her arms into the air, and began singing falsetto while facing the audience. Before it could get any worse, the group stopped just before she was booed out of the restaurant--not before finishing her drink, of course.
 
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