Being told to smile

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longshinslongshins Frets: 110
edited December 2017 in Live
Hi there, play in a pub/working men’s club band doing 60s-90s stuff. We dress up a bit and put on a show. I’m not miserable but I don’t beam like an idiot the whole gig either. How do I deal with geriatric assholes demanding I smile? This could be as I’m struggling to get past them with a bass bin at the end of the night or it could be during a tricky solo or whatever. I’m getting pissed off with it, I’m no more happy or sad than anyone else, I stick out as I’m 6’7 I guess... that’s another thing that people think it’s ok to have a dig about too... (your tall aren’t you? Weather ok up there Etc) 

So what’s the best response? I’m not going to smile because some git after having 5 pints of bitter demands it, nor am I going to shrink a foot because somebody has short man syndrome.

Merry Xmas btw! On a side note, might get a wireless system in the sales, any recommendations?
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 585
    Nobody told Keef to smile on tv in the 60s
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  • Just make it look like you're enjoying yourself. You may think you look like you are but to other people their perception will be different. I used to get criticised when I first started playing gigs cos I looked down too much and used to worry about my tone as well, always trying to tweak the settings and stuff. Some people nod their head, tap their foot, anything to make them engaged with the music. I haven't seen your band before but there's nothing worse than watching a band live and it looking like they're not enjoying themselves, cos then the crowd won't either.

    About 4 years ago I played an industry showcase thing which was in front of some panel. We did 2 songs and one of the responses where that the guitarists (me one of them) were not "animated enough". The very next day I bought a Line 6 G50 wireless and from then on had more freedom to run around stages and do something about that remark.
    So for the wireless system I would recommend the Line 6 Relay range, or Shure if you can afford it. It does pay to get a good one, the cheaper £99 ones don't tend to be very reliable.
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  • Tell them it's between your resting bitch face or your cum face when you solo. Their choice.
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  • Man up lofty. 
    www.deadhappyband.com
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1442

    They want to look brave in front of their friends because you are tall, and they are feeble invalid cowards.

    You're the one on the stage, so ignore them.  They're probably completely unremarkable in every other aspect of their worthless lives too.

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  • Ravenous said:

    They want to look brave in front of their friends because you are tall, and they are feeble invalid cowards.

    You're the one on the stage, so ignore them.  They're probably completely unremarkable in every other aspect of their worthless lives too.

    Yup, agreed! Is there some kind of failsafe one liner I can retort with? I’m worried one day I’ll lose my temper.
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  • Man up lofty. 
    Weathers fine up here thanks!
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1442
    longshins said:
    Is there some kind of failsafe one liner I can retort with? I’m worried one day I’ll lose my temper.
    "Oh I didn't see you down there" springs to mind. (I'm not even slightly tall, but if I were I'd use that one all the time.)
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  • I'm 6'6" so very familiar with the "Ooh you're tall aren't you?" line.

    I usually respond with either "Yeah. You're not" or "Ooh you're ugly... Oh I'm sorry, I thought were were just picking an easy observation" 

    My Trading Feedback    |    T'Fretboard Jam in't North

    Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 29732
    longshins said:

    So what’s the best response?
    "Pay us more and it might feel like I'm enjoying this."
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 557
    Get yourself a The Joker mask?
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2169
    You don't have to grin like a cheshire cat, but try to remember to stare above thier heads into the darkness at the back and smile once in a while. It really takes little effort and the energy on stage really does drift into the audience. Us old farts that make it look easy had to learn the skill too, even just smiling between yourselves onstage when you slip in a dodgy lyric or pull off a bar of double time makes a huge impression on Joe Public. There is a reason orange, wig wearing, porcalain teethed goons are so common on TV stations, it's infectious to the audience. Now don't go that far, but at least recognise the phenomenon.

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1546
    I'm 6'6" so very familiar with the "Ooh you're tall aren't you?" line.

    I usually respond with either "Yeah. You're not" or "Ooh you're ugly... Oh I'm sorry, I thought were were just picking an easy observation" 
    My brother in law is 6’2”. His girlfriend was 6’ 5” plus heels. Some irk in a bar asked “Do you mind me asking how tall your girlfriend is?” B-o-L looks down at him and says “Yes, I do!”
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  • longshinslongshins Frets: 110
    edited December 2017
    Roland said:
    I'm 6'6" so very familiar with the "Ooh you're tall aren't you?" line.

    I usually respond with either "Yeah. You're not" or "Ooh you're ugly... Oh I'm sorry, I thought were were just picking an easy observation" 
    My brother in law is 6’2”. His girlfriend was 6’ 5” plus heels. Some irk in a bar asked “Do you mind me asking how tall your girlfriend is?” B-o-L looks down at him and says “Yes, I do!”
    It’s like asking someone how Chinese they are or how black they are. Seriously, just fuck off! Just for sake of equality said person could be of any creed or colour, gender, differently abled etc etc...
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  • VeganicVeganic Frets: 284
    longshins said:
    Roland said:
    It’s like asking someone how Chinese they are or how black they are. Seriously, just fuck off! Just for sake of equality said person could be of any creed or colour, gender, differently abled etc etc...
    I dunno if it is really, can you show me your working out? Ta.
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  • StrangefanStrangefan Frets: 2382
    edited December 2017
    Joking aside I know exactly how you feel,  I played bass in a band where the bass parts were all funk, and In the beginning gigs would  be me concentrating so hard I didn't put on a show, we wwre/are a mad strange band so we used stage outfits I suggested masks and I chose one word a huge grin which hid the fact I couldn't do anything other than guitar face, this is a live pic..
    https://i.imgur.com/TrKtOlp.jpg
    www.deadhappyband.com
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  • Our singer is 6'8" and we do a sweepstake on how long it'll be before someone mentions it. I often joke about setting up a mic stand for Chewbacca though :)
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  • longshinslongshins Frets: 110
    edited December 2017
    Veganic said:
    longshins said:
    Roland said:
    It’s like asking someone how Chinese they are or how black they are. Seriously, just fuck off! Just for sake of equality said person could be of any creed or colour, gender, differently abled etc etc...
    I dunno if it is really, can you show me your working out? Ta.
    I can’t help being tall, just like some people can’t help their ethnicity, gender etc to a certain extent. Maybe it’s not the same as other situations as I suppose it’s perceived as good to be tall in the same way it is good to be fit and not fat blah blah blah
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  • VeganicVeganic Frets: 284
    longshins said:
    Veganic said:
    longshins said:
    Roland said:
    It’s like asking someone how Chinese they are or how black they are. Seriously, just fuck off! Just for sake of equality said person could be of any creed or colour, gender, differently abled etc etc...
    I dunno if it is really, can you show me your working out? Ta.
    I can’t help being tall, just like some people can’t help their ethnicity, gender etc to a certain extent. Maybe it’s not the same as other situations as I suppose it’s perceived as good to be tall in the same way it is good to be fit and not fat blah blah blah
    All I can see is that joking about someone being tall is rude.  That in itself explains what is wrong with it to some of us. But that is not to say each case is the same.  There can be a joke between two people which can sometimes be a positive thing, there can be a case of someone using it to play to a audience with differing degrees of malice. 
     Bringing in comparisons to other cases makes things less clear especially as I find it difficult to see when anyone would ask those other questions.

    But I find it difficult to feel for the op (oh just noticed it is you) when people are described as being 'geriatric arseholes' and having 'short man syndrome.'  

    If you are expecting good manners from a drunken audience you are going to be disappointed 99% of the time but if it is only about not smiling then you are not doing too bad.  Be grateful and maybe smile about it, inwardly obviously.  

    Let me know if you think I am victim-blaming and I'll consider my opinion.

    Merry Xmas.

    *sorry for going on and on but you were good enough to reply so I felt it only polite.
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  • longshinslongshins Frets: 110
    edited December 2017
    Veganic said:
    longshins said:
    Veganic said:
    longshins said:
    Roland said:
    It’s like asking someone how Chinese they are or how black they are. Seriously, just fuck off! Just for sake of equality said person could be of any creed or colour, gender, differently abled etc etc...
    I dunno if it is really, can you show me your working out? Ta.
    I can’t help being tall, just like some people can’t help their ethnicity, gender etc to a certain extent. Maybe it’s not the same as other situations as I suppose it’s perceived as good to be tall in the same way it is good to be fit and not fat blah blah blah
    All I can see is that joking about someone being tall is rude.  That in itself explains what is wrong with it to some of us. But that is not to say each case is the same.  There can be a joke between two people which can sometimes be a positive thing, there can be a case of someone using it to play to a audience with differing degrees of malice. 
     Bringing in comparisons to other cases makes things less clear especially as I find it difficult to see when anyone would ask those other questions.

    But I find it difficult to feel for the op (oh just noticed it is you) when people are described as being 'geriatric arseholes' and having 'short man syndrome.'  

    If you are expecting good manners from a drunken audience you are going to be disappointed 99% of the time but if it is only about not smiling then you are not doing too bad.  Be grateful and maybe smile about it, inwardly obviously.  

    Let me know if you think I am victim-blaming and I'll consider my opinion.

    Merry Xmas.

    *sorry for going on and on but you were good enough to reply so I felt it only polite.
    Merry Xmas, I suppose my initial rant relates more to being a tall person than anything else and unless you are a tall person yourself then it’s a hard thing to empathise with, but it can turn you into a massively self conscious paranoid mess if you let it. Here’s a quick example from this week.

    My daughter had her first sing song carol thing nativity play at church. During the hymns we were asked to stand up from our chairs by the vicar, i was near the front and blocked the view of multiple parents behind me, they then made snarky remarks until I sat down feeling like a kicked puppy and spent a day or so hating life in general. 

    Reading that back sounds stupid and I know it’s nothing compared to what some people deal with but it conditions you after a while to feeling like you are always in the way. Going to standing concerts is a no no, being at the front of a photo is a no no, public transport not fun, any form of aggression towards a smaller individual is deemed unfair no matter how much of a knob they are being...

    You find it hard to feel sorry for me due to using the term geriatric asshole and short man syndrome, but can you see it from my point of view? Never in a million years would I think it’s ok to openly make a derogatory remark (unless it’s an internet rant) to someone knowing that they would be too embarrassed to do anything about it. I’m a kind, gentle, loving person who likes playing guitar, I shouldn’t be made to feel like shit by other people. Fair enough?

    Thanks to those that understood, made me feel a bit better about things. 
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  • VeganicVeganic Frets: 284
    No need for you to feel like shit. You already know who is wrong. Not wanting to get too philosophical but to be truely loving you have to love thy twat of a neighbour just like Jesus would.

    I understand, I just don't think you can do anything about the other side other than deal with it better. You rarely get the chance to give someone a jolly good talking to in real life and your particular traits are probably not legally protected against hate-crimes and discrimination but I am no expert on that stuff. 

    And finally, lets face it you are the expert in this. I may be able to give you the geriatric, short-man syndrome view but again, you probably know that already.

    Just go be yourself, proudly without shame, but don't be a dick about it.
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  • Veganic said:
    No need for you to feel like shit. You already know who is wrong. Not wanting to get too philosophical but to be truely loving you have to love thy twat of a neighbour just like Jesus would.

    I understand, I just don't think you can do anything about the other side other than deal with it better. You rarely get the chance to give someone a jolly good talking to in real life and your particular traits are probably not legally protected against hate-crimes and discrimination but I am no expert on that stuff. 

    And finally, lets face it you are the expert in this. I may be able to give you the geriatric, short-man syndrome view but again, you probably know that already.

    Just go be yourself, proudly without shame, but don't be a dick about it.
    Good man, have a great crimbo short arse!
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  • In my mind I would be screaming well I've rushed to this gig after being at work all day so am knackered. Setting up all this stuff needs a degree in extension cable management and I'm still not sure if everything will work. In the meantime I can't see the new setlist that the singer has printed in red ink and in the back of my mind I'm a bit pissed off the soundcheck was a shambles and I need to keep an eye on the mixing board to check things aren't clipping.

    And I'm sober as a judge, baking hot and trying to fend off pissheads that want to have a go on the guitar or sing a song........but I do try and smile a bit - even if its at the darts board or fruit machine

    Happy gigging - wouldn't change it for the world


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  • SeshSesh Frets: 675
    How about, "Sorry, I daren't smile too much in case I still have one of your mum's pubes stuck in my teeth."

    Or, "Sorry, but it's hard to smile when my bell-end keeps cracking into my ankle."

    You're welcome!
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • DLMDLM Frets: 1676
    There was a guy taller than you, Longshins, standing behind the raised mixing and lights desks at the last show I went to (Testament/Annihilator/Death Angel \m/ ). He was huge, really broad too, and a fair old paunch. With his long hair he'd get an instant extras job on Game of Thrones or Vikings, but I digress. I stood near him the whole show, and was amazed that he was approached by a whole string of people telling him to stand elsewhere. The desks are at the back of the dance floor/moshpit space (it's a rock club), and the place was more or less full, but there was plenty of space to go and stand in front, down below us, it was maybe 30 metres to the front edge of the stage. :p Of course, he didn't budge.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2699
    when I'm one stage I really enjoy it..
    and my memories of it are usually that I had a ball

    in the photos I usually look like I'm going to kill someone
    absolutely no idea why
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • FarleyUKFarleyUK Frets: 346
    I feel you, OP. Well, not literally.

    I, too am a member of the Tall Bastards Society (6'5") and broad with it. I have long hair as well, and it's often commented that I have resting bitch face. I've just come to accept it, basically - whenever I try and laugh about on stage or smile and get animated, I make a mistake.... so people can either have a cock-womble jumping around and sounding crap, or a resting bitch face with great sound.

    In all seriousness though, if that's the only complaint people have, I'd take that as a plus!

    And as for comments about being tall... when someone says to me "Wow, you're tall" I find looking them dead in the eyes and replying "No I'm not" in a deadpan voice really throws them off.
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