I’m a guitar player, and was playing with a soul band based in London, England. We only played our own original material. The singer was black, everyone else was white, and we had a reasonable following in the area.
On one occasion the bandleader accepted an invitation to play at a wedding in a small town not far from London. He assured us that the bride had seen us play and wanted us to perform that same show on her big day. Okay, then! So we got to the venue, and the bride’s father told us to start playing some light jazz and bossa nova type stuff by other artists while the guests arrive. We explained that we were hired to play our material – that’s what had been discussed and agreed beforehand. Still, the keyboard player got up and tinkled some light mood music. We kept the peace.
Showtime was still a while away, and the bride’s father told us to play popular hits that everyone knew, then do our set. We explained again that we weren’t a cover band, and that we were only hired to play our show for the reception but that just pissed him off further. Keyboard player kept playing mood music, father of the bride disappeared.
Finally, we were on stage behind a curtain ready for the countdown…but had no singer. He was missing. The start time came…and still no singer. All of a sudden, he appears at the side of the stage in tears and distressed. The father of the bride and several other large angry men had cornered our singer, calling him the n-word and threatening him with a beating; and the smashing up of all of our gear unless the performance was fantastic. After all, it was his daughter’s special day!
We huddled like a football team and decided to play for our lives. It was a great show and they loved us. We got the fuck out of there afterwards as fast as possible. Several weeks later we received payment… for exactly half of what was agreed.