I learned to perform with a band in front of a crowd at the Otisville Hotel, a biker bar in rural Michigan. My host and guide was Tim Lamb, who I met on the Guitar World message boards.
Great story, sad he died so young
Good stuff. Bikers like Blues bars and I like Blues. If you are pleasant to them they will reciprocate. But, don't start anything or sayanything to their woman they cannot hear. This will usually keep you out of trouble.
Alan-great story. I’ve never been there, but I have family in Bay City, Saginaw, and Gladwin. My great uncle founded Rose City, Mi ( and thus my last name). where my father grew up. I also agree that it is so important to have an outlet to play. I’ve improved dramatically when I joined bands, learned songs, and performed. You can only get so far by sitting in your room by yourself. I’d love to come to your show, but Phoenix is pretty far away! 🤣
I'm so glad you shared this story. I can tell you that most times I get scared playing in front of other folks I don't know either, but especially in places I've never been before. I had an experience similar in St. Louis a few years ago. I decided to take part in the Thursday night Back Porch Jam at The National Blues Museum. But, once I called out "Steam Roller Blues"in E and began the turnaround I felt right at home.
Very cool story! Funny how those gigs can very often be cooler and more uplifting than a “big” gig. What a gas it must have been to play that room!
Loved this read! It took me back to my college days in Providence RI where my friends and I would go to downtown bars with live music: The Living Room, The Met and Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel. Lots of bikers and lots of dancing. Good times!