This might not be embarrassing, but it is the most scared and nervous I have ever been. The club was not a nudie bar or anything. It was a blues club.
Anyway, I was 16 and very interested in music. I played guitar and sat in with various local garage bands. People seemed to like my playing and my songs.
My sister Sarah was 20 and in college, but she still lived at home. She was seeing Morrie, who was 26 and had a band of his own. Often when she brought Morrie home, he would end up sitting with me listening to my guitar and offering advice. Sarah was cool with this. She didn’t mind sharing Morrie since I learned a lot from him.
So one day Morrie comes over and asks, “You play a little bass, right?” I said yes, and he asked if I could sit in with the band on Saturday night. They had a gig, but his bass player was out of town on some family thing. I said sure, but soon questioned if it was a good idea. They were going to play in a club where alcohol was served, so no one under 21 was allowed. I was a small 16. No way I could pass for 21. But Morrie said the club would look the other way just as long as I didn’t drink. Then he said I needed a union card, for which I would have to lie about my age. I thought I would get in big trouble. But Sarah said Morrie would take care of things and she would be there to give me morale support. So I figured sure. It would be my first professional performance.
So it is now Saturday night, and I am scared shitless. Not only is it performing live and getting paid good money, it was the fact that I was breaking the law by being in that club. I stayed in the back in the darkest part of the stage the whole first show. I was sweating heavily. But my playing was OK. Morrie introduced all the band members, and I got a good hand. But I still stayed in the back.
After our first set, I stayed backstage. I did not want to go out where Sarah was sitting and maybe be arrested in case a cop was there. I was really feeling paranoid. For the second set, Morrie wanted me to do a solo, but I passed. Maybe next time I said. I was even more nervous the second set. By the end of the night, I was sweating so much it look like I just took a swim. But I had a real feeling of accomplishment. Sarah said she was proud of me, and Morrie said I may be asked back.
This would not be the last time I performed in an adults’ only venue prior to my turning 18 or 21. We never told my parents what I was doing though. ðŸ˜‰