It took me about ten seconds to remember the experience. It's not easy to forget feeling like a moron.
Here's the story:
I was living in Charleston, S.C. at the time and was playing a solo gig at a great little bar called Tego Bay a couple of nights a week. The rest of the week I played with a pretty popular regional band called Crystal River. I was the lead singer and rhythm guitar player for the band and, as they say....I thought I was "The Shit".
The band consisted of some really great musicians and harmony singers but I was the one who pretty much sang lead on all the songs. I didn't like that much because I've ALWAYS preferred singing harmony to lead but...it was what it was so....I sang lead.
Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVED the attention and the accolades BUT...I've never had a really durable voice. I tended to "push" it a little too hard, "growl" a bit too much on the old "whisky rock and roll" stuff and, as a result, the old vocal cords tended to give out on me as the night wore on. Sometimes, as 2:00 a.m. approached, I had as much control of my voice as a newborn puppy has of it's bladder!
To make a long story short...(yeah, like I can actually DO that), I got straddled on the proverbial high horse one night and announced to my fellow band members that, unless they started singing more songs, I was going to demand a bigger cut of the financial pie or walk. Keep in mind, I WAS singing lead on about 90 percent of between 30 to 40 tunes EVERY freakin' night and was hoarse as hell all the time. In any case, I really wasn't trying to be a jerk but almost any ONE of those other guys could have "taken up the slack" a bit but....they refused to. Period. End of discussion.
Well...I got ticked off and started taking solo gigs from a local agent in town and began backing out of the band gigs a couple of nights a week because I could do more "mellow" stuff in small bars. It was a LOT easier on the voice, better for my ego, better for my love life and paid a LOT better! No five way split at the end of the night.
Then came that night at Tego Bay.... (reminds me of the line from the movie "Airplane!" where the guy's talking about "that mission" over "Nacho Grande")
That night, I was ON. I was James Taylorin', Gordon Lightfootin' and Eaglin' the hell out of 'em!
As I finished a song at the end of the first set, this really nice looking young woman sauntered up to the stage and handed me a twenty dollar bill. Even now, that's a good tip....back then it was almost unheard of.
She leaned in close and said, "Could you please play Lyin' Eyes?"
I said, "Actually, I just played that one about six songs ago but I'll be happy to do it again next set."
She told me that would be fine so, I took about a half hour break, had a drink, "burned one" out in the parking lot and went back in to play the second set.
I told the audience that a pretty lady had tipped me very nicely to play Lyin' Eyes again so, I was going to play it again. Which of course...I did.
During the song, I could see this girl and her boyfriend/husband/significant other or just plain friend..I don't know, looking and listening intently to my rendition of the Eagles tune.
After I'd finished, I got a nice round of applause and continued the remainder of the set.
Once again, towards the end of THAT set, the same girl came up and did the same damned thing! Twenty bucks and a request for Lyin' freakin' Eyes. I was, to say the least, flabbergasted. I was thinking that maybe, the next time I went into the recording studio, I should cut MY own version of Lyin' Eyes. Who knows? Maybe MY rendition of it was SO damned great, it would leap off the shelves if I put it out there!
Sure enough, after my break, I told the audience that, AGAIN, a very pretty lady had requested Lyin' Eyes AGAIN and that I was going to play it AGAIN. Which, of course, I did.
I remember thinking, "Who the hell needs a damned band? I'm KILLING 'em all by myself!"
Halfway through the song, I'm into the chorus singing the line, "and your smile is a thin disguise" when, all of the sudden, the big tipper slapped the table and screamed, "You owe me a hundred bucks Frank! He said it's a THIN disguise NOT a TIN disguise"!!
I was paid forty bucks by a good looking, obviously wealthy young woman to learn a valuable lesson.....
"Ego" SHOULD be a four letter word.
I've never forgotten that.