15 Drummers Remember Their Worst Gigs

Cam Bordignon (The Reason)

When: Stanley Cup, Spring, 2004
Where: The Embassy in London, Ontario, Canada
What: We were playing our second to last song of the set. I didn’t really know what happened at the time, but I guess Adam [White] — our singer — had tripped on something and came crashing down on my kit. But it wasn’t like he tripped and caught his balance as soon as he hit my drums. He fell right on top of them trying to grab anything he could to regain his balance. When he finally hit the ground my kit was everywhere. My cymbals fell and my toms were all over the place. We kept playing, so I had to make do with what I still had left. There’s a little break in the song where the guitars play for about 20 seconds, so that was the only chance I had to put my kit back together.

Robbie Mardo (Mardo)

When: June, 1998
Where: The Viper Room in Hollywood, California
What: The band I was in at the time was doing a showcase for all the major labels. We decided that we were going to put an instrumental solo section in the middle of the last tune, during which I would jump over my drum kit and play some snare rolls on a separate snare I had set up at the front of the stage. It is not that easy to jump over a drum kit and keep the time of the song while intoxicated. I nearly ate it jumping the drum kit, barely kept the time of the song, and when the instrumental section was over, I was supposed to return to my drum kit, but instead I got upset and kicked the snare drum off the stage because I thought the section was a disaster. The drum ended up flying right into the knees of one of the biggest record execs in the room. He spills his drink on his assistant, curses at the band, and leaves.

Jonathan Bucklew (Copeland)

When: April 27, 2004
Where: The Norva in Norfolk, Virginia
What: We were playing a sold-out show opening up for Switchfoot, and it’s my first show ever with Copeland. Their previous drummer quit abruptly only two nights prior, so I flew out to help them finish the tour. We’d had only about an hour to practice together before the show, so I’m already a bit edgy and feeling self-conscious. We just finished our first two songs and I reached for my sweat towel and water. Just as I’m taking a big old swig of water, Aaron — our singer — belts out, “We were walking downtown,” and that’s when everyone is supposed to start this particular song. Needless to say, I didn’t quite hit that downbeat. Everyone stopped and 1,300 people were looking at me. I’m thinking I’d be fired, but we all shared a laugh and I’m still jamming out with these boys.

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