FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Info: Jon Niccum
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE WORST GIG: Touring musicians recall stories of terrible shows, insane fans, dangerous malfunctions, violent brawls and nature's wrath

"What is the worst show you've ever played?"

Since 1998, entertainment journalist Jon Niccum has been asking touring musicians that very question. After hundreds of interviews with national headliners, he launched the website WorstGig.com to celebrate their more memorable responses.

Niccum has also adapted the project into print with "The Worst Gig," which was recently published by Sourcebooks.

These are unique tales told directly to Niccum in a performer's own words. This collection delves into the times when things didn't quite work out for artists -- be it equipment malfunctions, unsuitable bookings, awkward misunderstandings, threats of violence or nature's wrath.

Artists such as Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, John Mayer, Laurie Anderson, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Daughtry, Jack Black, Chely Wright and Dweezil Zappa are among the storytellers. As are members of legendary bands such as Def Leppard, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Tool, Wilco, Garbage, Flaming Lips, Sex Pistols and even Blue Man Group.

New stories are posted regularly to the site, which celebrated its three-year anniversary in February.

Salon.com says, "'Worst Gig' makes for best read ever."

In addition to the interviews, the site features recordings of select artists telling their stories in their own voice. It also includes a large array of the best worst-performance videos that the Internet has to offer.

Users are asked to contribute their own Worst Gig stories and videos in the Reader Submissions section.

Niccum began working as a full-time music journalist in 1993.

He is currently an entertainment writer for the Kansas City Star. He is the former Entertainment Editor at the Lawrence Journal-World daily newspaper and Music Editor at The Pitch, Kansas City's leading alternative newspaper.

Niccum has won several dozen national awards for his entertainment writing, including multiple honors from the Suburban Newspapers of America, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, National Federation of Press Women, Kansas Press Association and as a finalist for a National Music Journalism Award.

Additionally, he has written the official label bios for dozens of artists, including Evanescence, Jeff Beck, Leon Redbone, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.

Prior to his career in journalism, he was a professional guitarist and bassist, performing in bands such as The Budinskis, Easterday and Bobby & the Chuxx.

Niccum teams with web developer Matt Bechtold of Silverthread Productions to present WorstGig.com.

For interviews or media requests, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

###

easterday-niccum

During the heyday of alternative rock in the 1990s, I took a quick road trip with my Kansas City-based band Easterday. We were booked at a new club called The Aviator in Wichita, Kansas. The name of the venue was derived from being decorated like an airplane hangar -- not surprising in a town nicknamed the "Air Capital of the World."

Despite the whopping size of the fledgling club, we counted a grand total of 18 people when we took the stage. But a booking was a booking, and we still needed to play whether anyone was paying attention or not.

About midway through the first set, my fretless bass stopped working. I used active electronics in my bass pickups, which meant they were powered by a battery that activated once a cord was plugged into the input jack. It needed a battery replacement about as often as an industrial smoke detector -- which was not very often, and quite rare that it would happen during a performance.

Rather than stop the show, and thus prolong the lame gig, I suggested we play a song called "Autumn" that featured a 2-minute guitar and voice intro. Because I had spent years teaching guitar and bass lessons, I had perfected routine maintenance on student instruments in blindingly fast fashion. If I could change a string in under two minutes, I figured I could swap out a battery in about the same stretch.

I plopped down on the corner floor of the stage to execute the procedure. Even though I felt something sharp when I landed, the clock was running so I pressed on. The battery was changed with seconds to spare and I took my spot at stage right, alongside singer/guitarists Scott and Elaine. About a minute later, I noticed Elaine staring at my butt. This was not a common occurrence.

She pulled back from the microphone and began pointing at the back of my jeans. They were soaked in blood. Apparently, I sat on a broken beer bottle that littered the dark stage ... and it had punctured an artery.

"We'll take a quick break," Scott said into the microphone.

I was ushered into the men's bathroom and started stuffing handfuls of paper towels into my pants to halt the flow. At this point I began to notice my rear was really throbbing. The bleeding continued even as I kept replacing soiled wads of paper towels. A mirror offered a mesmerizing view of the amount of red decorating my blue jeans.

I can't remember much more about the show, other than we muscled through the grueling gig and loaded out. We had driven two different vehicles to Wichita, and on the four-hour ride back to KC (an overnight hotel stay was deemed too expensive), I sat in the front passenger seat of Scott's car.

When Scott eventually dropped me off, we noticed that my blood had soaked all the way through the towels positioned for me to sit upon. Maybe the incessant bleeding had made me loopy, but I could've sworn the permanent stains on his car seat spread out into the pattern of airplane wings.

— Jon Niccum


niccumpress2

Jon Niccum began working as a full-time journalist in 1993.

He is an entertainment writer for the Kansas City Star. He is the former Entertainment Editor at the Lawrence Journal-World daily newspaper and former Music/Film Editor at The Pitch, Kansas City's leading alternative weekly.

Niccum has won several dozen national awards for his entertainment writing, including multiple honors from the Suburban Newspapers of America, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, National Federation of Press Women, Kansas Press Association and as a finalist for a National Music Journalism Award.

Additionally, he has written the official record label bios for many artists, including Evanescence, Jeff Beck, Leon Redbone, Trip Shakespeare and Joe Satriani.

Prior to his career in journalism, he was a professional guitarist and bassist, performing in bands such as The Budinskis, Easterday and Bobby & the Chuxx.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 1, 2012

Contact Info:
Jon Niccum, Author
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE WORST GIG: Touring musicians recall stories of terrible shows, insane fans, dangerous malfunctions, violent brawls and nature's wrath

"What is the worst show you've ever played?"

Since 1998, entertainment journalist Jon Niccum has been asking touring musicians that very question. After hundreds of interviews with national headliners, he launched the website WorstGig.com to celebrate their more memorable responses.

Now Niccum has signed a deal with publisher Sourcebooks to adapt the project into print. "The Worst Gig" is slated to hit shelves in the fall of 2013.

These are unique tales told directly to Niccum in a performer's own words. This collection delves into the times when things didn't quite work out for artists -- be it equipment malfunctions, unsuitable bookings, awkward misunderstandings, threats of violence or nature's wrath.

Artists such as Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, John Mayer, Laurie Anderson, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Daughtry, Jack Black, Chely Wright and Dweezil Zappa are among the storytellers. As are members of legendary bands such as Def Leppard, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Tool, Wilco, INXS, Garbage, Flaming Lips and even Blue Man Group.

New stories are posted regularly to the site, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in February.

Salon.com says, "'Worst Gig' makes for best read ever."

In addition to the interviews, the site features recordings of select artists telling their stories in their own voice. It also includes a large array of the best worst-performance videos that the Internet has to offer.

Users are asked to contribute their own Worst Gig stories and videos in the Reader Submissions section.

Niccum began working as a full-time music journalist in 1993.

He is the former Entertainment Editor at the Lawrence Journal-World daily newspaper and Music Editor at The Pitch, Kansas City's leading alternative newspaper. He is currently a frequent entertainment contributor to the Kansas City Star.

Niccum has won several dozen national awards for his entertainment writing, including multiple honors from the Suburban Newspapers of America, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, National Federation of Press Women, Kansas Press Association and as a finalist for a National Music Journalism Award.

Additionally, he has written the official label bios for dozens of artists, including Evanescence, Jeff Beck, Leon Redbone, Steve Vai, Flickerstick and Joe Satriani.

Prior to his career in journalism, he was a professional guitarist and bassist, performing in bands such as The Budinskis, Easterday and Bobby & the Chuxx.

Niccum teams with web developer Matt Bechtold of Silverthread Productions to present WorstGig.com.

For interviews or media requests, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

###

Since 1998, entertainment journalist Jon Niccum has been asking touring musicians the question, "What is the worst show you've ever played?"

Now after hundreds of interviews with national headliners, he continues to compile some of their more memorable responses.These are unique tales told directly to Niccum in the musicians' own words. This collection delves into the times when things didn't quite work out for artists -- be it equipment malfunctions, unsuitable bookings, awkward misunderstandings, threats of violence or nature's wrath.

New stories are posted to WorstGig.com regularly.

CDBaby.com
CDBaby.com - The DIY Musician
"The Worst Gig recently celebrated its first birthday. That entertaining site has compiled performance horror stories from acts like Def Leppard, Gillian Welch, The Sex Pistols, Owl City, Fishbone, Pat Metheny, Ted Nugent, X, Tori Amos, Flogging Molly, Wynton Marsalis, Henry Rollins, Fitz & the Tantrums, and many more."

diymusician.cdbaby.com/2012/02/whats-your-worst-gig-ever/


salon.com
Salon.com
"Musicians' 'Worst Gig' makes for best read ever"

http://www.salon.com/2011/02/18/worst_gig_websites/


thrillist.com
Thrillist
"From a Kansan music journalist, TWG catalogs well-known bands' horror stories, with selections from the likes of Rush (who hilariously played a sock hop in their early days), to Kansas, who headlined with Foreigner at a Wisconsin nudist colony because they mistakenly thought ‘there'd be all these beautiful blonde women,’ also what disappointed nudists were left saying when the band came on stage."

www.thrillist.com/entertainment/the-worst-gig_music_time-wasters_websites#ixzz1HZYp2KYy


buzzfeed
Buzzfeed
"Tawdry tales of concert catastrophes!"

www.buzzfeed.com/gavon/the-worst-gig


howsmyliving
How's My Living
"Music journalist Jon Niccum has started up The Worst Gig, where he posts stories from interviews he’s done about the worst shows bands or musicians have ever played. ... It’s a good way to spend an hour or so right now, and it’s definitely a site to keep an eye on."

www.howsmyliving.com/2011/02/22/recommended-reading-the-worst-gig/


vividmix.com
Vividmix
"I have some music roots having been a former radio DJ.  I’ve spent a bunch of time with artists backstage and on the road – and KNOW it’s not all glamour. Check out WorstGig.com, a website encompassing 13 years of interviews conducted by music journalist Jon Niccum."

vividmix.com/?p=1526