On 7/22/64 11:59 AM, bill bigrig wrote:
This one may be way out there but,,, Joe Meek always forced his musicians/singers to smile while recording. Even without a window to the studio, he could tell when someone was not smiling during a take. I've had to chide a few frontmen during nights when they were giving other players bad looks. It always improved the performance almost instantly.We had such a bad time with the "flashing 'dirty looks' at someone who'd made a musical mistake"
phenomena in that aforementioned New Wave band I was in.What would happen is that , sitting at the back of the band on the drum riser, I could see that people would get angry, the people they were angry with would feel ashamed and the whole vibe of the band would go downhill and sometimes it would affect the entire performance for several songs.
Our dynamic was clearly hurting our performances at times. This was a really good, professional and very tight band.......the tightest I've ever had the pleasure to play in and we were headlining ever city we played in
at our peak. An idea I came up with to sort this is what I call the 'Monkey Grin'.You know that when monkeys appear to grin that it's a sign that they are angry and very likely to throw
shit at you. Humans , however, interpret that kind of a facial expression as approval.You can't necessarily stop the fact that you are irritated with a fellow musician who fucks up after a tremendous amount of rehearsal, but you can suddenly turn to them from across the stage
and give them a Monkey Grin if you are angry.The fact is that from across the stage you can't really tell if someone is actually grinning at you, positively ("Hey you fucked up, I can soooo relate <big grin>" or giving you the angry Monkey grin.
It's really, really effective and there's no good reason to show someone you are upset with them in the middle of a performance so why hurt your band by showing your emotions in that instance.
Then you add the agreement to not talk about the gig until the next day and this allows you to sort out the problem in a clear and non-reactive way at the next rehearsal.
We are human and imperfect so we'll blow it occasionally, but it's became an effective policy.