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Harp Etiquette - What Not to Do

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MrAck
Dec 04, 2009 9:24 AM GMT

Want to help a blues/jam guitarist play with more passion? Watch this uninvited harp player try to take the stage while Mark Ford is playing. Just after 4:30 mins into the video, the guy walks on stage and Marc gets all Steven Segal on him. The guitar playing thereafter seems to intensifiy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb9YQbwfixY

I hope is wasn't a Harminica Space member, but he did play one note in tune with good rythm.

Matt.


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Comments (28)

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Dec 04, 2009 10:27 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

I've heard about this player, his name Max and he is not so bad and he's relatively known in Ukraine. He was drunk. And to be honest it's not the best way to get him out of stage. Although harmonica player is not right.


Dec 05, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

guys like that give harp players all over a bad name. i'm a dedicated and serious player, it's not a career but is a huge part of my life. it has been amny years since i drank and got on stage. even back then i noticed that i was not as well received. i got the message.

i've had to do some stage managing from time to time. it can be a difficult situation, but the alternative is to lose control of a stage and the result is much lesser quality music. it's one thing to have an inexperienced player of any stripe on stage. if someone is just starting out, i like to help that person to find their place in the scheme of the music and give them some time out live so they can make progress. this was done for me countless times over the past couple of decades.

but to have someone gratuitously try and take over is not just selfish, it's destructive to the other people on stage and in the audience!

a big part of music, esp an open mic night, is the social aspect of it. we learn at open mics to get along with others both on and off stage, we make connections with peers, and learn or teach something when the opportunity arises. to me it's a vital part of the whole music experience.

we as responsible adults sometimes have to take matters in hand to ensure that a fun, productive, pleasing result is achieved. if it means pulling the plug on a drunk orm having them ejected from the stage or venue, so be it!


Dec 05, 2009 8:19 AM GMT
Joe L Replied:

That person used some very poor judgement, but there is probably a much better way to handle that. Marc Ford could have dealt with that better than he did.


Dec 05, 2009 4:25 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

Jawbone, I agree 100% with you on this idiot giving harp players a bad reputation. Sure, to some Mark could've handled it better, but unfortunately, with some people like that who tend to be really drunk and doing that, that at times is the only way to handle it and there have been times when I've politely told someone like that no, but they just won't take no for an answer, especially if they're with a bunch of their other friends who are just as drunk and more, and then you're really left with no choice and have to do something and club security is often pretty lax.


Dec 06, 2009 10:43 AM GMT
blogward Replied:

Yeah, the harp player was totally out of order, but it wasn't like he was rushing the stage waving a stick. Marc Ford instantly resorted to the most violent thing he could do, short of swinging his Les Paul at him, and that's not cool at all.


Dec 06, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

i agree with boris, the guy was wrong to try to play when not invited and then asked not to, but there are lots of other solutions other than violence. Get security, get the sound guy to kill his mic. or just chill for a song and get the guy out of there


Dec 07, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
Chris C Replied:

This is when things can get pretty weird imo. Mob mentallity can twist the perception of whats rightand wrong. It reminds me of the movie 'Serial Mom' where a person gets tourched on stage and the whole crowd cheers on. Or that Snoop Dog concert where there is a film clip showing a Snoop Dog holding a gun at some one and the crowd is given the choice should "Smoke him or Not?" the crowd cheers SMOKE HIM! Marc Ford may have got some good publicity from this.

The fool should not have kept going after being told not to. But the reaction was Over The Top. We harp players do need to clean our image up. How I'm not sure.


Dec 08, 2009 10:42 AM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

i have to wonder, do that guy and Ford have previous history? for all i know that guy nailed mark in the chops last time they met.

if that is not the case the best way to pull the plug on an unwlecome guest on stage is to literally pull the plug, or cut that channel off on the p.a., and take a mic and exhort the crowd to "give so and so a hand!!!! thanks so and so, you come back next week", that sort of thing.

i know how unpredictable drunks can be, sometimes you can just feel the weirdness about to happen. someone too far in their cups can do just about anything, and have been known to.

walter tore has some tales along these lines and they aren't pretty. for the most part we have it fairly sane compared to the 70's.


Dec 10, 2009 9:39 PM GMT
Elwood Replied:

Hmm. "Note to self: Mark Ford not the best guy to ambush with a harp attack..."

I like Jawbone's suggestion, but in fairness to Ford, diplomacy isn't really his style. You can tell these guys work hard to keep their set muscular. Last thing they need is some idiot with a tin sandwich f***ing it up, right?


Dec 10, 2009 9:40 PM GMT
Elwood Replied:

And what a kick!

- Murray


Dec 17, 2009 3:11 AM GMT
Joe L Replied:

Test


Dec 17, 2009 3:30 AM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Joe what went wrong


Dec 17, 2009 7:50 PM GMT
Brady Mills Replied:

I'm checking out the comments on this post. I apologize for the delay. Please bear with me as I investigate.


Dec 17, 2009 7:53 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

Anyway my opinion that nobody is allowed to kick anyone. I’m greatly against any violence. He had to call for security but don’t kick drunk man. Anyway he is musician and his colleague. The band of this harp player played before Mark Ford.


Dec 17, 2009 7:56 PM GMT
Chris C Replied:

BTW I used to be quite to Gussing. Annoyed but sort of thinking it was just human nature. But after seeing an amazing JR solo brought to a halt by a Guss a realise it is an incredibly selfish thing to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lltxRyyn_u8&feature=player_embedded

At about 7:50 the Gussing starts. Jason looks pissed but he doesn't kick the Gus. Hey good name for an band/album/song 'Kick the Gus'.


Dec 17, 2009 8:01 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

--- THERE WAS A PROBLEM WITH THIS POST ---

I"M LEAVING THE READABLE PORTION. I APOLOGIZE TO BLUEYES FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. IT APPEARED THERE WAS A PORTION OF JAVASCRIPT IN THIS CODE THAT WAS STRIPPED BY THE SYSTEM AND CAUSED PROBLEMS

-----THANKS, BRADY -----

-----------------------------

A few weeks before my surgery I had gone to open mic. It takes me awhile to get on stage.


Dec 17, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
Kingobad Replied:

That was no kick, it was a push. The dude had no business being on stage uninvited. I think the dumber part was Ford trying something like that not knowing who was in the crowd. Try it in a place where that drunk harp player has 10-12 buddies watching him and it might have ended a little differently.


Dec 18, 2009 5:57 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Kingobad, I'm definately not going to agrue with you over this. Lol.


Dec 18, 2009 7:08 AM GMT
eric b Replied:

I thought that was a bit anti-climactic.I was hoping more for the Keif Richards telecaster basher kind of thing...I don't know if anyone has seen that clip but it deserves it's own space in the rock n' roll hall of fame.


Dec 18, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Not a problem Brady, it was a boring story anyway.

Thanks for letting me know.

abner ( BluEyes, always misunderstood )


Dec 30, 2009 2:35 AM GMT
Guy D Replied:

I'm surprised that anyone would think that kicking someone on stage is appropriate unless the intruder is presenting a physical threat to someone. The harp guy was not a threat and "his" mic could just have been shut off. And I'm only half kidding when I say that the harp guy might have thought that his presence might alter the self-indulgent, boring, endless whining of that slide guitar. Would anyone have watched that video for more than one minute if they didn't know that there was gonna be some violence later on? I've never been very partial to Mark Ford's busy, soul-less harmonica playing and now I really hate his slide playing too. Plus- he'sa clearly a jerk.



Dec 30, 2009 3:26 AM GMT
Steve C Replied:

Perhaps not appropriate what the harp player did but that music was in desprate need of harmonica. It was getting boring real fast. I would have welcomed the assistance.



Dec 30, 2009 1:02 PM GMT
snakeman r Replied:

i think the kick should have been a foot higher or a foot lower ,drunks get what they ask for ,i had a cat try this one time and my 1% friends took the cat outside and i dont know what happened to him ,maybe hes fertilizer now i dont ask questions .



Jan 10, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
Andrew T Replied:

Boris varifies one of my first thoughts on this situation. I fugured since he came from backstage with such confident swagger that he's probably in one of the other bands that played at the festival. So he's probably not just some kid out of the audience. But wow that situation escalated quickly, didn't it. What do you guys think about harp etiquette in general? Any other stories about faux pas by yourselves or someone else at a jam. My personal philosophy is "stay out of the way" when I play at jams. Modestly intigrate a sensible riff into the head and a little lick at the end and other than that only play when you're called on to solo. If every other player of every other instrument was adding little noodles or practicing a lick or testing their sound right there on stage as amateur harp players often do then the whole jam would be an unlistenable mess. As members of the harp playing community we should pledge to step up our game in terms of class and respect. We don't want to be known as the sloppy set crashing nuisance at shows and jams! Okay maybe being known as the sloppy set crashing nuisance is awesome and satisfying in a way but lets not do it with harmonica; we need to advocate for this fine instrument and encourage an atmosphere of respect and validity for it!



Jan 19, 2010 7:03 PM GMT
Frank V Replied:


@Guy D.

I feel that somebody owes it to Mark Ford the harmonica player (brother of blues/jazz guitaristRobbin Ford) that his name be exonerated from this case of mistaken identity.

The "Marc Ford" who is the subject of this post is a different man and has no connection to the Ford brother from Mendicino County California.

I wonder Guy D. if you would tell either one of those men what you think of their playing in such a disdainful manner face to face? In an open internet forum there is not much difference from that (I bet both of them can read).

It may be fairly transparent that I am a fan of Mark Ford the harmonica player and if you can even come close to matching his talent Iwanna hear you Guy!

Mostly don't want anyone reading this to get the idea that Mark Ford the harmonica player is the guy in the video literally kicking a harp player off stage.


Jan 20, 2010 6:26 AM GMT
Andrew T Replied:

Cool thanks for the heads up! I didn't realize there was a "real" Mark Ford who's a harp player. I'll have to check him out. Hopefully he controls his impulses and anger better than the impostor, "Marc Ford" ;)



Jan 20, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Hopefully this time I wont lose my comment. so far Brady my comments are not being lost in cyber space.

Short story, A few weeks before my surgery I was playing at open mic. I was having one of those rare moments when every thing was going right. I was in the grove. And as a newbie thats not easy. &


Jan 20, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

Hopefully this time I wont lose my comment. so far Brady my comments are not being lost in cyber space.

Short story, A few weeks before my surgery I was playing at open mic. I was having one of those rare moments when every thing was going right. I was in the grove. And as a newbie thats not easy. just getting up on stage and playing is hard. So there I am playing my toots off when all of a sudden I hear a thump, thump not rhythm sound. throwing me off, killing me softly with his thumping. now its not hard to mess me up, and this drunk was doing a great job.. the thing is he is a nice drunk. and yes, I wanted to kill him... I only had two weeks before my surgery and I knew I would be out of it for months. After words the person in charge apologize and promise that would never happen again. it has not... but still I wanted to kill the the nice sweet drunk.

abner (BluEyes, dont mess around with superman's cape )




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