Not too happy with my new band...

Discussion in 'Les's Living Room' started by Infant, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    The leader got me and my buddy (bass player) into this thing last November promising no more than one or two gigs a month. Well we just finished a 3 gig January and we have 2 gigs a month already for Feb, Mar and April and he said he'd like to get at least 2 more in these 3 months. WTF??? Not what we agreed to.

    When we were in our 20s and 30s, sure no problem. I'm 61 now, I don't want to be spending 6 -7 hours on one of my two days off of work making only $60-70. This guy had a crappy band to start and the first gig we played with him, he had a smile from ear to ear as everybody told him that this new band blew away his old one. The band actually sounds pretty kick @$$!!
    Suddenly every place that we have played so far has asked us to play more dates and he's just taking them without asking if we are free. (my buddy and I also play in another band).

    So he came to me and my buddy and said "I got us booked for New Years Eve...$1000". Unfortunately, my other band got rebooked at the place we've been playing for the last 8 years...$2000! I even told him that when I started! Guess where we are gonna play?

    Now to make matters worse, on Tuesday, my buddy told this guy he's moving way too fast for us and this wasn't what we had agreed to. He said that he'll play out till the end of April where we have a month off which will give the leader a few months to find a replacement. So, this morning my buddy got an email saying that he isn't required at rehearsal this week as the band will be trying out a new bass player. He told my buddy that he's still playing the gig on the 17th. WTF?? I got this info from my buddy and not the leader. We were supposed to learn 6 new songs this week. So are we breaking in a new guy or learning new songs?

    I think I'm gonna tell this guy that I'm thinking of getting out too. I can't handle this crap and I'm not willing to become a full time musician again. Maybe once I retire but not at this point in my life.

    Sorry for the rant ...I had to get that off my chest. Anyone here a "full time" musician?
  2. jimilee

    jimilee Member

    If there are no contracts and you have another band already, give the guy 30 day notice. And your buddy ought to tell the guy to stuff it.

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  3. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Our other band is kinda winding down...just a few gigs this year. Plus we've got a jazz trio on the side that plays a few weeks a year too. That's why we only wanted to do one or two a month with this guy. He knows what dates we have booked with our other bands.
    The band is great. My buddy and I joined in November and we brought 40 songs into the band. We played our first gig 3 weeks later playing every one of those tunes and we were a hit. Every gig we've played since has generated more gigs...maybe we are too good...or too cheap!

    Anyway, I'm gonna wait to see if the leader calls me this weekend but I think he knows that I'm not gonna be sticking around without my buddy. However, I'm not a d!ck...I won't leave him hanging without a guitar player.

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  4. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Yeah, I used to be a full-time guitarist and/or bassist, but that was decades ago. I enjoy playing a lot but there are a lot of things to do that are enjoyable too. It's time to be movin' on.
  5. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    Rob if you don't like what is happening then get out is my advice. Life is too short to waste time doing things you don't want to.

    Agree with the age thing. I'm 72 and a couple of gigs leave me shattered. I do a small number of gigs a year with my main band in Wales, the rest of the time I just pop along to some jams, often in the house bands. Keeps me happy.

    Having said that, I am going to try out with a local band next week to see what I think. They asked me, so it's more if I like what they are going to play and if my body can take what they have planned!!
  6. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Well John, lucky for me, I don't have to bring my PA, just my guitar, amp and peripherals (stands). If I was retired, I'd probably have a different outlook. However, after working 5 days, I like to enjoy my weekends and not spend every single one in a Legion hall.

    Everyone is right, I should just get out and my plan is to talk to the leader after the weekend. Like another friend told me, when some guys hit their late 50s, early 60s, they want to take one last kick at the can while others still want to do it as a hobby. Well, i guess my buddy and I are hobbyists.

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  7. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    I spoke to the leader last night and told him that, like the bass player, I'm feeling overwhelmed by it all. He tried his hardest to talk me into staying. He told me that even the new bass player will only do 2 to 3 gigs a month (even though I always said I'd be happy with 1 to 2 a month, no more)! Oh man, he was buttering me up with compliments regarding my singing and guitar playing. I finally told him that I will finish off the gigs between now and the end of april and that he should start looking for my replacement now. As soon as the replacement is ready, I'll step aside.

    The guy is 63 yrs old and he's telling me that this band is gonna be going places. I'm 61....been there, done that, don't need the aggravation at this point in my life. I have a great paying engineering job, I'm not going to take an afternoon off to play a $50 lunchtime gig at a city park bandshell. I play a few gigs a year with my big band and a few restaurant/small parties with my trio. I'm good with that.

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    It's great that you were able to level with the new leader. As a fellow engineer, at 71, I can see your point exactly. When "playing" turns to "work" it's just not fun anymore.
  9. jimilee

    jimilee Member

    Been there. Done that myself. Going places eh? Already been there, it isn’t pretty. My last band I had, we played shows with other bands so I could be home at 11 instead of 2am. I played just for fun.

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  10. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Well done Rob, chart your own course.
  11. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    I'm a little pissed right now as I just got another email that he's booked a gig for March 10th. Didnt ask me if I was free or not. I felt like telling him that I'm busy that night but unlike him, I'm not a d!ck. Instead, I just told him not to book anymore gigs between now and the end of April unless he has someone ready to take my place. I promised him that I would finish the current gigs that he has booked thru April unless he finds someone to replace me beforehand. May is currently unbooked and at that point, I really don't care as I'm out.

    The problem that I have is that my son takes possession of his new house next weekend and we have 6 weeks to gut his kitchen and main bathroom and renovate them before he fully moves in Seeing as I work all week, I can only help out on weekends. This guy now has me booked for 5 of those 6 weekends.

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  12. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    If it was me Rob, I would tell him you are busy. He should have asked you first and yes, he's the dick for not asking you.
  13. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    I'm with John on this one. You clearly explained that you would fulfill all the engagements that were already booked, and not that you were willing to cram in more. Your family is more important than this guy's pipe dream.
  14. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

    You're awfully nice for a 61 year old, I just turned 60 and I'm grouchy as hell. Just tell him what you are willing to do, and if he can't figure out how to accommodate you and give you fair notice. Just say no, I can't do it, and beside I told you I only was willing to do 1 or 2 or whatever. Band suck. I don't miss the soap opera nature of bands, and I have not really been in one since the 80's.
  15. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Forgot about this thread. Here's an update...the last gig we played with my buddy on bass was awesome, hardly any mistakes, tight sound. After the gig, my buddy said if the other bass player isn't ready, he was ready to play the next gig. Well, they rehearsed before that gig (without me) and figured the new guy was ready. Played the gig last Saturday and it was terrible...not so much the bass player, he did fairly well, but the whole band was out of kilter!

    We must have blown a dozen endings, nobody knew who was singing my buddy's songs, we were all singing over each other, lost all the harmonies etc. It sucked. I sent the whole band an email on Tuesday and told the leader I was out at the end of the month. I wasn't going to embarrass myself. I said that we are playing a local bar in 3 weeks and we will not be ready for it. I was asked to reconsider because he too found Saturday to be a total "clusterf**k" and so he asked my buddy to come back and finish the gigs till April. My buddy and i both agreed to play the gigs as long as the leader doesn't book any more in that timeframe....4 gigs in the next 2 months...that's all we are committed to. Oh...and neither of us are doing the March 10th gig that he surprised us with.

    We sound great and we actually DO get along. It's just that this guy can't say no to a gig and that's what was driving us crazy. Now he knows that we definitely will not play any other gigs in March or April.

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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Member

    At age 65, I usually take the rare gig that's offered. There is one person on the planet that I would consider gigging with regularly if he got ambitious, but otherwise I play when and where it suits me and decline when it doesn't. Last year a local salsa singer tried to convince me to join her band by putting my name on the list of players in her promotional material, after I had declined. Her husband, a lawyer and most reasonable fellow got the flyers pulled and apologized to me. I have since played a couple of dates with her, most amicably. I never poison the water hole....
  17. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    I was going to update this thread after my final gig with them this weekend but why wait. For the last few gigs, the band has been made up of me as well as the bass player and keyboard player from my other band, the drummer (leader) and another guitar player. Basically, with the 3 of us, he has the core of my other band and thinks it's his band!!! The 3 of us do trio gigs on the side and we are tight so the way I see it, he's sitting in with us!

    We've all told him that we were doing the remaining gigs in April and then he has two months before the next gig at the end of June to find our replacements. He already has another bass player (see my previous post) and the original keyboard player had some surgery and has been unable to play since mid March but he'll be back. So he just needs to replace me.

    However, knowing that we were done after this weekend, last week he booked another gig for next Saturday and then called me and my bass player to see if we were available. We're not. We have a trio gig playing dinner music at a corporate function. He even tried to guilt trip me by saying that he's been trying to get into this bar for a long time and now that he finally has the opportunity, he'd like to do it with this current band. Then he said that i told him i would play till the "END" of April. I actually told him that I would stay till the end of April but I told him not to book anymore gigs. Like I said, he can't say "no". So next weekend, he only has a partial band...drums, rhythm guitar, bass and maybe a keyboard player, if he's healthy enough. It's gonna sound like crap and he'll have ruined his chance of ever getting back in...only because he didn't check with us first. If he tried to get a few open dates and then checked with us, we would have willingly played with him in May or June. But he just jumped at the first date that he was given and took it without thinking how he was going to play it.

    I agree with Biddlin and we shouldn't burn bridges. This guy is really nice but he really doesn't know how to manage a band. I'll go fill in if he needs me (and I'm free). However, one gig every few months I will do....more than that, I'll start declining. Otherwise, he won't replace me at all.

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  18. johnreardon

    johnreardon Active Member

    That's guy is taking the wee wee Rob. Problem with breakups is that they can sometimes never 'breakup'. IMO a complete split is better.

    Good luck
  19. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    He's got 9 gigs booked between now and the end of the year. Three of them are on nights that I'm booked with my other band and two of them are during my summer vacation. So the band isn't going to be breaking up. We think he's just going to play the gigs with whoever shows up. He had 4 gigs this year when we joined in November. He's picked up at least 8 more after the venues heard us play. Once we are gone, the quality or sound won't be there and he won't be getting anything new. It's sad that he is so stubborn that he won't listen to logic until it bites him in the @$$. By then, it's too late.

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  20. Infant

    Infant Active Member


    Played my last "booked" gig with these guys yesterday. It went quite well. It went so well that the guy who booked us told our keyboard player that we are one of the best bands they've ever had. The bass player and I joined the conversation at this point and we mentioned that we play in another band but we've been playing with these guys to help them out. The gentleman gave me his card and told me to give him a call if we are interested in playing there. The 3 of us are the "nucleus" of both of these bands...3 vocalists/instrumentalists...all we really need is a drummer and we could play anywhere.

    So, we discussed it amongst the 3 of us and thought that this could be a perfect opportunity for us to keep the fingers and vocal chords in shape if we could get in once every 4 to 6 weeks. We just have to talk to the others and see if they would be interested as the money isnt great but we could probably look at these gigs as paid rehearsals for the larger gigs that we do. These pay $70/man where the weddings, dinner/dances and corporate functions that we play can pay $200-250/man.

    Feeling quite good this morning.[emoji16]

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