How would you handle this?
A few days ago, our band leader got a call from a local venue needing a fill-in band for next weekend. BL contacted all of us to confirm that we were all available, which we were, so he confirmed the booking. The following day, our drummer called the BL and said something unexpected had come up, and there’s a remote chance that he might not be able to make the gig. He suggested keeping the gig if at all possible, but we should line up a sub for him just in case. The BL lined up a sub the same day, a drummer that played with the band for years who knows all of our material. Seems like we had all the bases covered.
Later that night, our lead guitar player started rage-texting the BL at 1AM, saying no way in hell he was playing with the sub. Apparently, he has some ridiculous beef with the sub that prevents his fragile rock star ego from just sucking it up and playing the gig. The conversation between the guitar player and BL got pretty heated – eventually, the BL said “fine, we’ll get a sub for you too and play the gig without you.” Guitar player said fine, do whatever you want to do.” BL came very close to firing the guy on the spot due to his piss-poor attitude.
Of course, our drummer confirmed today that he can play the gig for sure, so all of this drama was for nothing. We’ve spent the past couple days lining up a couple friends to sit in with us, which is cool with me because it will increase our draw. I’m not happy with our guitar player because this means I need to free up time for a couple rehearsals with the subs.
Here’s my dilemma:
Now that our drummer is available, part of me wants to just end all the drama and just play the gig as our normal lineup. I could try convincing our guitar player to reconsider, suck it up, and share the stage with the sit-ins. I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance he’d agree to that scenario. I think it’s a dick move to tell the sit-ins “thanks, but no thanks, we don’t need you after all.” Frankly, I think the best move is to teach our guitar player a lesson about being a team player, and tell him he’s taking the night off – like it or not.
What do you think?
There is always a turd in the punch bowl.
And pretty much every time its a guitard.
The less bands tolerate this crap the more likely they will have to pull their heads out of their "fragile rock star egos".
Wait, what am I saying.
That will never happen.
Put him in time out for a night.
keep the subs for sure, you might need them again with that attitude
1) The fill has prob already done some work in prep for this - stick with him, pay him fairly and tell your guitarist to get-over-it.
2) I really feel for your band leader!!
Do it with the sub guitarist.
I would agree it's a dick move to make a sub set aside time and then cancel you could pay him a cancelation fee.
Also I would tell the guitarist to suck it up all depending on the beef. If they have a petty beef suck it up if the sub did something terrible then that makes sense.
Make the guitarist sit out I hope he's an adult and you can just tell him how it is and not have to ground him.
My first move would be to can the guy who confirmed then backed out.
I seriously hate that crap unless its death in the family or hospital. I refuse to play with people who do that.
Recently I had a guitar player when reminded of a gig that had already been cleared and booked say "oh, I'll have to check on that one..." I replied (in front of everyone) "OH... ... ...Really. You'd better "check" very carefully on that."
I won't play with people who pull that ****.
Sounds like most of you share my notion that the guitard needs to sit this one out. His beef with the sub drummer was pure fantasy -- it just comes down to petty jealousy and his wildly fragile ego. He likes to jump to conclusions and shoot his mouth off without thinking things through. This episode follows a pattern of him believing he's the most important member of the band. In reality, he is our weakest link musically, refuses to hear constructive criticism, and doesn't do a whole hell of a lot for the band other than show up on time and play the leads. When he's on, he makes us a much better band. But to be honest, he's really starting to wear out his welcome. It may do him some good to have a couple weeks off and reconsider his priorities.
And BurningSkies, I hear what you're saying about our drummer who confirmed then backed out. In this instance though it involved a serious and understandable family situation, and it was no problem for us to find a sub. Had the guitar player simply sucked it up, this would have been an entirely non-issue.
Play with the new guitarist. Treat it as a live audition.
If I've got everything straight, the drummer confirmed a week in advance he'd be there. Then when he got a wiff of something pressing coming up he gave the BL as much advanced notice as he could so the BL could line up a sub. That's cool life does occasionally get in the way of plans, and the heads up to the BL sure beats a last minute cancellation.
Then the guitar player heard about the sub and said no way he'd play with him. That's not cool, it's nothing more than a grown up temper tantrum.
Tell your main drummer you've got the gig covered with the sub this time but he's more than welcome to join the band for the night if he wants to help out with the gear set up and tear down. He and the sub drummer can split whatever pay he might have gotten.
As for the guitar player, tell him you're going forward with the sub drummer for this gig and because he wont take the stage with the sub you've got another guitar player lined up for the gig as well. Let him know his actions were very unprofessional and not at all appreciated. Then let him know that if the sub drummer works out good he'll be a first call stand in sub and if so you'll need a guitar player that can deal with that, you're counting on him to bury the hatchet and be a team player and professional about the whole thing.
If the guitarist walks, let him, you've got a sub guitarist. If he sucks it up and hangs in there with the sub drummer, fantastic!
Either way, you've made the choice his. If he's worth keeping he'll stay.
That type of attitude and ego is like a cancer. If you don't correct the root problem then eventually it spreads and becomes terminal killing your group. In my band we have no room for nor do we tolerate over inflated ego's or bad attitudes of any sort. This is how we make our living, so we guard the well being of this group like our livelihoods depend on it. I hope that you can find a way to bring him down a notch.
There's a disproportionate number of guitar players out there...
I think he shoulda gone with his first instinct and fired the guy on the spot. I would have.
Well since this is "Band Management".
I'd tell the BL that you're still onboard and willing to do the gig with whomever he wants - in other words, "stay with the $$$ books"..... and if need be, help the BL make the gig happen with whatever/whomever it takes.
I'd use the subs (drums and guitar) and let the guitar player sit home. We've had similar situations, having covered a player with a sub and when the gig comes around the member finds himself available. We ALWAYS use the sub and the regular sits it out.
A bigger problem exists in your band. You say you have a BL. If that is so, then the guitarist was overstepping (oh no, say it so!) and should be told so.
I would play with both the sub-drummer and the sit-ins. Could be fun, could increase draw, the guitarist gets put in time-out, and the drummer can have a night off.
I would definitely play with the sub guitarist. I'd also pay the sub-drummer at least a small fee just so you can get him in the future...and I might even use him if you regular drummer is ok with it. That way he will be available in the future, if needed.
If I were the sub...and if someone offers me a gig, I start prepping for it, then they cancel me...I seriously consider whether I will work with them in the future. At the very least, my fee would go up for any future gigs.
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