I'm in a very good originals band. Our music is not run of the mill 3 chord rock crudely put together, struggling to get gigs, play for the exposure kind of garage band. We have two CD's out already (professionally recorded in a studio in Nashville, produced by a Grammy award winning producer). I have a dillemma. I'm the bass player. The founding members/writers got rid of the rhythm section because they weren't cutting it and we have an opportunity to land a fabulous keyboardist once we're set. The previous rhythm section wasn't involved for the CD recording, nor was I. It was the guitar player/songwriter and studio musicians on them both. We are the band for live performances and are involved with currently writing our 3rd CD going forward though. We all have day jobs (for the time being...we'll see where this goes). I got the drummer for the band to fill out the rhythm section. An old friend who is extremely talented and creative and can play anything. I've played on and off with him for many years. However, he is unemployed. I had to get a drum kit for him because he sold his to pay bills. Although he is extremely talented musically, personally he is extremely unmotivated. He can't find a job, can't seem to find gas money to get to rehearsals, or can't find a babysitter, or him and his wife only have one car so if she's working he has no way to get there. He lives in another city 30 miles away. I can only do so much for him. The thing is, he's only missed two rehearsals and musically we all gel extremely well. We've got both recorded CD's down and making progress on the third. Every week we never know until the last minute if he can make rehearsal. I feel bad for him and I know he is struggling financially, but it's really wearing on us. He has a rep over the years for not being terribly responsible. Not once has he ever missed a gig, but he knows he's good, so learning new material or making rehearsals are another matter. Lots of rehearsals we had to skip tunes because he said he didn't have time to learn them, even though we all knew them and he has WAY more time than the rest of us. When I talked to him last, I told him I know his heart is into it and I know he wants to do it, but realistically can he? At some point he's going to have to buy this drum kit from my friend or buy another...and he needs new cymbals. But he's got no money and I don't see that changing anytime soon. We also want to upgrade our PA and it's his responsibility to buy the drum mics, but of course we don't see that happening either. All I wanted from him was at least some kind of commitment...like "I'll do whatever it takes to make it work". But rather than that, he got all miffed for even asking, and replied..."This isn't about me, but about your expectations." Well duh...it's about the whole band's expectations of him. His reply didn't really give me warm fuzzy, you know? OK. Now there is another drummer available whom I've played with for almost 8 years. The guy is a great drummer. Not quite as expressive or creative as our current drummer, but he can definitely play with us and get up to speed learning these tunes. Not sure how he would be with originals as we've only played covers together in the past. Some guys can learn what's already there for covers, but have a hard time creating there own part on originals. Don't really know how good he'd be at that, although he is certainly good enough to. So that's an unknown. This other drummer also has a full, HUGE outdoor concert PA and professional LED lighting like you wouldn't believe. He has a huge trailer, his own mics and various other equipment, (full IEM system, etc). I know him very well and this drummer is impeccably professional in every way and has a lot of contacts for gigging. He also has a job that pays almost 6 figures and a better place to rehearse, no kids or wife. So he isn't relying on the band for income (as we are not either). That's a plus, but down the road his job might not be. I've talked with him already just to see his level of interest. He's very interested and understands our situation currently so he's just waiting on us. He's cool with however it shakes out. What to do? On the one hand we have a kick-ass creative drummer that is not especially responsible or accountable, nor does he even own his own gear, but I know would be there for gigs. Then there is the other drummer who while not quite as good, is more than good enough, but has so much more upside to him, aside from future bookings due to his job. My heart tells me to stick with my friend through a tough time and see how it shakes out. My mind tells me hiring this other drummer is a no-brainer. Thoughts?