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When is enough, enough???

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bwardmusic, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. bwardmusic

    bwardmusic

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    OK, some of you know a while ago I had to let our guitar player go. I felt right about the decision after a lot of thinking, posting here, etcera. Got the OK from the rest of the band, who didn't like the idea, but recognized it was my decision to make. They also understood my reasons. So, I went ahead and let the guy go. Immediately found a replacement ( guy who quit the band a couple years ago) who isn't as good as the original guitar player, but good enough that we can please our clients. We have played a ton of gigs with this new guitar player, who everyone willingly agreed was a sub (including the new guitar player). The sub is OK, but we had to gut most of the repertoire that makes us unique because he's not as versatile as we would like.

    Two days after I fire the original guitar player, I get a long email from our drummer. This guy comes across really nice, but he's used to being a leader in other contexts. He has a hard time following, I've discovered. And his modus operandi is to get what he wants by convincing other people to do what he wants.

    He continues to recognize its my decision to the let the guy go (everyone considers it my group, although I'm democratic on song selection and as I showed this time, even firing of personnel). But he then goes into a long list of reasons about why i should ask the guy back. Our other musician doesn't say anything, but nods at the points I make, showing he agrees with my logic.

    None of the drummer's reasons resonate with me. I have already let the original guitar player go for cause, and it wasn't pretty. This original guitar did some things that sorely damaged our relationship. I just indicated to the drummer the group agreed to let him go, I did it, we have a sub for upcoming gigs, and I will find a permanent player later on who suits our needs.

    So, now, two months later, the drummer brings it up again. Wants the guy back in the band. Indicates the guitar player said he would come back if we asked him to. Has been talking to the original guitarist on the phone since I let the guitarist go. Comes out with all the reasons he gave earlier. Doesn't even want to try another guitarist in this guy's place. And by the way, does not produce any kind of solution to address my own concerns about the original guitar player.

    This is actually the third time this drummer has brought this up now -- after I already removed the original guitar player -- for good reasons in my mind. We are approaching a period now where there is time to sift through the very long list of guitarists who want to be part of this project (we are very busy, due mostly to the gigs I book for our group).

    I am curious how you would respond to this drummer. This thread is not for debating if I should have let the original guitarist go. He brought it on himself, and I personally will not work with him again -- or at least, not for a very long time, probably years. So, inviting the original guitarist back is not an option.

    I would like to know how you would respond to this guy. As I tryout new guitarists, he will continue to shoot down them as alternatives, and will continue being persistent. This is his character. But I'm almost at my limit with him.

    I would like some suggestions about how to deal with the drummer.
  2. spz8

    spz8

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    It sounds like one of three things will happen very soon...

    1) You fire your drummer

    2) Your drummer quits

    3) Your drummer teams up with old guitar player and convinces the rest of the band to fire you

    Happy holidays! :smug:
  3. drpepper

    drpepper Supporting Member

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    Apparently, right after the first post (and right before the second) is enough.
  4. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

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    You already have your answer...you say that you will not work with the guitar player. So tell the drummer that you thought about the points that he made, but you are standing by the decision. It's time to move on and find a new player.
  5. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

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    I would say, this is done and right or wrong I made the call. Now you have some choices you can drop this and help the band move forward, you can let the rest of the band pick the new guitarist, or you can pack up your stuff and move on.
    My choice is that you stay and help us move forward, but this is the last time I will mention this subject.
    Firm, politely asserting your authority as band leader.
  6. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

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    I'd have tried to make this a non-issue by finding a better replacement guitarist ASAP.
  7. mattbass6945

    mattbass6945

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    i haven't followed the previous threads, but i'd suggest to the drummer that if he knows of a reasonable and logical solution to all of the previous problems with the former guitarist, then you'd gladly call him up. this of course is operating under the assumption there aren't any reasonable and logical solutions to said problems. best of luck!
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

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    You've said here that you won't work w/ that guitarist now, but it doesn't sound like the drummer is clear that you're not open to rehashing your decision. Create clarity. Explain, simply & firmly: You're booking the gigs, and you won't work with former guitarist anytime soon.

    You'll book the gigs with the guitarist you want (but get a good one). If the drummer wants the dates w/ the guitarist of your choice, great. If not, you'll fill those dates with another drummer.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Supporting Member

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    the drummer is trying to take over. I suggest u let him go. Seems he won't let this die. and he's not concerned about what you said already.

    He also may b trying to get you to quit.
  10. Jefff

    Jefff

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    The hardest thing to find is a good drummer, assuming he is one. I would meet him someplace one on one and make it clear that I valued him as a player but under no circumstances was the old guitar player coming back.

    I would tell him I hope he can get over that and help us choose a new guitar player.

    If he can't, you know where you stand.
  11. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    This is what I would suggest also.

    This is also quite likely.
  12. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1 Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    student
    It sounds to me like your pushing your band around and not truly letting them have a voice, its YOUR band? That shows right there that you have control issues which is why the guitar player is gone in the first place. Everyone obviously was not on board with your decision, not trying to bust your chops, being the devil's advocate.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    As much as you may try to be egalitarian & democratic, this is one of those situations where you have no choice but to pull rank. Because the drummer is forcing the issue, he's begging for a firm response. So if you haven't done so yet, give it to him.

    For anyone who still questions the need for a leader, this kind of scenario provides the ideal answer. At the end of the day, either you are the leader, or you are not. Act accordingly. :eyebrow:

    Yes!

    MM
  14. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

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    i kinda agree with this guy...
  15. Renaissance

    Renaissance

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    I would - as politely as possible - let the drummer know his concerns should have been voiced when he had the chance (prior to letting the guitarist go). At this point the band is moving forward without the previous guitarist. Are we moving forward with or without you?
  16. bwardmusic

    bwardmusic

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    Um...that's not the case. The band has been democratic since the beginning. In firing the guitar player, this was the second time in four years I ever initiated letting someone go for cause. The first time was with a previous drummer who joined 5 bands and was never available for gigs or rehearsal, and we let him go with the full blessing of the band. In fact, it was the band at that time that kept asking me what the deal was with the guy as he was rarely available and we were always using the current, persistent drummer, for his gigs.

    But back to the original guitar player. I asked the guys for their blessing when I was considering letting him go, and explained my reasons. They gave their agreement before I let the original guitarist go, even though we were unanimous it was going to be a hassle to find a new guitarist. And by the way, its just the drummer pushing me -- not the other guy in the band. They also say things like "you own the ties and the bus", or "it's YOUR band" when I ask for their input on certain things. I don't demand that title -- I think they are this way because I book almost all the gigs, pay the bills out of my share, do all the website work, provide the rehearsal space and do most of the promotion. I also invited the persistent drummer to be in the band even though he was a rock drummer.

    So, it is THEM that call it my band. My leadership style is democratic.....just like when I got their blessing before I let the guitar player go. i would like to stay focused on the question of the drummer, however. I don't want drama as this kills bands.
  17. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Yes, his band. In the sense that the OP is the leader.

    He's already indicated that he tries to obtain consensus on decisions, and is democratic about selection of material. At the end of the day, either you take him at his word, or you have a good reason to not do so. So, do you have a good reason to disbelieve him? :eyebrow:

    I've seen so many bands that had serious potential, fall apart at the seams and ultimately disintegrate entirely - all due to a lack of good leadership. IME, 99% of bands in existence that fail to address the leadership issue will ultimately fall apart - at least partly as a direct result of it.

    The OP is smart to take up the reins, and to assume the responsibility. Give him some credit - and the benefit of the doubt. :eyebrow:

    MM
  18. Broham

    Broham

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    Sounds like you've already got it.

    If you can't work things out with the old guitar player you might as well start from scratch because the drummer isn't going to be happy until you do.
  19. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

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    ^ This.
  20. MIMike

    MIMike

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    I think you should make it clear to the drummer that you plan on moving forward with finding a new, permanent, guitar player. Tell him you would really appreciate his support in auditioning and selecting the new band member. Ask him if he is on board with this. If not, you should select the new guitarist on your own and probably work on auditioning new drummers next.

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