Who should find "Fill In"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RDT, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. RDT


    Aug 28, 2009
    For a local bar band:

    If one of the musicians needs a date off that is already booked(months in advance). Who should be responsible to find a reliable "fill-in?" The musician needing the date off or "the band leader?"
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I think everyone should try to find someone. Just because the musician who can't do the gig suggests a replacement doesn't mean the rest of the band will agree. If you can't find a suitable replacement you are better off cancelling the gig. I would also be concerned with the reason why someone has asked for the night off.
  3. We have a date on our calendar for August that was booked for a weekend I have had booked off for holidays since I joined the band 4 years ago. I just think the BL didn't realize the conflict. Every year, Jan 1 he gets a list of 3 weekends I won't be available due to vacation travel. We enjoy the outdoors and do a lot of camping during the season but I always come back into town for any gigs we have, generally 1 hour drive max.

    I'll be having surgery sometime late spring and I will be unavailable for gigging for about a month and no lifting/bending down for another month after that. I may have 30 days notice of surgery date so we are booking as normal. We have a friend that is going to sit in for me in my absence.
  4. RDT


    Aug 28, 2009
    Here's the scenario:

    Every Jan we give our booking agent a list of "Black out dates" for the entire year. And she is told, if it's not blacked out...book it. (yes, we play a lot for a local bar band). Anyway, in my real job, we have until Jan 31 to file for vacation time, which is given, of course, by seniority. This year, I blacked out 2 weeks for family vacation. And low and behold, I was forced to move my vacation up 1 week because someone high in Seniority wanted it off. Yep, you guessed it...our booking agent booked a gig, THEN I found out my vacation got moved. Hmmmm, OK, it was my "fault", I accept that. So, I found a replacement. Someone who we all have played with and know to be a top notch player. Well, I got an a$$ chewing from the band leader. He claims HE should be the one responsible for finding a replacement. No harm, no foul. Most likely, the BL would have called the same guy as I called. I think he's just trying to feed his ego. lol But, I'm just wondering how everyone else would handle it.

    By the way, we have never (to date anyway) canceled a gig. 2 years ago, I played a gig the day before and 5 days after having back surgery. Granted, I sat there like a bump on a log and played bass, but the show still went on. Although, due to the Oxycontin, I don't remember too much of it. They say I did just fine! lol
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  6. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Sounds like the bl is a beatch. Who cares who finds the sub. What a wanker. Enjoy your vacation cause you earned it
  7. RDT


    Aug 28, 2009
    And as to the back surgery thing:

    I now play through a Class D Genz-Benz, rather than a tube Mesa. Live and learn!
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If you need someone to fill in for you, and you know someone well suited to the job, you should take care of it.

    If you don't have the right guy to take over, then hopefully someone else will.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Both. Your pick might not be the band leader's. (God I still hate the term band leader, and I really dislike most of the one's I have known/heard about.) Anyway... if you know somebody, give them a shout. But the rest of the band may know people you don't. And if you CAN'T find anyone, they will need a plan B. I played in a band once that really hated it when someone took a night or two off. ANY other job allows time off. Music should be no different. Don't feel guilty about it.
  10. BL has no business getting upset over it. If he's that controlling he should have spelled it out before it became a problem.
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I always try to find a sub to at least try to return favors for folks who have found me work. But in the end, it's the BL's discretion as to whether they want to use them or not.
  12. Band leader should be responsible... But you could do your part to help.
  13. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Depends on who knows another bass player who can do the gig. In our band the band leader will cover me with someone of his choosing if I need to bail. On the other hand, I got the spot in the band because the previous bass player (an acquaintance of mine) set me up as sub when he had to leave for a few months. I was the go-to sub for over two years, playing more gigs than the regular guy (he was going through some family stuff in another state).

    IMO, if the band leader is a formal leader (ie, he books the gigs, distributes the pay, etc) then the ultimate responsibility rests on him. Much like a regular job when you call out you don't worry about who's gonna do your job today.

    In your case, all it takes is simple communication ... "I can't do that <whatever> gig. Do you want me to find a sub or will you take care of it?" I do just that every time, even though I know the BL usually handles it.
  14. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Usually our band leader sends an email to our short list of subs and the 1st or 2nd
    person is normally available.
  15. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    You did the bandleader a favor. If he wants to find the subs then let him do it but make sure he knows that you won't do it anymore.
  16. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If I need a sub, I usually talk with the BL to suggest a list of possible subs, and then I'll ask if s/he wants to contact them or have me do the footwork. (Who gets in touch usually depends on whether the BL already knows the sub.)

    But the answer is no if your question was really "Should my BL have been upset about this?" At least, if he didn't make it clear to you up front that he wanted to pick the sub, then he's got no reason to act up.
  17. RDT


    Aug 28, 2009
    In all honesty, I think my BL was just trying to inflate his own ego to our new drummer, who just came off the road. The reason I say this is, because the sub I got has played with the BL before. In fact, he was his 1st bassist in his 1st touring band. So, he knows this guy can play. The drummer and BL will sit around before rehearsal and shoot the bull about so and so and who's playing with who nowadays, and it seems the drummer knows more of what's going on on the road and in Nashvegas than what the BL does. And I think it's kinda getting to him. So, he had to flex his gui****/BL muscle.
  18. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    If you&#8217;ve got a BL, control freak or not, if protocol hasn&#8217;t been clearly established, it&#8217;s just wise/considerate to run it past him first.
  19. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    I can't see a problem if there are TOO MANY choices for subs (coming from different members). The problem would be is if both sides think the other is handling it and no one does and you show up to the gig and there's no bassist (or you wait until the last minute and can't find anyone).

    From reading a lot of these threads, it seems like a lot of bands get into trouble because "oh, this is so and so's job, I shouldn't have to do it", etc... They get into a very narrow mindset about division of labor.

    Fair enough if you are just a "sideman" (and paid accordingly), then you probably shouldn't have to worry about the admin side of things like promo, booking, finding subs, etc... But if there's an area you see you can help out in (maybe you know a club owner, fill in musician, etc...) then go ahead and do it and contribute to the success of the team.

    Just be a "good guy" in general, and then even if someone gets mad about something, you can just let it roll off your back since it's just their issue and not that you actually did anything "wrong".
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Just my perspective - As a bandleader, its in my best interests to have a sub (preferably multiple subs) prepared to fill in in the event someone cannot make it.
    Also as a bandleader, if someone in the band knows of someone who can fill in for them, Id give them an audition. I do want to ensure that they are capable of playing the material before the gig.
  21. You did the right thing, finding a potential sub to cover for you so there is no inconvenience to the others. A classy and respectful thing to do.

    Of course the final decision whether to use your proposed sub, or a different sub, is the BL's.