A call from a singer wanted ad... very strange.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Nate74, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Nate74


    Mar 3, 2007
    - The Setup -
    As a bass player, I'm totally content standing towards the back of the stage, out of the spot light and doing my thing. I even had a bouncer try to charge me a cover to get back in to a club after the first set when I'd gone out front for some air. "You ain't in the band" he said...

    So the personality it takes to be a stand-alone (non instrument playing) singer is far from something I can relate to.

    - The Story -
    About 8 months ago a band I joined lost it's singer and while the guitarist was a solid singer, we ran one 'singer wanted' ad thinking we might find a female vocalist or maybe a singing guitarist, we were open. We got little response and went on happily as a 3 piece. But yesterday I get a phone call from a guy saying he "just" read our ad and was interested in auditioning. I explained he'd seen a very old ad and that we had a singer, etc. My comments didn't seem to register and he proceeded to start belting out a song I'd never heard right there over the phone.

    With no accompaniment it was obvious that his pitch was horrible. I heard countless "variations" in key and he just basically sucked. But the emotion he was pooring into the song was almost too much to be believed. He went through two verses and I’m guessing two choruses (I wasn’t familiar with the song) then he actually sort of hummed what I’m guessing was a guitar solo…

    I was mesmerized by the experience and didn’t dare stop him. It was like seeing a car wreck and not being able to turn away. I wish I could have seen the look on my own face as this went on for what had to be two or three minutes.

    When he concluded the song, he said “see, what I mean, I can really sing." The icing on the cake was wen he went on to ask when he could come by one of our practices and see if we were up to his caliber...

    It had to be a joke right? Like one of my friends messing with me or some frat hazing ritual. There really aren't people out there like that are there?
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    You ever watch any seasons of American idol?
    Very strange people on that show that are convinced that they are accomplished singers.
    Sounds like if you did invite him, invite over some people that follow your band, or at least the people that you would consider the "harshest critics",(outside of the band,of course) that would know a singer after hearing about 2 minutes of it. Let them potentially shoot the guy down if he is not of youse guy's caliber. ;)
  3. gweimer

    gweimer Guest

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    You should never be surprised by anything that happens at an audition or in response - either by phone or email.

    We once had a guy come down to audition as a singer, who was pretty bad. After we dismissed him, he sat on the stairs outside our rehearsal space, and "serenaded" us while the next guy got on with his audition.
  4. Nate74


    Mar 3, 2007
    That is just plain sweet!
  5. bluestarbass

    bluestarbass Guest

    Jul 31, 2007
    I had a friend who had told me a similiar story. Most people dont advertise for band members in the news paper around here cuz it costs money and there are about 100 other ways to find band members. Well his band was really desperate to find a singer so they paid the money to advertise in the paper. He said he had like 10 calls a day for a month of people just singing into his voicemail. I guess you dont have to worry about that guy having stage fright.
  6. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX

    I actually live with someone like that. He thinks he's some guitar god and he can't even manage to strum a G chord with any precision.
  7. HAHA, ahh yes there are people like that around. This girl that goes to my school ( You know, the snobby, know it all girls), Recorded a cd once, and I was like alright, sounds OKAY, when to ask her to sing......... HAHAHAHA. Man it's amazing what they can do in the studios!
  8. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    Once, we auditioned a guitarist who swore he was in a touring Black Sabbath Tribute Band. He did not know one single Black Sabbath tune. Not one. Part of "Paranoid", that was it.

    People are weird.
  9. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    There are people like that,"fortunately" for us so we make fun of them.:D

    There was this guy who auditioned for our vocals.He was basically a meowing cat,not even a word he said was understandable.

    After an hour we started to play Master of Puppets and something went wrong.We started again and again it was wrong.It happens at reharshes right,its what it is for.But the guy said to our guitarist:" You can't play,let me play!" and guitarist gave him the guitar in a shock..:eek:

    I did not understand what he said,all I heard was pewpew as usual but if I heard him I wouldn't be as cool as the guitarist and would kick his %&$.We still talk about this and laugh.:p

    He sucked more with the guitar then he was with vocals btw.
  10. B4snrise

    B4snrise Guest

    Nov 26, 2007
    Not about a singer but still funny.

    A friends band did a similar ad looking for a guitarist some time back. In the circle I travel this is usually not a difficult task - go to guitar tree, pluck one that is ripe, mix with band and have a good gig. After the usual discussion on number of gigs, pay and type of music, the guy asked the band leader "what kind of guitar and amp will I be playing?" Confused, the band leader confirmed what he heard and replied the guitarist would need to supply his own gear of whatever brand he liked to use. Before the band leader could take another breath the unemployed guitarist shot back "I thought you were a professional band looking looking for a professional guitar player! All professional bands have their own equipment. Next you'll tell me I have to buy the stuff and haul it in my own car too!" Unusually stymied the band leader calmly hung up the phone.
  11. Wow, some people really are clueless.
  12. lefty


    Sep 25, 2004
    man, i always wish i would run a camera anytime i run auditions for a group. you meet all kinds.
  13. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I had a drummer want try starting a fight with me because he thought it should be a democracy and anyone that wanted to could end the song when they wanted, which he did several times because he'd had enough of the song we were playing, onstage, for pay, in front of people dancing!

    We never used him again.
  14. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    According to a voice teacher I talked to yesterday, it's amazing what they can do live now. a rack of 12 pitch correctors for faith hill.
  15. professor_bills

    professor_bills Guest

    May 17, 2006
    ST Pete Florida
    The last band I played with was looking for a singer so the drummer had his freind come over to sing. He was awful.. no tone no timing etc. Sad thing is every couple of weeks the drummer would call him up and tell him to come over to sing. I quit that band
  16. Busker

    Busker Guest

    Jan 22, 2007

    I think so. I just got back from an audition. Yes, I answered the ad, but I was expecting something more I suppose. Especially after the singer/guitarist said the last bass player thought his originals were the best he'd ever heard.

    Well, to put it bluntly, I thought he sucked at singing and songwriting. But his guitar playing wasn't too bad, and he obviously had no shortage of self-confidence.

    After about 4 songs I started watching the clock. Then he wanted to play this slow 12 bar blues and showed me a lick he wanted me to do on it. We started the song again and I flubbed it, he showed me again and said somewhat impatiently "Try to remember that". That was my last song I decided. After we ended the song I said, sorry, I had to leave. He asked me what I thought about our little session, so I told him his music wasn't my thing and I wasn't the bass player for him. He said well, we need someone who can pick up on this stuff a little faster anyway. We had 30 minutes together, but he needed someone who could learn his junk faster than that, I guess.:eyebrow:
  17. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    Man that sucks. I feel truly blessed that I have found such an awesome band and great musicians/friends. I found them on craigslist, sent them an e-mail, talked to'em on the phone, drove up (I live over an hour away) and the audition could not have gone better. Within a few weeks I became the permanent bassist, so I am proof that the craigslist process works. What helped for me was the fact that Matt (the guitarist) wrote a pretty lengthy ad, going into some detail about what they were looking for and what they were about. We are at this time still without a singer, and have been procrastinating the arduous process of auditioning singers.... because it sucks!
  18. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I post a LOT mentioning that I had a band that did fairly well on the local level back in the late '80's and early '90's.

    I sang lead in that band, not because I was in any way 'good', but because we couldn't find anyone better.

    I think of myself as good enough to be a backup singer, but not really frontman material. So we ran ads and put up 'singer wanted' signs at the local music stores.

    I had a strong idea of how I wanted the songs to sound and I knew I wasn't good enough to do what I pictured. Years later I found out that I was picturing Paul Carrack's voice. We couldn't have afforded him anyway.

    Over close to three years we auditioned about fifty 'singers'. Two were better than me. That's two out of fifty. Four percent. That's a really strangely shaped bell curve. Both of those two were much better than me, but there were only two of them. We hired one who showed up for the first practice stoned, so I fired him. The other one turned us down.

    About half were like me, good enough to be an okay backup singer, but not really frontman/frontwoman material.

    The remaining between-a-third-and-a-half of the 'singers' were awful. I don't mean that they were pretty bad. I mean awful, as in causing varying levels of physical discomfort with their voices.

    You would think people like that would have friends who would let them know they REALLY sucked. Or if not friends, SOMEONE should have told them. How hard could it be? "You there singing? Don't ever do that again."

    People act incredulous at the sheer badness of many of the alleged singers on American Idol. I think they are downplaying the actual level of awfulness.

    The thing that always amazed me was that the worse the singer, the more absent any shadow of talent, the more likely they were to believe they were ready to be a star right that second.
  19. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    Oh man, I get to look forward to that much "awful" in these next few months (years?). Great. We are currently a three-piece. Matt plays tons of lead parts, and my bass parts are pretty much as far from straight quarter note thumps with a pick as you can get. And although we have lyrics for some songs, singing just isn't that viable without one of us greatly simplifying our parts, which I know neither of us want to do. So until it gets to the point where we have exhausted all possible "frontman" opportunities, we won't have vocals. We even have a show in a month at an established rock club downtown, and we sure don't expect to have a singer by then, much less a singer ready to gig with us.