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a personal music-related dilemma

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CJ_Marsicano, Sep 23, 2001.


  1. please allow me this particular indulgence,

    over the weekend i have once again come to wonder if i am even going to be wasting my time desiring to return to performing. it has been something i have thought to myself frequently over the past few years, but i have never thought of discussing it publicly until now.

    between june 1985 and october 1996, i played as a bassist in a total of seven bands, doing an estimated 300 or less shows, all in the norhteastern pennsylvania area.

    the first band was a top-40 group called _fallacy_, which i did the most shows with of all - approximately 150 to 200 of them between june 1985 and january 1987. enjoyed playing with them, but a couple of members (chief among them the second drummer that was with the band during my time with them) frequently gave me sh*t for playing bass with a pick, and for listening to bands like the minutemen, black flag, flipper, and dead kennedys instead of jazz fusion.

    the second band lasted less than a year -- the first half of 1987 --, played only a dozen or less shows, and while playing and practicing with them was great, quickly getting to the point where we could pick up songs or even create them on the fly, things unfortunately got boring and disorganized towards the end.

    band number three was a hard rock band called _bigg trouble_ that lasted between february 1988 and april 1989. chemistry was good, set list was good (although i can't figure out why, as all of the original members were sex pistols fans, we _never_ played any of their songs!), but management (the guitar player's mother) f*cked things up in a big hurry. i was the first to quit (the original drummer was let go in september 1988, to much sadness on my part). the band lasted a mere two months after that with two different bassists.

    band number four was a pickup band that i blundered into immediately afterward, what a waste of the summer. the band leader had an elvis fixation and tried to play electric piano (badly). the rest of the group went through a lot of time-wasting auditions for other members and only ever played one gig on its own. group broke up afterward, i limped back to college.

    bands number five and six didn't get anywhere. the first one never got past a couple of months of rehearsals, the second one was another doomed one-gig affair destroyed by ineptitude on the part of the other members. the only saving grace of the latter group was i was reunited with the original _bigg trouble_ drummer and that our only gig was the only time i've ever been "bootlegged" (someone taped our show with a microcassette recorder; the whole band, all by coincidence, happened to meet up with the girl the next evening in the mall, and we borrowed the tape and ran over to our practice space (my basement) to copy the recording to a regular cassette deck.

    band number seven was another top 40/rock band, and was the only time i was ever deliberately _lied to_ regarding the group's modus operandi. i was told that we wouldn't be doing the same old crap all of the other bar bands were doing and that i'd have an equal say and equal share in what went into the set list. i only ever got two or three songs of my choosing into the set list, only one of which was a lead vocal of mine. after about a month or so of shows, the rest of the band were talking about doing _lynyrd skynyrd_ covers to appease the very small handful of bigoted redneck types (one to three at every show, except for one club out in the sticks that was crawling with these subhuman pricks) -- a direct reversal of our "not the same old bar band bullsh*t" credo. eventually i got fed up and quit by not even showing up at one of the redneck bars the drummer had started to habitually book us into. i came to the conclusion that those statements made before to me were lies to lure me into the group as they were rather desperate to get a bass player.

    that was october of 1996. i have not played in a band since.

    thoughts over the past month or so of getting into the swing of things again, this time as a band leader, have frequented my brain, only to be disheartened by the cold hard fact that the type of music i want to play (influenced by minutemen, husker du, meat puppets, dead kennedys, stooges, rollins, bif naked, etc.) is not conducive to an post-nirvana, post-badlees on a&m records environment where anything outside of classic rock and/or southern rock cannot even get into most of the clubs in the area, and where most musicians feel that repitition of these cliches is the only way to succeed in this area.

    my only question is, do i give it one last shot, or do i just say "f*ck guitar-based music", get some electronic gear and go down the only non-rock route that has given me infinite pleasure in the wake of tuneless nu-metal alleged music? my only bass amp was stolen by the drummer of band number seven (ironically the only band member who ever respected my musical tastes and who was the only one talked to after i quit), do i even bother spending $400 on a new amp?

    i'm at a quandry, dear friends. any input?

    at the fork in the road, cj marsicano
     
  2. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Do you miss it? The guitar based stuff I mean.
     
  3. sic,

    i honestly don't know how to answer this question, but i'll do my best.

    in all my years of playing, i rarely if ever really got to play anything i was totally and completely happy with playing (see my aforementioned musical tastes above). so in that way, there's nothing to miss.

    i sadly have not yet had the pleasure of playing with anyone as enlightened as i was musically. i played with a lot of good musicians, but years of bending over backwards has not been good for my musical backbone.

    on the other hand, i miss the kind of guitar-based music i grew up with, especially in the wake of all these tuneless korn/godsmack etc. bands.

    cj
     
  4. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Find some people who will let you play the way you want, then see where it goes.
     
  5. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    I feel your pain, CJ. I kicked around a few bands in the late '70s and early '80s. I had many of the same problems/experiences that you have had, including my amp being ripped off by our manager who "borrowed" it for another band he was handling.

    I hung it up and joined the Navy in 1983. I always had a bass around and kept my chops up as best I could. In 1989 I was stationed in Pensacola, FL and fell into a good band. I performed regularly there until 1995, when I was transferred to Japan and I thought I'd be "bottoming out" again, so to speak. Nothing could've been more to the contrary!!! I'm so busy working here that I have decided to retire in Japan when I'm through to keep playing full time! I guess alot of it is, as they say in the real estate biz, "location, location, location." From the sounds of things, Northeast PA isn't into the same scene you are.

    We play alot of hardcore punk and "New Metal" as I like to call it, as well as Blink and punked up "old wave" stuff because our audiences are mostly comprised of 18-30 year olds.

    I guess the point of my rather long-winded story is either move somewhere that you'll be able to perform the type of music you want or be flexible enough to play what the situation/location calls for.

    One last thing: NEVER, EVER GIVE UP ON THE BASS!!!
     
  6. sic,

    it isn't a case of finding people who will let me play _how_ i want, its of finding people who want to play the exact same kind of stuff i want to, as i stated in my initial post. i wish it were that easy, else the post itself would not have been made.

    cj
     
  7. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    That's true. Sorry about that, I just end up trying to make people answer there own questions, most of the time they know they have the answer. It isn't really up to us, it's up to you.
     
  8. japan... dayum, always wanted to go there.

    moving is unfortunately not an option at the present time...

    flexibility? i had eleven years of trying under duress to be gumby - squared off ain't my shape and green ain't my color.
     
  9. sic,

    thanks but i obviously don't have the answer at the moment. :) time shall tell.

    cj
     
  10. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    No problem. Tell us when you've come to a decision.
     
  11. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    Sounds like the decision's been made. Keep a bass around just for old time's sake:( :( :(
     
  12. masaru,

    the decision hasn't been made yet - it's obviously not a snap decision.

    cj
     
  13. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Your post was deleted from the Bassists forum. Don't EVER multiple-post like this again.
     
  14. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    d00d

    That was harsh.
     
  15. sic, thanks.

    angus, chill out. you don't want to disrespect a supporting member of this site.

    cj
     
  16. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Just a warning. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Your status of supporting member does not change the rules of moderation. If there is any further problem, feel free to talk to me privately.
     
  17. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I understand the need to mod, but you just came off a little rough. That's all.
     
  18. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would appreciate it if there are no more public remarks about any Moderator here at Talkbass. CJ, if you have an issue with Angus, send him a PM. If this continues, this thread will be closed.

    Back on topic.:)

    CJ, one of the problems is that the types of music that you are wanting to play do not have a large audience these days.

    Most of the baby boomers(people with the most spare money to spend) want oldies or country, and most of the 25-35 want 70's music or early 80's techno and new wave.

    But if you want a band for the sheer pleasure of playing what you like, I encourage you to seek out musicians via the web, bulletin boards at music stores, classifieds in the local newspapers, etc.

    Good luck.:)
     
  19. angus have already disccused things outside of this thread.

    as for the claim that the type of music i want to play doesn't have a substantial audience... why do i have trouble believing that? i blame a possibly uninformed backlash against that type of music.

    cj
     
  20. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    CJ,
    there was a guy in Bethlehem recently looking for a bassist to help out with an electronic/techno project. Check www.themode.com .

    You are in a rough locale for anything experimental (you know that, why am I telling you?).

    We do originals up in the Poconos, we still get the "play some Skynard" types out there.