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Anybody here ever been Peter Best-ed?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Devils Advocate, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Before I begin to write, I'd like to request that people do their best to be supportive and keep any possible negative judgements to themselves. Thanks in advance. :)

    Since about the age of 3 I've wanted nothing in my life other than to be a rich and famous rockstar. I've spent all my years working incredibly hard at that. As I matured, I fully realized the fantastic aspect of my dream, realized that I was shooting for the stars with a much better chance of being struck by lightening, and going for something that many (including myself) considered teenage and trite, but the desire never left. Folowed other career paths, worked a handful of different jobs, but playing and performing were always the only thing I ever did that felt right, it's without a doubt the thing I'm best at, and all the willingness, prayers, and spiritual guidance in the world didn't/couldn't/wouldn't quell my rockstar desires.

    For a little over 10 years I put swimming pools full of blood, sweat and tears into making my own band happen, and it did. On a local level. We got ourselves on a somewhat reputable indie label, sweet endorsements, a loyal local following... after about the 10 year mark band members started banging heads bigtime, and I hooked up with someone who was easily one of the most talented musicians/writers that I ever met.

    I started playing with this person, doing some cool tours, and finally living the "rockstar" life. Nice hotels, headlining shows, roadies, tours around the world, etc. It started to take up more and more of my time, tensions in my own band started to get worse, and with things going as well as they were with the new band, my original band disbanded. The other guys all immediately went their own seperate directions. The door to that band was slammed tight, and bolted shut.

    A very short while later, the talented dude I was playing with hit the bigtime, and I mean BIGTIME, like in as big as it gets. Sparing the details, a few short months after that I was dismissed and the dude refused to ever talk to me again. Reasons for that are incredibly lengthy, but suffice to say I'm not the first person that guy has done that to, and I should have realized that long before getting as involved as I did. The dude has a long history of cutting people out of his life and never talking to them again, including some immediate family members, and other very close friends.

    So I woke up one morning, and I had no band, no gigs, no rock stardom, nobody to perform my material any more... you get it. Found myself in the snap of a finger with nothing more than a crap dayjob, and jumped into a really crappy cover band with some friends just to keep my fingers moving, and toes on a stage. Probably would have been better to take a break and regroup, but I did what I did. And I became incredibly, incredibly depressed. Didn't realize till that day that I woke up bandless, that my entire existence and identity revolved around who I was (or more accurately who I perceived myself to be), and my "success" as a musician.

    It's now several years later, and while I've recovered quite a bit, the pain is still there. I still haven't stopped working my ass off musically, just haven't even come close to the kind of success I had been enjoying. The dream still hasn't died, and all the therapists in the world can't seem to kill it. So I move forward consistently putting one foot in front of the other, learning to enjoy the many other things life has to offer. Simply making great music, for one.

    Anyhow, I can't even begin to imagine how Pete Best felt.

    Wanted to vent, and wanted to see if anyone else had similar stories to share.
  2. You know, I can't speak for Pete, but he may well have had a good life. The Beatles? Lots of success and lots of problems. John got shot, Clapton stole George's wife, Paul keeps getting half his money stolen from him, and Ringo is, well, Ringo. It ain't pretty. Then think of all the tragedy that has befallen other musicians and bands: Nirvana, Metallica, Alice and Chains, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Hendrix, Joplin - hell, Britney Spears.

    I was in a good-enough-to-be-signed band in the 90s that I voluntarily walked away from right before what was likely to be a defining moment. The reasons? Too many to list, but they can all be explained by the following - the rock and roll lifestyle is HARSH. Only once in a while do I feel regret, and it is very fleeting. I am married now, have a kid, some semblance of stability, it's not a bad life. I think it is better than the other life I could have chosen. I still play and record - it's not the same, but overall I am happy. Give it some time - I think you could be too.

    And don't be too sure that Pete is so unhappy. It's a great story at the pub!

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    If you had all the things you had because of your hard work, can't you be the big solo artist as well?
  4. We are only responsible for or effortd not the outcome. The music bussiness
    is a nasty one. Be happy for the successes you have had.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    The real question is, why did the big star severe all ties?
  6. I had similar dreams when I was younger, and when I was 17 had the op to join a touring band. This was mid-late 90's. We put out a few records and I learned alot about the music buisness. Most important, its filled with people who will stab you in the back, similar to your situation. I also was lucky enough to have a favorite band called fugazi. In their documentary called "instrument" they explain the reason they play music. It's to return the favor. Their minds were blown when they were younger by certain artists and they want to offer the same. That made it clear to me what this is all about. Make a record or a few that you could be proud of. If its honest and good, it will stand the test of time and people will remember you.
    What is making it anyway? These cheap pop rock stars will be finished in a year or two. And there are so many dif levels of making money. Its not just Broke to One Million. You could make a good living by just working your music and playing small venues. The minute people catch wind that you wanna be a "rockstar" don't be surprised if you lose your fanbase and integrity.
    "Making it" in the music buisness is such a gross term. Especially latley that labels are folding and musicians "have" to work again. This is great because it will weed out the fakers and " rockstars" very quickl. Work hard and be true to yourself and you have made it. It's funny though, so few are able to do this, everyone wants a short cut.
    Good Luck sir.
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    This is normally where I would put the old, "Better to have loved and lost..." BS.

    But then I remember that scene from Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones looks at Will Smith and says, "Oh yeah? Try it."

    So I wont but I will say, things work out the way they are supposed to work out.
  8. listen to guys like Janek Gwizdala, not only is he an amazing player but he speaks alot about this topic and the need to have a new buisness model as a musician because the old one no longer exists. At the end of the day I realize these are only my opinions, and though I might share them with some, there are plenty of people out there who wanna be entertainers and have no interest in the artist side of things, and there is nothing wrong with that. However you are setting yourself up for disappointment and the worry of getting crushed by "the next big thing". It is nice to just play what you feel, and more times then none, people will listen
  9. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    I remember reading that Pete Best became an overnight millionaire when the Beatles' Anthology released. I wouldn't mind being "Pete Best-ed".
  10. Some sort of personality disorder on his part? I sometimes think that kind of stuff goes hand and hand with people who become "stars". I can only speculate as to why he cuts people off as he does, but it seems it's easier for him to cut all ties than work through anything. "I'm done here and moving on" kind of attitude. I believe he decided he wanted to abandon his old world also, and take on a whole new circle of friends.

    While I'd love to go into details on exactly what happened, for anonymity purposes I won't. Of course I had some part in it all too, but what went on between us that led to the end of my working with him was something that was utterly ridiculous. A simple misundertanding that pretty much told me he was looking for an out, and this was the best opportunity he could seize.
  11. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Im a nobody but got far enough with a couple of bands years ago to know that I couldnt take all the BS that would go along with it. I hated all the hype and empty promises. People blowing smoke up your cheeks and being young, you believe it only to be let down when things dont materialize. I had some people in big companies promising me the moon and nothing ever worked out.

    But like franksgbass said, there are different levels of "making it".
  12. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    Not completely, yet, but I worry about it every day. Music can be a high-pressure, high-stress business, and when there's something to gain, you can't be certain about anyone's motives. Even those with good intentions may be unintentionally swayed by an outside influence.
  13. I've actually spoken to Janek, at NAMM a while back at the Fodera booth. Agreed he has very good sense regarding this type of thing, and life in general as a musician.

    As for the rockstar stuff and the changed world and the bands who are big today being forgotten next month, yeah... I've been around a bit and I get it. What makes things a little more frustrating for me however is that all my life I've grown up with and been surrounded by guys who've, yes, "made it". I grew up jamming and playing in bands with about 5 different people who wound up playing in legendary bands that our grandparents know the names of. I've done tours with other musicians who just wound up in the right place at the right time and made pretty big successes of themselves. I currently play with artists (well, one actually) who get asked to do tours as backing musicians for artists I promise you know the names of... yet, I still struggle with getting back to even the level of success I once had. I'm gonna guess there's something I still have to learn, but that might very well be to just accept things as they are and focus only on being the absolute best performer/musician I can be.

    Do I want to be a rich and famous rock star still, play arenas, and own a mansion and a yacht? In the very deep dark corners in the back of my mind, of course :) , but realistically I'd be very happy earning a decent living performing music. And be able to quit my dayjob, which I can't yet do.
  14. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    Oh yeah.
    In the early 80's I was poached from a very successful but downward spiraling regional band. A guitarist and drummer, both a bit older than me with a half dozen original tunes that were very ahead of the curve.
    This turned into an all original act from gig 1 which was not really done back then. We ruled our college market, released an ep, shot a video which was picked up by RockAmerica ( the precursor to MTV). Signed with Cheap Trick's management, and labels came a courtin'.
    As negotiations were going on with EMI (who eventually signed the band), I was summoned to a band meeting and told that the band was approached by a certain bass player and they were going to 'utilize his talents'. I'm thinkin' "Whoa, 2 bass players. What the hell!" Oh........I get it......
    Cut to me bussing tables in the same town I was giving autographs in only a month ago.

    But in my defense, the guy they replaced me with ended up playing with Miles Davis a few years later. Since then I've done most everything I ever wanted to in the biz and now I'm just hanging out and having fun with it.
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I can't claim to have had an experience like yours, but then rock stardom was never a real aspiration of mine. I can say that since I got into playing a few years ago I've made a point of reading a number of rock star biographies, autobiographies, and band histories, watching band documentaries - and NONE of it has made the rock start lifestyle look attractive to me AT ALL.

    The drugs (or having to fend off the drugs), the addictions, the stalkers and people treating you like you're public property because they bought a poster with your picture on it, the constant seesaw of being totally worshiped one month and totally despised or forgotten the next, the personality drama and band politics, the schemers and leeches trying to suck your blood and creativity for their profit, the constant touring, destroying your relationships with family and friends while eating crap food... no thanks.

    I'm sure that getting on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans brings a certain adrenaline rush with it and getting a million-dollar advance from a record company sure can't hurt, but in the total balance of life I'm perfectly happy playing to local crowds on small stages.
  16. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    +1. This is the life of an artist. If you're happy, that's it. If one wants to be a business man there are far better and more lucrative ways to go about it.

    “The people gave their money and they gave their screams, but the Beatles gave their nervous systems, which is a much more difficult thing to give.” - George Harrison
  17. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Been there, done that. I was let go of a gig I had with one of my boyhood idols (he also has a penchant for chewing up bassists) and it was really depressing (and scary, since I'd taken a temporary leave of absence from my teaching gig to do an extended tour with the guy). It stung and fortunately I got hired for another tour about a month later.
    I was also in a band with a record deal with terrible management. We did the big video shoots in New York and LA, European and US tours, etc. but we were all starving. That collapsed after the first album and the management got younger more gullible band members. I was off for about 6 months and then landed the Jerry Reed gig, which was fun but I was going from playing Heavy Metal and being on MTV to playing Amos Moses and being on Nashville Now and playing county fairs. Definitely a step down in "cool" factor but a step up in income.
    It happens. I did some calculating recently and I've been on 18 touring gigs in 32 years. The longest tenure was 7 1/2 years, the shortest was about 2 months, most averaged about 10-18 months. You get used to it, especially if you are a sideman (which you were, even with the Rockstar Life-just like I was-if you didn't sign the Record Deal you are a sideman).
    Moral: See a sideman gig for what it is, have an escape plan, and never, ever stop working your own agenda.

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