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Drugs is where I draw the line.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassanomaly, Aug 21, 2019.

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  1. bassanomaly

    bassanomaly Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Maryland, USA
    I love playing bass. I really do. Whether it's practicing at home or playing with good friends, I get great enjoyment out of this wonderful instrument.

    That being said, other than helping out at my local church, I don't 'play out' much anymore. And this week has reminded me why...

    A drummer friend of mine asked me to join a guitarist and him, in order to form a trio for an upcoming private party. Pay is decent and the gig is supposed to be a pretty swanky affair. Granted, I've never met the guitarist, but he has a decent reputation as a good player.

    So we got together for a couple of practices, just to get to know each other musically. We immediately clicked. But during our most recent practice, the guitarist (we were practicing in his home) asked to take a break. He invited us into the next room where he proceeded to light a small pipe and start smoking. I must have had an expression of shock, because he said, "What? You don't smoke weed?" I politely replied, "No" and proceeded back into the other room (followed by the equally shocked and embarrassed drummer).

    As practice continued, the guitarist was now playing sloppy and calling out the wrong chords. After only a few songs, I said, "I think we've got it," packed up my gear and left.

    I know some of you might say that this is par for the course, as a musician. But I was not happy. I felt completely disrespected. I'm a business owner with a wife and kids. I don't drink or do drugs. And yes, while weed is increasingly becoming no big deal, in my state it's illegal. I don't want to be around it or even be guilty by association.

    My drummer friend apologized profusely when we discussed it the next day. He said he had no idea that was going to happen and was equally as upset that we were both put in that situation. And since organized this trio, he assured me he would address this with the guitarist. But, he also completely understood if I don't want to continue the with gig.

    If you were in my shoes, how would respond? Would you continue with the gig? Would you have walked out of that practice? Or would you have just blown it off and kept playing?
    UPDATE: The guitarist and I were able to talk it out a bit. We both owned up to the areas where we could have handled things better. This thread was very instrumental in helping me see where I was wrong or mistaken. Thanks for that TB.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  2. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Depends on how soon the gig is. Fairly soon, yeah, I'd keep it in the books just because of the commitment. Beyond that one gig, not likely for me. As far as how you handled it (doing a few more songs then calling it a night), that's about as well as you can handle it. No point in hammering out crap for another hour or two once you realized it was going nowhere.
    Remoman, fleabitten, smogg and 16 others like this.
  3. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    It was rude to just light up without asking first. You were plenty justified in leaving of course.

    As for "now playing sloppy and calling wrong chords", I don't believe that was weed. It's far more likely that is your own confirmation bias, and he was sloppy beforehand as well, when you supposedly "clicked". The same kind of things happened, but you didn't notice/forgave it because you weren't upset.
    It's possible the post-smoke songs worked on were not as familiar. There is almost zero chance an experienced pot smoker is suddenly going to be bumbling through songs after a few tokes. There is a very "high" chance that people who have prejudiced notions about smoking weed will perceive things through a negative filter once aware of the smokery, and that is probably what happened here.
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Do you moonlight as a legalization advocate?

    That was 10lbs of supposition in a 5lb bag.
  5. ShortyGetLow


    Aug 6, 2019
    I don't care what's legal or not.

    Gigs and practice are business.
    smogg, Bodeanly, uusak and 33 others like this.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I don't support the OP's decision, but it's his life to live.

    I have long advocated for legalization, as there is clear evidence throughout history that far more lives are harmed by alcohol than MJ. I live in CO where it's legal, and during my lifetime I expect it to be legal across the US. Given that situation, I think this is substantial over-reaction.
  7. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    Chittenango, NY
    And nothing you said here is an argument. Confirmation bias exists, even when it's something you don't want to hear or admit. And no, I do not advocate legalization; we have enough laws as it is. I advocate decriminalization, and liberty.
    jwave, FRoss6788, dannnnn and 42 others like this.
  8. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    It was in the guy's house, right?
    I can't see him asking permission to light up in his own home, although he should've asked if you were both cool with it.
    Now if it had been anywhere else, I'd say you have a much stronger case for being upset.

    As for how it was handled, I reckon you did it right.
    If the guy's ability was affected then there wasn't much point in continuing.
    I'd wait and see what the drummer comes back with after talking to the guy.
    dannnnn, uusak, Thorny1 and 10 others like this.
  9. jdthebassman


    Jul 11, 2010
    well put, I have no problem with 420 as long as it does not interfere with the gig. my opinion he should have waited till after the rehearsal
  10. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I agree he should’ve asked you first if you minded. If you’re uncomfortable, don’t associate. No one says you have to nor should you feel an ounce of guilt by not jammin with him.

    As an ex pot head musician, it’s surprising to me that all of a sudden his playing got sloppy. In my 15 years of playing stoned, that never once happened to me or any of my old band mates... but everyone’s different.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  11. I don't care if you partake or not. A lot of guys and girls I work with or for, do.Just don't suck and we're cool.
    mike o, mrlabradog, B-Mac and 20 others like this.
  12. DeathSlanger

    DeathSlanger Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2018
    It’s only a big deal to you, if it’s a big deal to you. Since it sounds like it is, yes it’s a big deal! Since it’s a big deal your action of “bailing” is excusable due to your shock. You’re excused. Sounds like you may want to stick to sober band mates, and be sure to establish this with any who may ask you to play in the future.

    I have the same issue with drinkers. I cannot stand drunk people and there is no way I’d ever even consider anyone who likes to get drunk to play.
  13. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    More like a half oz in a one finger bag :woot: but I'm glad that @bearfoot brought it up, cuz confirmation bias is a thing, and I believe it to be similar. Doesn't mean it did or didn't happen that way, but it's worth a mention.

    OP whatever your position is on the devil's lettuce, you handled the sitch just fine. It's not for everybody and that's fine. Going forward I think now that you've made your position pretty clear, you should give this trio another shot with the stipulation that you don't want to be in the same room with it, and if the guitarist can abide by that personal boundary then there's no reason you guys can't make music together. I'd bet you'd be shocked to find out how many out of any crowd do what they do in private and are none the worse for wear... which is why it's finally gaining the 'no big deal' status.
  14. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Everyone has the right to be judgmental. I personally don’t care if someone wants to discreetly have a toke, the same way I don’t freak out if someone opens a beer at a rehearsal. As long as their chops don’t suffer.
  15. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    No, I would not have been concerned.
  16. getrhythm


    Nov 2, 2015
    New Jersey
    It was unprofessional for him to light up during a rehearsal.
    If his playing suffered as a result of getting high (mine does, so I won't at a practice or a gig) you should let him know it and refuse to participate if he won't agree to stop.
    But don't get your panties in such a twist.
  17. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I've played with people who were dedicated stoners and never missed a beat. I've played with drummers who got high and turned into shoes in the dryer, but thought they sounded great. I live in a state where 420 is legal, but it doesn't agree with me. Doesn't matter.

    The keys player who never missed a beat was lazy and never learned any new songs. He played great, but something- don't know if it was the 420 or something else- prevented him from doing much work. His playing was a good fit, but getting him to do something new was difficult.

    The shoes-in-dryer guy was told it'd be better not to do that anymore because it impaired his playing, even though he didn't notice. He never tried it again.

    Guess which one of those guys I still play with?

    I don't care much what you do as long as it doesn't impair your ability to get things done, in any manner of ways. But I agree that, once you saw where it was headed, musically, you were right to pull the plug. Why waste your time?

    It's possible that, with some discussion, this guy could come around. But that might not happen. Stoners don't give up on the idea that it enhances their abilities very easily. If you liked where it was headed before that happened, I'd maybe give it a shot and see if he can abstain.
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Why would anyone be surprised by someone lighting up a doobie in their own house?

    Even 50 years ago doing that was fairly accepted in many circles, especially in creative gatherings like artists, actors and musicians.

    It’s not like he pulled out a crack pipe or some needles or something....
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
    Gee Man, FRoss6788, ICM and 62 others like this.
  19. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I did present an argument. I said you presented 2 paragraphs of unsubstantiated creative writing.

    This wasn't their first rehearsal. The OP has played with this guy before. You are suggesting that the guitar was always crappy. Or that they waited to play new material after the smoke session. And you know that he is a veteran toker, so that it couldn't possibly have affected his performance. That is all projection and rhetoric.

    And not advocating legalization vs advocating decriminalization is semantics.

    And FYI, I also feel that the OP is a little over the top with stating he is a family man and a business owner. None of that is germane to the conversation.
    GregC, Tekkers, B-Mac and 17 others like this.
  20. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Every rehearsal I’ve been to has the host opening up his cooler or fridge and offering brewskis during the break. How is this different?

    BTW, I live a sober life & I share that fact with people. I also behave in a manner as to not infringe on another’s pursuit of happiness or make them feel awkward around me.

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