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Fired our drummer of many years last week

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by QORC, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    wow. It was ugly. We are a fairly popular band in the region and he was one of the 2 founding members.

    But his playing wasn't ever up to snuff. He hit weakly. He clearly didn't practice because he didn't play many of the songs correctly. Unlike the rest of us who are constantly practicing and looking for that additional nuance in a song to make it as close to possible as the original (we are a tribute band). He refused to take on the look of the real drummer, although the rest of us worked hard on our impressions.

    We constantly had feedback from other musicians and fans to the effect of "wow, you guys are GREAT...but what's with your drummer??" Finally even our singer couldn't ignore the feelings of the 3 guitars in our band (me, the lead and the rhythm).

    He had been warned several times in the last year to practice more, work on very specific songs, but he never improved.

    So he was finally let go by conference call. And wow, he went bezerk. Acted like a real jerk. I know he's hurt, but in his mind, he's living in a fantasy world where he is a GREAT drummer. He totally doesn't get it.

    he threatened us. He posted crap on FB. He asked for "severance pay" (LOL.....as if he was a salaried employee or something). In short, he acted like a child, despite the fact that he's 50.

    it was hard because in reality we all LIKED him as a person, but he wasn't cutting it as a drummer.

    of course, we had drummers lining up for this gig and we found someone who is 4x the drummer of this guy and is taking on the look of the real drummer. I can't wait to get out there with him.

    not a question here. Just venting. It was a painful thing to do. it took more than a year to come to this decision. I was fired a couple times from bands and I know how painful it is. I hope that he gets his life together (it's in shambles anyway), picks himself up, works harder, and finds another band. Hopefully some day we can all be friendly again.

    but right now, it's like a war.

    isn't this supposed to be a hobby??
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It became a business as soon as you collected your first dollar but there's no reason a given profession can't be fun.

    Sorry 'bout your drummer but that's part of the biz. "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link".

  3. St Drogo

    St Drogo

    Oct 9, 2009
    Sorry to hear that. But, he'll get over it. As will you and your band.

    Out of curiosity, what band are you a tribute of?
  4. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
  5. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    That dude chain smokes during gigs. I would die a certain early death if I took on that look.
  6. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey

    well our drummer was a smoker anyway. but he didn't even try to take on the look. A wig? A pair of fake glasses? A tank top? that's all.

    I have to wear a wig. I hate it, but you do what you have to do. But he steadfastly refused.

    That was a minor MINOR factor in this. It all comes down to his musicianship, which wasn't there.

    nobody liked doing this. He was a good guy, but he was holding us back musicially.
  7. St Drogo

    St Drogo

    Oct 9, 2009
    Didn't ac/dc go though a whole bunch of drummers in their career? You could tell him getting laid off is all part of your act. Doubt that will ease his pain, but if you're sadistically inclined...
  8. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    They had a few changes yes. Rudd was in the band from the beginning until he was fired in '83, replaced by Simon Wright who was with the band until 1990 when he was replaced with Chris Slade (the bald guy famous for the Donington video). Rudd returned in '94 and been with them ever since.

    but no, I'm not sure that would make him happy.

    yeah , it was brutal. You hate doing these things to a friend. but we had no choice.
  9. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    Whats with drummers anyway
  10. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    what do you call a guy who likes to hang around musicians............a drummer,all kidding aside a good drummer is a valuable asset especially to a bassist and some play other instruments and sing.I for kicks bought a drum set for jams and recordings and just because and to do it well is hard but then I am doing it for play I play guitar bass and keys on my recordings but farm out drum duties.My ex wife ran off with 2 drummers after we split so maybe this guy hooked up with her and is all screwed up
  11. Demonator


    Jun 14, 2009
    L.J. Kentucky
    Dean Street Team
    Sorry to hear that.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If I had to wear a wig, I'd probably look forward to being fired. I guess if I ever start / join a tributes band (and I was in an Elvis ensemble), I'll strive for one where I actually resemble the bassist in one form or another. Problem is that I don't think I look like anybody famous....see for yourself:


    Okay...maybe Vic Wooten.

  13. St Drogo

    St Drogo

    Oct 9, 2009
    Without trying to come off all disney-y: Then you've done the right thing. I mean, what if you kept him around for a few more years or months or whatever and your liveshows would suffer even more? It would harm the band and thus everyone in it, careerwise. Then where are you at? A full blown fallout on stage? A huge fight and bad vibes all around even worse than you've got now? We've got a saying where I'm from, something like: gentle doctors make for stinking wounds.

    And besides, he knew the score, you say you've asked him to shape up before. All the rationalisation wont make it suck any less right now, but it will in the end.

    Good luck!
  14. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Been there done that.

    It's been a while. We're still not friends, and don't see that changing considering the things the guy did in my situation.

    But it was well worth it. The band is much better, the repertoire has really been opened up, and I am personally enjoying the musical experience more.

    The way I see it, my true friends have been ones I still keep in contact with after the bands come to an end. The others are limited in their friendship in that the band determines the quality of relationship more than the relationship itself.
  15. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Based on his reaction, good thing you fired him over the phone vs. in person.

    Hopefully he doesn't know where any of you live.


    Aug 21, 2006
  17. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Lucky for him it wasn't a Def Leopard tribute band.
  18. I'm sorry- not sorry I'm laughing, sorry that this is really funny.
    On topic- that has to be tough.
  19. MooseLumps

    MooseLumps Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2007

    Anyone else doubt this man's honesty? The tag under his username and this picture don't correlate.


  20. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    There you go---tell him that in the interest of authenticity you need to go through two other drummers, but that eleven years from now he can come back. :smug:

    I know that most people don't pay much attention to the rhythm section of AC/DC, but after watching their video set that came out a little while ago, I've come to the conclusion that Phil Rudd is one of the coolest drummers in rock. Back in the day he was just another scrawny guy with long stringy hair, but more recently he's got a pretty cool look going. And he always laid down one of the most solid foundations in all of rock music. If I was playing in an AC/DC cover band, I'd want our drummer to at least take a stab at achieving that look.

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