1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

GOOD musicians with bad attitudes

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    So we are told how important our roles are as "THE BASSIST" but has someone ever worked with or know of Bass players, or any musician for that matter, who are just awsome, but they have really nasty attitudes, you know the ones who think it does not matter if they "overplay" or play "too loud" whatever... and they think they are above correction because they are SO AWSOME on their intruments, (and this may be true, great skills etc...) but if you had a choice which would you perfer to work with

    1: A musician who can play his/her but off, but has a nasty attitude, but they get the job done....

    2: A musician who is marginal in regard to his/her playing, but has great potential and a good attitude??

    FWIW, I know one would like to have the best of both worlds, but sometimes that is just not a available option.....
    I guess if you are in a pinch, and you need someone now for a gig who can do what needs to be done, but has a bad attitude, you can live with that because you know its only short term. :meh:
  2. Kavorka


    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    I'm not a pro, so I'm just in it for fun. Therefore, give me the good attitude and I'll live without the immensely talented player.
  3. I'd take #2 anyday.
  4. Option 2 is definately easier to deal with in a band situation.
    comes down to your level of tolerance. Some situations is like water of a ducks back, but players who are difficult and egotistical are their own worst enemy, and word gets around pretty quick. Their actions speak for themselves.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    #1. Jeff Berlin
    #2. Nathan East

    No, that's not it. But even if Nathan flat out sucked at playing, I'd still pick him over Berlin.
  6. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    As kavorka implied i think that it kinda depends what your in it for. Hes in it for fun so why would he want someone who didnt make it the most fun situation as possible. Personally id take either. Id more or less like to make a living out of music so doing anything as a living your not gonna be in the best of situations all the time. If i needed a drummer and he was arrogant as heck id probably play with him if he was 100% into it.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The thing is that in real life - things are never that black and white, cut and dried!

    So there are many stories of musicians who are lovely people until they've had a few drinks or until they started taking drugs - thing is, do you try to get them back to normal or give up on them and leave them to a slow death? :meh:

    Also - take the example of Prince (or whatever he's known as now) - to me, he comes across on stage as an egotistical prima donna who would be impossible to work with - but all the interviews I've read from musicians who played with him, say they love him and he works hard and has taught them a lot, etc. etc.

    The thing is, in a lot of situations, you need a front person/leader/inspiration to get the show on the road and often this will mean they ruffle a few feathers and tread on a few toes - but otherwise, you might still be in months of rehearsals, if everybody was consulted on every tiny decision - to make things happen, you often need somebody to say - "this is how it's gonna be!" - and no arguments! ;)
  8. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    You mean like George Thorogood? ;)
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep. I've been choosing option (2) for the past few years. Life is a lot more fun that way.

    These days I get paid "a lot" when option (1) gets involved.

    Recently, sorry to say, one of our singers got fired 'cause she had a bad attitude. It was the "lead singer mentality", and beyond. She was pretty darn good. Haven't heard too many better singers. But difficulty working well with others.

    There are personalities in "every" business, and everywhere that "groups" of people get together to do something. That doesn't seem to be peculiar to the music business. It's certainly true in the computer business, where my work touches on from time to time. And in the security business, and some of those types can get "really" nasty.

    It's tough to hold a band together, for any number of years. The mere concept of getting four (or however many) people to hang together for some extended period of time, without encountering some "issues" along the way, is mind boggling. Difficult to instatiate with any consistency.

    If you have something like that, try to hold on to it. That's a valuable thing. Musical talent can always be improved, through practice and dedication. Personalities, well, ...

    Edit: another thought just came to mind, which is, that some businesses (or fields) seem to attract difficult people. Others have less tolerance for that kind of thing. One of the wonderful things about the capitalist system is, there's a niche for everyone. :)
  10. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I flat out suck at playing, but I have a great attitude. :)

    At my age, I simply refuse to play with anyone that doesn't have a good attitude. Music will never be a money maker for me. So, if I'm not having fun, then there is no point in doing it.
  11. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Great post!

    I'm getting to this point too, and I'm only 24 (I think).
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Try playing with Chuck Berry.......the guy is a total *******.

    I was born and raised in St. Lou, so I've had my fill of Berry.

    If you don't have a Cadillac limo for him, he ain't going to ride in it. I got a one-time gig with him in St. Lou and luckily, they had a Caddy limo for him waiting at the airport because he had just been in somplace like Germany the day before for a concert and refused to play because they lined up a Lincoln limo for him. He got flights out of Europe and returned to the US because they didn't have his Caddy.

    When he finally showed up at the theater, he did no sound check or tuning with us..........you were just supposed to know whatever key/tuning he was in. I wish I had been playing a fretless bass at that time.........I could have faked hitting the correct notes better.

    Afterwards, no "Thank you guys, you were great"......he just threw his guitar in its case and got into his limo entourage. Maybe it had to do with the freaky sex stuff he was into. A bassist who was a good friend of mine told me about what was going down with Berry at his Berry Park, where we used to go. This bassist's girlfriend was one of his "house girls" who took care of the place when Berry was out of town.......which was nearly all the time. Still, it was cool - a big ass pool surrounded by pinball machines.

    And I have to give it up to the guy........if not for him, I might be playing, "Proud Mary" or some other insipid song in a wedding band today.

    Then there was the Billy Peek Band. These guys were Rod Stewart's backing band for the "Hot Legs" tour. They invited my band up onstage to play with them towards the end of the night and they were quite nasty to us.....to the point where we just got pissed off and turned up our larger amps so high against their pukey Fenders that no one could hear them. :D

    The only advantage of that gig was the high pay and the ability to put it on my resume.

    The Ramones were the nicest, most decent, guys, with whom, I ever shared a stage.
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    If the player is overplaying I don't consider them good. Having chops doesn't determine a player's skill level; knowing when and when not to use them does.
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I favor #2, although as Bruce noted, any real-life situation is rarely as black-and-white as that.

    And as nonsqtr mentioned, musical ability can always improve through practice and effort, while personality rarely changes. It reminds me of an encounter Winston Churchill is supposed to have had with Lady Nancy Astor. She protested something he said with "Sir, you're drunk." His answer reportedly was "And you're ugly. But tomorrow morning I shall be sober, and you'll still be ugly."
  15. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I played with a talented guitarist once, who was a horrible singer. the problem was, everything became competition to him. He had to have more control, be louder, write more songs than I did. I am fairly competitive, and I noticed that his behavior was really bringing out the worst in me. As I was finally getting this through my skull, a chance came to easily end the band, so I did. I would pick option number 2 as long as there is a minimum competency.

    It never is that simple though.
  16. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    In fact many bands prosper(ed) in part due to the internal power struggles. For ex, The Beatles, Smashing Pumpkins, any band that Clapton's been in, etc. (sorry for the meager list, my brain hurts right now.)

    Maybe power struggles and competition are a good thing. :)
  17. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Richie Blackmore/Deep Purple is another example.
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Man! You're right JMX......that guy is a real piece of work.

    Randy Bachman was almost equal to his "prickilization" level.
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Man! You're right JMX......that guy is a real piece of work.

    Randy Bachman was almost equal to his "prickilization" level.

    Yngwie has a "stellar" rep too.

    But nobody can easily top the late Buddy Rich (RIP), AFAIK. Do a Google on his bus tour tapes, where he threatens his band members with all kinds of mayhem. A friend of mine got on that band straight out of Berklee, stayed 4 years, and retired permanently from music at that point.
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Great regs, Passin. Yngwie has always been a mess and Rich got off on being a prick.

    I can't understand how someone who was so into weed was so nasty as Rich. You'd think it would have mellowed him out.

    I guess I'd put Gene Simmons in the pack, too.