Guitar player... fired. We all saw it coming.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by tb-player, May 4, 2021.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player sarcasm intended… always! Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    You may remember me telling the story of the guitar player who didn't like my groovy blue bass. A number of responses said I was being thin-skinned and needed to get over it. Others said I should give him a chance since he was the new guy, just trying to fit in. And there were a few folks who said that his true-colors would eventually get the best of him.

    Well, that last one happened at last night's practice.

    It started a couple of months ago when we were recording an original. He showed up at the recording studio stoned. His tempo was off and his guitar was out of tune. None of his tracks were usable. We had to have someone else overdub all his guitar parts.

    But then we played out a few weeks ago and he nailed it. He did a really great job. So we assumed maybe he's just not a studio kind of guy.

    Fast forward to last night. The band leader asked him if he wanted to sing a tune. So he suggested 'Gimme Shelter'. Not really our style, but we played it and it worked. However, at the solos, we weren't sure if we were hanging on the root or playing the chorus chords. So the entire band hung on the root, like we were playing the verse. This obviously wasn't what this guitar player wanted us to play. So he glared at our lead guitarist, as if to say "What are you doing??" (keep in mind, we've played this song once, so far). He then stopped the song and looked at the lead guitarist and said, "What are you doing? You've got to play the song!!"

    We all looked around awkwardly. The lead guitarist was obviously angry at this outburst, but he bit his lip and we finished the tune.

    After practice, I asked him (the lead guitarist) if he was ok. He was not. But he kept his cool. Then the band leader walked up and said, "That guy's out! He doesn't fit in and he's dragging us all down." No one argued with him.

    Today, I called the band leader to check in, now that everyone's cooled down a bit. He doubled-down. Even though the guy can play, he doesn't fit in with the vibe of our band. Regarding the outburst, he said, "We don't do that!" Once again, I didn't argue with him. He's 100% right.

    Just goes to show you that talent only goes so far. Good musicians needs to have the proper social game for a band to work. We all love good-natured ribbing & giving each other a hard time. But we never intentionally embarrass a member of the band... especially when they're doing nothing wrong.

    I'm sure he's a nice enough guy... but we won't miss him.
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  2. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    ANOTHER one of those things not in the course syllabus at Berklee: It ain't just the playing.
  3. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    Shoulda told him to not be blue, keep his head up.
  4. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    Did this happen live? If yes, he should have been fired on the spot in front of the audience. You don’t do that in front of a crowd. Ever.

    Even Buddy Rich waited until everyone was on the bus before reminding people of the many ways in which they were not fit to breathe his air.
  5. tb-player

    tb-player sarcasm intended… always! Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Nah, this was practice. Still not cool. We’ve been playing for 7 years and NEVER had this kind of drama. This sort of thing sucks the joy right out of a session.
  6. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Being able to play your chosen instrument is the basic cost of admission to being hired. After that hurdle is cleared its things like being punctual, sober, diplomatic and a good team player that keep you IN the band. Good riddance, guitar players are dime a dozen.

    Edited to say, I said all of that also having been a gigging guitar player.
  7. kjp360


    Feb 11, 2014
    In all fairness, the solo is over the chorus progression.
    That said, I agree that the angry drama is better replaced with a simple exaggerated mouthing of "chorus" to get the band back. Good vibes are important, even when playing a song with that narrative.
    Mr_Moo, yodedude2 and el jeffe bass like this.
  8. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Half of the formula is to have a band where everyone gets along and no egos. My band is like that, we make it fun.....The bastards. ;)
  9. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Or you just make a huge cutoff sign, then say "Sorry guys, can we go through the changes under the solos rather than the pedal point?" then you can discuss; make a decision, and play it that way.

    I just re-listened to the studio recording of this tune - first harmonica solo is over the verse i.e. no chord changes, then guitar solo over the chorus i.e. with changes - but if you're going to do an extended solo, you certainly could carry it out over the pedal point. I don't know what is the current real-world performance practice of cover bands for this tune.
    Mr_Moo, Fretless1! and kjp360 like this.
  10. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Oh yeah, I remember the "bashin ol blue" post. Haha, serves him right.

    He sounds like a real winner to me :)
    The Owl likes this.
  11. You didn’t know to solo over the chorus? Seriously?!!! :rollno: What are you guys, amateurs? How many times have you heard the song in your lifetimes? No wonder the guitarist was pissed. I would have done the same thing.

    Just kidding! :D Good riddance to him!
    Sixgunn and The Owl like this.
  12. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I can understand that. My main band that I was in for 15 years (or whatever it was) always went through things methodically, no matter what it was or how simple it was. Nobody every yelled at anybody, ever. I don't know how many times we went through Love Me Two Times, because our drummer kept getting hung up. We laughed about it and worked it out. We've all heard that song eight jillion times, but that's just how it goes, sometimes.
  13. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    "You've got to play the song!!"
    that's pretty funny actually. Everyone should have taken up the cry mimicking the guitarist. "You've got to play the song!!" Drive him from the room with absurdity.
    Also the bl's firing proclamation was pretty weird too.
    was that in front of the the dude and everybody? "that guy" is a public shunning and it's cruel. hopefully guitDude was on his way home by then.
    Low Down Brown likes this.
  14. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Sometimes even musicians need to behave like adults.
  15. Zoffy

    Zoffy Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2020
    Sacramento CA
    I'd much prefer fairly decent musicians that are cool people over superstar musicians that are jerks. As with most other things in life, getting along with people is 70% of success.

    As for his outburst, you all were at a practice session. The whole point of a practice session is to practice. We often stop mid-song during our practices to give a suggestion or clarification of a song part - especially when a song is new.

    Sorry it did not work out, OP. It's his loss.
    Winslow likes this.
  16. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive Suspended

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Life is too short to play with jerks.
  17. I guess I’ve been lucky, or just haven’t been around as many band dynamics as most TBers,( probably the latter) but any issues I’ve encountered with how a song is played, are generally easy to rectify, through basic communication.
    Are we going back to the intro during the turn around?
    Is that two full beats before the chorus? Etc.
    While we have had players ranging from total neophytes ( me) to those who have played professionally for years, there has never been any drama, or anything but positive, constructive criticism. You may want to hang on that E a little longer. Etc.
    Glad to hear the negative energy, is no longer part of your group. Hopefully, his replacement will be a better fit.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  18. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    All musicians are at least a little crazy... just some "crazy" fits better than others.

    I know there are things about me that make sense from my point of view, but seems odd to others... but I function well enough with most musicians, at least these days.

    This is pretty much true of everyone, but the ego of the musician is on some other level. We can deny we have this, especially bass players contrasted with guitar players, but it's the nature of the beast.

    Of course we are all different, and even though one "should" behave a certain way, we have to expect some level of this behavior. Then at some point we say enough, and roll the dice on another one. Sometimes we get lucky and find a good fit, then other times we wish we had tolerated a little more from the last one...better the devil you know.

    Hopefully your next picker will play well with others.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Showing up stoned for a recording session, where time usually equates to money - and cratering because of it - would have been his de facto resignation notice right then and there with any band I’ve ever been in.

    I’ve got no issues with whatever substances someone wants to indulge in. I ain’t their mother or a cop. However, I have zero patience when such use renders a person unfit for duty, or creates band drama. You can be strung out 7x24 for all I care as long as you can still: play well, remember the arrangements, show up on time, and not behave like a jerk.

    @tb-player : No loss to your band losing that guitarist. His clock was ticking from day one based on your earlier post. Onward! :thumbsup:
  20. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    you're right, of course! glad it's working out. best of luck going forward! :thumbsup:
    Passinwind likes this.
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