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! :)

Horrible audition stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by dbd1963, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Do we have a thread like this already? 'Cause I have not seen it if so.

    I have more than a few, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

    In one, a local originals band that has a sound that I like, but really nothing much else -- not popular, not making a lot of money, etc., had me come in for an audition. The guitarist liked to tune his guitars into odd tunings and this was how he wrote his music. He thought the tunings were very important and seemed pretty smug about it. But he was pretty smug about everything.

    He sent me several mp3s to practice for the audition. One of them had another bassist on it constantly playing a discordant note. I wondered why he wanted it that way, but thought maybe it had something to do with his tunings and he liked it that way. Avante garde, I thought.

    I didn't have much time before the audition but I learn songs fast so I did ok with most of the songs. I could tell he didn't much like me, though. He made a few comments, which I don't recall now, except that one was about how my strings were wound wrong and only an idiot would wind them like that. Yes, he was like that.

    By this time, I really didn't want the gig, but I had recently started playing again and didn't have much else to do so I was ambivalent. Maybe I'd learn something I needed to know?

    By the end of the audition, he had descended into a foul mood, and he darkly muttered about how no bass players ever played that one song right.

    Yes, that one that he sent to me with another bassist playing a bad note on it telling me to learn the songs before the audition.

    I thought, man this guy is a piece of work!

    They are still around and they have never had a steady bass player. I think there are guys out there who just want to make someone else (too often, a bass player) their whipping boy, and he is one of them.

    Another audition I had was for an all originals band that was just starting. The guitarist, a fairly young guy, had this long piece of music that was in no way a song. I mean, you could put words over it, but it would suck unless just the right singer came up with just the right thing.

    There wasn't anything particularly special about it either. So, really, the singer would be doing all the work in that case.

    Instead of trying to wrestle with all that, I took apart his song and used the pieces to make a song with a regular structure, and added vocals to that. It was pretty good, as he told me himself -- until he realized it had once been his own song! Then he got his drummer going and played it the way he'd recorded it before, exactly, and said, "What can you do with that?"

    I explained the problems with his structure.

    The drummer, btw, was all like, "hey, that song he brought is pretty good, we should do it that way," but guitar-boy steadfastly ignored him. He said, "people have already told me they like it they way it is."

    He couldn't imagine changing his song in any way, even though he'd liked what he heard until he realized it was a morph of his own song.

    This time, I started packing up at that point, saying it wasn't worth it to waste anyone's time, no harm no foul, but he really wanted someone else, etc.

    He was definitely cool with it.

    The drummer looked ready to cry. He was alright -- wish I had gotten his number before I left, because that band is certainly defunct by now.

    Who else has some bad audition stories to tell?
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I've had a few nightmare-ish ones. The one that I remember as the worst goes like this. I get an Email telling me about the band and the music they play along with a phone number to call if I'm interested. I called the number, but it ended up being wrong, so I Emailed them and told that about the wrong number. Sent me the correct one, so I talked to the guy. Everything sounded great. Practice was in his heated and air conditioned basement, had a PA, played almost all of the songs that I like and know and not too far for me to drive to.

    So the time is set. I get there 20 minutes early to get set-up and be ready to go before the appointed time. It's the drummer's house and the lead singer is there. They help me haul my rig down the many steps and sections to get to the basement's outside entrance. I step into the basement. WOW It's a tiny little space with a very damp, dirty wet floor. It's a humid 90+ day, so I'm looking forward to some cool air. It's a window unit that blows warm air! The floor is so nasty, I try and find somewhere above ground to put my case and covers. Ended up taking them back to the car. PA looks like it was on the Mayflower along with the guys drums. The start time comes and goes. No guitar player. He showed up 45 minutes late. He takes another 15-20 minutes to get hooked up with a bunch of crappy pedals and effects, some of which created this horrible electrical buzz/hum. He just said "Oh well" and let it go. As we do some songs, I discover that they need a lot more practice. I also discovered something that I'd not expereinced in a very long time - an ungrounded in a wet basement mic shock - ouch. Also, the drummer's wife complained that I was too loud and vibrating her China cabinet around. So, I turned down. The guitar player then says he can't hear me and that if he couldn't hear me, he wasn't going to play. So, drummer says to turn back up. When we were through (not soon enough for me) they said welcome to the band etc. I had to politely decline and say that I had other offers. What a disaster! :(
  3. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    last year my band were auditioning for a singer, someone auditioned and we told him what songs to do, when it came round to he read the lyrics to the songs off his iPhone and sounded flat as a fart! He didn't get the job :)
  4. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    I tried out for a band a few months ago, and this was a mistake! So, I show up for my audition, and unload my gear out of my car. Which BTW is a 2x15 cab, and the only way to get it in and out of the back seat is to lift the casters over the arm rest on the door. (Man did I get lucky when I bought it!) When I got there I said to the rhythm guitarist that I would show him what I've got, and if he's got a place for me, I'll show up for band practice and get things up to speed. So, I started playing a song that I had been working on for almost a year. Not even a minute and a half into the song, he turns on his amp, and plays over the top of me. I tried to continue playing my song, but his amp was set to deafening and pointed right at me. I decided to stop playing, dig out my ear plugs, and let him have his go. >=O When I quit playing, he stopped as well and said "that's really good, can I use that?" I said, well, I just met you and don't think I'm comfortable teaching you the song I've poured many hours into. So, next, I tried another original, and low and behold, he plays over me again! What a pain in the you know what. So, once again, I quit playing, and he stops again. :facepalm: He then asks me if I can play "this song," so I took a listen. I then asked him what song that is, and he says its his original. I then told him that I can't play his song because I have never heard it before. So he jams out a couple riffs and tells me to stop by the next weekend for practice.

    I should have told him that I had plans and lost his phone number, but I gave the guy a chance, and also wanted to meet the rest of the band. So, I get there, 15 min early to unload, set up, and warm up. Well, I knock on the door, no answer. Call the guy, no answer. So, sit in my car and write the guy a nasty little text. He then GETS UP, and runs down to open the door. "Sorry dude, I was sleeping, I was at an awesome party last night." Grrr, I'm fuming now. So I unload, set up, and warm up. An hour goes by before the lead guitarist says, I can't make it, and the drummer shows up. The vocalist shows up nearly two hours late.

    During this time, I've learned the parts to his song, so I said, ok, let's play it thru, and I'll record it to see how long it is, and then I can have a reference for my practice at home. One minute and thirty seconds long! It shouldn't take me two hours to learn this, but the guy can't even slow down his own song with out messing it up to teach. I packed up my gear, and never went back.

    I'm getting angry just sharing my horrible experience with you.
  5. SmittyG


    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    My worst one was back in 2008. I was scheduled to have a musician who I had known for years but never played with come to the house to check me out for a band he was putting together. On that very day, I received the eviction notice on my home where it was being taken back by the bank. I contacted him and asked if we could put it off while I dealt with that matter but he was insistent so I went ahead. It was horrible. I couldn't hear the changes, find the groove, nothing. It was like I had only been playing for a couple of weeks instead of for a couple of decades. I again apologized and explained that my head just wasn't there. He said he understood what I was going through and had heard enough to know I could do the gig and left me all the CDs to learn. After moving, I got to work learning the songs. After a couple of months of no follow up, I contacted him to find out that he had changed his mind after leaving my house but he didn't want to add to my burdens so he never said anything. I was fine with not getting the gig--I blew the audition big time. I just didn't like having my time wasted learning his songs for nothing.
  6. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    I had one where this band was looking for a bassist. Mostly classic rock covers, some newer stuff. Figured it was up my alley ... I contact them, and they ask me to meet them at a local coffee shop first, which I do. We sit down and talk, and they give me a big spiel about how, even if I don't get the gig, I'm "a part of the history of the band." Huh? If I'm not in it, how can I be part of the history? Anyway, we set up a date for an audition, and off we go ...

    Prior to the audition, I asked them about the rehearsal space, and was told it was in the drummer's garage (uh oh). A one car garage, no less. I asked what kind of amp I should bring, and they told me "oh, you don't need anything big, it's a small space." I think OK, I'll just bring my Mesa Walkabout Scout combo and I'll be fine ....

    Show up at the house and walk into the garage. The drummer's entire kit is taking up about half of it. Both guitarists have 100 watt tube heads and 4X12 cabinets. I set up, and off we go. Standing six inches away from my Mesa, with it pointed up at me I could not hear myself. It didn't help much that the drummer wasn't very good, and the singer wasn't much help either. We played a few tunes, and the volume just got louder. My ears were ringing by the end. They didn't offer me the gig (I don't think I fit in with them, not on a musical level, but on more of a personal level), but had they done so, I would have declined.

    A year or so later, I see the same band at an open mic, and they get up and play a few tunes. The drummer has this crappy wireless mic that keeps making popping noises, and he's still using that one foot drum pattern that he seemingly used for every tune during my audition. The guitar players' tone is just horrid, and the singer ...well, again, he's not helping. The open mic was at a local music store, and after they finished each tune, no one clapped. The singer was looking out at everyone, dazed, almost as if he was begging for some type of acknowledgement at the least and one clap at the most. He didn't get it, and they packed up and left, never to be seen or heard from (thankfully) again.

    Another was when I went to an audition thinking it was classic rock oriented. I walk in and the drummer looks like he'd been strung out on heroin half his life. And he wasn't good at all - little technical skill, and poor rhythm/meter. The guitarist was some James Hetfield wannabe, who's terribly distorted "tone" was akin to scratching one's eyeballs out with a dull fork. And they were into metal of the worst kind. I made the comment at one point that I wasn't much of a metal guy, and the guitarist, with a straight face looks at me and says, "want to learn?" Uh, no thanks. I hi tailed out of that one as soon as I could.
  7. Betrayer_Bass

    Betrayer_Bass Profanity Fish.

    Sep 24, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    Endorsing: Spector basses, Winspear Picks, Spector Formula 603 strings
    I put myself forward as a bassist for an original orchestral metal band soon after I moved to Oslo. They lived out of the city but told me they were moving here soon. They insisted we meet in the city center to do the audition, so I take my bass down to a cafe where we met and spoke a little bit about their style and what they have written etc. So I ask them where we were going to play, and they ask me where the nearest music store is.. I feel a bit weird, but take them to one and I ask to "try out" a bass amp downstairs. So I get down there, and they start playing some baaad music on a phone and ask if I can follow it. I can't even make out the notes from the tiny speaker, let alone write a bass part to it. So I show them things I'd been practicing recently (some Primus and Tool stuff) and we exchange numbers.

    About a week later I get a call asking if they can use my "studio" to record the midi parts to their songs. I had no studio of any kind, I had a laptop with Reason on it :D

    Then the last time we were meant to meet, they didn't even show up! I never contacted them again, and I've not heard of their band since.
  8. garak7

    garak7 Irritating the Neighbors Since 1964 Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    This one happened back in the 70's. We needed a new drummer and proceeded to place an ad in the local FM radio station's free classified ads, which they read on the air the same day.

    We had several replies, so we set up some appointments for auditions. I think we had 4 in all. Two of them showed up with NO drums at all, and a third showed up with only a marching band snare drum. Luckily (so we thought), the fourth had a kit, was a decent drummer and a nice guy. We hired him as we were desperate to get moving since the upcoming tour date was looming. While we were on the road a few weeks into the tour, we discovered that the drummer we just hired was a wife beater. NEXT!
  9. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
    I got some classics:

    1) How about an awkward pre-audition? Took place in 2005:

    Well, I re-posted an ad I was running a while ago for other musicians (keys and drums now, think I found me bassist). Anyway, this keyboardist from Lithuania and currently living in US contacts me, saying I am close to what he's wanting. Right away (after talking on phone with him), I got this really strong vibe of "I MUST BE IN CONTROL AT ALL COSTS".

    Not only that, but he starts trying to pump me for information about contacts for a SECOND keyboard player to play his music. Hmmmmmmmm.

    We actually exchanged CD's via mail, and he e-mailed me an mp3 of one of his tunes which I burned to CD. Now get this, he claims to be influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra, ELP and Chick Corea. Well, his two CD's revealed the influence of YAWNni and John Tesh far more than anything, simply put, some of the WORST snooze-inducing New Age/Smooth Jazz cheese-wiz I've ever heard. And even before I got the discs, he would persistently phone me (not a good sign in this case). And even more hilarious, he listened to mine and said I was copying Mahavishnu Orchestra!

    Dang, I even asked afew folks who heard my disc about that, everyone said, NO, you don't sound even remotely like MO.

    Well, about a week later I wrote him a polite, diplomatic and detailed "Thanks but no thanks" e-mail.

    Wonder if he has KGB following me

    2) I can think of a number of instances when I lived in LA (1980's) where I wasn't the one auditioning but was auditioning others, and MAN, the hacks were coming out of the woodwork, so many with deusions of grandeur and a rather serious disconect from the actual state of their own ability (or lack therof). One involved travelling to a drummer's place near Pasadena, and he had this bulldog that gave me the willies (bad sign right there). His playing definitely didn't mesh with the rest of the band I was in (we were called Insect Affect), so no big loss (and a good source of jokes afterwards). Had one guy who really tried but his chops just weren't quite there, and another who was really into the electronic stuff but couldn't play very well (nice try though). Finally, we found our man just a half-mile up the street from where I lived at the time (in Venice).

    Another band I was in, we auditioned a few keyboard players (in the 80's the era of the one-fingered keyboardist ), this one punk came in playing this wimpy gurly synth-pop stuff (we had more teeth than that) and made all these boneheaded comments like you don't need guitar (meaning yours truly) and other ignorant Hollywood fashion victim nonsense. We almost threw a party after he left. We had another keyboard guy come in who had this weird tendency to play this funeral-dirge/march type stuff in real slow tempos . Finally, we threw out the idea of keyboards altogether after this parade of losers!

    Me and singer, frustrated with the band we were in at the time decided to try something new on the side (mid-80's were talking here).

    We hook up with this keyboardsit/drummer songwriter who was pretty danged good, he passed the audition! He also came up with the new band's name in a sense, he played this ound on one of his keyboards that was very insect-like, I just off-handedly commented, "Ahh, the insect effect", and lead singer goes, "THAT'S IT!! Insect Effect!" and the name stuck. However, the bassist that auditoned, hoooo boy! Said he'd been playing 11 years but played like a complete beginner. Played some really cheap no-name bass (kind of like you used to see at Sears, Montgomery Wards or JC penny years ago), and a really cheap amp/cab (might've been a Silvertone or some such thing, horrid tone). The drummer wasn't much better.

    Just thought of another, at the age of 18 in my guitarist days, I got a call in response to some ad I put up in a store, this is in So Cal. Anyhoo, this drummer calls me up, (probably around my age, slightly older maybe) and one of the first questions is "How long is your hair?" and I'm going like "WHAT THE HELL?" (first time I ever encountered that, and for the record I had a pretty decent black lions mane in those days as opposed to my now Telly Savalas like dome). SO anyhoo, I wasn't too enthused about the audition but went anyway. It was this drummer and another guitarist, who were more slanted toward hard-rock stuff and my interests lay elsewhere.

    We jammed but I was NOT the least bit impressed with the drummer at all. His playing was mediocre but also this guy was a total derelict/leech/drug addict who had no qualms about bumming money and such from anyone (he claimed he was staying at a local Denny's in an extra room 'cause his folks kicked him out) On the other hand, the guitarist was a pretty cool person (it just befuddled me how he got mixed up with this jackass) Well, it could've been worse I guess, we knew I wasn't the guy they were looking for, they liked my playing but we just weren't aiming for the same things. I even wound up having to drive this drum-tard over to the local Denny's (about a 1 minute or so hop) and went home relieved that I'd never play with that idjiot again.
  10. droo46


    Jun 16, 2011
    I had a guy contact me on Facebook one because his metal band needed a bassist. I show up to the practice space and ask what tuning they play. "Drop B," he says. It wasn't too long into learning his songs that I realized that as long as my rhythm was close it didn't matter what notes I played, it pretty much sounded the same.
  11. I once went to an audition in Athens,GA it was sort of a last minute deal so I really didn't have much time to work with the stuff. When I got there a large raven kicked another dead bird skeleton out of a tree and nearly hit me in the head. I should have left then. I get in and all the songs are originals with alot of 7ths where the bass plays a different note than everyone else. I had been plying southern rock for years, but knew absolutley no theory. It was both humiliating, and the 11 hours home was not all that fun either.
  12. Kinda an audition:

    Two guys I had known for a while played rhythm guitar and bass, respectively, but for an upcoming gig they needed a lead guitar and drums.
    (there was the first sign something bad was coming... who schedules a gig without a complete band?)
    So they learn I kinda-sorta play guitar and my brother plays drums, so they ask "Can you play with us just this once?" Things had been slow with our main band, so we say sure.
    They send us a list of some songs they want to play, all classic rock covers. George Thorogood, Stray Cats, CCR, that kinda stuff.

    As primarily a bassist, I was having difficulty learning the guitar parts to these songs, especially the guitar solos, but I threw myself into it. After 3 weeks of practice, I had it nailed.

    Due to various problems, we weren't able to all practice together until the day of the gig!
    When we get there, I proudly tell them I could play it all, even 'Stray Cat Strut'.

    At which point they proceed to tell me "Oh, by the way, we changed all the songs to the key of G. It makes it easier to sing."
  13. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Auditions for bands:

    1) 80's and pop cover band put up an ad, and I responded. They sent me a list of 50+ songs they play. My contact is terrible at getting back to me, eventually he invites me to come to their gig with my bass. Turns out, my contact is the singer/bassist and wants to stop playing bass by adding me. At the gig, he has me choose two songs to play, so I did. The first was in B, but they weren't playing in B. It was a packed out room, maybe 200 people, and I'm fumbling to find the key. Every time I get it, it somehow changes. The keyboardist is killing me with his eyes. Singer asks if I really want to do the next one, and I say, yes, if you play it in the original key. We nail it and it's smiles. They huddle and discover the keyboardist had the wrong key and the guitarist was also searching, throwing me off. The long and short of it, only the singer wanted me, they wouldn't tell me what to practice, and terrible contact led to no contact.

    2) Blues band puts an ad up, and I'm interested. First practice is without the vocalist, but the drummer and lead guitar have a good thing, both talented, even if they are using drugs. Second practice, I meet the vocalist and the bassist, who isn't happy to see a surprise replacement. It actually is more of a party with an audience than a practice, and the lead guitarist is going on about getting recorded and all the other things to prepare to play out, when he's already ahead of the competition. Short story, he's paranoid and they will never leave the garage.

    Auditions for drummers for my former rock cover band:

    1-5) Why do they think they can audition without owning their own drums? Seriously 5 people came out who haven't practiced/touched drums in 5 years. They did manage to beat the crap out of our drums, putting in huge dents, playing as hard as possible.

    6) Wise guy, young and very talented, tells us how much better he is at our instrument and how much nicer his equipment is (or that he will be buying.) He picked up my bass and attempted Victor Wooten's Amazing Grace. I think he knew the first 5 notes and didn't hesitate to tell me how to play. First time meeting him ever. The other guys were up for him, not me.

    7) Broken arm.

    8) Incredible drum set up, takes an hour, brought pictures of himself playing oldies at a car show, can't play a rock beat. We were mystified by this guy. What did he play?

    9) Stalker. He actually knew about my other band, of which he stalked, trying to join it. When the other guys weren't near, he'd quiz me on our situation, since the lead singer stopped all communication with him. It's a totally obscure band with an obscure style, and he loved it. He wasn't bad, but after 3 attempts to get him to play our style we chose another.
  14. ..and since you asked, yes, there has been other threads about horrible auditions from hell. They pop up about every 6 months.
    I've had my share of musician wacky auditions.
    On the flip side, I have also blown a few myself.
    Got an opportunity to try out for a top notch funk band with horns here in L.A. They sent me 7 mp3's and I waited till the last minute to learn them. Turns out none of the songs were common knowledge, standard R&B funk tunes but B-side cuts and obscure but great songs. So I went through the songs but really didn't have them adequately committed to memory. As it turns out, 7-8 other awesome bass players were auditioning. They scheduled me for 8pm to 8:45pm. And that's exactly what it was, no more - no less. While waiting outside the studio I could hear the guy before me effortlessly nailing the songs. The guy after me arrived with 2 basses, a vintage P-bass and a Ric. I guess he wanted to have all the bases covered. I had a blast going over the songs with them but stumbled one too many times. They contacted me the next day, thanked me for taking the time to audition but they went with someone else.
    It sucks when people show up for auditions unprepared...lol

    Another time I was not explicitly forthcoming about my age. I only mentioned that I was a "mature" bassist. They said they were mature also. Of course their definition of mature and mine, was different. Yes, they were professional 20 something guys with jobs as Hollywood film editors during the day, responsible and hardworking. So, yes, they were mature.
    Me, I'm just plain old, you know, mature.
    Anyway, they're doing really incredible originals. Real catchy hooks, awesome song structure and the kind of songs you find yourself humming at random moments.
    One rehearsal and we parted on good terms. No need to explain the age difference. The upshot is they really liked the bass lines I wrote for their songs. The session was recorded so they now use those bass lines on their official CD. They got bass lines and I got something to add to my resume.
    Sorry Dad, you can't be in the band...lol
  15. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Well when it comes to bad audition stories I have one that I always have to throw down on the pile. It was my worst ever. And it really wouldn't have taken much at all to be a really cool moment. But some people just have to be douche nozzles.

    Long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the prairie and I still had a full head of hair... okay, basically shortly after I got out of the Navy, so probably summer of '88, maybe a month or two later. I'm in a music store playing the bass I had just made a payment on. It was a black Schecter Jazz copy and it was sweet. And this older guy (admittedly, probably younger than I am now) comes up and starts asking questions. "Can you play __________?" "How about _______?" "Can you play that in E, in stead of G?" "Can you sing while you play?" I didn't mind showing off on request so I was going along with it. But I was a little confused. He finally goes away and I'm thinking that he must really like Foghat, because all the stuff he asked if I could play were Foghat songs. Then he comes back and hands me a card with directions written on the back. Then he says "Foghat is looking for a new bass player. But you have to have an invitation to audition. Here is yours."

    I was ridiculously excited. I pretty much geeked for a little while. I somehow talked the people at the store into letting take the not-yet-fully-paid-for Schecter to do the audition. I drove to Dallas, following the directions and end up at the Coliseum at Fair Park. The auditions are happening on the stage. They had a huge-normous bass rig setup on stage and a few people out in the middle of the floor seats, listening. I show my card to yet another guy and get told to get in a line. I go where he pointed and see several guys with a gigbag on one shoulder all lined up over by a wall. I was still all kinds of excited and got in line.

    Then it all turned to crap. A guy walks up, says he's with the 'Management Team' (Team? Management Team? How does Foghat need a 'Team' to manage them?), asks to see the card again, and looks me over. He said "I'm sure you're a monster player, or you wouldn't be here. But we're also looking for a look and you really don't have it. You can go."

    That was it. I never even got to play. If they'd let me play and just said "Next." I'd have still been all kinds of goofy happy. But, no. In stead I get to drive back to the music store and give them back the bass while I'm moping about being officially too ugly to be in Foghat. That was the part that sucked the most. Foghat were not prettyboys. They were pretty darn ordinary looking at best. But apparently I was too ugly for Rock and Roll.

    I went home and took out all my Foghat albums and broke them into tiny bits with a pair of vice grips. It took until just the last few years before I could hear them and not get all pissed off again.

    I guess it was just as well to not get the gig. They were really big when I was in high school. But this audition was just barely in time for the huge downhill plummet to obscurity.

    "Attention Kmart shoppers: Today on aisle five we have a Blue Light Special on canned tuna. And on aisle seven we have FOGHAT!" Okay maybe not that. But something like that.
  16. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    How about if it wasn't ME auditioning? I had a band that did pretty well on the local level for a while. We did all originals. And except for one co-write, I wrote all the lyrics so I had a pretty strong opinion of what I wanted them to sound like.

    The problem is that vocally, I'm good enough to be a backup singer, but I don't think of myself as lead vocalist material. Over about three years, we must have auditioned FIFTY vocalists and alleged vocalists. Two were legitimate lead singers. One of them turned us down. The other one, I hired him. And then he turned up for the first rehearsal stoned and we fired him. Out of the other ninety six or so percent, two-thirds were just like me, really backup singer material. The remaining third were physical uncomfortable to hear. They were not just bad, but abominably bad, so bad that it could often cause physical ailments hearing them.

    And this isn't just out of the regular population. This is out of the people who think they are ready to drop into a gigging band right now and become stars immediately.

    I ended up being our lead singer because I was already there and knew what the songs were supposed to sound like. I couldn't actually DO what they were supposed to sound like. But I could imitate it closer than anyone else was. It wasn't until years after the band had faded away that I realized whose voice I'd been picturing. We couldn't have afforded him anyway.

    My inner monologue sings suspiciously like Paul Carrack, of Mike + the Mechanics, Squeeze, and Ace.
  17. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I may have told this story before, but I went to an audition once and never got to play. It was at this guitar players house (out in the woods of NE Oklahoma). When I arrived, him and the other guitar player were there waiting on the drummer. They asked me if I wanted a beer. I said sure, then asked if I wanted a "bump"...I was like "no thanks". He pulls out a mirror covered in blow, and him and this other guitar player start doing line after line while we wait for the drummer. The drummer shows up about an hour late, and after shaking my hand, sits down and starts snorting coke with these other guys. Mind you this was at about 8pm in the evening on a Wednesday. I had to work the next morning.

    So this wasn't my first rodeo, and I've been around a lot of dope (and participated back in the day)...but I was getting a bit concerned because I'd been there two hours and we hadn't played a note. After asking a couple of times if we can get started, finally one of them says "hey man, how about we just hang tonight and get to know each other to see if we have any chemistry?" (There was plenty of "chemistry" happening between these guys already if ya know what I mean). I said "well I'd like to play a little to get a feel for the band and especially the drummer". The drummer says "oh man, I didn't bring my kit"...Really?...OK, thanks guys, but I need to run...ta ta...
  18. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    How do you wind your strings?
  19. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I'm not sure how to describe it, really, except that it's what you'd see on your average "set up your bass" youtube video.

    The ironic thing was, as I told him, the music store he worked at had wound those strings. I didn't even do it!

    Not that I would have done it different. I can't say that I understood what he was on about. It's possible that he only wanted to insult me to see how I'd take it. I can't really tell you what was inside his head. He was a strange cat.
  20. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    One of the worst auditions I ever had was when I auditioned for the Ramones.

    They ran an open call ad in the Village Voice back when they were replacing Dee Dee (and prior to hiring CJ). I knew I wasn't right for the gig, but I figured, what the hell, and at least I'll get to meet The Ramones. So I went.

    I'm 5'9" and had long bleach blonde hair at the time and wore surfer trunks. I brought my J bass. I walk in, and I clearly don't look the part. Joey wasn't there, but everyone else is, and they all stand about 6'4" and have jet black hair, leather jackets, etc. Their very irate manager was there and clearly didn't want to even hear me, but, to their credit, The Ramones were extremely friendly and kind to me and Johnny insisted I get a chance. So we get through, "Blitkrieg Bop" relatively painlessly, then Johnny asks me, "So are there any other songs you'd like to try?" "Teenage Lobotomy" I replied, thinking they'll be impressed if I can perform one of their more "progressive" songs with a lot of chord changes. "Okay, well now we do it much faster than the record," he says. Then Marky counts it in, "1-2-3-4!" at about 300bpms, and by the first verse it's an absolute train wreck. It was so fast I got completely lost. I thanked them for the opportunity, and promptly exited defeated.

    I did run into Johnny years later at a comic convention. We talked mostly comics, but I did remind him I had auditioned and he remembered me. I reminded him it was a train wreck and he was kind enough to say I was far from the worst guy who auditioned, LOL.

Share This Page