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How Would You React? (BL Problem)

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BayStateBass, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. Be forewarned, this will be long.

    Some of you may be somewhat familiar with the problems I've had with the BL in my band. I've been playing with this band for almost a year and it's been a year of turmoil and stress. The band is, essentially, a guitar band doing Country and Southern Rock covers consisting of 5 or 6 people, depending on what time frame you pinpoint. I have stayed because I struck up a friendship with the BL, liked the music we were doing, and the gigs did start to come, and we played them. Our current lineup is the most competent one to date and when we are firing on all 8, we're pretty darn good for what we do.

    Here's the Reader's Digest version;

    Band is about 4 years old now. Has been broken down and rebuilt countless times from what I can see. From what I can tell there have been in excess of 25 people in and out in that time. It did not gig regularly, or really at all, until late last summer. As of today, other than myself and the BL, none of the members I started with are still there and some positions have been filled multiple times. Like many bands, we have always struggled with guitarists. We currently have one very good guitarist who is a great guy and a lot of fun to be in a band with. He's a great rhythm player and can carry some leads, but he's not "all night lead guitarist material", if you know what I mean. He knows it, and is okay with it. So we've been trying to nail down a good lead player, a position that has seen huge turnover since I've been there. We did line up a great guy who we had for a month...but something happened, he and the BL had some sort of fight, and he bowed out, just as we were about to cut our demo CD. We did the demo with a "hired gun" playing lead, actually an acquaintance of the BL who came in cold and knocked it out of the park.

    So this past Tuesday the BL brings in a new guitarist, a friend of his he's known for a long time. BL builds him up ahead of time to be a great player, very capable, and "just what we need". Nice guy, great personality, but absolutely not the guy for the job. Basic ability, very timid, did nothing that a first year guitar student couldn't do. The BL asks the band, at the end of the practice, "So....does he come back next week?", right in front of the guy.......

    We all felt pretty much put "on the spot", and nobody said very much.

    The BL then sends all of us an e-mail asking for feedback about the guitarist's performance. We all responded with basically the same thing; nice guy, but we were left very disappointed with his playing and felt we needed to look elsewhere for someone with more ability.

    Then the BL pulls a douche move. Without asking us or letting us know what he's going to do, he forwards my e-mail and the rhythm player's e-mail to the new prospect. The BL then sends us an e-mail, afterward, with the guy's response (the guy seemed insulted and dejected, obviously) and the BL asks us to contact him to clarify our comments.

    I'm not going to do that.


    The rhythm player calls me and he's irate that the BL did this. Says the e-mail was meant for the BL only, and I agreed.

    Am I wrong to be irritated with this?

    Right now I'm feeling like this is the last straw. I'm done. As it stands now the drummer has had enough of this guy, and so has the singer. Both have been with the band for 3 months. The drummer has been looking to keep the group together, minus the BL, and continue on with the music under a different band name, which just might happen now. I was the last holdout.

    The only value the BL has is that he books shows and handles the business end. He can't play, he can't sing (anymore). The drummer was the BL in his old band for 12 years and says he can step up and is willing to handle the bookings, advertising, and negotiations.

  2. Your BL is just a troublemaker. I would leave asap.
  3. brenner182


    Apr 24, 2010
    So the BL Dosent even play anything? He's just like a manager? Whatever. Can his ass and move on. That was a douche move on his part to fwd your email to that prospect player.

    I'm aggrivated just reading this. And i dont even know you guys.
  4. No, don't can the BL. It is his band, right?

    All of you quit - and then hook up as a completly new band with no association with the old.

    If you kick him out - he will continue to think of it as "his band" - and will surely find ways to cause you more problems and headaches.
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Yeah, quit this band immediately.
  6. He "plays" guitar, but mostly just makes terrible noises. His primary talent was vocals, and he had a recording contract years ago, but age and chain smoking have ruined that. He sings a couple songs and strums a chord here and there. His main function is to act as a manager now and promote the band, a job he has done very, very well (we have bookings through August as it stands right now).
  7. AuntieBeeb


    Dec 12, 2010
    It almost sounds like he's trying to get rid of you guys and start up a new band with his third-rate-guitarist-friend, if he's prepared to do something like that! Obviously I don't know your BL from Adam, but I can almost imagine him forwarding your email and then following it with another saying "can't believe they said that! What a bunch of a-holes, eh?"

    I would, at the very least, make it very clear to your BL that forwarding those emails was completely out of order, particularly since his original email asking for your opinions was implicitly in confidence. And then I'd like to think I'd resign, if I were in your position.
  8. Whether he was being malicious or just stupid, fwding your emails was a grade-A d!ck move on the BL's part.

    Also, the turnover in this band is appalling. If I were applying for a job at a company and learned that it churned people like your band has done, I'd look elsewhere.

    Sounds like you already know the solution: Everyone in the band who digs each other quit and form a new band, rock out, have a great time and, with hope, make some money.

    Good luck.
  9. Drunk Heffalump

    Drunk Heffalump Tone that I have. Skill? Oh, that? Well....

    Feb 28, 2009
    Great White North
    You need to understand that when any member says "Enough I'm....." They've already spent considerable time thinking about issue X. Now they're at the point of vocalizing same, they're done and it's just a matter of time before they physically leave. Mentally they've already left.
    On the upside you have all the pieces in place, bar one. Capitalize now while you have the chance, grab the reins and the good players and move on. You should have built up something of a contact list by now, use that and tally ho.
    Now for how to part ways. It seems you've got an insensitive donkey at the helm. IMHO you can't exit gracefully considering his personality. Don't even try, it won't go well. Just a brief explanation, via email saying sorry I'm done and good luck. Have everyone that's staying do the same.

  10. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    sounds familiar...

    because of your post, i have psychologically just quit my band!:eek:

    the truth is liberating!:hyper:

    infact,... i think i'm about to leave my wife!!!;)

    and move to Canada!!!!

    and buy a boat!!!!!
  11. Lugzy

    Lugzy Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    London, UK
    Painful reading, seeing as my band just split up too, but for far more complicated reasons. IMHO if the band leader has;

    1. Zero playing skills & can't sing
    2. Obviously has no tact where handling
    Sensitive issues are concerned.

    Then cut your losses now. The band members who want to continue should leave and start afresh. If the BL can divulge correspondence that was sent between the band "In-Confidence" to an auditioning player, who then turns on the band asking "Why didn't I get the job?" you know that the BL has the potential to do some serious damage down the road.

    All the best & enjoy what you do.
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    That was way wrong of the BL and I would call him out on it. I sounds like you know what you want to do and I agree. The BL did you and the other player wrong so bail.
    I have no time for idiots in my music life...no idiots.
  13. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010


    Id go this route.
    BL sounds like a douche.
    did you say he even plays an instrument in the band?..
  14. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Wow, that's a DB move on the part of the BL. But ... it is what it is now. I'd just tell him what I thought of his action, and let it be known he shouldn't do that again. Next audition a simple "I vote no, I'll tell you my reasoning in person" email might be better.
  15. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010

    Right here. 25 people in 4 years! There is no need for that kind of turnover in any band. One of the common denominators (either you or the BL) is the problem child that is making the band dysfunctional.

    The only solution is to remove one (yourself) to see if the band suddenly solidifies or keeps falling apart. Only then will you know who was to blame.
  16. Seems to me that you're already all set. Leave this clown behind and start a new band with the other guys.
  17. Yep, I don't see much future in this situation - time to move on

  18. I've thought about that, as far as whether or not I could be part of the problem. And your assessment and deductive reasoning is sound. I could be. None of us can see ourselves the way others see us.

    The only thing I will say is that the people who have left, or were fired, all pointed at him as the problem. One of the old guitarists contacted me and asked me to fill in with his current band last weekend (not a good indicator, I know). Our current singer told me he would be happy to play in another band with me if it were to go that way. The drummer said the same thing. Rhythm guitarist (the other guy thrown under the bus) has asked that we all stick together and address the BL as a group and not individually.
  19. OP you are certainly not wrong with being irate about the BL's behavior. People not respecting obvious cases of confidentiality is a pet peeve of mine.
  20. cycler


    Oct 6, 2010
    WHY are you in this "band " move on.

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