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I am the A-hole, but how bad?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Cousin Iggy, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. So, we're at a gig (private bbq party), we're on break, I'm off to the side chatting with Mrs. Iggy and I look over to see our lead singer hanging out by my bass.

    Uh oh, oh no, please don't...

    Yep, he did it, sets his plate of BBQ on my amp, picks up my bass and started trying to figure out how to make it go boom. [He's allegedly a bass player elsewhere, so why he couldn't figure it out makes me a little curious, TBH]. The drummer betrays me (sorry rhythm-brothers) and helps him make it work and he's off to the races accompanying a guest guitarist who was playing during the break.

    To be clear: He didn't ask, I didn't offer, he just jumped on it...

    So I'm still sitting to the side with Mrs. Iggy, and we're saying "ok, this is a bit rude, but I can bit my tongue, sleep on it, talk to the BL in a few days and ask him to set some ground rules going forward." Got it? Yeah, I'm good, we can do this.

    So I go collect my bass and start settling in for the next set. The lead singer turns back towards me, opens his mouth, and my brain explodes with "no, don't say it, don't use that word, we're almost in the clear, don't do it!"


    "Thanks for letting me use your bass" he says.


    That's it, tongue is lose and 'Iggy the A-hole' is in the house. "I didn't let you do anything you rude MF-er, you just took.... " etc etc etc (way too many etcs)

    I tried to remember that we were at a gig, that professionalism is important, and band fights on stage are always gonna be a poopie-show. Failed, all of it.

    I went straight to a-hole mode, the only thing I did right was to keep my voice from getting loud enough for the guests to hear.

    I'm not good at standing up for myself, so I don't do it often, which means I don't getting any practice at standing up for myself, which means I'll always be bad at standing up for myself... yada, yada, yada

    So... LS quits the band, BL is mad, other band members all think I'm a huge a-hole, I feel like crap.

    Scale of 1(kinda dumb)-10(really horrible) how bad am I?

    For reference:
    -I've only been doing this for 18 months, lots of pressure, very little experience (not an excuse, just a statement of my naivete.
    -BL does agree that LS had no business touching my stuff.
  2. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    You're on TalkBass; therefore, the answer will be, "You did the right thing." And, clearly the drummer should be fired.

    - John
    nomaj, Winoman, lowplaces and 86 others like this.
  3. Last Rebel

    Last Rebel Lone Wolf - No Club Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ontario Canada
    No biz touching your gear

    ... no one ever touches my equipment
    .. Ever
    Winoman, Tekkers, delta7fred and 26 others like this.
  4. This is one of those instances where the drummer has shepherded a noob bassist and done a very good job of it. He has taught me a tremendous amount about rhythm, and has tried to teach me even more that I am just not yet able to grasp
  5. Drummer should have known better then.
    TAZ, Winoman, Flooflox and 15 others like this.
  6. Heh. If you didn't buy a bass that can hang? No one's fault but...

    Anyone can play my bass. At any time. If yer in a band with guys you can't trust? Yer in the wrong band.

    In the end, anyone who picks my bass up after me only illustrates why I was hired to play it. And not them. Let em have fun. That's the point, ain it?
  7. Good points, all of it. This guy is bad, makes my inexperienced ass look like the second coming of Jaco, so I was ready to let it go... until his comment about presumed permission.

    E: I'm thinking that I am in the wrong band, but in BFE Missouri, there aren't many options. But you are certainly correct, thank you.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
    EatS1stBassist and BooDoggie like this.
  8. If he quit over people having boundaries, then good riddance.
    Some people act like they are entitled to everything.
    Gothic, Winoman, 2112 and 78 others like this.
  9. Thank you guys so very much. As I said, I'm not good at standing up for myself, so this has been very helpful (to put it mildly)
  10. Hey, I would've been upset. But not at his use. But at the grease on his hands on my strings. They cost a lot. Ha! And grease kills strings. Wipe yer hands, man. Ha!

    Usually, in regular bands, I do trust the guys in em. To not hurt my gear if they choose to pick it up. It truly doesn't bug me. But strangers. Audience members. That does get to me And I understand the feelings involved. But I've played a long time. And these things are to be expected. I've learned to let it go. That's all. I was being smart ass in my response. I get you. I've been there. But don't let it get to you. And, more importantly, don't let them SEE it gets to you. Ha!

    Hope you take my response as it was intended. Humorously. With s bit of truth.
    HolmeBass, Andre678, H2okie and 2 others like this.
  11. Lowandfat


    Jan 1, 2019
    Central NY
    Endorsed Artist Karl Hoyt Basses
    "No big deal, but it would be nicer if you asked first, and could you at least do it without greasy BBQ hands? I have to play that for the rest of the night."

    Drummers judgement is definitely suspect if you had an act playing on the break. LS plowing up and just having at it is seriously bush league, and if he thinks that's what you do on a paid gig, leaving is a big step forward for the band.

    Yes, you over reacted, and while that does not mean you didn't have a point, blowing a gasket on stage is NEVER okay.
  12. You were in the right but you should've saved the words for after the show.

    And while you were right about arguing/fighting on stage not being professional, neither is putting your crab claws on someone else's gear or messing around with instruments between sets like a bunch of noobs at an open mic, so don't sweat it too much. Just make it clear ahead of time and then keep your cool.

    People who say "I let anyone play my bass": well that's fine. As long as it's your bass you're talking about. That's the only bass your rules apply to.

    Lately my bass goes in the case when it's not hanging off my shoulder. Puts it out of sight and keeps it safe from people tripping over it or spilling stuff on it or casually groping it.
    Gooney, Winoman, Tekkers and 20 others like this.
  13. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    And when your bass crashes to the floor it's all in good fun eh?
    Gooney, design, retslock and 14 others like this.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You were right to stand up for yourself. If that kind of thing bothers you, you were justified in being offended.

    You were probably allowed a LITTLE attitude.

    But flinging F bombs and ripping the guy a new A hole on stage is where you crossed the line in my view. Even if you couldn't contain yourself, you ask the guy to step off to the side (with the BL too) to handle your business. Doing it in front of everyone and your language are the things I can't get behind.

    But, yeah, the guy had a lot of nerve assuming he could put his greasy fingers on your gear.
    Gooney, Winoman, hudpucker and 22 others like this.
  15. J_Bass


    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    He should have asked. That is obvious and is a basic rule of politeness. Where you lost your reason was when you insulted him.

    Of-course it's easy to judge when you're not in the situation, or after the facts, but you overreacted (I loose my cool often too, and then I feel bad about it).

    I would borrow my bass to someone who knew how to handle it, sure, BUT, not without him/her asking. He could've just looked in your direction and point to the bass expecting you to nod affirmatively, something like that. But picking it up without asking, that's rude and I would feel offended.
    dkelley and Cousin Iggy like this.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    It's healthy to express ourselves, but what you did sounds more like abuse. A simple, "Dude, NO you didn't ask. Please don't ever do that again because I don't like it," probably would have sufficed.

    I learned recently that our general level of anxiety has a lot to do with how much it takes to push us over the edge. If our cup is almost full from the start and someone drops something into that cup, we overflow and explode. The trick is to make sure our overall level of anxiety stays down. Drop that same thing into a cup that's only a quarter full and the reaction is much different. Deep breathing, eating and living right, talking to the right people, exercise, etc.

    If it were me, I'd make amends somehow... not to try to get him to change his mind, but just to make sure my side of the street stayed clean.
  17. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Touch your bass? No way!
    I have rules and for very good reasons. Once our guitar player decided to pick up my bass to play with an acoustic guitarist that was doing some songs in between our sets.

    His "rock and roll" belt buckle scratched the crap out of the paint and when he'd finished he didn't put it on the stand properly so it keeled over bending one of the tuners.

    The best part was it was my fretless bass and when he got off the acoustic guitar player walked up to him in a rage and said "thanks a lot for eff'ing up my set". Every note he played was out of tune, I mean every note.
    His response was "what a rude &#$%"! His response to the damage on my bass was "don't worry, it's on the back, no one can see it".

    Now the rule is if you touch my gear you better own it otherwise it's mitts off! I didn't scrimp and save to buy a good instrument to have it damaged by some idiot. I don't care what people think, it's mine and I'm particular about how it's handled. I don't play other peoples drums, guitars, kazoos or anything else because I have respect and I expect the same in return.
    Gooney, jeffbrown, retslock and 15 others like this.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    So you watch him pick up your bass, watch the drummer help him get sound and say NOTHING, but then go off on him later? Sorry, but the time to have said something was BEFORE he started playing it, not after. He's a jerk for not asking you if he could play your bass, but it is your fault for not stopping him and then going nuclear on him. Even worse, doing it on stage.
    Tazziedevil, crguti, JRA and 30 others like this.
  19. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    This is actually the root of the problem right here. It's not so much that you don't have practice standing up for yourself, it's that all of the other crap you've tolerated without a word starts to build up inside, and then everything explodes all at once. It's very important to learn to assert yourself. As @lfmn16 just posted, if you had spoken up when your bass was first being handled, you wouldn't have built up such a head of steam that the mere word "letting" would set you off.
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    There are good reasons to get angry and argue in our world. Somebody playing my bass isn't one.
    If your kids did this you'd tell them not to.

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