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I kinda feel bad about doing what we did....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Here's the deal, a semi- friend/aquaintance of a band I'm in approached our drummer about our band, excluding the lead singer/guitar player, about backing him up for a NYE gig at a small bar. He approached the drummer about 2 weeks ago. Drummer calls me and our lead player and we agree that we should prob. take the gig since our band has nothing lined up.

    So a week goes by and the guy we are planning on backing finally calls us and sets up a day to rehearse since we know none of the songs he plays. We meet up a day or so later practice for about an hour maybe two and leave. At this point he has said nothing to any of us about the money situation for this gig, which was a mistake on both our parts because IMO if everything isn't laid out plain and simple up front things always seem to become "iffy".

    Well about 3 days after we have our short rehearsal with this guy a bar calls our lead singer about booking us for a gig, which at this point is about 4 weeks away from NYE. The bar owner basically asks how much we usually ask, we tell him and he says he'll give us double that...we were in shock to say the least, never heard a bar owner say that. Being as how we've already played at the other bar that the other guy was playing at we have a good idea how much they are paying which is MUCH less, not to mention 5 band members compared to our 4 we have in our band. We think the bar owner is B.S.ing....so we carry him a contract, he signs it no problem to our surprise.

    So now our drummer has to explain to the other guy that we can't back him up. Guy gets REALLY pissed, makes personal insults, etc....even though it has only been a week and half ago when we agreed we would probably play with him...again no money at all was discussed.

    I understand the guy being pissed, I probably would be to. Everyone agreed that in the end we need to look out for our band first especially in special occasion situations like NYE where you can get a lot of exposure in one night.

    I still feel bad for the guy, but I think he still has enough time to find a bassist and drummer.....last time we went to see him play he had all studio musicians playing with him, some he'd never even met before.

    What would you have done had you been in this situation?
  2. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    tell him he can have his money back .... and the marriage is annulled due to some sort of jungian psychosis...pick one they're all good.
  3. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    An old bassist saying:

    "He who come with contract & cash get first dibs on noise we make."
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Tell him that you have to look out for your band first. You were ofered a paying gig, and that trumps other stuff. Pull out the, "I have bills to pay." line, and if he doesn't mellow out, then it's probably good you didn't play with him. Being that ill-tempered doesn't make for a good performing situation.
  5. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    The gig with him was a paying gig, but we had no clue how much it was paying and we knew exactly what we were getting with the other gig. Plus splitting money 4 ways is always better than 5 ways.

    Do you guys feel that 3 weeks is enough notice to find replacements?
  6. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    IMO, you did the right thing. You took the gig with your band, and you took the first gig with all of the details finalized.
  7. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    The other side of that coin is integrity. I think it goes something like this: you told someone you would do something, and now you're not. Your word basically means nothing now. While making the extra money is really nice, stiffing someone isn't. I'm sure he deserves to be a bit upset, as now he is high and dry, up the creek without a rhythm section.

    I'm not trying to bust your balls or anything, but this guy has a right to be upset. I would be pretty po'd too if that happened to me.
  8. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    one thing i just found out today is that he already booked the gig before he even talked with us about backing him.
  9. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, that is his problem. Never book anything you are not that sure of.
  10. discoboo


    Dec 25, 2002
    charleston, sc
    show me the money!
  11. Amen.

    ....and in other news: younger viewers should be made aware that double rate or more always applies for NYE gigs.

  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's like the old joke-
    "Thanks for making all the rehearsals, man"
    "I figured it was the least I could do since I can't make the gig."

    Man, the second you say YES, you booked the gig. You didn't say "Unless something better comes along" or "unless our band gets an offer" or "unless I just don't feel like it". Cause then the guy gets to make a decision - do I look for somebody else?

    I mean, how would YOU feel if the guy says he's a got a gig booked and you say great I'm down and then 3 weeks and several rehearsals before the gig he says oh yeah I got somebody else to play. You'd be pissed, right?

    Everybody has to sub **** out (at least up here) and it's up to YOU since YOU made the commitment to say "I'm sorry I have to sub this out, do you want me to find a sub or do you want to find a sub?" And then you gotta eat all the **** that this guy wants to serve out about your reliability and integrity and all that other stuff.
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup. I must go with all that Frisco said in his post.

    It seems that a big part of your justification for this has been "money was never discussed" - Well then you should have discussed it before you told him you'd do it.

    If his personal insults were just childish or threatening or untrue or something, then that's one thing - but if they had to do with 'your word being no-good', then he's right.

    You still could have gone to him 'with sad puppy eyes', explained (uh.. truthfully), and humbly asked if he thinks there's a way you could get out of it, there may have been half-a-chance he could have worked something out to release you - ESPECIALLY if he had plenty of time.

    Well: Live-and-learn - but I'll bet you burned THAT bridge!

    I'm dissapointed in how many replies here have been in hardy support of what you did...

    Don't get me wrong, now -- I would have definately been tempted in that situation too, but I'd like to think that I would have come to my senses after thinking for a minute, and tried to work something out with the guy. I can't help but think that you could have done that - I mean the more you pleaded and bugged him about it - with the idea being that you WOULD be obligated to keep your word if he didn't release you from your verbal contract - the more he would have figured that his backup band shouldn't be 'playing with a gun to their heads' anyway. He would have found someone else, and could do nothing-else but still respect your word.

    See what I mean?

  14. Yeah, you screwed him over man. You did it for an understandable reason... though that reason definitely isn't a righteous reason.

    Just look at it as a lesson because it was both parties fault to a degree. I hope both of you take something from this.
  15. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I totally understand what you are saying and do agree to some degree that we shouldn't have cancelled.

    But it was his choice to book the gig without knowing if he had a backup band or not and only asking us a month in advance.

    I never personally talked with the guy about everything, I just heard what our drummer communicated to us. Another thing we discussed is that if we did play with him he would probably take the largest cut of the money, that's why he wouldn't tell us how much the gig was paying and never discussed the money issue up front.

    I would be pissed if I were in his shoes but I wouldn't have thrown around the personal insults and threats of violence like he did.

    Also a month ago he had a cd release party, well a week beforehand he asks us if we will come play a few songs before they start to kinda open for them.....we all show up with our instruments and several friends.....guess what, he never let us play. We weren't getting paid anything, we were doing it to be nice......but we didn't get pissed, we drank a few beers and hung around for a while and then left.
  16. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Oh I definitely will! Never agree to anything without sitting down and discussing every aspect of it.

    I'm about to have to sit down and do this with a side band I'm playing with, they keep hiding from me that we are playing for the door and not being guaranteed anything.
  17. Ray-man

    Ray-man Guest

    Sep 10, 2005
    This is the kind of thing that will cause you to look over your shoulder for a long, long time - always watching your gear at gigs, expecting a rock through your car window, etc. Especially since the agreement was made with someone who sounds as though he wasn't all that stable to start with.

    Good luck!
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You can justify it all you want, but what you did was unprofessional, to say the leas. You backed out of an agreement to play after saying 'yes.'

    It's not the other guy's fault that YOU didn't bother to ask about money before agreeing to do the gig. It is also irrelevant if the gig was booked before he asked you. If I were him, I'd make a point to let everyone in the area know that you are unreliable and would advise against hiring you for any reason.
  19. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    Before telling this guy "yes", 1st thing I would do is talk about it as a band, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Once every band member reaches an agreement, then talk to the guy and ask him what the gig pays...from then I would make my final decision.

    If I was in your situation, and there was that much money at stake I would probably take the gig and tell the other guy something important came up and that the band comes first.
  20. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Good post Ed. You are exactly right. A commitment is a commitment.