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I'm back, and need some advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by TVD, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. TVD


    Jul 14, 2004
    Hey everyone. I used to post here a few years ago as "Trent35", and i've been back lurking lately. I kinda gave up on Talk bass a few years ago over what i precieved as a general lack of respect here for country bass playing, and country music in general. Now granted not all people here are like that at all, but it was enough to make me say "screw it i'm gone" at the time. To my mind making statements like playing country or bluegrass is all 1 5 1 5 is as ignorant as inane as someone saying bass is easy to play cuz it only has 4 strings. I'd like to think that any musician could at the very least have respect for other genres of music, even if it's not their bag. I didn't find that to be the case here in some instances. But enough about that, i still think there's enough good stuff and good people here to make this an enjoyable, entertaining and informative site for me.

    But onto what i need advice on now. Let me set up some background here first. I'm currently playing with 4 bands that are all working fairly steadily, plus i hold a part time "rea"(?) jop. The band i played for last night and Friday night i've been doing some jobs for for close to a year. They play wayyyyy too much rock for my tastes, but they are a way above average band, and play decent clubs. I'm sure i'm not their first choice of a bass player either for their style, but i am dependable, professional, and a good faker on stuff i don't know. They're very tight, both with the playing and the harmonies. They're an unusual band in a way as they have a core of three, singer-rhythym-leader, lead guitar, and drummer have been together for like 7 years, and they travel around a circuit and use different bass players, and sometimes a keyboard player, in different states. I joke with them that i'm "first chair" to them for this area.
    The last time i played with them in June, the guitar player asked me if i could play for him for a private family party gig he was organizing for August 28th. I told him i could and would do the date. End of story i thought. But oh no. On Friday night the guitar player tells me the singer/leader told him in a phone conversation that i couldn't do that August 28th date, and so he had to hire someone else. I was like why in the Hell would tell you that? He dosen't know my schedule, and this wasn't even one of his jobs. It didn't then, and still dosen't make any sense to me. It's not logical. The guitar guy is like i dunno, that's just what he said. I said well let me tell you something, i agreed to the date, and my word is good. I'm not flakey or disorganized at all, quite the opposite. I told him that on the off chance that i would have had to cancel, i would have let you know the minute it happened. I said why didn't you call me and ask me then? He said i didn't have your number, i said well the singer has it. So his excuse for not contacting me is really weak and unacceptable in my book. Now i should say a few weeks ago the singer called me about an August 21st gig he wanted me on, that i can't do and told him i couldn't, but August 28th never came up in our conversation. It had no reason to. So i confront the singer about it. Before i could even get the words out of my mouth, he says "Hey man i made a mistake". I said but this dosen't even make sense, how can you make statements like that about my schedule? He said again, i made a mistake. But he said it in a really arrogant, and just shut up kind of a way, instead of being sincere and sorry about it, or offering any kind of a plausible explanation for it. So it really rubbed me the wrong way and bugged me alot, and i basically didn't talk to them the rest of the night. I had another job last night i could have done instead, and i fairly strongly considered taking my amp out at the end of the night and saying find someone else for tomorrow.
    So last night right before we went on stage the singer said to me "Hey man i'm really sorry about that gig thing". Now i will admit he sounded much more sincere about it than the night before. But then he comes with the excuses. He says he has 10 things going on at once all the time, blah blah blah. I tell him, in a very calm manner, that this wasn't even any of his business in the first place, and it still makes no sense. I said i'm in 4 bands and have a job, and that i'm very careful about my schedule, keeping it straight etc, and that i really don't apprecieate him screwing me up like that, cuz unless i can fill that date in now, he cost me 100$,and that i depend on music income for my livlihood. He then says well it was a long ways to drive for 100 bucks anyhow, like he did me sone favor or something. I then explained to him that it had worked out that the night before, Aug 27th, i had a gig only 75 miles from the Sat Aug 28th gig, and that i had free lodging for both Friday night, and on Saturday night after the 28th gig if i wanted it. He then just shut up at that point and no more was said about it. I'd like to add too that the singer is the kind of a guy that if i did something to him like he did to me he'd hit the roof, maybe to the point of violence. He'd be big time angry if the shoe was on the other foot. So i took his position on it as being pretty hypocritical.
    So now the question is, what do you folks think i should do about it? Should i accept more bookings from this band in the future or just not work for them again? I should mention that i have one more booking with this band, this coming Sat Aug 7th. I also have another gig i could do this Sat, so i've been considering cancelling him and doing the other job.
    The whole thing does seem fishy to me somehow. I've strongly considered the possibility that the guitar player hired someone else for the August 28th gig, and instead of cancelling me himself, he used the singer as an excuse for it. Like he took the cowards way out or something. It just dosen't add up somehow to me, and i know i never will get the straight story, if there is one. I mean even if he hired someone else, and if he didn't want to tell me that, why not just tell me the gig got cancelled. I would have just said ok man then.
    I've got alot of music work right now, but this band works all clubs all year long, so i like the have them in the winter when the summer stuff goes away. I'm open to any comments, advice and suggestions. I know this was very long and probably boring. Thanks for letting me vent. Trent
  2. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Not sure what to say....But Welcome Back!!!!
  3. John Herzog

    John Herzog Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    Schertz, TX
    Is there some reason they can not call the other bassist they hired for the 28th, tell them they made a mistake and that the job had been already been filled? It only makes sense to me that you should have the gig since you were contracted for it first.

  4. TVD


    Jul 14, 2004
    That's a great question. I didn't ask if i could have the gig back, since it really should be mine, but it didn't seem to be an option. Frankly, it was tough to get anything out of them other than the singer said i couldn't do it, and he hired someone else. It was given to me like it was a totally done deal. I didn't see any crack of light in the tunnel that i would get the gig back.
    I think it was very telling that nobody made any effort what-so-ever to contact me and ask me if i could still do that date. They never gave me a chance, i just think it's really wrong, no matter what the real story is. I try to conduct my business in a professional, and fair manner. I mean if i tell someone i'll do a job, i'll do it, even if another closer or better paying job comes in for that same date later. I didn't deserve this. Trent
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I wish more people, (both musicans and nonmusicians) realized how much talent actually goes into playing Country. You need some serious chops to perform it well.

    But anyways, your dilema. First, it sounds as though you are freelancing with this band. If that is the case, they need to understand that all booking is on a first come/first serve basis. If you are booked for a show, you must honor that commitment no matter what comes up. It's not your responsibility if there's miscommunication between the guitarist and singer. Should you stick with these guys? Well, that all depends; how important is this gig to you? It sounds like a serious gig. Is this the first time something like this happened? If so, I would probaly overlook it, but keep my eyes open for an future dispute. If things like this are constantly happening, it may be time to ditch this guys (on good terms, without burning any bridges, mind you) and look for another gig.
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    First, country music and country bass playing ain't what it was in the 70's anymore (i.e. 1-4-5 progressions with mostly root-5 two beats). There's some really classy, tasty stuff in country right now.

    Second, I would tell this band that if they plan to use you in the future that you will commit to them only when you have the night free and will put other succesive bookings above them on your priority list as they are not dependable enough to give you a solid commitment (i.e. If something else comes up, you will have to cancel them due to their undependability). They simply must be made to understand that you have many other options and will not lose work by making commitments to them that they won't keep with you.
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    its not all 1-5-1-5...

    its like

    1-5-1-5-1-5-1-2-3-4-1-5-1-5-1-5 etc....


    I kid, i kid. i like playing country/bluegrass. its a nice change from walking lines and funk lines... its nice just to hold the beat.
  8. Country rocks!!!!!! :bassist:

    mmmmmmmmm, maybe I should re-phrase that?

    Seriously, modern country basslines are great.

    With the band problem, I'd get over it. I think you've made your displeasure at their fickle behaviour pretty obvious, so I doubt that they'll try anything like that again for a while. I'd keep the door open for the work.

  9. TVD


    Jul 14, 2004
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Yeah, i know of this is simply the perils of being a hired gun, which is what i am to this band. I was asked how important this gig is to me. Eh, out of the 4 bands i'm with now, they'd be 3rd in the pecking order. I wish the 4th in my pecking order was 2nd cuz that band plays the stuff i love to play, and i really like and enjoy the people in it, but they only work like twice a month, and for much less money than the rest. This band i'm talking about in this thread, i'm simply there for the money, nothing more, nothing less. I feel like a sell out of sorts when i do play with them, cuz i hate, or at least would never listen to or play on my own, probably 75% of what they play. That being said, i do enjoy playing with this band simply cuz they're so good at what they do. Really talented and tight. When i first got the call to play with them, a guy i know said this is a really good band, and he wasn't lying. The singer/leader has been around clubs since the 80's, and he's known for always keeping a good band together, in fact, i'm told his bands of yesteryear were better than now, which is impressive if true. He's pretty jaded now in general, but not to the point you can't stand him. He's one of those guys that could have probably had a few hits on a major label in the late 80's-early 90's had he gotten a break, but never did. He's too old to now, so he's kinda relegated to where he's at, but he'll keep working for as long as he wants pretty much.
    I only had a problem with these guys one other time, and i let it slide then, though it bugged me at the time, and i almost brought it up the other night, but didn't. In February, i was booked for a weekend, and about 3 weeks before, the singer called me and said the gig was cancelled, and said it was his fault. I managed to find other gigs to cover that weekend, so it was no harm, no foul. But...........I played with him again about 3 weeks after that, and found out from the other band members, not directly just what they were saying in general conversation, that the gig he said was cancelled, wasn't cancalled at all, that it happened. So i got replaced on it for some reason, which really isn't cool, and the fact he lied to me about it being cancalled. What really surprised me about it was how sloppy he was in covering his own tracks that time, i mean you'd think he would have told the other bandmemebers to not say anything about it to me. So there is somewhat of a precedant for this action the other night, and i've been kinda suspicious of him since then to a degree. I knew then he wasn't above screwing me.
    But, the thing about the August 28th gig is, it's not the singer/leaders gig at all, he's not going to be there, has no part of it. He's not even playing that weekend. It was something the guitar player was putting together on his own, so that's why i say it was none of the singers business in the first place, which is why it really bugged me and seemed really fishy.
    But like i said, this gig is really just money for me, and i like having it in the winter when things get slower since he keeps working all year long. But i'm about to the point where i may just not book with him for my own self respect. Another factor too is the band currently #2 in my 4 band rotation(heh) has really picked up on the gigs lately, and it looks like it's going to get even better. Just the opposite of #3 in almost every way and dynamic. #3 is older guys who've been there, and know their fate, #2 is young guys who have it all in front of them and are excited about the future and haven't had their dreams just totally ruined by harsh reality yet. #3 is a vastly superior band at this point, but #2 has them beat by z mile in attitude and momentum. But #2 may be working enough for me to just let #3 totally go, unless i have absolutely nothing else going on and need the $$$. Trent