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Is it ok for your band to take a gig and get a sub without telling you?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Runnerman, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    So we have a loose system to check dates and drummer asked about taking a gig via text. I said I was already out of town and committed on that date. Nothing further.....assumed we were not taking the gig. So a few days before the gig date I'm casually texting drummer and find out they have a sub for the gig and have been rehearsing with him a couple times.

    Am I being over sensitive thinking they should have at least told me about it? I feel like they should have. Regardless I'm over it and taking the high road but it seems like a lack of common courtesy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2019
    BOOG, Slough Feg Bass and Ellery like this.
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yes, they are allowed to take the gig and get a sub.

    Yes, they should have told you. Rehearsals behind your back is a HUGE red flag. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you post a "Got fired by my band" thread soon.

    Seriously, rehearsing with a sub behind your back is a serious problem.
    eukatheude, Fuzzbass, xk49w and 48 others like this.
  3. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    I find my band subs, and make it my job to train said sub. I try to dissuade my bands from doing it in their own.

    1) makes them less likely to want to change me fir someone more “available”
    2) less headache for them.
    3) keeps me involved when I can’t be there.
  4. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    Hmm... I understand not wanting to make a big deal out of it, but I would definitely ask your band mates why they didn’t have the courtesy to let you know they were finding a sub for the gig.

    Seems strange... what did they think would happen when someone asked you about the gig, and you said “what gig?”.
    Puts you in a strange position in a couple of ways - not knowing about the gig, but also feeling like they’re hiding something.
    Maybe you guys don’t speak that often except for business, and this was just an oversight on their part? I don’t know how you guys function socially...

    I hope that everything is cool & turns out fine, but I agree with @twofingers that this is definitely a big red flag.
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    The show must go on.
  6. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Thanks guys...I'm feeling it was an oversight. The guy definitely had to learn some of our songs so that is why they had to rehearse....I heard things did not go overly well and there were a few train wrecks anyways. The other thing I forgot to mention is that the gig was a benefit so it was not at all money related.

    But yes, I thought the exact same thing when I saw the event on our page...what if someone asks me about it? My wife told me to quit right away....lol. I just couldn't take the conflict that would come with that at this point. It was better to let it roll for now.
  7. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    There are always exceptions but generally - if I commit to a gig and then have to pull out, it is my responsibility to find a qualified sub.
    If I block out a date and they book a gig knowing I can't make it, it's their responsibility to find a gig.
    I would expect them to have at least one runthrough of the material.
    Yes, they should have at least mentioned it, but IME, musicians are sucky communicators...
    They may decide to move on with the new guy.
    Just as you might move on with a new band.
    Changes happen...
    jamro217 likes this.
  8. James Simonson

    James Simonson

    Feb 2, 2008
    Detroit, MI
    Endorsing Artist : Ernie Ball and Ampeg
    That is what happens when you say no to any gig. Yes, you are being overly sensitive and sacrifice has its way.
  9. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I'd watch the situation, but think about the band -- they want to do the gig and you aren't available -- it's their right to get a sub. Whether they were amiss in not telling you is an open question. If you are a permanent fixture in the band, and it's a stable lineup all the time, they should have told you. Only so you aren't wondering like you are now. But I think your wife is off base thinking you should just quit over it. After all, it was you who were not available and inconvenienced the band. They have to find a guy, rehearse him, etcetera.

    It's inavailability of band members that turned me into someone who is only loyal to band members, completely, if they refer me gigs. If they don't refer me gigs, I give the gig to whoever is available, based on my preference. Never used to be that way, but when band members tried to fire me from my own band, would join 5 bands and then never be available when I had a gig, and other self-interested approaches, I HAD to find subs. And in the process, many of those original cats found themselves without gigs. Surprisingly, half the time the subs bring more to the table than the original band member did. In the absence of any loyalty or appreciation for all the admin work I do, it's easy to just start working with the sub, and keep the original band member available for when the new first call guy isn't available. I'm on that plan now.

    Sorry musicians, but you encouraged this with your own lack of loyalty when I was completely loyal to you in the first place.
    pellomoco14 and EddiePlaysBass like this.
  10. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    Prior to the Fools I was in a pretty succesful band. The BL told all of us that the way he works is that when he needs someone he calls his first call guy, if that guy is not available he calls the next person on his list who becomes the new first call guy. Well I guess I was his first call bassist for 5 years. Then somewhere around 2001 he said that he would not be perfroming for NYE. So I made plans to travel 500 miles to see my Mother for the holidays (X-Mas thru NYE). While I'm at my mother he calls with a last minute NYE gig whoch of course I had to turn down. Guess what...he hired this goofy guy who sat in on keys a few times with us to play bass. Ok cool thanks for covering me, right? Well I happen to be at a popular bar with a bunch of friends and there is the band I was in for five glory years performing with this goofy guy on bass...AKWARD. That is when I started my own band. The BL could not understand why I was upset, after all I knew the rules. Geez.
  11. No, we’ve only used substitutes when a band member quit or was fired and we still had shows on the schedule. Been in the same band for 20 years and they’ve never played a gig with another bass player. We have done acoustic shows with every combination of the band with the exception doing them with the without the singer missing.
  12. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    sums it up...

    I'd be pissed...at the very least it's a huge sign of disrespect. At the most it indicates they are unhappy with you at some level.
    MobileHolmes and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  13. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I do not see a problem there. You told them you are not available and they do what is needed to pull off a good gig-including rehearsals with the bassist who is doing the gig.
    justjake likes this.
  14. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    To me, the problem is not with the band finding a sub, it’s the lack of communication about the situation. All band members deserve to know what is going on with respect to band-related matters. It’s just basic respect.
  15. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    No, the situation was not fully communicated. The OP found out by chance that the band had booked the gig and was rehearsing with a sub—which in itself is fine, and the band doesn’t need his permission to do so—but as Two Fingers pointed out, neglecting to give the OP an FYI raises a red flag.
  16. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Well, let’s look at this scenario: You have a date with your girlfriend on November 20. You call her to let her know that you will not be able to make it. She makes a date with someone else on that day (which of course is her right) but doesn’t tell you about it. Can you think of a reason why she would “involve” you any further in prepping for that occasion?

    It’s not about getting permission, it’s simply about keeping people in the loop. When people are not kept in the loop there is usually an ulterior motive.
    el jeffe bass and Mr_Moo like this.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Definite red flag. Question is: which one?

    Anytime something band related is kept from a band member, or a band member gets lied to (not the case here), it’s cause for concern.

    However it also could be just a lack of common courtesy. Or a simple oversight.

    Of course the bigger question is why you weren’t told about the rehearsals. If the BL didn’t think it was relevant once he told you he found a sub, or that you wouldn’t care so he didn’t bother elaborating on the details, it’s one thing. If it was because of something about you, and he was worried about your reaction, or of you getting all insecure about it and possibly flouncing off, then it indicates it’s an entirely different underlying issue.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
    interp likes this.
  18. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    You said no and they wanted to do the gig, they asked someone else to sub you. That’s how I see it unless there are other pieces of the puzzle I’m missing.
    justjake and cnltb like this.
  19. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them finding and practicing with a sub for a gig that you are unable to play at. I 100% agree with this.
    However, to not communicate this with you in any way, or let you know they were practicing without you is a problem. I would never do that to another band member, and I wouldn’t be happy if it was done to me.
    The only exception would be if this was some previously agreed upon, common practice, with this band. Where everyone knows if they turn down a gig the BL will call a sub. That doesn’t seem to be the case with your band.
    el jeffe bass and interp like this.
  20. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Montreal, QC
    Wow, that's messed up. After 5 years, he's done with you because you couldn't make a last minute gig? After he says there would be no gig, and you had already made travel plans? Crazy.

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