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Is it Racist or am I out of touch?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Doley50, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Doley50


    Sep 4, 2005

    Like most of us who are in cover bands ( or any band for that matter ) we are always looking to get better paying and higher profile gigs. Our band leader is very good at booking gigs and keeps our schedule pretty full, and is always looking into ways to improve this, which I am grateful for.
    Our band government is a little bizarre, It goes from democratic to dictatorship, so the BL never claims to be the BL, but he put the band together and if he feels strongly enough about something, or gets fixated on something, he will just do it and thats it, luckily I have been friends with him all my life and understand him, other wise I don't think I would put up with. LOL
    So he has been talking with this other band leader who's band is more successful then us,
    and he said," We need to get a black guy in the band, that would help us get the better gigs we are after" our current line up is a 4 piece band 3 guys and a female singer, We are all white.
    I realize we are in the entertainment business and image is a big part of what we do, and if you look at businesses like Hooters or Mary Lou's they use sex for their image, but I have a problem using race as an image, it's like going back to day's when performers,would perform in blackface, and the BL just can't see this and his only come back is that the other band is getting these great gigs and he told us that what we need to do it.
    My other problem is now we would have to split our pay 5 ways instead of 4, and its not like we are hiring someone who is going to help our sound,like a keyboard player or any other instrument.
    Do you think I am being overly sensitive to this ? Knowing that the other guy was hired just because he is black ( BL, said," He would be able to do those blue notes in the back ground and do all the rapping stuff ") would make me feel, uncomfortable, guilty and like a racist.
    At a show last weekend, there was this guy, young, good looking, good dancer , oh and black, during one of our brakes the BL actually took him aside talked to him and auditioned his singing, to his surprise the guy could not sing for poopie! *** !!!!
    IDK, maybe I am the real racist, I have preconceived ideas about different races, but I know they are incorrect, so I ignore them and don't act on them, and judge people on their own merits, I have seen white people who are great dancers and black people who can't dance for poopie.
    What are your thoughts about this ?
    SasquatchDude and Nashrakh like this.
  2. I doubt most people would feel comfortable being invited to a band (or anything) just because of their race.
  3. Brazilfunk


    May 7, 2014
    Yeah, it may or may not be true that you could get more gigs that way, but... it certainly sounds racist to me! "Let's go pick up a black guy to play blue notes and rap."? Um, alright then.
  4. wolfkeller

    wolfkeller Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    I believe the term for this is sell out. Didn't everyone say Metallica sold out by slowing down to sell more album? Jason said yup, we sold out...every arena! If you do something intentionally to make money and it goes against your principals its selling out. That is what was always said anyways. Racist?? Way to go with the flow, fn retarded.
    Flad likes this.
  5. No, it's not just you.

    Image is important, and if your band leader thinks you need someone who can rap and dance, then in itself that's fair enough. The racist bit is the assumption that the person who does those things has to be black, or that black people are better at dancing.

    I wouldn't be able to look someone in the eye if I knew they had only been hired because they were the right skin colour.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I would politely call your bl wrong, and insensitive. You pick the best musicians for what you. A club is not going to givegigs on your color, but your ability to entertain, and bring in/keep patrons.
    chuck norriss likes this.
  7. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    As long as you hire an Asian to add some "Eastern mystique" along side the black guy, you should be ok.

    I kind of see the racist argument, but is it sexist to want a female singer and hire someone based on their gender? Or their height/weight/overall physical appearance? It's entertainment and image plays a big role in music, especially for a front person. I wouldn't call it racist, but it lacks integrity.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  8. Skeptismo


    Sep 5, 2011
    Token black guy to get gigs? Sounds like one of the dumberer craigslist ads in the humor section. It's definitely unethical due to the racial exploitation involved, and I think that even if you all ended up being very pleased with the result musically, there would always be that nagging feeling that you all did something kind of shady.
    I say, leave that image crap for the boy bands.
    BigBeatNut, Flad, Pet Sounds and 4 others like this.
  9. Yah, it's racist.
  10. SlugThrower

    SlugThrower Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Yup, all these notions are super racist. You could stop being a dance band and start playing National Socialist Black Metal. You guys could be pretty good at it, and you'd have a huge following as long as you're KVLT enough.
  11. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    It's racist yes. But statistically some genres are more heavily populated by different racial/ethnic groups. My band is 3 white dudes playing a rap & rock mashup and we're looking for a new singer - I'm not surprised that I get more black guys and gals responding to our ads. IF we take one on I guess that will satisfy those counting color content. I've actually had a few jokes made at my expense over the years that I was the token "ethnic" for our group. Played a gig a few years ago where our very white guitarist from Alabama was trying to introduce the band, he got to me and said "aw gee, Ed, I can't say your last name right". "Can-tar-ella" I said into the mic in a serious tone - the crowd which was more than half Hispanic roared with laughter and approval.:thumbsup:
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The reasons the BL wants to hire a black man do come off as racist to me. That being said, personally I do enjoy watching diversified bands, because I think the multicultural aspect of it tends to make the band more interesting and exciting.
    bolophonic and edpal like this.
  13. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I've actually been on the other end of this. There was an all-black group that wanted me to play bass, and they admitted that they thought having a white guy in the band would broaden their appeal. I declined, but not for that reason. Still, I thought it was kind of a weird thing to say to me.

    Currently, the (white) drummer in my originals band is trying to put together a reggae cover band. He really wants a black lead singer, preferably Jamaican. But this is because he feels that it would be offensive for a white person to copy the accent and patois, which he feels is crucial to the vibe of the music. Plus, it would just be weird to have a white guy singing something like "Rivers Of Babylon".
    Tennesseemick, Brazilfunk and edpal like this.
  14. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Your BL may be racist (all black guys can sing???), but wanting a black guy in the band is actually assuming that the audience is racist. This is a fair assumption, since nobody, NOBODY is 100% unaffected by another person's appearance, including their race.

    Obviously we put racism in a special category (especially in the US), but it really isn't any different than wanting a female in the band, and pretty much everyone seems comfortable saying that.
  15. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Sounds like he's just trying to promote diversity.;)
  16. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Way to reproduce social stigmas of the mentally disabled (the term 'mental disability' is itself stigmatizing to boot). But hey, what does one expect from someone that won't see the problem in the OP as racist.
    ToneMonkey, Thisguy and McFarlin like this.
  17. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    I played in a band that the singer could go from Alice in Chains to Aretha Franklin and everything in between. Most incredible singer I had ever played with. Funny thing is he had trouble finding bands because he was black and overweight. I always told him he will always be my 1st call when putting a project together. Why, not because he's black, because he's the most talented guy I've ever worked with. To hire or not hire a guy because of color is idiotic, at least to me. Hire someone based on skill, work ethic, and/or attitude. Anything else and your back to the hair metal days when looks were more important than music.:vomit:
  18. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it Supporting Member

    It's all in the perspective of the beholder. I've played with all peoples (African-American, Latino, LGBT, etc.) and once the downbeat hits it really does not matter.
  19. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    The underlined part - you nailed that truth to the wall.:thumbsup:
    walterw likes this.
  20. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    at the age of 56 ... started music lessons in 1963 ... I really want to believe that music should be colored-blind ... !! either you can play/sing ... or not ... I'd call BS on the BL ... !!
    fclefgeoff likes this.

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