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Last band I played for.......dissapointing experience

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by g4string, Apr 29, 2009.


  1. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Ok, so about 6 weeks ago I answer an ad for a band in the suburbs (of Chicago) who are in need of a bass player. I checked out their myspace page and everything seemed like a good fit. They were an all original hard-rock band. I dug the tunes they had in myspace so I responded. A couple of days after I responded to the ad, I spoke over the phone with the drummer/lead singer. He seemed like a cool cat.....Within a week, we get together and jam. One of the guitarist didn't show up (there are 2 guitarist), so we did the rehearsal/audition with the remaining guitarist. I noticed right away that they play loud......Oh well, thank god I brought my CA9 and Acme B4:p I noticed a little weirdness from the drummer, but figured that I am the "new guy" and they don't know me and I dont know them.....not a big deal. The guitarist that was there seemed really nice. He also seemed real enthused about me being there.....so I figured I would get the slot. A week goes by, I get a call that they are still auditioning bassist and that they will get back to me ASAP.....cool! A few more days go by, I get a call asking me if I can get together one more time and the other guitarist WILL be there....I say sure!!!

    We get together again, the other guitarist did make it and seemed cool, the one I met previously was still cool, and still just a little weirdness from the drummer. After the jam, they ask me if I can do a show with them in downtown Chicago. I say OK.....I'll do it. At this point in the game, I am uncertain if I want to continue with this band for two reasons.....the play/practice really loud and they ONLY want to gig in the city which is 1.75 hours from my house......NTM, they only play 1ea 45min-1hr set. They always book a show with at least two other bands. Between where I live and the other members in that band, going into the city (Chicago) is not an easy task. For two guys it would take under an hour, for myself and one the gui****s, it could take at least 1.75 to get downtown. But I figured, let me do a gig with them and see what a show is like......maybe that would change my mind?? After all, they only book about once a month. I can handle doing a gig in the city once a month. Before we left the 2nd GTG, we schedule a final practice a week out so we can get set for the up coming gig.

    Our last practice was supposed to Sunday the 18th....however I got sick and canceled. We rescheduled for Tuesday the 21st. The only deal was that one of the guitarist couldn't make it.......not a big deal!! We just needed to cover the set list, make sure I had everything memorized, and we were out. Again, it was another loud rehearsal. I brought ear plugs this time!!!!!! However, all I could hear with the plugs in was low-mids on down. I could hear nothing from the low-mids on up.......so I took them out. Everything is going good.......the drummer seems to be warming up to me a little.......then I hear a buzz coming form my Acme B4. At the time I thought it was the diaphragm in the tweeter. A day later revealed it was 3 creased cones.....great!!!!!! Because these guys need to make my ears bleed, I get to fork out $300 to replace my drivers in my Acme!!!!! I am not happy.......Oh, another thing, I find out the bar we are playing at has a strict load in time of 7pm even though the show doesn't start until 10pm. And we cant load out until the end of the night!!!!! Now, that means I have to leave my house at 515pm so I can be at the club by 7pm - and will not get home until about 3am.........also, good luck trying to parking!! The bar is near Wrigley Field. If need be, parking lots are $20 for the night. So I have to drive 75 miles to get to the city, possibly pay for my own parking, and give up 10 hours of my day to play 1 hour of music.......oh ya, and because they play so ******* loud, I have to worry that my gear could completely fall apart at any given moment. Again, I want to see what a live show is like with these guys before I run away.........a good live show might change my mind.......

    The day of the gig (last Saturday the 25th) I leave at 515pm........my wife decided not to come because of the load in-out drama:mad: Halfway to the city it starts to pour....figures!!! I finally make it to the club and score parking right out the front door......that was the only good thing that happened that night:meh: I look at the bill, we play last and go on at 12-1......Everybody shows up and loads in, we sit down and have a few beers......everything seems cool. After the one guitarist gets tired of talking to me, I end up sitting at bar by myself the entire night.......granted both guitarists brought their wives. The drummer pretty much avoided me all night. The bands start.........loud!!! Put my ear plugs in. 12 finally rolls around.......we go on. My ear plugs were out, and both guitar cabs were pointed away from me, we were still VERY, VERY loud. I couldn't even hear myself on stage. I had my LMII and UL410 for this gig, and it was cranking. I was also tucked in the back of the stage with piss poor lighting...........I couldn't hear myself or see my fret positions, bad combo. I had a few hiccups due to the conditions, but all in all I thought I played well given the conditions and time frame I had. I load up, help the other two gui****s load up. It's the end of the night, I want to get paid and leave. So I start doing the proverbial aimless walk around the bar waiting to get paid while the drummer bs's and is taking his sweet time loading his drums.........I am getting impatient as I have a solid 1.5 - 1.75 hour drive home......I figured screw it I gotta go. I let the drummer know I gotta get going......his response "Thanks man. I will call you, we'll jam again some time".........I figured he would be like "ya thanks for coming out, I will call you and we can figure out a way to settle up". Not a single mention of $$. Maybe he would call in day or two and ask how to settle up.......NOPE HASN'T HAPPENED!!! I didn't get a call from this guy on Sun, Mon, or yesterday..........not even a call to thank me for my time.

    This really offended me..........I do them a favor by doing the show. They are the band w/o the bass player!!! I drive 2 hours to get in to the city. I sit in this bar from 7 until 12 waiting to play.....and then go on for 1 hour, then have another long *** drive back home. And this guy doesn't have the nerve to mention anything about pay!!!! In all honesty, I would have done the gig for free. All they had to do when they asked me to do the gig was tell me we would make no money and that it didn't pay. I would have helped them out. But we did get paid. I overheard the bartender mention something about left over door money for our band. The way I see it, no reasonable amount of money a bar is going to pay a band can realistically cover the time I dedicated to that show. All the drummer had to say to me was we didn't make any money, or we only made $20, $30, $40, or whatever. It is the fact that he wasn't open with me whether or not the band got paid and has made no effort to contact me regarding the issue. I feel really taken advantage of. Never again!!!!!!
     
  2. pbagley

    pbagley

    Jun 2, 2008
    Ham Lake, MN
    Someone asks if I can play a gig the first thing out of my mouth is "How much does it pay?" When a number is given I ask "Each?" So before I say I'll play I know how much the job pays. You may want to ask if there is an agent's commission too, if that applies and decreases your take home. Usual follow-ups are about whether drinks are covered and then load in and load out times. Get the full story before you commit.

    Good luck,

    - Paul
     
  3. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Oh ya.......I had to pay for my own drinks as well:rollno:
     
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    You really should have stopped playing with these guys once you realized that they play too loud. A band that can't hold rehearsal/auditions in a professional manner usually means they dont gig in a professional manner as well. You put a lot of time and effort into this one performance only to get nothing in return.
     
  5. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    That was an immediate concern that weighed heavily on my mind since I left the first rehearsal.......nice point!!
     
  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    But I guess that isnt always enough of a red flag to put someone off. Ive played in a band that rehearsed way too loud. I tried to get them on board that practise doesnt need to be at full volume, and they agreed, but it didnt take for whatever reason. I stuck it out for a month, then we had to fire the guitarist for being a psycho obsessed stalker. I quit after that.
     
  7. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    did you just learn to trust your instincts?
     
  8. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    LOL. You would fit right in if you lived in Las Vegas. I've had guitar players ask for money for coming over my house and working on a few songs. Female singers often call me asking for money just...to ah....have some money. When I first moved here in 1996 I was waiting to watch a lounge band come on for their first set, & the male singer came up to me and asked if he could borrow my shirt becuase his was badly wrinkled and he didn't have time to iron it before he came to the hotel.
     
  9. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    original bands, pay...lol
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Gee I had a similar experience in Philadelphia back in the 80s ... I guess the original music gigging scene still sucks ...
     
  11. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Playing loud doesn't mean I knew these guys were going to stiff me?????? Trust me, I am not naive. But I do prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, I live by the one-strike rule. I generally tend to dis-believe in the three-strike system. Stiffing me on the pay was big strike-one!
     
  12. JKT

    JKT

    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    Volume levels that crush speakers in a pro level cab. At rehearsal. Several times.

    You left a gig with guys you essentially didn't know, before getting paid an unknown amount, that was never agreed upon.

    Just makin sure I understand it all...
     
  13. thumpbass1

    thumpbass1

    Jul 4, 2004
    You are now a bonafide veteran musician in every sense of the word. You have my empathy as most folks here, including myself have had our share of bad bands and bad gig experiences. Thankfully these days the band I'm with, and have been for a number of years, is on the same page, so our good gigs outnumber the 'craptastic' ones. Even the most experienced bands and players get the occasional bad gig no matter how well they plan ahead, but at least you can try to reduce the bad situations. It's just the nature of the biz at all levels it seems. I hope your future ventures go better for you.
     
  14. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I guess when I see it put like that.......it makes feel pretty stupid as I am 100% better than that AND I should have known better:rollno:
     
  15. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    in post number five you quoted someone saying that people who dont act proffesionally in practice wont act proffesionally in a gigging situation (i'm paraphrasing)

    u then replied that this weighed heavily on ur mind after leaving the first practice.

    i thought u meant that the unproffesionalism (as opposed to simply the volume) was a major concern for you right off the bat which is why i asked if u learned to trust your instincts. sorry i misread or misunderstood you..
     
  16. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I got ya......no biggie:smug: I can handle some forms of un-professionalism......not every band is perfect - I get that. However, I didn't think that the drummer/leader/singer was that un-professional that he would stiff me. But ya, its my fault for not asking about $$ first. I thought I shouldn't have to. Live and learn!
     
  17. g4-
    Sometimes all you get is a band story you can laugh about with your friends. And a little life-lesson wisdom for down the road. (Especially when it comes to bands that play original music on the local scene).
     
  18. jnuts1

    jnuts1

    Nov 13, 2007
    pbagly, i just got burned with the "how much does it pay?" i never thought to ask EACH?!!! so i agreed to sub for a band for 50 & at the rehearsal they said it was to split. it's a 5 piece too.
     
  19. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Unreal:rollno:.......I wanna play out just like the next guy, but for $10. I would just assume to stay home.

    It is weird because when I sub, I make sure to know how much I am getting paid. Since I was thinking of permanently playing with this band, I never asked.
     
  20. JKT

    JKT

    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    It ain't about makin the mistakes as much as it is not learning from them. If you learned some stuff, then it's all good. I'm guessing you did. ;)
     

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