Last Night's "Show" ... or "Drummer Tantrums"

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Meyekul, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Hey all, I'm kind of new here but I thought you might find a bit of humor in the gig my band played last night. I hope it isn't too long and boring.. but anyway...

    It all began at rehersal the night before. Our guitarist had to step out for a bit to pick his girlfriend up from work, which apparantly annoyed our drummer. I took the opportunity to spend some "quality time" with my girl, who was already at the rehersal. When I came back into the jam room, the drummer had left, and taken his cymbals with him. Just his cymbals. I knew he at least would need his stands for the gig; he has a 2nd kit, but only one set of stands and cymbals. Apparantly he didn't plan on playing the show. So, after a bit of drama and negotiating we talked him into playing the gig, and I would load his stands into my truck and take them to the venue as I went.

    Things were OK when we got there, we all drove separately to haul equipment and people, but still managed to get to the venue within 10 or 15 minutes of each other. Our drummer got lost, but luckily one of the roadies knew the area good enough to guide him in quickly over the phone. So here we are, setting up, since we were the first act of the night. We have the guitar and bass set up, in tune, sound checked, etc and the drummer is still putting together his kit. He looks around, and asks where his other stand is... See, he uses a spare snare stand as a tom stand, for whatever reason, and I asked him on the phone before we left if he needed the "stand with the tom on it" and he told me "no, I have all the toms I need" so I didn't bring it. So he's freaking out, he doesn't have his tom stand. He's swearing up and down that he told me he needed that stand, even though both the guitarist and myself asked him specifically if he needed it. He wants to go home and cancel the show, with a room full of people watching us fiddle around on stage. So we tell him that its too late to cancel now, he needs to make due without the tom or borrow one from one of the other bands. I didn't plan this gig and drive for an hour to turn around and go back home without making some noise. But no, he's not having that, if he doesn't get to use HIS equipment he's going home. At this point I'm steaming mad, ready to hit him.. but we finally convince him not to be a weiner and go borrow a stand or something to work with for the night. So we get set up, play a decent set, all is good (relatively). People loved the set, a singer from another band did a song with us, we did more covers and a wider range than we usually do and they were really into it. The DJ even put our CD in during one of the intermissions while another band was setting up, very cool.

    So another band is playing, doing a good set. Their drummer is only about 13, and he's doing a great job for his age (better than our drummer..) and then he just stops. He broke a drum head. Instead of keeping going, or borrowing a drum from our drummer who already loaned him a cymbal, he stands up, kicks his drum set over, knocks over the cymbal stands and pretty much throws a tantrum right on stage.

    So that was 2 great sets almost completely ruined by immature, unprofessional drummers. I don't know how these guys expect to accomplish anything without some determination. If I broke a string or blew a speaker or something I'd beg, borrow, or steal whatever I had to in order to finish the show. I can't respect a musician who can't relate to that.

    Sorry if I bugged anyone posting this, I just needed to vent a little and I'm sure you all know how frustrating this can be.
  2. Why are you surprised?

    It's par for the course. It shouldn't be, but it is.
  3. Our drummers fair tame as fare as tantrums go, its our lead guitarist we have to worry about. For example, for a rehearsal I he blew his amp cause he is very egocentric and needs his guitar up superloud. Anyway, I let him use my spare squier guitar amp that's been in my closet for a while, it had the same wattage as his amp as well. Anyway, he turns it up just as loud and it starts making crackling noises and the distortion keeps cutting in and out, so it was switching from dirty to clean all the time. Anyway, after a few minutes of trying to fix it we're all confident its fixed. So what does he go and do, turns it up louder, it happens again, he rips the plug from the wall and throws MY AMP into MY POOL! (we practice in the garage) What a wanker, he still owes me money for it!
  4. Perfect-Tommy


    Mar 28, 2004
    This all comes back to my newest school of thought, the only person you can depend on is you. Period. You're the only one that you know is going to react without throwing an amp in the pool...
  5. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    We were playing in a club in front of 800 people. A guy got too close to my drummers girlfriend. First, the jerk hurled his sticks at the guy in the middle of a song. Next, he flew out from behind the kit to take the guy on. We continued playing as a "trio" with no drummer for the balance of the song. He eventually finished the night. Is this idiot 13 years old? No, he's 46 and still in freakin high school in his head. What a moron. Total nutjob headcase.
  6. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    You guys hook up with some weird cats!
    I'm glad my bandmates are sane!

  7. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    drummers suck!! Our drummers a greedy *******. We had a gig last week and it was a spur of the moment type gig and me and the guitarist both forgot our wallets. We asked him to loan us some cash for just a drink (ya know get a lil thirsty on stage) and he replies "no" and throughout the night he stuffs his fat face with food and drinks. I seriously didnt think someone could be so greedy.
  8. Well I'm glad (sort of) to hear its not just our drummer that is a baby. He called off practice last night because he's been doing a project remodeling his kitchen for the past 6 months, and last night he "can't just stop in the middle of it" ....

    After his little stunt at the last gig, we decided to start seriously working on replacing him. Its been coming for a while, but we've known the guy forever and been through a lot, so its hard to say "see ya.." but he's pretty much made the decision for himself now. We actually got the phone number of another drummer at the venue we played the other night, while our guy was still there watching the 13 year old :)

    So I guess we'll get in touch with the new guy and see how that works out. Any tips for breaking the news to our future former drummer?
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Sorry but I have to blame you guys here a little. 2 reasons - the girlfiriend thing, and the fact that you didn't treat your drummer like a drummer (or a person). He's not all at fault here. Come to think of it, I don't know if I find him at fault at all.

    If I were rehearsing and in the middle of rehearsal one of the guys said, "Whoops, 4:30, gotta go pick up my girl", I too would be infuriated. If the other guy then sat there making out with his girl I'd have done exactly what your drummer did and left. i don't think you're showing him much respect like that. Girlfriends can take busses, trains, car service, bicycles... if it's an absolute must for whatever reason that the other guy HAD to pick up his girl, then you could have scheduled rehearsal around that. Sorry, but if anyone just got up to pick up his girlfriend in the middle of rehearsal - that would really get me. Your attitude about HIM being the one with the problem I'm sure fueled the next day.

    Next day, you guys obviously had a lack of communication. I'm sure his side of the story is WAAAAAAAY different than yours regarding the snare stand, and I'm certain you guys simply didn't understand one another. I'm sure you're certain you're right too, but only god knows. Given all this stuff i think you guys should have been a bit more supportive and understanding and perhaps treated the guy with kid gloves - not with "I was gonna punch him in the face". Sounds like your attitude towards him about the whole thing was "Get a load of this A-hole!"

    Don't know if this is a true "drummer" story. It could have real easily been a Joe Nerve story too. I think I may have felt exactly as your drummer did and started looking for another band.

    The other kid was 13. He did precisely what he was supposed to do given his situation. :)
  10. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Don't beat around the bush, and don't make it personal. In my day job, I've had to fire people, and while it's no fun, all of the same principles apply.

    First, be certain that you will not affect any upcoming gigs. Second, have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for in a replacement - in a positive way, not "I just don't want another jerk like the last guy." Quietly line that replacement up.

    When you give him the news, keep calm about it, and all members of the band should be in agreement and in attendance. Do it on neutral territory. Let him know that you appreciate all he has done for the organization, but at this time it's better for all concerned that he seeks greener pastures. Be positive, firm and direct. Don't turn it into a pissing contest, no matter what he says. In fact, the angrier he gets, the calmer all of you should remain. Because you are all friends for a long time, expect the guy to totally trash you guys for a while. Don't take it personally. It sounds like this guy has issues he needs to deal with on his own. If he is really a friend, he will eventually come around.

    A band is like a miniature business. It's only as strong as its' weakest link. Bad behaviour costs you money in lost gigs and tarnished reputation. At the end of the day, you can't let that happen. Also, this is supposed to be fun. Who needs a headcase sucking the joy out of your passion?

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Any particular reason you're all immediately taking his side in this???
  12. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Because we've all played with insane drummers who pull sh*t like that, and worse, constantly?

    At least I used to, my current drummer is awesome, a little odd, but cool. Now if only I could find a guitar player who weren't a freaking moron...
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Just curious. How wold you have reacted as a bass player in the drummers situation - go through the story again and put yourself in his shoes? Everybody all of a sudden has to tend to thier girlfriends right in the middle of rehearsal. And then they bring your 4 string bass when YOU know you tole them you needed your 5. Then get mad at YOU to boot. C'mon.
  14. We don't have mass transportation here, its not a big town or anything. We don't even have taxis... So yeah he had to go pick her up, she didn't have anyone else to get her, and it wasn't a big deal, he was only gone for like 30 or 40 minutes. Also its not like I left the drummer alone, there was another friend of ours there to keep him company. I can see where he might have been a little offended by it all, but I can't count how many times we've waited on him to show up, or had him cancel practice at the last minute, so he shouldn't be too upset about it. This was our last chance to practice before the gig, I don't think its too much of a burden for him to have to sit and watch TV with a friend for a few minutes...

    This is really just one of those "straw that broke the camel's back" incidents. If it were an isolated event, we'd probably brush it off and go on, but we've been getting frustrated with him for a while, and we agree that he's holding the band back... so that amplifies the situation a bit.

    The whole deal with him freaking out over the missing stand was that he wouldn't even ask to borrow one, even after he already agreed to lend the kid a cymbal for their set...
  15. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Lets see, assuming that whichever member had to split mid practice had told us ahead of time that he needed to do so, I'd have dealt. Bands are always a balancing act, for everyone. My bandmates are supportive if I have to schedule practice time around things like, and I try and do the same. If it was a spur of the moment thing, I'd be ticked but I'd try and deal until we could discuss it at a more appropriate time, say AFTER the gig.

    Same with my bass, assuming I had to rely on bandmates to bring my gear (which I might add would not have happened in this case if the drummer hadn't flipped out like a chemically unbalanced 3 year old) and the wrong bass ended up there, I'd certainly be ticked, but there's NO F*CKING WAY that I'd even consider not playing the gig because of it. I've played gigs using a guitar and octave pedal because my vanished during sound check and I didn't have a spare. Wanting to cancel a show as the crowd is milling in watching you setup because you are missing one small peice of your gear (correct me if I'm wrong but he was missing 1 tom, not his entire kit)...that's beyond immature, its asinine.

    Anyone who's played in bands knows that Murphy's Law applies in force. What can go wrong, does, and what can't tries to. You just have to adapt, do what you need to for the moment, then address the problems when time allows. But christ almighty, could there possibly be a worse time to deal with an inner-band conflict than on stage moments before a gig?
  16. He wasn't even missing the tom, he had his entire main kit there, he was just missing the stand that he used for it. He ended up just borrowing one of those little elbo things that attaches the tom to the bass drum. Took all of 2 minutes to ask the guy, remove the piece, and get his kit together, after spending a good 5 arguing ON STAGE about who forgot what and if he told us to bring it or not. God knows why he doesnt use one of those elbos anyway...

    Another thing that I didn't notice until I was discussing the incident with our guitarist last night... He kept saying that we forgot 2 stands, the tom stand and a cymbal stand, when I knew 100% certain that the only stand I didn't bring was the tom. Where was the other stand? It was at his house, we used it as a mic stand the previous time we practiced there because we didn't bring it. So he's the one that forgot his other stand.
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    While there are certainly some issues with the drummer specifically (eg, refusing to ask to borrow a drum part,) the blame is far from ONLY being his.

    Girlfriends (or boyfriends, depending on if there's girls in the band or how you swing) are not to be at band practice. Friends are not to be at band practice. You know who's supposed to be at band practice? BAND MEMBERS. In 30 or 40 minutes, you and him could've rehearsed a whole set. This is a trio setup, right? There's still plenty you guys could've been working on. I've only ever been in one situation where a band member (appropriately enough, the drummer) didn't observe the number 1 rule of band practice -- no girlfriends/crushes/doin' it buddies/random females of interest. He got the point after practice. We never had another "violation" from any other member after that. We lost a lot of time in that practice because of his shenanigans, but we wrote an entire song in his absence (a very catchy funk tune with 2 D&B interludes in the song) while he showed his "first wife" around the farm.*

    *His current girlfriend calls the girl this. While he and his "first wife" (keep in mind the dude is 16) never dated (or admitted to it, at least) they of course felt it necessary to leave for 40 minutes at a time for private conversations, when she shouldn't have even been there in the first place. Oh well. Thank god for "divorce"! ;)
  18. Well if he has a problem with our girlfriends being at practice (as he appears to sometimes) maybe he shouldn't bring his wife? And when we jam at his house, his wife should leave? I'm not actually dogging on his wife or anything, she's super nice and often bakes cookies or something while we jam, but he's actually mentioned that he thinks our girls are getting in the way, since we do like to spend time with them during practice. Its not like we're humping thier legs during song breaks or anything, they just live like 2 miles away (they're step-sisters) so they like to come see us practice when we play at Don's house. Ed (drummer) never complained about girlfriends when Don was dating his neice...

    We often have a house full of people at practice; so much that jam sessions often turn into mini-shows where we have to move people to find a seat during a break. Most of them are kids that live around the neighborhood and come over when they hear the music. One guy lives over a mile away, and said he used to go sit on his roof and listen to us play before he got up the nerve to come over and talk to us. I don't think Ed likes that too much, he seems to get nervous playing in front of people he doesnt know, which is a very very bad trait for a gigging musician. He really doesn't seem to mind it too much when we're at his house and he has a crowd of his family and friends over. Don and I love it either way, we get to have instant feedback on what we're doing, and it helps to plan set lists when we have a room full of critics.

    However I do see your point that we haven't exactly been nice to the guy lately, and we honestly haven't. Part of it is unavoidable/unintentional, but a lot of it is just being fed-up with dealing with him over the last 4 years. We have many inner-band problems that go beyond the scope of this thread, so I'm not gonna start ragging on him any more in here. Suffice to say, we've pretty much just been waiting on a reason/excuse to let him go and that's just what this is, the last straw.

    Anyway, I just started this thread to vent a little and bash on drummers a little like we all enjoy doing from time to time. I see everyone's points on what we did wrong, but you're never going to convince me that we haven't been patient and helpful to him over the last 4 years. Thanks anyway for all the input.
  19. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    You also may have noticed that it's useless to punch such retarded people. It's so frustrating! There's no way he'll ever learn. Fire him!

  20. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'm with Joe on this one. If I was at practice and someone left for 30-40 minute to go pick someone up (I don't care WHO it was), then that means practice is OVER--I know my time is more valuable than waiting around for someone to run errands. And, I've never been a big fan of significant others at band rehearsals. Is it a rehearsal, or is it a "Look what I can do, Honey" session?

    So, I don't blame the drummer for getting pissed and leaving.

    Now, that's no excuse for not being prepared for the gig.

    Just because he's being unprofessional doesn't excuse the fact that it sounds like the rest of your band is just as unprofessional.

    At least the kid has the excuse of being 13. :eyebrow:

    I know everyone likes to make "ha ha all drummers R teh DumB" jokes, but in the real world there are idiots who play every instrument...