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Lead guitarist won't play without a crowd. What to do?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GManfromOz, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    Everyone knows that on the odd occasion there'll be nobody at the gig, it happens. We played to bar staff and security once, not a solitary punter. You take the good with the bad, right?

    We've got a lead guitarist who isn't all that good, he takes forever to learn new songs, makes the same mistakes on the same songs every time we play and is really only in the band so he can say "I'm in a band" and to hit on middle aged divorcees (this is a fact, not conjecture). He's never once booked a gig, promoted a gig on FB, organised rehearsal or helped the drummer carry gear and usually just heads for the door once a gig is over. He's a liability and a real barnacle, no amount of shaming will get him to move. But that's not the problem.

    So we get a booking through an agent we're trying to curry favour with at a venue on the other side of town but admittedly for only cost-recovery and petrol money. When asked about his availability he responded that he doesn't think there'll be much of a crowd so he's not going to play, his words "it's not worth it to me" (ie. there's nobody there to watch me preen or for me to hit on to make myself feel good as an aging never-was). I find the attitude childish and deeply disrespectful of those bandmembers who do the bookings and organisation.

    I've tried to find a replacement for that gig, unsuccessfully. We've got a couple of gigs coming up so I'm loath to rage-fire him but I am thinking that perhaps I should just leave the band citing my general disgust at his attitude and hopefully bring forward a split/reform without him. With him in the band it's going nowhere anyway.

    Your thoughts wise men of bass?
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  2. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    Blow up dolls

    Kills two birds with one stone
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Why not find a new lead guitarist with a better attitude & playing skills?? He's going to continue to be a problem, and if he isn't all that good on his instrument or at least trying to help in other ways ... why bother?
    Tbone76, Sartori, BaileyMan and 24 others like this.
  4. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    he doesn't want to play? replace him. permanently. is this a trick question?
  5. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    I've found it's always best to get two birds stoned at once.
  6. You've described the guy as a worthless anchor dragging the band down.

    And what's the difference between firing him or quitting the band and bringing the rest of them with you????
  7. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Why is he in your band again?
  8. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    An unfortunate history and "friendships". Dude's a barnacle.
  9. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    Nothing much except for my respect for the "owner" of the band (ie. the guy that does all of the work). I don't want to leave him in the lurch.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    This. He's dead weight and adds nothing to the band. He should have been gone a long time ago. If the band leader does not recognize this..........time for you to go. I absolutely HATE when someone is in a band and brings zero to the table. Basically paying a guy to do nothing. Nope! Not having it!
  11. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Have the whole band have a talk with him and tell him that if he doesn't play the gig, he's out of the band.
    Since you can't find a replacement, you may already not be playing, so giving him an ultimatum either
    a) gets you all to play the gig or, b) you don't play anyway, AND he knows he's out.

    IF you do play the gig with him, after it's done, I'd still look for a new guitarist and kick him out.

    I've got no patience for that type of b.s.
  12. Every time I read a thread like this I just shake my head in disbelief. WHY in the hell does anyone EVER put up with this attitude from some ego driven non team player jerk? Nothing someone like this brings to the table is ever worth the destruction they cause. That the question is even asked makes me wonder about the questioners own issues. The solution should be painfully obvious.
  13. GManfromOz


    Jul 27, 2016
    The issue is that I'm not the band leader and the bigger issue is ... wait for it ... we've already had the talk, TWICE. I can't act unilaterally unless I just pack up and go. I've put a heap of pressure on the band leader but he's worried that he won't be able to find a replacement and given that he comes up with gigs week-in week-out there's little lead time (in his mind) to bed in a new body. He's the type of guy who will use sticky tape instead of a proper fix.

    My issues, got plenty, thanks for asking. But the issue is I won't leave the band leader out in the cold, loyalty and commitment gets the better of me.
  14. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I enjoy your writing style and word choice :). Seriously. Just wanted to say that.

    I have no comment on the rest though... aside from find another guitarist.
  15. If I understand the OP, there is no fix and the OP won't leave.

    The answer may be Xanax.

    What magic wand would TB have?
  16. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    From the description of this guy perhaps he is why there is no crowd ?
  17. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Let me throw a curve ball in here.

    This booking agent you are trying to curry favor with, has he gotten you good gigs in the past? Has he given you any assurances that he will get you good gigs in the future? Because, so far, he has gotten you a gas money gig that even he admits won't be attended well. I would be tempted to pass on it myself unless I was reeeeeeeally confident it would lead to something better in the future. Just some greasy agent saying "Don't worry. I'll look out for you baby" would NOT be enough.

    Sure, your full description of the guy tells me he needs to be replaced. And if the BL won't do it you gotta scram.

    But this one instance isn't enough by itself to make the guitar player a jerk. I have turned down better gigs than that.

    You guys sound to old to be doing "get your foot in the door" gigs.
  18. get a new guitar player ASAP
  19. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Ask the other band members whether they prefer him or you.
    Felken, Omega Monkey, Honch and 3 others like this.
  20. pbassjbass


    Jun 21, 2013
    Got to agree with two fingers, if the only one making money is the agent, then you have to at least admit the barnacle is awake and paying attention.
    Will_White likes this.

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