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Leader drops a bomb.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Esquillama, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. I just got back from a one nighter gig.
    Nothing seemed unusual until we were done packing up.
    The bandleader calls us all over to his truck and says,
    "I just wanted to tell you all that as of June 4th of next year,
    I'm going to be retiring from the band. It's got nothing to do
    with anyone inside the band, or outside the band. It's a personal
    decision that I've actually been thinking about for over a year now."

    We all just kind of stood there, and then everyone said OK,
    thanks for telling us. I told him that I respect his decision,
    but it makes me sad. This has been the best band I've ever
    been in, and on top of that, my family has really come to rely
    on the income. Now I'm going to have to start looking for
    another group. The good thing is, we are still booked through
    next June 4th. I know our lead guitarist isn't going to stop
    playing, so maybe he'll keep me on, and we can get something

    I don't think it's really hit me yet that it's going to be over.
    This has been a big part of my life for about eight years now.
    These guys are all older than me, and one of them was one
    of my professors at college. They're like family.

    I don't know, I just felt the need to get it off my chest I guess.
    I know many of you have been through similar situations.
    I'm just in a bit of shock.
  2. couldn't you just get another singer? - surely you must know someone from uni or something who could take over the role?
  3. This isn't your average band. We do a set show with our
    lead singer as Tina Turner, Elvis(complete with sequined jumpsuit
    and cape) among others. Also he's the one who has been
    handling all of the business aspects of the band.
    Communicating with agents, venues, and all tax responsibilities.

    If you check my profile, our website will give you a bit of an
    idea of what we're about. We mostly do casinos and private
    parties or corporate events. Plus, he owns the big PA gear.
    I know it's possible that he might want to sell it to us, but
    I know I for one can't afford it.

    Believe me, I've thought about many possible alternatives.
    I just don't see this band continuing without him. In fact,
    it would be very difficult for any of us to be replaced. The way
    the show runs now is a result of years of doing it together,
    and to teach someone else to do what we do would be
    incredibly difficult.

    I'm not trying to sound snobbish at all. I just know that when
    he's done, we're done. I appreciate your mentioning getting
    a replacement, but in this case it just wouldn't work.
  4. It may not be the end of that band just yet. This kind of thing just happens.

    One of our biggest local bands have been through this many times and are still going strong.

    Roomful of Blues

    This band has been playing almost as long as I have been alive and have been through many members including band leaders. The founding member, Duke Robillard left years ago to do his own thing, Greg Piccolo did the same thing. A couple of years ago the last remaining original member retired. These guys are a national act and still going strong.

    Seems you have plenty of time to figure things out. If the rest of the band wants to keep it together there is no reason you can not find a new front man. Elvis or not. You would just have to rebuild a bit. Funny thing is if you were in Nevada Impersonators are a dime a dozen. :D or was at one time.

    I know the uncertainty of this is the problem right now, don't give up on it until you talk to the rest of the band in a band meeting. A lot of his responsibilities can be split between the remaing members and the option of keeping the rest of the band together with or with out the impersonations is possible. No doubt it will be different. One of the concerns you mentioned is the missed income. You can keep it together with this band, find another, or give up altogether.

    kind of sounds like you gave up already.
  5. You're absolutely right. There are of course options.
    I'm definitely in that period of uncertainty right now.
    We haven't had a chance to talk about it yet so I'm
    operating in my own little bubble of "what am I going to do".

    I haven't given up on playing, or even on this band necessarily.
    I know I'll be doing something, I just really liked this the way it
    was/is. My family tells me that "everything happens for a reason"
    and in the past when other groups have been dissolved, I've
    found myself in a better situation. Every time I've taken a
    step up, in professionalism, show quality, business sense,
    and in pay. I don't mean to sound defeatist, it's just still
    raw and things feel uncertain.

    I don't want to create some type of melodramatic thread here.
    I just had to get it off my chest, it was a shock and now I'm
    starting to process it and deal with it. I don't think I could
    ever see myself quit playing. Music has been at the center
    of my identity for as long as I can remember. It's not just my
    profession, it's my vocation.

    Anyway, thank you for your insight, and for not jumping on my
    case. You made some very good points, and I am encouraged.
  6. Well, last night I got to talk with the guys in the band,
    and it looks like the band is going to be done in June.

    But I talked with the guitar player, and just as I thought,
    he's got something in the works already and said he wants
    to include me. The only thing is, it's going to be a different
    kind of animal. He wants to go the Jazz, 3 piece, corporate
    kind of gig. I don't much care as long as I'm still playing.
    I'm wondering if I'd miss "performing". I guess time will tell.

    So, all is not as bleak as it first appeared when I was still in shock.
    I've got about seven months to work through the change.
    I'm sure I'll be fine. It will definitely be a big change though.
  7. Sorry to hear the band didn't work out. I've been through the same thing. We lost some key players and tried to keep it together. We ran about eight years and then lost our guitarist and singer. No big deal, the guitarist had big feet (over played) and we found a new singer quickly. Mater of fact one of the best singers I have ever played with. Only problem, he was not a team player. Skip rehearsals and showed up just in time to do the gigs. Next we lost our drummer and tenor sax. That hurt a little more as good drummers are hard to find, and the sax player also did the arrangements (horn section), but they where being replaced. Then our keyboardist left. he was replaced.

    Well,....finely I made the decision to call it quits. One, because the drummer that got the job was not my first choice, far from it. We did a lot of funky stuff and he was not that kind of drummer. Two , I saw the singer would be a problem, and last, It just was not the same band. It lost "that magic" we once had. So I figured that band simply had run the gauntlet and it was done. Bands come and go and that's the fact.

    The moral of my babbling,

    Just keep playing.

    If the three piece jazz thing is not what you want, something else more than likely will pop up. Pop up out of nowhere or so it seems.

    I made the decision to take some time off and now it has tuned into quite some time off. I let some good offers come and go and then tried out a couple of bands, but nothing quite got off the ground, so now I am in a state of limbo. It seems to be a lot harder to get back into it, than if I would have never stopped playing. Even if it turn out to be a band that is not what you expected it to be. Just keep yourself busy with one project or another.

    The only reassurance I have is, I saw the same drummer that I had quit the band for. He was in a band that I got an offer to audition. I went to check them out at a local club and he (the drummer) surely is the anti-groove. :D The bassist they had was quit good, and it was no wonder why he was quitting. Naturally, I declined. Right now I have a little something on the back burner that I hope pays off. If not, I will surely go into a state of deep seclusion. (just kidding).

    Good luck with the new band.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    At least he gave you eight months to find another gig. Maybe do something different with the existing personnel.
  9. Here is a thought. Since your booked into June. Why dont you showcase your band with the lead singer. Let him know what you are doing (replacing him). Advertise for a singer needed and have them show up at a gig to see what your band is all about. (pre-audition) Also start learning about and getting involved in the busine$$ end of it. There is so much talent out there.
  10. Good points all around. Thanks for the responses.
    Unfortunately, two of the other guys in the band won't
    be playing when this group is done(at least for awhile).

    I've thought about the business side of things before, even
    when I was in other bands. I'm not ready to take that on
    at this time. I am however gleaning as much as I can from
    the sidelines.

    I will definitely keep playing. Our drummer said tonight that
    he thought I wouldn't have any trouble finding work. That was
    encouraging to hear. I've built a fairly good reputation for
    myself here in town and I feel like I'll be able to do "something".

    It was really very good of our singer to give us the extended
    notice. He told me tonight that he already had people asking
    to book the band for summer months and beyond, and didn't
    want us to wonder why things weren't getting booked.
    Plus, he knows that some of us will want to keep working,
    and if we need to leave before June to do whatever we're
    going to do, that gives him time to either find replacements
    or cancel.

    Anyway, I know the life of a musician is all about constantly
    growing, and experiencing, and experimenting. This has been
    a tremendous chapter in my musical life story........
    AND I've still got several months left to enjoy!

    Life goes on.
  11. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Hopefully it all works out for you finding a different gig. If your area is anything like it is here (which is fairly close), good bass players are in demand. Not too hard to find work around here.
  12. Certainly understandable to missing the band already. Make the most of what's left. Sometimes you don't even get an advance warning!

    Like Del Paxton in That Thing You Do advised, "Bands come and bands go. You just got to keep on playing!".
  13. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Just had nearly the same-exact thing happen to my band tonight. We meet for practice, and we start tuning up. Our singer says, "Hey guys, before we go any further, I've got something to tell you." He proceeds to explain that he just accepted a new job in Pennsylvania, effective Nov. 1st. We JUST found a drummer and a guitarist, and we JUST finalized our name last Thursday. We're happy for the guy, but man am I sick of the stinkin' musical chairs.

    We've decided to keep on playing and start looking for a new vocalist. Our former lead singer had a very large range and was very versatile, so we could cover just about any song.

    Sigh. The show must go on, right? One step forward, two steps back. One step forward, two steps back. Seems like I've been here before!

  14. I'm sorry that happened to you. It seems like this time of
    year is when most of this stuff happens. Two other bands
    that I've been in have had their "ending conversation" in the
    fall. Both hung on for awhile afterwards, but it was that
    initial fall conversation that started the demise.

    I like the Del Paxton quote. "Bands come and bands go, you
    just gotta keep on playing."

    I hope you find someone who will complement your group well.
    Good luck!
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Well that IS different :eek:
  16. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

    Some bandleaders don't give a rats ass about the musicians - this leader is obviously a very, very thoughtful person.
  17. Yes he is. And that's another reason why I'm sorry to see this
    band stop. All the other members are old enough to be my
    dad, and I've learned a lot from them. I was just in the right
    place at the right time. I feel very fortunate.
  18. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I would be bummed out too. :(

    I love playing with really, really old, experienced musicians - you can never, ever ever ever go wrong with that.

    Sorry about losing your group...
    Just remember to use everything you learned and use it to make your next project even better...

  19. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ahh... I just can't get past this line, Man.

    How can the same person be jumpsuit-Elvis, and Tina Turner?

    "...not you're average", is right! I'm scared.

  20. He does them in seperate sets. Elvis in the jumpsuit, and
    Tina in a "specially prepared" dress(red fringe with matching
    red sequined high heeled shoes). He wears a Tina wig and
    the dress has fake breasts built in. He only does one number
    as Tina, "Proud Mary". We use it to end one of our sets.
    Both Elvis and Tina get fog and strobes.