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Leaving my Pity Party and stepping into the sun

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stinsok, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    For several years I have been involved with people that have held me back (I was holding myself back as well.) I have turned down some playing opportunities because I was waiting for them to "want" to play. A while back the band started to make a little noise in the area, but when we cut some nice demos that was the beginning of the end.

    One guy had some really crazy notion that we should be getting 1200.00 a night to play in small clubs. Another only wanted to play stuff that he though was cool-songs most bands would play would be beneath him.

    During this time, I worked on putting a good PA together (starting with a zero budget.) Any sizeable amount of money that I had at any time went toward upgrading and adding on. I spent that money for the greater good. Because of that I always had parts basses or stuff I fixed up out of boredom. Most of the time is wasn't politically correct (it didn't say Fender or Gibson on it.) I never asked for any additional cut from any gig (and none was offered.) Occasionally I would hear "you know what would be cool?" and I would say "yeah, that's something we could get if we all go together." That would be the end of that.

    Once after a gig, one of them approached me and said "_____ and I agreed that if you have a cabinet that size it should say "Ampeg" on it. On the outside I kinda laughed it off, but it made me about as angry as I have ever been in my life.

    A month ago, I sent them an email letting them know that I was liquidating my PA, that is wasn't worth keeping it for a group that has no interest in playing.

    I started the process and it feels really good. I am using that money to put together a really, really nice rig. I am shopping for some really nice basses too! Instead of being in a band I am going to be a sub. I hope I don't come off as a battered wife, it's just I had high hopes and I hung on as long as I could. :hyper:
  2. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    From a marketing stand point, a PA or access to decent PA gear is a pretty strong selling point compared to a nice bass rig. Just sayin'.

    Good luck with the rest. Knowing when to leave is about as important as knowing what to play in this business.
  3. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Good for you for cutting your losses and focusing on what you really want to do. Bending over backwards for people who don't appreciate it isn't good for you, and I know firsthand that it's hard to break out of that cycle.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Get a good rig having a great PA system does more for the group than it does for you and it's time you take care of "you"
  5. I love a battered wife, they're so... vulnerable* :)

    Seriously, good on ya- very good. Let us know how it turns out.

    *while spousal or any other abuse is abhorrent, I reserve the right to make jokes in very poor taste on the subject as I probably could not batter my wife if I wanted to :ninja:
  6. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    That is just insane- you are doing the right thing! But never worry about what your bass says on it or your amp- play what feels right, and play it well.
  7. You could of said okay - and used a stencil and sprayed painted Ampeg on the cab with a rattle can and said - there you go, lets play. :D Just joking ~
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I was going to get some of those gold mailbox letters and spell Ampeg incorrectly across the front. I have been eyeing a Geddy Lee model for a long time. I'm closing in fast on one.
  9. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Yep. I'm not the best bass player in my area but if I was looking to join a band the fact that I have about $20K in PA would be a better selling point than if I had 20 k in basses and amps.
  10. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I agree that it's a strong selling point, but personally, I don't mention to any band that I own one unless I'm the band leader. I don't want the hassle of storing, transporting, and setting up a PA if I'm getting the same share as everyone else. And I have no problem with letting someone else take an extra cut if all I have to do is show up and play.
  11. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    That's what I'm looking to do.
  12. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Yeah, I hear you. My wife has an event promotons thing that started out as a sound thing. I have (literally) a flippin warehouse full of high end Pa gear and power.

    I go to work and plug my mic into a 8 channel Peavey lunch box powered mixer that the leader owns /runs /controls and I don't.

    They know I'll backstop any problems short term but any angst or huffing and puffing is going to get subcontracted out.
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I recognize the situation ... I own the PA we use for rehearsals and smaller gigs. I have no problem using it for the band's overall benefit, we need it and historically I have had better means to buy stuff compared to many of my current and former band members.

    I don't get much cred for it or any monetary compensation. It has been mentioned once or twice and I guess the band would be OK with giving me an extra cut when we use it, but I don't feel like pushing the point.

    What I don't accept though is any complaints about the equipment, it's a good if not great PA and it's free, so don't complain and suggest we should have this or that gear instead and hope I will supply that too.

    I like the situation where there is no co-owned gear, it's easier to manage, but it's not nice to be taken for granted.
  14. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Bingo. I have a decent small PA, but I'm very selective of who I mention it too. I did sound for free with one band I was in - I was a founding member and was trying to get it off the ground. But after a few times I started asking for an extra cut.
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    This. I've joined a few bands on the thought of 'this will be fun, I don't have to organize, book, or deal with the PA'...and almost always I end up in the very least dealing with the PA and/or organizing anyway.

    I maintain a minimal PA, and we have another member with a few other pieces (power subs, another board, and some 15's) and if we have to, we combine.

    It sounds like the real problem isn't gear, its people. You're not playing with the right ones. Find some new players or some new situations and find ones that are satisfying to you.
  16. I've owned the house, the PA, and the (now) beat up wood floors and broken tiles through three bands. I just quit the last one yesterday. You're doing the right thing. Be the guy that shows up with his stuff and leaves with it when you're not feeling it.
  17. All true - however, good paying gigs on the books are worth MUCH more than PA ownership - whoever owns the books is the most secure. ;)
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    This ^ ... I own one, and don't mention it, for all the same reasons. "I'm just the bass player".
  19. Old "true" story - back in the 90s after removing Peavey logos from some floor monitors many people said they sounded much better than the old monitors - yet they were the same monitors only with the logos removed.

  20. Lex P.

    Lex P. You've got it awful loud -Kathy P. Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2003

    When I was in my last band I had a fairly nice PA with subs, monitors, 16 channel mixer, etc. Also used for the bands weekly practice's in my basement studio. Our first gig comes along and I end up unpacking/disassembling from the basement into my truck. Get to the gig and pretty much unload and setup the PA alone while the drummer and BL/guitarist were setting up their equipment. Of course I also ran sound during the show. After said show I pack my bass stuff up and then proceed to disassemble/pack up the PA and load it back into my truck. Alone. I mentioned to the BL that in the last two bands I was in I was getting 10% of the gross ($30 to $40) for the PA "rental". His response was we will discuss it at the next practice. Practice day comes along and BL hands out a paper with a list of "chores" each member of the band does or contributes to the band. It went something like this.

    Not only has to learn the leads also the vocals, maintain both website and facebook and a lot of the booking. Has to drive to practice. Hours upon hours spent learning leads note for note.

    He has a lot of equipment to haul for gigs and BL requires beat for beat memorization of songs. Has to drive to practice but does have a drum set living in my basement. Minimal booking

    Provide practice space but don't have to drive, minimal backing vocals, bass is easy compared to learning all the leads. Didn't exactly say that but he didn't have to. No booking effort on my part. Which was very true. I did mention that I would be glad to pay him the same fee for gig booking.

    After that I quietly started selling the big PA off and ended up with an 8 channel mixer, power amp and some older EV 15" plus horn cabs on a stick. No more monitors and kept one microphone for myself.

    Have since quit that band but several times after that first gig it cost the band $150 to have a buddy run his PA for the band. I had had enough PA hauling! $50 out of my cut for not having to haul it was worth every penny!