Members not making gigs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Slaphound, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Folks. I find myself in a bad spot right now. I am the bassist and band manager of my band. I've been playing with the Singer/guitarist for about 8 years and we have been part of a few bands that we put together over that time. We are a 4 piece band and one member (the second guitar/backing vox) has allowed me to book a gig and then only to tell me that he 'mistakenly' made travel plans over the weekend of the gig. He did it last year and he did it again this year.
    I book the gigs with my face and my contact and no one else's. We play awfully cheap and for free. With 5 gigs lined up from now until the end of August, I find myself having a very hard time swallowing this. I feel personally betrayed and very hurt. I feel that this one guy could give a &*#k about anyone else. You don't do this twice. I am this close to cancelling the rest of them and maybe even letting the whole thing crash.

    I don't know if I'm just being pissy about it or if my feelings are warranted. My actions going forward may be too drastic or maybe just what needs to be done. The other half of this partnership (remember. me and the guitarist/vocalist have been doing this together for the last 9 years) feels like we should do the gig without the other guy, just the 3 of us(includes the drummer). I don't want to. I feel this is a 4 piece band and we play in front of an audience as a 4 piece. Thats it. My partner obviously thinks this is nothing to worry about and doesn't want to change anything. Play the gig. Don't look for another guitarist.
    Anyone have a thought as to what I should do? I have decided that I'ts best for me to cancel the gig he isn't going to be at but maybe I should entertain some thoughts about this from the Talkbass community first.
  2. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    If you can manage as a trio, do so while you find another 4th. I agree - I can let one of those mistakes slip - stuff happens, but to pull the same thing is just an indication of disrespect. I get your frustration, but I'm not reading that the rest of the band is an issue, so why blow up something that already works and is making money. Assuming Mr. Doublebook is mostly rhythm guitar, he should be easy to replace.

    Deal with the guy who is the issue: "Enjoy your vacation and go find another job when you get back". I don't tolerate disrespectful behavior - if I was not BL it would be a "him or me" moment.
  3. LawDog

    LawDog Supporting Member

    I'm going to take a guess and say that this is the issue. He probably doesn't see you guys playing as a 3-piece for this gig as a big issue because the band is being run as a hobby that the 4 of you do for fun.

    It's completely fine if that's what it is, but keep in mind that as the rhythm guitarist + backup vocalist he likely has significantly less attachment to this project than the other 3 of you do, and is extremely unlikely to turn down travel/social/whatever opportunities in favor of playing music for free to whoever you've made bookings with.

    I think an honest conversation with him is in order regarding your frustration with this situation and how you ate hoping things can run in the future - make sure you've had some time to cool down first though! There might be an easy fix/adjustment to things that will get a better commitment from him, or maybe the band will transition to a 3-piece.
  4. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    I auditioned for a band once (the BL already knew me). It was a duo that had added bass and drums and named after the two guys. Since I was pretty much "in" anyhow, they started discussing the next gig. BL is like, it's on Memorial Day weekend....other dude was like, uh yeah "I have vacation plans..." We all kind of split up for the evening while they discussed it.

    Next message I get was that the band was no more.
    Nashrakh likes this.
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater but you've got to recognize that a low-or-non-paying-gig band is not the top of everyone's priority list. Adjust expectations accordingly.
  6. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thanks for the replies. I have a suspicion that the money is part of it as a couple of you have stated. No money? No stress. Its run like a hobby. That's for sure. I appreciate the feedback.
    gebass6, davidprice, DirtDog and 4 others like this.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Do it as a trio and add more money (if there's money) in your pocket. In addition.....look for another guitarist you can call in a pinch. Always good to have backup in cases like this.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  8. This right here. Volunteers are volunteers; it doesn't matter if you are a "band" or not, there will always be someone who feels as though they have the right to change plans at the last minute because they aren't being paid. That's not to say that this is right or wrong on his part, but it is what it is, the band is a hobby, and the band is not offering any incentive for him to take the commitment more seriously.

    I do agree that one time can be seen as an honest mistake, but when it happens more often than that, it's clearly a matter of where his priorities are. They are not with the band when there's better fun to be had elsewhere. You should ask him about this and be prepared to replace him the next time it happens, because it most likely will.
    wluffman and Nevada Pete like this.
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Need more information. So this guy backed out of a gig he had agreed to, and he did the same thing "last year" -- but what's he like otherwise? How many gigs have y'all done that he didn't back out of? If he's generally responsible and reliable, except for ditching you twice in two years, I'd feel very differently than if he's generally a slacker and this is just the proverbial last straw.
  10. Slaphound

    Slaphound Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thanks. That is what I'm working on. I thought along them lines the last time it happened but I ended up asking a Harp player to join us. That worked out but the gig I asked him to cover got cancelled due to weather at the last minute and wasn't rescheduled. We asked him to sit in with us at the next gig and we were a 5 man band that night.
    design and LBS-bass like this.
  11. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    I can see more money being a motivator to put on a more professional show by putting in more time practicing, getting better gear and upping your game in general... but if you have agreed to a date, your word is your bond. Show a little self-respect. Shouldn't matter if you're getting $1,000 or nothing. If you have commited yourself, that's it. To back out of a commitment like that says a lot about a person's character, or lack thereof. Maybe I'm a throwback, but that's how things are done around here. As others have said, I can see it happening once, but twice is a trend.
    Bassist4Eris, richwag, pcake and 2 others like this.
  12. I agree with you. If it were me, I’d cancel vacation plans to do the gig. But I’ve learned over the past few years that most people don’t take this thing anywhere near as seriously as I do anymore. So I don’t expect it anymore from others. I’m just pleased when they do.
    design, Beej, Keyser Soze and 6 others like this.
  13. I only know a few that run it as a hobby, a "dabbler". Dabble in this, dabble in that. If your talent level can be worth the money, then charge the money. If the talent level isn't there, then practice and then ask for money. Many musicians understand the time to work on a song is time that could be spent doing other things, like enjoying a nice beach, or the clean air of the mountains. But honestly I haven't known many people that have a hobby that makes them mad. Think about that for a while. Perhaps woodworking would provide more happiness??
  14. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Band needs to sit down and have a discussion - once you commit to a gig, unless there is a family emergency, you play the gig, or are gone.

    However, as others have pointed out, the fact that you play for free doesn't help. Stop booking these kind of gigs, and you will find that you can come up with a replacement for this idiot.
    Kokoman and Helix like this.
  15. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i'm old enough to be old school about gigs ... as in ; the show must go on ..!!

    i played full time 5- nights a week for 30 yrs , missed 1 night = food poisoning from previous weeks gig ..!

    another example ; just drove a thousand miles to help my mom with my dad's ' end of life ' care ... and she knows i have gigs coming up that i will not miss for any reason ..!

    i'm 62 , and have always taken my entertainment job seriously ..!!

    and will not work with anyone who doesn't ... or can't effectively communicate and keep their dates and crap straight .!

    i'd fire the guy , like yesterday ..!
    Kokoman, mikewalker, filmtex and 3 others like this.
  16. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    If you’re playing for free, he’s playing for free and that’s what you get - very low priority. What’s he supposed to do? Tell his wife that he can’t go on vacation because there is a free gig at the VFW? This whole commitment thing isn’t a one way street.
  17. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    We interrupt this thread for some smart arse comments...

    Not a golfer I take it.... :roflmao:

    Carry on....
  18. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    Anyways, I would fire him with no regrets.
    pcake likes this.
  19. Jon McBass

    Jon McBass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    South Carolina
    This is simply unacceptable IMO. And disrespectful. To me it’s an automatic, immediate dismissal. In any professional band I’ve ever been part of it wouldn’t be tolerated.

    I’d say “Hope you enjoy your vacation, and best of luck,” then go on as a three piece until I found a suitable replacement. I’m sorry for the aggravation this is causing. But like I always say, bands are easy except for the humans.
  20. Biggbass

    Biggbass Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    If you're playing for "awfully cheap or even for free " then canceling shouldn't be an issue. And if the band line up is still the same next year just don't book the same weekend.
    DirtDog and waveman like this.