OK... if this is deja vuish, it's because I had a similar problem I posted about a year ago in regards to the lead guitar position in my band. That has since been nicely resolved, but now I have a new problem. I could sure use some verteran band management advice from some of you cats. OK. I've got a KISS tribute band. Started off as a fun one-off show project and has really snowballed into a nice opportunity. Last year, we did only about five shows around Halloween, but they were fun and well received. Since then, I've been tweaking the set list, costuming, stage blocking and we hired a really good lead guitarist who is rock solid. My drummer has gotten much much better and we are poised to be able to put on a great show. Good news came last month in the form of us being hired for a month-long gig at a local BIG haunted house/town kind of attaction. 12 nights, two sets per night, and it pays very well. There will be thousands of people cycling through every weekend, so it's a great opportunity to get the act seen and our name out. Five weekends from 9/30 through 10/31. Pyrotechnics, pro lighting system, great sound system and a fantasticly cool harbor-style amphitheater stage with a full scale pirate ship as part of the facility. So here's my problem. In the original incarnation of the band, our rhythm guitarist/vocalist (aka Paul Stanley) was backed up by another band member on guitar. In the interest of having the most accurate show possible, we've gone to a strict four man lineup. Problem is, our current Paul can't play guitar for crap but has great vocal range and stage presence. A natural frontman but a very hamfisted guitar player who has to get up to speed (with lots of shortcuts) in about two months. He also has a big family, and two jobs. And he lives 90 minutes away making it tough to be flexible on practice/photo shoot/ band meeting schedules. Natural knack for harmonies on background vocals, and great range and power on his leads. As he has been difficult to pin down for practice, we've had a guy sitting in with us to fill in on the rhythm part. He knows the music backwards and forwards and can play both guitar parts. Knows the shows, the manerisms, the characters. Uberfan kinda guy, and he's the right "body type" to play either guitar character in the show. He's got good stage energy but.... he isn't great vocally. He's gotten much better over the last month, but still has a ways to go. He brings so much else to the table though that we've decided we have a decision to make now. Long time friend (and business partner) who can't play guitar well, or drummer's coworker who brings much dependability, guitar-playing and energy but isn't as strong a vocalist? He would be singing lead on about half of the songs on each setlist. He's very organized committed and LOCAL. I've got to make a decision quick so we can be as polished as we can be one way or the other. It seems to come down to what do I value more? perfect vocals and subpar guitar, or perfect guitar and possibly subpar vocals? Last year it was more about fun, but this year it has to be about business as well because there is a lot of opportunity on the line for contacts, merchandising etc. In the last week, our lead guitarist was out of town and the drummer and I jammed with both of the other guys seperately. It isn't really a fair comparison, but with one guy, the sound was a perfect and tight as I've ever experienced in any practice situation. We all felt it and commented on the power of it. A few days later, we jammed with the other guy and the vocals really stood out more clearly and stronger, but.... oh my god.... he has a loooooong way to go just to be adequate. Is two months enough time for a very average guitarist to be able to learn rhthym parts for 21 songs well enough to not detract from the sound? I know he won't be able to play as well as the other guy even if he had a year, but the lead guitar and bass are so strong in the group that some shortcuts on rhythm guitar are probably not going to be noticed by 99.9% of people seeing the show. Flat lead vocals might be more noticeable even though the other guy adds wayyy more musically. So... I'm torn. Which is harder in that amount of time - to refine vocals or to learn guitar parts? Given more time, I think either guy would be able to do what needs done, but we don't have the time. We have two months and the show has to be ready to roll out for some practice shows before the live bullets are flying (so to speak). Which is easier for the layperson in the audience to notice: oversimlified rhthym guitar in a four piece band, or occasionally flat lead vocals on a guy that sings about half of the leads? Long term, neither problem is something that can't be overcome, but in two months... what is the best route to take? Thoughts? Questions? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.