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Rude to not take drinks?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GK Growl, Jun 9, 2018.


  1. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    This is a spinoff from another thread which the OP implied that it was rude for the band to turn down drinks from the bar. Here is the breakdown of my band. 4 piece band:

    Me - Sober. As in recovering alcoholic/addict. I have no business putting chemicals of any kind in my body.

    Rhythm Guitarist - Drinks sometimes but not on the gig while we are working. He feels that he wouldn't drink on another job so he shouldn't drink on this one.

    Lead Guitarist - Sober but not due to substance abuse issues, just doesn't drink for personal reasons and if he did, says he wouldn't drink on the job anyway.

    Vocalist - Drinks too much. Constantly on the gig and has a steady stream going his way from bar owner and patrons because none of the rest of us drink so he gets all of our drinks too.

    My question is is it really rude for us to decline drinks when we are all sober and should we discourage the drinks from even being given to the singer? I admit that several times people look offended when I decline their drink offers, even after I explain that I am a recovering alcoholic (in a bar no less). But I don't want all the excess drinks going to the singer for obvious reasons. How would or do you handle these situations?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    dBChad, bound'n'blocked and bdplaid like this.
  2. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    I think you have to keep in mind that you are employees of an establishment that makes money by selling drinks. So, saying “I don’t drink” could seem a bit hipocrical. Said another way, you are being party poopers in a place that’s there for people to party. So, I’m not saying you should drink if it’s not your thing, but, also be aware that that can seem rude to people who are buzzed and are buying you drinks as a show of appreciation.
     
  3. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    They'll get over it.

    If you don't want to drink, don't drink (recovering alcoholic not withstanding).

    I don't do shots at shows. Period. I'm usially driving and I am absolutely working. Two or three beers during a four hour gig? Sure. But I will not take a shot. I don't care if you just paid $100 for a tray of them for the band. No.

    If refusing to work and drive drunk makes me rude, then so be it. I can live with that.
     
    juancaminos, Dean N, dBChad and 48 others like this.
  4. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Ok points taken but again, 3 of us are sober on the gig. So is the implication that I shouldn't be playing in a band in a bar if I can't drink like they do? That would certainly limit my amount of gigging.
     
  5. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I would ask for a non-alcoholic one for the recovering alcoholic reason. I have to decline all the time too -- I just say I don't drink. It's because of the church I joined ages and ages ago and it's just become a habit not to drink in compliance with the religious philosophy -- but I never share that fact. I would tell them to offer it as a drink raffle for one of the ladies to help keep the sales up at the bar without having to drink it yourself. Or have a draw -- everyone who joins the mailing list by giving up email is part of a drink raffle. Use people's goodwill to your advantage to make your crowd happy!
     
  6. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    You asked if it’s rude - not if you should do it. Since you guys don’t drink and bars are where bands play than you should probably keeping playing at bars and just be gracious when someone buys you a drink because it is a little rude :)
     
  7. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Those are some very good suggestions!
     
  8. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    None of that party-pooper jazz is relevant to the topic.
     
    Mr_Moo, mcnach, bassstrangler and 3 others like this.
  9. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Then you’ve missed the point
     
  10. Work out a deal with the bar owner. Let the customer buy you a drink in the form drink tickets - "for after work". Bar owner then buys your drink tickets back at a pre-determined price. Win-win.
     
  11. GK Growl

    GK Growl Banned

    Dec 31, 2011
    Whatever the point is I feel that trying to get someone who shouldn't drink to drink is much ruder than us declining drinks. It's not like we aren't constantly supporting the bar and staff by telling everyone the drink specials and reminding them to take care off the bar staff because they are taking care of them.
     
    dBChad, Mr_Moo, rmayer and 2 others like this.
  12. That's a win until the customer finds out.
     
    Conkal, Mr_Moo and packhowitzer like this.
  13. Your singer is going to become an alcoholic if he isn't one already. You are his ideal band.

    I guess one way or the other it will all play out. Worrying about offending people who are providing the booze is pretty inconsequential in the bigger picture.

    I think if they are too gone to realise a recovering alcoholic doesn't want a shot and it's nothing against their drunken self, then they probably aren't going to remember it and shun your band next month. More likely they remember the partying was up to standard.

    Some guys get the bar to have a special bottle of non alcoholic mixer that punters can buy for the band. Everyone wins. Good luck getting your singer on board with that.
     
    generalduncan, dBChad, Mr_Moo and 5 others like this.
  14. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    You should continue to play in bars and not drink.
     
  15. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    If you’ve already formed your own opinion than why were you asking the question? And let me add, I don’t drink BC of medical reasons and I realize it’s rude to decline at a bar but I still do it.
     
    dBChad, HolmeBass, Pbassmanca and 2 others like this.
  16. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    This is a question about business, not about whether a bartender’s feelings get a boo-boo because some band dude didn’t want to take a shot. Also: there is nothing hypocritical about sober musicians playing in drinking establishments


    OP, I’ve been a non-drinker for almost 20 years. I’ve seen plenty of scenarios where one or two band members wind up with way too many drink tickets because the other band members either drink responsibly or not at all. I wish I could say that I had figured out a formula to offset the minor pay cut that comes with the drinks-as-pay system, but every gig is different and I usually wind up reminding myself that all my band mates are getting is maybe $20 worth of empty calories.

    If someone from the audience asked to buy me a drink, I’d just politely ask for a club soda and leave it at that. But you don’t owe any bar owner an explanation of why you don’t need a bunch of free beer or a round of shots. Why would “rudeness” be a factor at all?
     
    Dean N, dBChad, Mr_Moo and 2 others like this.
  17. fretter

    fretter

    May 24, 2012
    PA
    You could counter with, "just a cup of water, please".
     
    Greg Waldon and Helix like this.
  18. tshapiro

    tshapiro Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    Let me ask you this, why do you think people seem offended?
     
    Conkal likes this.
  19. pbassjbass

    pbassjbass

    Jun 21, 2013
    Maryland
    I've never had a problem with, "sorry, I can't drink and play". A band mate accepts, and asks for a cup of coffee. In my experience, those who are offering, are not so interested in making you a drinking buddy, as simply getting some attention from you. They like the band, grab a coke (or water, what ever), and sit down and talk to them. They would like some attention.
     
  20. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Funny how people want to give you something but a tip isn’t the same as a drink. Drinkers want someone to drink with them. Imagine somebody offering you a cigarette. You don’t want one? Come on, have one!

    Is it rude to say “we don’t drink but we do accept tips.”? Bet 95% wouldn’t give you a tip even if it’s cheaper than a drink. Because they feel guilty to drink alone.
     
    dBChad, theretheyare, Mr_Moo and 2 others like this.

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