Sacked Again - Vent Thread

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MrBassman17, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    You know the old saying 'fool me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'? Well, it happened to me! Was in a blues band with a particular (wannabe) singer/harp player, as well as some other members. Come to find out that there was a conspiracy behind my back and was outed. OK, that's fine; I didn't particularly like them anyway. Fast forward, and I find myself in a different blues band; different personnel, but same singer/harp player. We actually played a few gigs and, despite having to replace the guitarist due to illness, were sounding pretty good.
    OK. I had a gig lined up; an outdoor private party, that I had played last year, and was invited back for this year. Now, the new guitarist has health problems as well. 10 days before this date (which I had lined up this new blues band to play), this guy cancels a critical rehearsal because he was on a heart monitor and had to be in the hospital. I contact this harp player and we discuss the likelihood of this happening too close to this gig to find a replacement. We decide to cancel the gig.
    Here is where it gets interesting! My understanding is that when a band member can't make a gig you find a fill in, if possible. You do not, under any circumstances, not play the gig! This harp player (ne- band leader) apparently doesn't share that opinion. So, I cover the gig with another band I play with, do the gig, all's well that ends well, right?
    Apparently not, because I happened to mention this to this guy, the next thing I know, he has 'secret' discussions behind my back, and I am informed that they no longer need my services. Fool me twice - shame on me!
    Wouldn't matter much to me, but they are now without a bassist and have a gig this Saturday that they have to probably cancel. Not to mention a few others already on the books that I would have liked to play because they are in nice venues!
    Well, that's my story, sorry to bore you, but I feel better sharing with my brother and sister bass players!
    Kice, Ellery, Mr_Moo and 7 others like this.
  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Sounds like a generally unstable type of band situation right there.
  3. TWolf


    Jan 20, 2011
    The Deep South
    It seems to me that if the harp player is the band leader and made the decision to cancel the gig, then the gig is open for the taking. With it being a private party, I'm sure the client still needed the entertainment provided, so then I don't see the problem.
    The only thing I might have done different is communicated before hand that since the gig was canceled and open, that my other band was going to try to fill the vacancy due to the fact that the client still needed someone and I had done the gig before. That way no surprises. Again, I wouldn't have been asking the harp player, but I would have probably told the harp player what was going to happen.
    BK bassist, andruca, Mr_Moo and 13 others like this.
  4. If the harp player was smart he'd book your 2nd band to fill the gig-he might even get a cut for booking.
  5. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    For the gig they have to cancel because they fired him or the gig that he (the bass player) lined up in the first place?

    Call those places and take those empty gigs. No cut.
  6. Agreed-can't hurt to talk to people. I'd do it in a heartbeat.
    Charlzm likes this.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    harp player as band leader = :laugh:
  8. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Sorry to hear that this happened, but I'd file it under "I Dodged Yet Another Bullet." Band politics are the major reason I decided to become a hired gun several years ago. Life is now simpler for me, and more lucrative.
  9. acid bass

    acid bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2010

    I agree that the standard protocol is to try and find a fill-in. 10 days isn't a lot of time, but a good player would be able to do it.

    Communication is the pinnacle of keeping band members together. In the event of cancellation, you certainly should have talked to not only the band leader, but the whole group about your intent to fill the gig in with another band. Not doing so makes it look like you're sneaking around snatching up gigs behind their back. By doing it this way you've allowed BL to control the narrative and make you look at fault, and in this particular situation I would agree.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    So now you know who is behind getting you fired from the first band.

    Yeah, take all the remaining open gigs with your other band.

    In your discussion with the BL about cancelling the gig, you shoulda brought up the fact that you had a sub band. You coulda asked the guitar player to fill in instead. Let the BL decide what he wants to do.

    Otherwise it prolly looks like you're stealing gigs.
  11. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Start your own blues band. Write a few simple songs.
    "Sacked again"
    "No subbing"
    "Harped in the back"
    Chris76, Flooflox, dheafey and 21 others like this.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Another "you're lucky to be outta there" message. Enjoy other gigs with other folks.
    Learn the O'Jay's "Backstabbers" and play it when you see them... :D
    Kice, Ellery, Rumbledore and 7 others like this.
  13. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    This is true, but I don’t see how you can steal a gig you lined up.
    pcake and HolmeBass like this.
  14. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    Update and answer to some of your questions :
    I got an email from the harp player/BL saying that I seemed upset with him, and that they were expecting an explanation/apology for what had happened. I replied that if the band had a meeting including me before deciding that I was out, that I might have had the opportunity to explain and reiterate what HAD been discussed. The decision was made before I had any chance of 'defending' myself.
    The gig was mine - I had played this party last year and the organizer contacted me for this year. What was discussed was the prospect of the guitar player pulling up sick with too short time for me to get a replacement or cover the gig. That's why I cancelled the blues band and went with my rock band!
    So, bottom like, I have several other projects to keep me occupied, so it's no big deal that I'm not in that one anymore!
    Thank y'all for the kind words and support!
    Stumbo, Ellery, Mr_Moo and 3 others like this.
  15. Band leaders who prefer to cancel gigs are not leaders at all.

    Generally speaking, talent buyers hate cancellations. It makes them start over and backtrack. It's a great way to burn bridges.

    As a band leader, I always tried my best to round up a sub or go short-handed before I'd cancel. Three years running, not one cancellation.

    You now have evidence that this band leader was willing to cancel two shows within weeks of each other (the one you found an alternate band for, and the one coming up where they are without a bass player). Bad trend, bad business, move on and find more conscientious and motivated players to work with.
    Ellery, Mr_Moo, juancaminos and 6 others like this.
  16. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I disagree -- it's his gig, so if you were going to play the band with another band, I would ask the guy who had the gig if it's OK for you to ask the owner if your own band can fill in for it. If he says no, respect that, and keep your position in his or her band -- after assuring the guy you aren't sewing up the venue. If he says 'yes' then you haven't ticked anyone off. This one sounds to me to be a case of not respecting the harp player's gig/venue.

    The other thing -- you're missing opportunities. If someone can't make a gig on short notice it's an OPPORTUNITY. An opportunity to orient a new player really really fast since there is money on the table. Then you have TWO guys for that position. Get a YOutube playlist in place, any charts (if any) and stuff in place so you are ready for this when it happens. Then you'll have flexibility to play any gig that comes up after you do it a couple times. It can be a bit stressful at first, but pick EASY songs for situations like this, and budget, say, one rehearsal. With money on the table, good players will come out of the woodwork.

    Sorry if I have the facts wrong on whose gig it is -- if so, disregard the first paragraph...
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  17. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    Which is precisely why I didn't cancel the gig - my contact loves me and I think this will be an annual event for me, and I don't intend to loose it! I don't see a future for this blues band, and I'm certainly not going to offer any assistance to them! Too many other irons in the fire!
  18. MrBassman17


    Dec 30, 2011
    Brewster, NY
    No, the gig was mine, not the BL of the blues band. I played the same party last year with a different line up, and will again next year!
    Stumbo, pcake, Bodeanly and 5 others like this.
  19. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Sorry about that -- I misunderstood. I will say, if they keep sacking gig bookers their schedule will be empty. It's their loss, not yours!
  20. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    ^^^THIS times 1000! :thumbsup:

    OP: Thank goodness you are now disconnected from that harp-playing dweebus maximus.