Should I stay or should I go

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sawzalot, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I’ll start by saying I know the answer to this question already.

    I’ve been in this band for seven years or so. I replaced the original bassist. The band is mostly modern country, we’re all guys with other careers but are pretty serious about music. We’re well equipped and are playing some really great venues.

    Over the years almost everyone has severely cut back or stopped drinking alcohol at gigs. Except the BL (guitar and vocals), who easily makes up for the rest of us. In fact he gets ****faced at every gig, sometimes before the end of the first (2 hour) set.

    At the end of our last major gig, the BL and the keyboardist got into an argument. On stage. It continued outside the venue and ended with the keyboardist saying “I’m not playing anymore with a drunk”. Yikes.

    I’m not into the music genre much anymore. The BL gets ****faced at every show. He screws up songs, sometimes dramatically and noticeably. He contributes to late starts by being incredibly disorganized with his gear, even at large venues with PAs. He didn’t pay the band for nearly eight months. I’m friends or friendly with the other guys but not so much the BL, though we get along. The other guys are very tight with the BL though.

    The music isn’t really good. The money is always late—though none of us need it, but it’s a trust thing. The hang is only so-so thanks to the BL.

    So I know what’s coming, it’s just a matter of when. Feel free to comment.

    Incidentally, I just noticed that the site will replace all instances of ****faced with poopiefaced if you spell it all the way out. How long has that been going on? I must not curse very much on here.
  2. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Transitions are always difficult; I'm facing one myself.
    Do what you gotta - no one will do it for you. At least - not in a way you will appreciate...
    sludgetail, DJ Bebop and eJake like this.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Whuuut? Late payments? First one, I'm out.

    Mental alcoholic haze on top of that? Train wrecks galore! It's only a matter of time before the BL can't perform at all. :confused:

    Make the call.:bored:
    Evil Funk, DJ Bebop, five7 and 5 others like this.
  4. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Sounds like you're already out, if it was only a drunk BL you and the rest of the guys could change that. I've lost friendships because players just couldn't behave and they were fired, but that's why the band is still going after 34 years, be professional or go elsewhere. Just because someone is your friend it doesn't give them license to behave badly and I'd rather not be associated with that type of person.
    Late payments are the norm for us too but it's 2-3 weeks, we get paid well, play in nice venues and none of us get drunk or misbehave. We like what we do so it's different, if I didn't like the music, the pay and had trouble with other members I'd pull the plug and leave.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  5. Biffa

    Biffa Inactive

    Apr 16, 2019
    County Durham, UK
    As soon as I got to 'Country' I knew the answer
    DJ Bebop, cableguy, design and 14 others like this.
  6. You are not making a living with it, and obviously you are not enjoying it in any aspect.
    We normally pay to play, and we are OK with that because we love to do it and we get something in return, but when you loose that, it stops making sense. So, don't feel guilty for stepping aside.
    It's a no brainer for me and it looks like you have it clear as well.
  7. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Obviously, you should leave...
    The best option would be to fire the BL but it seems the rest of the band are prepared to tolerate his behaviour. Still, it'd be no harm to talk to each of them and see if they're interested in working with you and without him.
    Maybe, by bringing the issue out in the open, it'll make them realise how bad it is.
    lat, Aqualung60, ELG60 and 3 others like this.
  8. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV

    Nov 30, 2008
    It sounds like you already know the answer.

    For me is quite clear. You say you don't need the money, so you're playing for fun. This doesn't sound like fun anymore, so why still do it?
    strat59 and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Time for a new BL.
    CJL, Helix, lat and 7 others like this.
  10. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    They can't be all that tight with the BL if they're still enabling him after 7+ years. It seems that to date, only the keyboardist has dissented, and that took an act of provocation.

    Best wishes on your next musical venture.
  11. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Why not have a sit down with the other members and stage a coup? Figure it what kind of music that you want to play that is marketable, and move on.
    Rip Van Dan, CalBuzz51 and npbassman like this.
  12. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    The situation looks more for you and your friends to go and to set up a new band.
    FugaziBomb and Rebel Rocker like this.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Which makes me wonder if the bass player you replaced left for the same reason... I give you credit for staying that long.

    The weakest member will usually make the rest less strong... unless they're the tambourine shaker.
    sludgetail likes this.
  14. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    In my previous band the singer, who was going through a bad divorce, started drinking heavily before and during gigs. The worst was at a venue we tried to get into for years, one of the best in the area. To put this in perspective, we were voted the second best cover band in our area, and that wasn’t enough to get us in. The night of our first gig, as we're setting up, we can’t find the singer. This is a big place, with multiple bars, and we eventually find him completely drunk at one of them. He can barely stand and can’t sing; it was an unmitigated disaster. Fortunately he straightened up over the next few week, but would still have a few too many at some of our regular venues.

    I eventually left the band after a career change, but remained friends with them and I still fill in sometimes. About a year after I left I was at an engagement party and the drummer was there as well. He told me they recently fired the singer after he got completely drunk at a wedding; we played weddings at high end venues that paid really, really well. It’s bad enough getting drunk at a bar gig, this is unacceptable.

    I rarely, if ever drink at gigs. I’ll have a shot or two over the course of the night if the owner/bartender buys a round. We’d often have customers bring us shots as well, but typically just one. My opinion is you’re at work and you shouldn’t drink on the job. I’ve played, briefly, with members who drink too much, but I refuse to commit to a band with a member who drinks too much at gigs or even rehearsal.

    Didn’t mean to write this much, but it was cathartic. I’ve been in this situation too many times in the 40 years I’ve been in the business.
    Nevada Pete likes this.
  15. A drunk who stiffs the band? Buh-Bye..

    If there had been discussions with the BL after the first drunk and it did nothing, then after the second drunk or the second gig without being paid for the first I'd be out. I have an insanely low tolerance for those kinds of shenanigans.
  16. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
  17. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    I[m a firm believer in having "the talk" first. Then if things don't change, smile and wave goodbye, either to the whole band, or just the BL.

    You never know if the situation is really as bad as it can get until you move into a worse situation. There's usually a good reason other bands are looking for different musicians. Could be that they're more of a problem than you're dealing with now.
  18. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    The day you begin asking yourself “should I quit” is the day you should quit.
  19. gazzatriumph


    Sep 27, 2012
    Just curious about paying to play, how does that work, cheers
  20. smokinjoe


    Jul 1, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    Having a drunk on stage will quickly ruin a band's reputation. If that doesn't change, get out before your personal reputation is damaged by association.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page