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So, I like playing..but dislike the lifestyle.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by glocke1, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    More or less just wondering if I am alone in this or not.

    Spent part of Saturday acting as a roadie and official band photographer for a friend whose band was playing a fest and pretty much came to the conclusion that while I like playing music, the lifestyle associated with it really just isn't for me anymore.

    This guy was scheduled to go on at 6 pm, we show up around 4 pm only to find out that there had been multiple delays throughout the day due to electrical issues and my friend didn't get to go on until 9:30 and than we were not able to leave until close to two am because our car got blocked in by other people...

    So thats basically almost 12 hours that I had to spend just hanging around doing nothing and having to interact with all sorts of loud drunk and stoned people who had no concept of personal space...

    I know, I know...relax and enjoy the party dude...but at 46 all that is decidedly much less fun now than it was at 26.
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    You are not alone.
  3. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    The gig described can be avoided. There are plenty of options other than field parties.
  4. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    What you describe seems to be just a bad gig, full of inconveniences, bad planning, and unforeseen circumstances. The lifestyle you choose is your own. Sure, I know lots of musicians who drink too much, take drugs, are promiscuous, engage in "less than legal" activities, don't exercise, don't eat right, listen to talk radio, whatever. Your personal decisions determine your lifestyle. Your music should be an enjoyable way to express your passion for life, joy, fun, and art.

    If you don't like where or with whom you're playing, then it's up to you to change it. I turn down a lot of work just because I don't want to hang out in certain places and don't want to hassle with certain situations. The choice is yours. I wish you good luck and wonderful opportunities.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  5. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes I left rock and classic rock type bands to play folk, country and oldies cuz I just could not hang with drunken, high, loud and foul goofs. You are not alone.
  6. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    We should start a club
  7. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    I've played at both types. Undrunk and unstoned are WAY better. OP, you are not alone. I will never go back to where that is the norm.
  8. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I never liked the lifestyle. Which lead me to pursue projects and genres that didn't call for me to give up a "normal" life. I play country, blues, jazz, folk ... on bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keys ... and with more woodshedding, pedal steel guitar. I was a hired gun for many years, picking and choosing gigs that came up. For the past three years I've been full-time with a country band. Old guys like me. Seasoned semi-pros. We don't need to rehearse, and we play at least three times a month (sometimes more) in venues VERY close to home. No bar rooms, no festivals.

    I also team up with other players for one-off gigs, showcase events and such. I maintain a solo acoustic act, and often sit in to lay down tracks on friends' recordings.

    I've never made any real money to speak of, but I've enjoyed playing music, on MY terms, for decades.
  9. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    I don't know if it is the lifestyle....seems like the gig was poorly managed. We have all had a few of those. You learn and you don't go back. Low budget festivals are usually the culprit. They don't have decent sound systems, sound men or stage managers. We have our list of "We will never go back!" fests and we make sure they know why we will never come back.

    You can deal with the lifestyle at a well managed gig because you can arrive when you are supposed to, plug in and play when you are supposed to and leave when you want to. The only things I really hate about it is manning the merch table which I avoid at all costs and the in-your-face drunkards but I can usually find a way to get rid of them, I guess the other thing I hate at fests is rain.
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Yep. Might be hard for some to believe, but there are gigs that are dependable and not subject to these sorts of time changes or social interactions.
  11. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Yeah, that gig can be avoided, but you have to experience it in order to know how to do that. Lets face it, there are a lot of those kinds of gigs if you gig enough. They'll just find you and are more common than some of the posters here are saying. One of the things about playing bass out with a band is that you have to insulate yourself from a lot of stuff if you're not comfortable with it. Playing is the reward. That lifestyle stuff is something to be endured. It can be really frustrating sometimes. Paying your dues? Sure. Why not, sounds good to me.
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i had a lifestyle moment too, last weekend, 3 bands at my house, everybody wanted to headline, nobody wanted to sound check, and somebody got so drunk/high they ripped my bathroom door off the hing and broke the wheel off my burger grill, also some lamebrain kept shoving her chihuahua in my pit bulls face trying to get them to be friends, not to mention only one person was courteous enough to bring their own beer out of 55, then somebody had the nerve to start harassing me for pics of there band before i even put the freaking beer cans in the recyclables after the last band played, oh i almost forgot i am in one of the bands, the members won't practice regularly so we can't even play simple covers without screwing up, let alone our 8 minute sludge instrumentals, sorry i had to vent people, youtube videos and casual jams with friends are looking more and more appealing than this stuff
  13. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    I dunno, when I was really trying to go pro, and was playing with folks that made their living playing in the trenches in LA, I found that a lot of the folks I worked with, ended up at gigs like this. It wasn't a daily thing really, but they'd have at least a gig every week or two where you were just waiting on unreliable folks, in some semi-sketchy place.

    From what I saw at least, when you need to fill ~30 - 40 hours a week with paying gigs you can't always avoid situations that pay, but are inconvenient and borderline (or past) unprofessional. At least not in the ranks of the folks I was working with, in a market as competitive as Los Angeles.

    Full disclosure, it's not like I was working with first call, top flight guys; but I was working with folks that did album stunt work, constant soundtrack sessions, and live gigs. All of them were making 6 figures plus, so, not top tier, but not slouches either.

    Personally that's why I ended up focusing on the day job instead of focusing on music. Due to the nature of my non-music career I can almost always expect to work with folks that are professional adults, in a professional environment. As far as I saw that was not a given with music.
  14. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Yep. Sometimes you have to "change your friends." For us, that might mean changing the genre of music we play. I've moved on to jazz and it's opened new doors for venues that have better hours, well behaved patrons, and generally a more upscale environment. Pay is much better, too. Don't miss the bar gigs and their ilk one iota. And I'm feeling more fulfilled from a musical perspective.
  15. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    fortunately i make enough money teaching and selling art, but unfortunately my obsessive and perfectionist tendencies don't gel too well with the trenches of the LA music scene:)
  16. Is it just music? or have times changed...? Even going to the movies, now, is a lesson in social abuse... :eek:very loud talkers, feet up on the back of your seat - shakin' your seat :hyper:, taking phone calls during the movie :spit:. People just get mad at their dog and then start shooting guitarists or customers...:bag: Because of my age, I've noticed the change... even Halloween has morphed from scary ghosts to knives, blood and organs - and that's just the little kids...:help:

    The evening news outstrips Hollywood - even on a slow day... Concerts in the 60's were a very mild outing in the park,:cool: now you have to watch who's standing next to you...:ninja: I always thought that Mick Jagger would get shot at, but it was Dimebag Harold...(RIP)

    I don't think you're feeling this way for no reason. I'd rather stay home and woodshed.:p Just the occasional jam session. I can stay at home and play with the greatest artists of all time :bassist:- just put the needle down on a CD or LP from my library... and when was the last time anyone made any money playing a gig? after expenses... you're probably in the hole... could have stayed home and had a V8...!;)
  17. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    They've even managed to screw that up. It's way watered down and thin compared to the old V8, and they call it "Original." More hype and marketing jive.
  18. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    We live in an information age where many, many have Internet on their phone, and a camera!
    Either festival organizers want to dole out a revised/updated schedule via text for participants, or they don't care about wasting everyone's time...

    Of course, this would require that the organizers collect/maintain contact numbers for each band, or act.
    This is all taught in event planning 101. :p
  19. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    It doesn't always have to be that way. Pros have a way of managing their own circumstances & environments in order to minimize and/or avoid such no-win situations.

    A little context is in order here: You're extrapolating very, very, very broadly from an extremely limited base of experience. Of course, that kind of thing is hardly unheard of here on TalkBass. :rollno:


  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    After I got fed up and quit, I joined the church band. I love every minute of it!

    I'm lookin at putting together another bar band, but it's going to low key with people I enjoy.

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