Strangest bandmate ever

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by SixtyCycleHum, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. I have way too many of these stories to name, because it's usually *me* who is the strange one in a given band. But hey, some guys and gals really go above and beyond to be either flaky, unreliable or just downright weird. Some of it is doable and you can just write it off as that's how they are, and some of it is a deal breaker, as it really tends to interfere with the rest of the band. Here's a few stories, but I really want to hear yours!

    #1 The hydrant

    Besides being an idiot on social media and bringing the rep of the band down, this guy had legitimate issues. Now don't get me wrong. I have kinks too. I don't wanna be the shame guy. But this is fn gross.
    The old saying. "It's better to be p!ssed off than p!ssed on". This guy added the caveat of "Unless you're into that kind of thing!"
    I walked in on too many things with this guy. I just didn't wanna know, and he wore his freak flag on his sleeve. My GTFO moment was when he "borrowed" my laptop which I'd gimmicked with the camera and used it to "attend to his needs". That's footage I'm never gonna unsee. Good guitarist. Really good. The true shame in it all.

    #2 Thefty McStealypants

    Ironically, this guy was the bass player in a bluegrass band I was playing harmonica with. Petty thief of the highest order. Silly things like drum sticks and cables and Kokko/Donner pedals we brought in to try out were forever going missing. Stuff of that nature. Now, harmonicas are not very expensive. You can get a Rolls Royce level mouth organ under $200. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out why there is little to no resale value. My spares were going missing all the time. My spares kept going missing on an almost weekly basis. And then one week, my Shure condenser disappeared. I lost it and demanded everyone turn out their pockets. I should have known..

    #3 Papa Grub

    Older lead guitarist I auditioned last year when someone took a six month hiatus. This guy.... stunk. Like the opening to old Doc Martens never washed hanging right under your nose. At the bottom of a seafood dumpster, left out in the sun. Dipped in BO. It was BAD. He would scratch his head and flake on everyone in a 5 mile radius. Now, I'm no diplomat. I sat him down one night after practice and told him, he smells like an anchovy's nether regions. He lost it, kicked an amp and some walls and yelled at me with his banshee breath before never darkening my doorstep again

    I've got more..
  2. ZedLepp


    May 12, 2013
    The only strange bandmate that I have ever run into was "wifey says...."
    There is this guitar player that I have been in 2 separate bands with.
    A few of the people that I play with have also been in bands with him.
    For whatever reason he gets to a point where he doesn't want to be in the band anymore and says that his wife doesn't want him in another band. Then 3 weeks later, he's in another band.
    So this singer who has been trying hard to get me to join her project for about 2 years now asked me to come out to one of her shows. I go and guess who the guitar player is? Ahh.... sorry but that will be a NO.
    Winton, rickwebb, GregC and 6 others like this.
  3. Oh crud. C'mon man. Just say you don't wanna do this anymore. No pretense required, it happens. I'm imagining that if he handled this without the wife tale, there's a chance you might have jumped in on this project? I dislike when I *know* there's something that someone isn't telling me. It doesn't foster good vibes at all.
  4. Now THAT is a hilarious and descriptive line. :thumbsup:

    All of those folks would be bye-bye for me.

    I've had some bandmates that were just bad people. But strange like these?

    Back in my first band we all smoked, yes long ago in my past-like my 20's. There were 4 bandmembers and 2 guys that came along for setup/sound/lights. But we were always missing lighters. 4 or 5 would go missing from the band vehicle (old school bus) after every gig.

    One day I went to pick up the guitarist who was a university student still living at home. His mom said he was in the shower or something and I could go wait for him in his room. And there it was, a small plastic trash can like you'd seen in an office. Over 1/2 full with lighters, some with our names on them. He wasn't just taking them from us but from bar patrons etc. He laughed it off and brought the whole trash can to the bus for future use. I've lost touch with him over the years but if he's still smoking he probably hasn't needed to buy a lighter in the 30 years since I last saw him. He said he just wanted to see if could get away with it. o_O
  5. For the record, I'm a huge stoner, so you're in good company.

    Man. I hate that kind of thing *so much*. Lighters are cheap and easily replaceable, but you will curse a blue streak if it goes dead, or worse yet, goes missing. When you have someone actively pinching the lighter all the time, you just wanna strangle them. I have to ask - did you try the lighters in the trash can to see if they still worked? In honesty, I'd be less upset if the lighters in the can were all dead and used up and the guy had a problem..
  6. Yeah, after I found them I had one in each hand and when he walked in the room I clicked them to life. As annoying as it was we all laughed about it. That was a long time ago and we looked at things differently then I guess.

    The tip-off should have been that all of us were always losing lighters, except him! :roflmao:

    And btw, I'm still laughing at "anchovy's nether region" just waiting for a chance to use it. :laugh:
  7. Danny O Danny

    Danny O Danny Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Georgetown, TX
    There have been many over the years, but these four come to mind:

    1. I played in a covers band back in the 80's and we hired a keyboardist/guitarist named Jeff. Really sweet, hippy-dippy sort of guy--older than the rest of us. When not on the road with the band, Jeff lived in a small RV in whatever driveway he could park in. He claimed to be a "fruitarian"--meaning he subsisted on nothing but fruit. He also claimed that he aspired to become a "breatharian"--subsisting on nothing but air. Jeff often wore a gorilla mask while performing. One day Jeff disappeared.

    2. I joined a touring covers band with a fantastic female singer. The bandleader/guitarist was her boyfriend. After a few weeks I realized that the bandleader/guitarist had some serious mental health and substance abuse issues. At the end of the night his side of the stage would be strewn with beer bottles. I have a vivid memory of being in the band's converted school bus, heading back to the motel in the wee hours after a gig, with him at the wheel veering wildly on the road from curb to curb, screaming "I curse you, Jesus!" A week or two later he walked onstage after a break wearing a black trenchcoat with a nazi armband, and started doing "Heil Hitler" salutes (it took some quick talking on my part to some particularly--and appropriately--offended bar patrons in order to get the band out of there alive). That's when I decided to leave that band. Years later the singer and I reconnected and I learned that she too left the band not long after, and is still singing professionally (and still sounds great). The bandleader/guitarist, I learned, passed away after spending some time in prison.

    3. My wife (keyboards/vocals) and I had a trio with a blind, hunchbacked flautist named Duane (his physical condition the result of a car accident). A very eccentric fellow (averse to personal bathing/grooming), but also very funny, a quick wit/brilliant conversationalist, and a phenominal musician. He liked to transcribe Eddie Van Halen licks onto the flute, and played through a distortion pedal. He loved Roland Kirk, and could do a spot-on Ian Anderson impersonation. He moved in with us for a while. One day he decided he ought to learn to play saxophone, so rented one from a music store and within a week or two had it down. Duane liked to walk into crowds, swinging his cane, shouting "Blind man coming through!"

    4. I was in a band in Denver that played every weekend at the same bar. So essentially a house band. Great drummer, great guitarist. The lead singer/bandleader was one of those guys who wasn't a terrific singer but had a big personality. One night he collected the band's pay from the bar owner and disappeared. We were never able to reach him, which meant I also lost a guitar I had loaned him. We then found out that in his previous band he had taken all of the band's equipment out of their truck and sold it, and then likewise done a disappearing act.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
    ReggieRochester, JRA, J33 and 16 others like this.
  8. Feel free, my friend. Use it wisely. Haha.
  9. Just checking for any defamatory stories about me…okay, good so far, carry on.
  10. That last one threw me for a loop. It's one thing catching the thief. It's a whole other thing when they disappear without a trace with your stuff. Sorry, man..
  11. Scott, you know you're weird AF. I don't gotta remind you, buddy. Take it from a fellow weirdo.
    scott sinner likes this.
  12. I just got reminded of the guitarist I had to show how to pick, for a novelty. "Ham fisted" is the best way I could describe his technique. His note stuff sounded wretched, his chordal stuff was solid.
    BBQisgood likes this.
  13. kingforaday


    Dec 13, 2007
    Sooooo many stories. Not just from bands I’ve been in but I also worked at a rehearsal rooms/recording studio for 20 years!

    Yeah I’ve seen ‘em all!!
  14. I was once in a gigging band for 18 months that had two guitarists and I never met the second guitarist. Story goes that right before every rehearsal or gig, he would go off to do illegal substances with some groupie. When I asked why not kick him out the BL said his reputation gave us "mojo"...:banghead:
  15. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    I was inna band (guitar and vox) where the rhythm section liked to get electric for every gig.

    And lotsa practices.

    When the drummer wasn't snortin' h.

    Which reminds me of the goth band I was in where the singer bore more than a passing resemblance (including back-dyed vertical hair and eyeliner and lipstick) to, and the dress code of, Robt. Smith - that singer was another junkie. He was also a part-time gigolo for kinky women.

    Then there was the cop band I was in ...

    Also, for a while I hadda band with a guy who would only ever play lead guitar. He was OK at it inna Jerry kinda way, but that got old, and he wouldn't change, and I set him off and he quit.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
    tblurker and SixtyCycleHum like this.
  16. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    I was in a band with my ex-gf for a couple years...she was really strange...liked to draw pics of us on walls of bars/clubs in graphic poses. messed up part was everyone knew they were drawings of us.
  17. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    So . . . .

    I'm cooped up on the bus for several-week stints. Any of you who've done this know it's like living in a submarine, you are continuously 'up close and personal' with everyone on board.

    So . . . . . one band member insisted on wearing his 'lucky boots'. They were almost as old as he was, and when we'd all go to climb in our bunks, when he'd pull them off . . . . I don't have words to describe just how bad it was. It was so foul I was convinced I could see it hanging in the air.

    This goes on over a couple-week stint for dates just far enough away it was easier to stay out than run back and forth home several times. That funk just started working on us as the days stacked up. Tempers are starting to get rise steadily . . . .

    One morning I get woke up by a LOT of hollering. Turns out it was our booted friend and the band leader, who is now white hot with rage from waking up one more day . . . . to that smell.

    We're at a truck stop, and the BL has grabbed the boots, made his way to the diesel pumps where he got a trucker to swing the nozzle over . . . . . and fill 'em up. He walks over the edge of the asphalt, raising hell between the two of them, and bends over, lays 'em in the grass . . . . . . . and lights 'em off. WHHOOOOOFFF!!

    He then wheels around on the guy and at the top of his lungs tells him he can take his ass in that truckstop, buy some trucker boots, socks, and foot powder . . . . or he'll pay him out RIGHT NOW and we're leaving him, right here, in Iowa, right now.

    Later, he complains about missing his lucky boots, playing the next day, in his new boots. Whaddya gonna do ?
  18. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Good thing he didn't have lucky hoondies ...
  19. GWGuitar


    Jul 25, 2021
    I played in a band in Alaska for a few years. We were a “MIDI” cover trio where a husband-wife duet wanted me to play guitar with them. The wife was a keyboard wizard and she could sequence parts to sound just like the record. She could also play the fiddle really well. The husband played an electronic drum kit. It was cool because his drum sounds would change for the song. If it needed a wood block and a gated reverb on the snare drum on a song it would be there. If he needed a dry, slapback effect, it would be programmed in. The only thing they couldn’t sequence realistically was guitar parts. That’s where I came in.

    After a few years of gigging and making decent money, the wife decided to take a break. A year or two later, the husband called me up and says the wife wanted to have her own band without him. She was tired of being in his shadow. She got hired for a gig out in Dutch Harbor, a tiny fishing town out in the Gulf of Alaska. She wanted me to join her new act, but I declined. It just gave me a weird vibe. She found another guitar player and they flew out to Dutch Harbor. Six weeks later, her husband calls me up distraught. In Dutch Harbor, she fell for some fisherman and decided to stay with him. She abandoned my buddy and two children as well.

    Then I get the rest of the story. The kids were hers (not his) from a previous marriage—which had not ended in a divorce! She was still married to the former husband! My friend and I put another band together again a few years later, mostly playing country bars. He eventually married someone else and had a baby, becoming a new dad in his fifties. He sent her kids packing off to Dutch Harbor after taking care of them for a few years and he moved to the Lower 48. It was way more drama than I ever wanted to experience in a band.
  20. fourstr00


    Mar 21, 2002
    Chicago Area
    I remember waking up from the back of the van coming home at 4am to hear the drummer, who was driving at the time, exclaim…

    “You know what’s funny? If someone asked me now if I’ve ever smoked crack, I’d have to say yes.”

    Didn’t stay with them too much longer.