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Subbing with my Former Band this Weekend

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by jaywa, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So tonight and tomorrow night I'm playing with my old band. They haven't really had a full-time bassist since I left about a year and a half ago... they just sort of go with whoever they can get for any given gig. Well it turns out my current BL is out of state this weekend with his side project so I had the weekend free and my old band has a local gig so their BL was happy to take me back for a couple of nights. I left my former band on good terms and have stayed in touch with their BL so he's actually had me sub for them on a few gigs before and this weekend it worked out great for everyone.

    Now, the venue we're playing isn't the greatest, and my pay for the entire weekend will be less than I usually make in one night with my current band... but the way I see it, playing > not playing and if I wasn't doing this I'd either be sitting home getting nothing, or going out and spending money. So kind of a no-brainer.

    No real point to this post other than to say sometimes you need to slam shut doors on your past, but a lot of times it pays (literally) not to burn bridges when you move on.
  2. patplaysbass

    patplaysbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 7, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Soon-to-be-ex Musician's Friend/Guitar Center Employee
    I try to stay on good terms with all of my ex girlfriends for similar reasons. ;)


    Apr 16, 2010
    I actually did "burn bridges" with a band and quit but two years later I got a phone call for two gigs. I asked for a rehearsal which wasn't well received but we did it anyway.
    I couldn't remember some of the old songs so the practice was helpful.
    I was paid well. It was fun but no magic in the air.
    Didn't ask about the bassist not making the venues but he was the player that replaced me two years earlier.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    In my case, my current BL books his side project gigs well in advance (i.e., months, not weeks). And those gigs virtually never cancel. So whenever I see a date go up for his side project I know that I have that date free to cast around for sub jobs. Usually I give my former BL first dibs on those open dates and sometimes he's taken me up on them and other times not.

    Same as you Cobrari, when I play with my old band I wouldn't say there's "magic", but we usually make pretty good music and it beats sitting at home unpaid while my current BL is doing his other thing. And my current BL knows that his band always has first priority with me so he's not one of those guys that gets pi*sy about me subbing out on nights I have free.

    The thing with my former band is, they're still using about 85% of the setlist we had when I was still with them... so getting re-aquainted with the material isn't even really an issue.
  5. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    I did this back in March for a band I had left a couple years ago. In that time, the band had at least 4 different bassists. They also fired the rhythm guitarist, who had been the cause of many headaches. Things went really well at the show, and when they learned that their current bassist would not be able to return due to health issues, they asked me to come back permanently. I said sure, and so far it's been pretty good. Yes, sometimes it does pay to keep doors open.
  6. It's common sense, really.
  7. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I've done this and actually it wasn't too bad. I had no intentions however of trying to get the gig back. They had a new drummer and locked in really well. An audience member came up up me between songs and said I sound better than their present bassist. Talk about awkward. I did not know how to respond. I just shrugged my shoulders and said Oh well.
  8. I've done this a few times. I find it's always best not to burn bridges and try to have some contact with former musicians because you never know what the future will hold.
  9. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yeah, I agree with not burning bridges. When the singer from my previous band (who was an awesome singer, front woman, and really good looking too) abruptly quit, I was PO'd and de-friended her on FB, deleted her email and other contact info, etc. However, I decided that you never know what could happen in the future so I decided to reach out just to keep in touch. With her talent (and looks), she will always be able to do what she wants band-wise and who knows, maybe she will need a bass player some day.

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