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Taking a break from gigging to prioritize my life

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by leurw, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. I've been in a weekend warrior band (100 shows / year) for almost 4 years. Most of my weekends were spent on the road doing 3-day "mini tours" in our tri state area. Recently, I started to notice that I wasn't proud of my musical career. We were a successful country cover band, and that was great. I would argue we were the best sounding band in about 150 miles - I will admit our show sucked though haha. But what had started as something temporary to make some money on the side between original projects evolved into an unstoppable force that ran my life. Additionally, the style of music we played began to morph into the newer "bro country" pop / rap stuff that I frankly wouldn't be caught listening to on my own.

    About a year ago, I married my Jr. High sweetheart. She had always been very supportive of my music career but spending every weekend on the road and apart from her really began to take it's toll on our relationship. Sparing you guys the dramatic details; I came home early from a gig to surprise her - and just like it happens in the movies...We've since started counseling and we're committed to giving our relationship the attention it deserves. This prompted me to take a hard look at my life and evaluate the things that truly made me happy. Playing crappy music to drunks and staying out 'til 4AM wasn't why I took up bass.

    So I quit the band. Frankly, I had already begun discussions with the rest of the members that they should be expecting me to walk away in the next few months. We were and still are friends. I even fill in for them every once in a while. The parting of ways went about as good as it could have gone. They even paid me out for some of the money I had invested into our PA.

    I know that some of you guys will understand the toll it takes on your personal life to be a steady gigging player, especially with a full time 9-5 day job. A lot of things take a back seat to the demanding schedule and unfortunately the ones we love often get the short end of the stick.

    I had gotten caught up in the tour life and the money and the attention. Now, I'm putting my free time into getting back into shape (no more 3AM McDonald's for dinner) and playing music that I actually enjoy. I'm doing some local studio work with a few old friends and staying "in the scene" but I have cut back tremendously and put an emphasis on turning music back into a hobby that I enjoy, not a job that runs my life.

    Rant over.
  2. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Dude, if you caught your wife of one year stepping out on you, that should be 110% 'game over' on the relationship. Y'all haven't even had time to properly build up resentment and apathy towards each other yet!

    You were presumably doing this music thing before/while you were 'dating', it's not like that lifestyle was a surprise or caught her off guard. This is clearly a character issue on her part. Set aside the music thing if you feel you need to, but you heard it here first: any relationship with that woman is doomed, done, over, kaput. It wouldn't vroom if you put 10,000 volts through it, etc. Save your time and money, cut 'er loose, and - music involvement or not - find someone more worthy of your attention.

    Good luck!
  3. While I appreciate your input, there's a lot more to my marriage than I was able to convey in the 4 sentences I wrote in this thread. We've been living together as adults for nearly 10 years, building a life together. Our marriage last year was mostly a formality. There has been plenty of time to develop issues. Additionally, it's very easy to be on the outside looking in on a situation like this and think you know whats best for someone else.

    Again, thanks for your input. But I didn't come to a bass forum to seek marital advice. It's only included in this thread to help convey the severity of the effect that long term gigging had on my life and how it contributed to my evaluation of happiness.
  4. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Understood, and best of luck to you. Still, at least in my (and most men's) value systems, there are certain things that are 'immediate disquals', and this would be one of 'em. It's easy to get caught up in the marital-industrial complex and lose sight of that (and your wallet, and your self respect, and... and...). Everyone's gotta walk their own road, however, and if this is the path you want, good luck and may 'it' be a one-time thing!
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i didn't read that as a rant at all: more of a 'resolve', if you will. good for you for even doing any kind of self assessment. sounds like you're making a change that you've earned, on your own terms. inspiring, IMO.

    best to you and yours, and your music! :thumbsup:
  6. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    @leurw "A man's gotta know his limitations" and priorities.
    Good choice and remember, 99 and a half won't do.

    Johnny Crab retired from bands in 1989 to move from New Orleans to Texas for family and an engineering career. Only had a bass and small amp and, later, the Behringer POD clone with headphones. In 2006 I get an email asking if I can learn 100 songs in a month from a guitarist I was in bands with in New Orleans, he was now in Houston and they had fired their bass player with gigs coming up. Discussed it with wifey and 2 youngest(in later years in high school), told them what it would cost us time-wise, and they said "Do it Dad!".
    You never know where your path leads but you can steer the vehicle once in a while.

    Again @leurw best of luck and keep those you love 1st when it is best for all involved.
  7. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Yea, I didn't think it was a rant either. I think it's a good reminder of the need to make sure our passion for music doesnt' hurt our relationships. There have been times when I turned down gigs and opportunities because I knew it would throw my life out of balance.

    And I agree that one can't make a judgment on a marriage based on a few sentences. As someone who also saw a marriage counselor many years ago, and has made the marriage work (our issues were much different), there are usually a combination of things that contribute to one partner stepping out. I attribute this site -- www.marriagebuiders.com with a theory and practice about what makes relationships work - as the savior of my own marriage 10 or 15 years ago.

    I am glad you are prioritizing. And that you had the experience of being a great band with all the work you wanted. Nice job on that part of it.
    leurw, StayLow, Dwitt33 and 1 other person like this.
  8. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    A couple weeks ago my wife expressed a strong interest in going to our local "downtown Christmas lights-season celebration thing" and had made a point of mentioning it several times. You know the deal, stores open late, hot chocolate, drive down Christmas Tree Lane-the whole shebang. On the night before this a guy called me and asked if I wanted to do a show in the next town over. It was 10-2 AM so " technically" I probably could have done both, but I declined. Turns out the event in our town got rained out and we ended up staying home.
    But as PauFerro said, you sometimes get reminded "of the need to make sure our passion for music doesnt' hurt our relationships." Ever. Give a little, get a little I guess. Best of luck to the OP.
    Roberto Nunez, leurw and Bassist4Eris like this.
  9. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Man I wish I could find a band with gigs that is about half as comitted as yours was.
    alaskaleftybass, Helix and Rhaonoa like this.
  10. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    We all have to prioritize, and the music will always be there.

    There is no way any of us can judge on your decision - we aren't there. Good to see there still are pieces to pick with regard to the marriage. Good luck.
    Joedog and leurw like this.
  11. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    "Prioritize your life"??

    Shouldn't gigging be your life?

    :roflmao:I'm sorry for being a useless c:spam:t
    Roberto Nunez and MetsMan75 like this.
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Hey, kudos to you for being open minded enough to work through this one. Many wouldn't be able to do that. Not sure I could, but I understand too that there's a lot more to relationships than sex. Lots of people have open relationships too. If you guys can move on without that causing trust issues, I think that's great. Only you know what's what though. None of use are in your shoes.

    At the same time, not knowing you, your wife, or the details of your situation... what @sleeplessknight said jumped out at me a bit. If you're quitting music for her, and she's the one who was cheating, in most relationships that would be the prelude to absolute disaster.

    Hope it all works out.

    And since you posted it here I've a feeling you're in for quite a ride :). People don't respond the way we'd like em to all the time, and such a post generally tells people you're looking for advice. Even when you're not. Been there, done that, had my regrets.
  13. I think you guys are way out of line talking about his marriage :rollno:
    sm49341, BassPilot, leurw and 7 others like this.
  14. pbassjbass


    Jun 21, 2013
    I think there's a good reason why, in the corporate world, the best companies limit people to a max three years in a job. The company does not become overly dependent, and the employee does not become burned out or "hooked" on a particular position. There are reasons to do a deep dive on a gig, but, it really has to be justified to yourself. (I'll leave the personal side to your tender care, sounds like you're on it).

    We all need to keep moving and keep growing. I'll just say, I wish I'd done a better job of it, but live and learn. Nothing's easy, but it sounds like you're taking care of business.
    leurw likes this.
  15. BigDrew


    Jun 1, 2016
    Not a rant dude...just getting it out. It feels good. Know that you may not always get great responses here, but you do have everyone's support. Good luck and have a good holiday.
    leurw likes this.
  16. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    You've got a lot of guts.
    Best of luck.
    leurw likes this.
  17. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    He brought it here, friend.
  18. 100 gigs a year and a full-time job is *a lot* of work! If nothing else you've earned a break.
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Let's hope, for your sake, that her resolve evolves to match yours.
  20. J Gold

    J Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    Dude you just wrote a country song!
    Seanto, leurw, KickingBass and 5 others like this.

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