The band leader & lead singer were in a serious relationship. They broke up and so did the band!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Pedulla-Player, Apr 16, 2024.

  1. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin
    I joined this band a little over 2 years ago and busted my butt learning over 45 of their songs in a couple of weeks so they didn't have to cancel any gigs they had coming up. The band that I previously played bass for only did Classic Rock, Southern Rock and some Country and this new band that I joined was a wide variety multi-genre band, so I only had two songs in common with them. I was also mainly a 4-string player but needed to convert to a 5-string player for this band, so I sold my awesome 4-string bass and bought two 5-string basses - one for standard tuning and one for 1/2 step drop tuning.

    After spending every free minute that I had learning all of their songs and also listening to a couple of CDs that I burnt with all of their songs on it every day for a couple of weeks on my long commute to and from work - I finally had all of their songs learned and memorized. We had a couple of marathon practices to piece things together and to get a feel for each other and we hit the road running and didn't miss a beat. This band was one of the bigger bands in my area of the state, so even though the city they lived in and where the band was based out of was an hour and fifteen minutes from where I lived, I felt it was worth the sacrifices that I had to make to be in this band.

    The two years that I played with this band were the most fun that I had in my 30+ years that I have been a gigging bassist. Things were going great, and the gigs kept getting bigger and better in the time that I was with the band. We had a full schedule booked this Spring, Summer & Fall with a lot of big gigs and events booked - and then it happened...

    The band leader, who started the band back in 1995, is the guitarist and also sings lead vocals on a few of the songs was in a serious relationship and lived together with the lead singer the past several years. I won't go into details, but I found out after a show a few weeks back that their relationship ended, and they were no longer living together. I got a sick feeling in my stomach when I found that out because I knew that wouldn't be a good situation for the band and would more than likely lead to the band breaking up. It was initially decided by the band leader and lead vocalist that we shouldn't book any new gigs and should finish all of our gigs that we had booked and then call it quits. Well, we made it 2 more shows and then a week ago this past Monday the band leader sent a message in our band chat and said that he retired from the band, the band was over, and we needed to cancel all of our shows!! What a gut punch and kick to the family jewels!! Everything that I worked so hard for and made so many sacrifices for was gone in an instant! Poof!!!

    I kept getting asked by people - why didn't we just find a new guitarist, re-name the band and carry on? Good question? Well, for one thing - the band leader owned all of the PA and light show and none of us apparently are in a position to buy all of that stuff all at once. I sure as heck know that I can't afford all of that! The other thing is, even though we all knew that the band was going to be ending in a couple of months from now (instead of 8 days ago!!) - we all knew the band was coming to an end. In those last couple of weeks no one mentioned anything about carrying on with the remaining members, so apparently that isn't an option. Unfortunately, I've already come to terms with that fact, but I am still angry and upset about how unprofessional and selfish this band ended with no consideration to the rest of the band, but mainly to leave all of the establishments and events that had us booked and counted on us to be playing those shows hanging without a band on short notice!! I'm embarrassed to be a part of it even though it wasn't my fault. Also, to the fans of the band. This band had a large and devoted fan base and I'm sure many of them had plans made to see several of the upcoming shows. I know that I'm going to be hard pressed to join another band with a couple in a serious relationship in the band.

    Sorry for the long read, but I had to vent! About two weeks ago I was starting to get a bad feeling that things may be ending sooner than later so I started downloading a few videos of the band on my YouTube channel to use as a resume to hopefully find a band. I'll share some of those videos in the comment section below in case any of you are curios how this band sounded.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024
    Wisebass, J0ttem, BBQisgood and 18 others like this.
  2. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin

    It's My Life:


    Come On Eileen:

    What a Feeling (Flashdance):
  3. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin
    Keep Me Hanging On: (unfortunately, the sound changes when the camera zooms in and our former lead guitarist acts like a perv):

    Heart Of Glass:

    Man! I Feel Like a Woman:

    Faithfully (with guest Guitarist - You rock Dale!!):

    selowitch, dabis, dralionux and 8 others like this.
  4. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for? Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    J'Ville, Florida
    You have every right to be angry and disappointed.
    Band dynamics are everything.
    That configuration was most likely doomed to fail at some point.
  5. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well, which is it?

    Look, bands break up sometimes. It’s disappointing but it happens.

    You say all that work was for nothing but the way I read it, you learned lots of new material, you added 5-string to your list of skills and equipment, you played for two years in a band that was well respected regionally, which should set you up well when looking for a new project and you had fun.

    Spending two weeks learning material is not that out of the ordinary when signing on to a professional project and neither is buying new equipment appropriate to the project. The situation lasted two years which you emphatically state were good years. What more do you think a project owes you?

    I can completely understand being sad that a great gig is over but…. angry? Show a little compassion; somebody’s personal life just exploded and they’re suffering. It’s not like they broke up to spite you.

    Jump into a new project. Learn two more weeks of cool material. Play two more years of great gigs with a new band and just keep growing. It’s all part of the game.

    …and I really am sorry your band broke up. I’ve been there. It stinks.
  6. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Why not:

    1. Talk with Dale (the guest guitarist)?
    2. Talk with the bandleader? If he is truly retiring, he won't need the PA. Maybe he would agree to payments from future gigs. You can live without a light show for now.

    Just a thought.
  7. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin
    You make good points that joining this band has helped my playing by learning a bunch of songs that I didn't know how to play before and forcing me to become a better 5-string bassist, I an not denying that. They never booked anything near my area, so practically every gig was an hour and a half one-way from my house. I mentioned on several occasions that it would be nice to have a show up in my area once in a while, and there are a few establishments in my area big enough to have us. Maybe I'm a bad person for being upset and even angry about the sudden disolvement of the band, but what bothers me the most is the cancellation of all of the gigs and leaving those establishments hanging out to dry. Couples have broken up and continued performing together. I'm sure it's not easy. But it has been done before. Another thing that I didn't mention is the band leader was a complete jerk to me at our last show. That kinda had a bit to do with me being angry about the whole deal.
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    This puts things more in perspective but it’s still fruitless to get angry. Use that energy for something that gives something back. Start building a scene at those local clubs and make the gigs closer to home happen!
    Pocket Dave and Pedulla-Player like this.
  9. Parzival

    Parzival Stay Tuned! Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    Those relationships in bands are almost always red flags. Had a band with the same dynamic try to set me up for an audition about 5 years ago right before I found my current band. I didn’t feel good about it and passed.
    Now, that band is still together and the vocalist & guitarist are together, but they go long times without playing because about every 5 or 6 months like clockwork, they are looking for a new bass player and/or a new drummer. Hmmm.

    Sucks what happened with your situation. Hope you get back at it with another group soon.
  10. Core Creek

    Core Creek Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2020
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    Maybe take over the band and finish out the gigs on the books. Tell the BL to lend you the PA for the remaining gigs, and find some good local subs to get through what’s left.

    If it works out, maybe start your own band from the ashes of the old one. Tell the old BL to rent you his PA for gigs until you can afford a new one.
    31HZ, Admiral Akbar, SteC and 6 others like this.
  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That sucks.
    Don’t feel embarrassed and maybe temper your anger at the singer and BL because they didn’t break up to hurt the band. Trust me, if they stuck out the band it would most likely become a really stressful environment for you all.

    Good luck.
  12. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin
    They litterally had all of the gigs canceled within a day and a half. I'm honestly not on speaking terms with the band leader anymore because of the way that he treated me at the last show. I don't need friends like that. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    HowieD72 and Parzival like this.
  13. Pedulla-Player

    Pedulla-Player Former Bassist for SLAB Band (Wausau, WI)

    Mar 5, 2009
    Northern Wisconsin
    Dale contacted me and we may do some jamming in the future. I litterally just heard that the band leader may be starting a new project with some other local musicians. Good for him. Hopefully none of the establishments that he canceled on will hire his new band. Oops, that sounded a little spiteful...
  14. J Wilson

    J Wilson Supporting Member

    Just because of this sort of thing, I would pass on gigs with husband/wife or the unmarried version of that relationship if I knew about it before hand. For any number of reasons, things often Go South, taking me (or you) with it.

    In short, don't s**t where you eat.
    NC_Rob, BassGuyFL, rickwebb and 5 others like this.
  15. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Good band

    I can see why youre disappointed
    rickwebb and Pedulla-Player like this.
  16. Lance Bunyon

    Lance Bunyon

    Jul 17, 2018
    I know,
    It's only rock and roll...
    But I like it!

    Whenever 5.or so psychotic manic depressives form a business, things eventually implode.
    It's faster when two of the members are bumping uglies.
    Jay Corwin and Pedulla-Player like this.
  17. Discount Bassy

    Discount Bassy Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2020
    Right Here.
    I've played in two bands led by couples. Both bands and couples stayed together. Both had unprofessional spats and excessive accommodation/apologies for consistently weak performances on mic.

    That being said, the Discountess and I do perform together, sans vitriol and unpreparedness thus far.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I’ve been through similar.

    That’s what’s called a “scorched earth” tactic on the BL’s part. It’s intended to make sure the band doesn’t continue after the Bl’s departure by burning every bridge possible and trashing the band’s reputation. It’s a jive move that’s utterly lacking any sense of class or decency.

    You have every right to feel angry and upset.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2024
  19. T Bassman

    T Bassman

    Dec 13, 2010
    Surely you can keep the singer, find another guitar player and work out a way to rent the PA/Lights piecemeal and honour the majority of the existing work that is booked? The material you've posted should be manageable for most halfway seasoned rock guitar players, of which most markets have at least a few around and looking for gigs, from my experience anyway. Seems a shame to ditch the whole thing based on one individual 'retiring' from the band, and you seemed to really enjoy things otherwise. As others have mentioned, often these couples bands end in disaster, but the pieces are there to carry on with a little restructuring Id think.
  20. Five or Six

    Five or Six

    Jun 21, 2022
    West Michigan
    I jammed / auditioned with a band years ago and they invited me to join. We had a conversation after playing about 10 songs. This was after I agreed to join and about 2 months after the audition. We took a break and just shooting the bull when I found out the lead singer was the drummer's fiancee. I packed up and left. There is no way I will play in a "relationship" band. Not much good ever comes from one. There are exceptions I'm sure, but, few and far between. Seen it destroy more than one band.
    MrLenny1, Ostie, chuck65 and 3 others like this.