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The oldest band management story ever...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DirtDog, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Had to let one of our members go today due to ongoing substance abuse that affected his performance last night. As in he disappeared and did not perform the third set!

    Also had to bow out of a gig he organized for the end of next month. Sucked to have to do that but the situation was creating a number of unwanted entanglements and the band-aid needed to be ripped off quickly.

  2. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    Unfortunately or shall I say, sadly, you did the right thing.
    Keeping them in the band and working around their affliction would have only been enabling them.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    And upwards!
    Aqualung60 and DirtDog like this.
  4. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Well, at least can continue as a core foursome without missing much of a beat for all of our upcoming gigs. Will need to replace a few of the tunes this guy sung but that's it. There was talk of on boarding a couple of prospects, but I suggested we press pause and maybe look for a different type of instrumentalist - fiddle, mandolin, banjo type of thing.

    That, and not split the pay 5 ways!
    kesslari and NoBucks like this.
  5. You did what you needed to do. We used to have a lead singer whose alcoholism eventually made him unable to perform, especially as the night wore on. I remember one time we were covering Radiohead's "Creep" (terrible song to cover in a bar, BTW... it was a request), and halfway through the 2nd verse he just quit singing and said, into the microphone "I gotta take a piss!" And off to the bathroom he went, and I stepped in and finished singing the song. I do believe we continued without him for the rest of the set, and it didn't really a difference. That's when we knew his time in the band had ended. We never did another gig with him again after that, and ended up taking a 4 year break after that point.

    You'll be a better band for it, I'm sure. It's hard, but a toxic individual will bring the whole thing down!
    Lvjoebass and DirtDog like this.
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Nice to read such a post, so different from what we usually read here, "My bandmate is screwing up and I don't know what to do". This one is "I recognized a problem and took immediate steps to fix it". Good for you!
    Munjibunga, Kun2112, Alik and 7 others like this.
  7. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I was in a group that stuck through a few more incidents with the crack-addicted band-leader than we should have. As hard as it might be to end or change a good thing on-stage, it's always the best move off-stage to nip problems like that in the bud. Best of luck to ya!
    DirtDog likes this.
  8. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    had to be done. never easy, but necessary sometimes.
    DirtDog likes this.
  9. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    Good luck finding a drummer without a substance problem. You may have to peruse the local cemetery.
  10. Well done, BL. Sometimes, we're not in the rehab game, but the replacement game.

    The conversation usually starts something like, "Well, it's not working out..." and quickly proceeds to, "I'm going to have to let you go."

    It's interesting how often the other party isn't surprised or offended and actually understands and agrees with you. I usually don't even have to outline the reason, it's mutually understood.

    The thing that gives me strength in those moments is how damned unfair one individual's dysfunction, irresponsibility, acidity, etc. is to the other dedicated talented hard-working musicians in my band. What kind of leader allows one person's crapola to kill everyone's joy?

    And here's one scenario where a designated recognized central authority figure is definitely a bonus. Often, there is no sense in sitting around debating and voting on whether someone needs to go or not.
  11. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    This is why radio mics were invented. He could have carried on singing
  12. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    Hopefully, your guy will consider getting kicked out of the band to be his "bottom" and that he gets help. Kinda doubt it though. Godspeed to both him and you.
  13. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    1974 - Had just signed with a booking agent that doubled as manager who was putting us on the road doing 1 & 2 nighters in 3 states. Entire band had to sign off on the 'rules of the road" with this agent, some of which were:
    No Drugs
    No Alcohol
    No Blue Jeans
    No girl friends

    we broke all the rules....
    hondo4life likes this.
  14. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    No blue jeans? Is this a wedding/corporate event type of gig? Just curious...
  15. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I feel ya, our drummer who is always juggling multiple bands was given walking papers. We had a large party booked Aug 12th for 3 months now. His newest band decided last week to make their debut on the same night. He wanted to play it off as a mistake and continue like always. Sorry, you put them over us. We been placed in this position before, this time we said no more. New drummer starts this week, don't know if we can salvage the gig though. Tired of playing second fiddle.
    DirtDog likes this.
  16. HAHAHA. Just know WHEN to break them.
  17. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Fortunately, he wasn't an entirely mission critical part of the act. nice to have, but not critical. Co-frontman/co-acoustic guitarist. We picked these guys up as a duo to front our country cover band. Fortunately, out of the pair of them, the one that remains with us is the far better talent! We gig next weekend as a four peice.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Thanks. I too hope he can resolve his personal issues and get some help if needed. A weekend warrior cover band is not the place to work out those problems!
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    When I was younger, I had to replace or fill-in for guys due to legal or sobriety issues. Nowadays, I'm filling in and replacing guys more and more due to health.
    12BitSlab, electracoyote and DirtDog like this.
  20. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Interestingly enough, his response was one word: "Understood". No pleading, no contrition, no apology for leaving us hanging on Saturday night. Nothing. Just "understood". Like he almost wanted to be booted. :blackeye:

    For us, there was no grey area. The nature of the substance(s) and the association with this guy would have caused issues in other areas of our lives (as in, our employment, security clearances etc).
    electracoyote likes this.
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