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The Passive- Aggressive BL

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by vvvmmm, May 4, 2018.

  1. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    So reading a cuppla threads about "problem child" players and replacing 'em, etc., I feel like venting this one.

    I live in the suburbs of a big city, where all the original bands are there, and only cover bands exist within an hour's drive of me.

    But I finally find an originals band and join as bassist, doing all originals written by the singer-guitarist.

    I end up recording us (2 albums), arranging songs, and contribute a couple of tunes (I was BL in the prior 15 years of playing and, now I think of it, the 4 years since) and generally having a good time with pretty nice guys, notwithstanding that 2 are cops (a joke, really, that that's relevant, but also no 420, etc.).

    Anywhat, the BL thinks he's John Lee Hooker, and every practice, every jam, he changes arrangements and not predictably: middle 8's become 13 measures, half-choruses appear extra or disappear, tight endings become jam-outs, and meodies which have BV's are ad-libbed in different keys, etc.

    But tho' nice guys, the drummer doesn't do live fills because of these change-ups, and the lead guitarist only plays lead, and as bassist with BV-duty it's just frustrating as hell to point out the issues, get a promise he'll do his songs as he wrote 'em, and encounter this.

    I also feel a rock band is like a marriage in many ways anyway, and realizing after 9 months that he'd never change despite his promises, I walked. Actually, walked out in the middle of practice.

    So, any passive-aggressive stories?
    Torrente Cro likes this.
  2. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    You could've dropped this story in any of a couple of dozen other similar threads and it would have fit right in. Better luck with your next ensemble. You've got my sympathy.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    hrodbert696 likes this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    IMO: it's easy, expedient, and appropriate to fire/replace guitarists and drummers. everyone else can be taught.

    "can we play that new idea of yours in Gb?" :laugh:
  4. dadglasser


    Oct 11, 2009
    Technically speaking a passive aggressive person is one who expresses anger by NOT doing things. Here's an example: Suppose a husband and wife have a disagreement one night. It doesn't have to be anything major. The next morning, the wife asks the husband to pick up a dress at the cleaners since she has an important meeting the day after and will not be able to get the dress and the cleaners is on his way home. The husband says yes, but then does not get the dress and says "I forgot" when, in fact, he had not forgotten at all. Passive aggressive people are among the most difficult to "cure".
    oldrocker and hrodbert696 like this.
  5. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Yeah, that was the BL. "OK," he'd say, "I'll sing and play it like we agreed/arranged/I wrote it."

    Then he wouldn't, would apologize when called out, and do it again, sometimes even as we started the same song over.

    I mean, it could have been some kind of mental issue regarding an inability to focus, but I came to believe it was more a "follow me, the leader" attitude coupled with an inability to admit his expectations that we would.

    I might mention, with all due schadenfreude, that the band broke up shortly thereafter, and the drummer (the other cop, actually) and I went on to other projects together. The guitarist, who was the BL's cuz, lost touch.

    Curiously, 3 years later or so, the pass-agg BL just replied to an FB post through the drummer, to whom I am "friended".

    Therefore, I manned up, and ignored his arse. :smug:
  6. mike o

    mike o Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Monroe, GA
    Life is too short to be in those situations. Congrats on walking.
    vvvmmm likes this.
  7. See, you get it. I wish all the posters of “band drama—what should I do?” Got it too.

    No matter the situation, there are really only three options, if you aren’t the leader:
    1. Try and change the situation.
    2. Stay and accept the situation.
    3. Leave.
    That’s it. It all boils down to this.
  8. bearhart74


    Feb 26, 2009
  9. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Ahhhhhh I love the smell of Band Drama early in the morning ;)
    pablomago and Torrente Cro like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I hate to break it to you, but about 80% of musicians are weirdos. Half the rest are boring.

    That leaves about 10% normal people who aren't jerks and can play.

    So, odds are, you're either going to be in a band with one or two weirdos, one or two boring people, or you got really lucky and found 4 or 5 normal people who play like crazy, put on a good show, and generally cause no drama in between.

    A good compromise might have been to work out "cues". In other words, hand signals for the chorus, head, turnaround, etc. That would let the singer "flow" more, but also give you guys a heads up when something is coming.

    If you write originals, and do them exactly the same way every time, you are a cover band of your own music. ;)

    Best of luck with the next one.
    Torrente Cro likes this.
  11. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Thanx, yeah.

    I do gotta note, I agree with yer rough stats there, but it is especially problematic when the BL is the jerk.

    I mean, I oughta know! :smug:

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