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Venting - LS can't handle playing in a bar that serves shots.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by lat, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    So, one of the bands I'm in is made of up older guys, two of which are in the health care industry (so are all about taking care of their bodies) and the other three of us are retired. I'm the youngest, at 56. Needless to say, we've all experienced enough of life that I thought we all would be mature enough to know that when we are gigging, we are working, and keeping your alcohol consumption at a manageable level is required. We have played at other venues where this has never been a noticeable issue.

    Apparently I was mistaken.

    We had a gig last Saturday at a small bar, which can comfortably seat about 80 people. I had previously booked a gig with my other band that went well, so I booked a gig for this band, expecting things to be even better, since the musicianship in this one is of a higher calibre.

    LS has a table of family members at the gig. First set went off well. A little bit of weirdness where the LS called some audibles to the set list, but, if his voice can't handle a song that night, then that's cool, nothing we haven't done several times in the past. But, the way he was acting seemed a bit strange...

    Second set is getting a bit loose. Unbeknownst to me at the time, LS's family table is starting into the shots. In hindsight, he has probably partaken before the start of the second set. He's rambling into the mic, getting in my face when I'm trying to focus on my playing, missing his queues, etc... I am getting a bit frustrated, but oh well, things are still basically OK. After the second set, the bar owner gave us the max bonus for the night, since we essentially sold out the place. Everybody's happy.

    Second break sees the shots come fast and furious. One of LS's family members is INSISTING on EVERYONE at their table having shots.

    LS obliges.

    Third set is a bit of a trainwreck. LS is stumbling around on stage, slurring his words, making incoherent statements into the mic, totally f'ing up his lines and missing his queues all over the place. He now thinks that he's the star of the show and everyone in the room is there solely to see him, and we are just supporting his wanking. To top it off, his drunk wife yells out that she wants to hear the song that he didn't want to sing in the first set, so of course now he wants to do it. We shut that down quick, thankfully. All of this has the LG and I (just one guitar and me on bass, plus drummer and keys) trying to compensate, sometimes more successfully than others. I thought I had my frustration in check, but I was gobsmacked by his behaviour. What are we, 19 year olds? I spend the rest of the set just trying to hang on, stay focused and get through it. We hit midnight, our time commitment for playing, and I was off the stage as soon I could. Managed to hold my tongue that night, since telling a drunk guy that he's drunk rarely ends well.

    So far, this situation is a one off. Up until now we have just played venues where only beer / wine were served. Seems that LS needs to stay away from venues that serve hard liquor. It may be the charitable thing to give him another chance, but I really didn't like having to compensate for his unprofessionalism. In my books, if you can't tow your own weight, then I'm not going to carry you... Will be making a general statement at some point about the fact that we need to treat gigs like work, and not cross the line with alcohol consumption.

    Not sure how to word it so that LS doesn't get his back up. Will word it so that it's in keeping with my signature here, but also want to make sure the message gets through...

    How would you all handle it? Or, how have you handled similar situations in the past?

    grr... senior citizens acting like teenagers... WTAF?!?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  2. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Personally I'd suggest having one person act as a tactful band representative, so the LS doesn't feel like he's being ganged up upon, confront him with the band's Unified reaction to the LS's actions at the gig.

    Layout what's required from every band member in a gig situation.

    If he acknowledges the issue and indicates it won't happen again, the band's in good shape. If not, you guys have some soul-searching to do.
  3. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    Zero tolerance. Unfortunately have encountered and dealt with this before and, in my experience, the only way is to say flat out that it's unacceptable and must immediately stop. Doesn't have to be a confrontation but should be peremptory.

    Attached Files:

  4. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    I think you take it as a perfect reason and example for a band meeting - this can NOT happen again. I don't think I'd write someone off just on the one instance, at least as told. Lay down the law now, but doesn't have to involve getting rid of them, afaic.
    The Owl, dBChad, ELG60 and 3 others like this.
  5. So, you're only going to play venues that don't serve hard liquor? In other words, punish yourselves and limit your opportunities because of one member?

    Nope. That would not work for me.

    This band member needs to be put in his place. He's the one who needs to avoid hard liquor, in terms of dumping it down his gullet, not the rest of you.

  6. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    I've said it before and I will say it again. If you are getting paid to play music then it is a J.O.B. I don't know many occupations where one is allowed to drink on the job.
  7. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    Nope, I will be playing venues where I can... If he can't handle it, that's totally on him. It hasn't been an issue in the past, so this was quite surprising to me. Going forward, we will have to clarify band policy regarding alcohol consumption at gigs.
  8. That's the spirit. I might have been taking your words in the OP too literally:

    That could imply that you'll be trying to shield him from hard alcohol and staying away from those venues, or that you'll be giving him an ultimatum and possibly moving on without him if he can't learn a lesson from that experience and stay well within his limit.
    lat likes this.
  9. SunByrne


    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX

    That sounds like the voice of experience there... and, having been on both sides of that (though not the drunk one for quite some time now), I couldn't agree more.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    It's the process, not the person, man.

    lat likes this.
  11. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    Yeah, that last quote was just me making an observation... It's all on him. I'm prepared to walk if he doesn't resolve things to my satisfaction...
    Mr_Moo and electracoyote like this.
  12. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    Yeah, I've been down that road more than twice, to quote Sheryl Crow...
    The Owl and mikewalker like this.
  13. As a band I think you all need to talk to the singer and just say his behaviour was not good.... and as a band just say you will all have a '2 drink rule' or something like that..... hopefully this was just a 1 off for the singer... but do tell them that it was not a good look for the band

    I've only done it once - we played at a party / function some years ago where there was free booze... it was a hot summers evening and I took full advantage of the free booze and by the 3rd set I was well and truly drunk.... I can't remember much except waking up about 5am in my car in the venue carpark.... drove home and slept the whole day basically.... never done it again
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    So now you know what the LS does in his free time when his family is around.:bored:
  15. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    His family should've respected the fact he was working and they shouldn't have pushed the shots issue. The LS was between a rock and a hard place but as an adult he should've made an adult decision.
  16. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I know this will be an unpopular post, but given that you're all just a bunch of old guys doing this for fun, for peanuts, to nobody, maybe just let it go and let the guy have fun when his friends are in the audience.

    Maybe have a few yourself if that'll help you get over it.
    tekhedd, Drunky, kdogg and 6 others like this.
  17. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    Had a great drummer go out for a few lines between sets. When he came back we didn't have a drummer anymore, we had a mess. Never saw him again, I guess the band leader told him bye bye
    Mike Whitfield and Mr_Moo like this.
  18. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Seen it also with trips and horse (which should be a band name!).

    Even if he acknowledges it and says it won't happen again, be skeptical ...
    Artman and Mr_Moo like this.
  19. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    Yeah... no.
    ak56, Artman, Aqualung60 and 11 others like this.
  20. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    If hes just a hard drinker and screwed up, then he can maybe control it with will power, but if he is a real alcoholic will power wont work and if he has 1 drink it will surely happen over and over again. Hard to say.

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