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Welp, after 6 years, my band just fired me unceremoniously over text message

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by TimBosby, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Everyone loves a good firing story, right?

    Welp, after 6 years, my band just fired me over text message. Because apparently at some point they decided that I can't tour. Mind you - they never actually approached me about this and asked "Hey we want to start going out on the road, how does that fit into your life?" They just decided on their own. And then fired me. Over text message.

    Some quick background, which will become relevant in this story:

    Fairly lo-fi garage rock, fun to play, but nothing complicated. Anything remotely "complicated" in our music was added by me. Not trying to toot my own horn as I'm a an average bassist at best, but I definitely improved their music for the better, and multiple people have told me the bass drives those songs. You can hear the music in my signature. I'll change it later.

    Me: 38, married, two teenage step-kids who my wife has 50% custody of (meaning we have them every other week with Sunday night switch-overs). Full time "corporate" job.
    Guitarist/Vocalist 1: Mid 30s, married, his wife is the main bread-winner. He smokes a lot of weed and works part time at a bar. Lives with his wife and Guitarist/Vocalist 2. No kids.
    Guitarist/Vocalist 2: Mid 30s, single, works full-time in a bowling alley kitchen. Lives with Guitarist/Vocalist 1 and his wife. No kids.
    Drummer: 39, married, works full time doing siding on houses, wife works at a daycare. They have four kids, 3 at home and one in college.

    Below is the text I received in response to my inquiry as to whether or not we were rehearsing tonight (Wednesday is our regular night.) We hadn't rehearsed in about 5 weeks (granted at least a couple of those were holiday/vacation) because they replaced me behind my back and didn't tell me. I followed up with an e-mail to all three of them. I'll spare you the gory details but basically the TL;DR version was "Hey - you guys could have had an honest conversation with me but instead you decided to backstab me and throw away 6 years of friendship and musical collaboration. Thanks."


    My wife's take on why I was unceremoniously dumped. She is right, of course, but none of my bandmates will have the courage to actually respond to my email or confront me face to face. Here's what she said:

    "This basically all boils down to the fact that you have an office job and they assumed that meant you'd be inflexible. (Drummer) has 2x the children at home 100% of the time and works just as many hours, but because it's a more blue collar job, they just assume he can make it work. I'm sorry. That was honestly one of the shi**iest things I've ever seen anyone do. Also, touring with them would mean playing subpar venues with an audience of 5 and nowhere to sleep. And likely transporting illegal substances across state lines. And you and (Drummer) are 90% of the musical ability I'm not just saying that. You're aware it's true."

    Best part is:

    In 2018 I get 5 weeks of vacation + 9 paid holidays and I have about 90,000 Marriott points which could easily have been 1-2 weeks in decent hotel rooms...for free. But I guess they're more comfortable sleeping in a van or on someone's floor, lol. In hindsight, I am glad I didn't waste my hotel points and time off on these losers....my wife and I deserve a real vacation. Also paid time off and hotel rooms are so not rock 'n roll, man.... lololol, more on that later...

    Some backstory / red flags:

    Major Red Flag 1:

    (Full version of this story archived here: Need to vent a bit: unreasonable bandmate reaction to personal good news?)
    In 2012 Guitarist/Vocalist 1 made me feel bad because I won a major prestigious award at work and was flown by my company to Chicago to accept the award, accompanying gala, all expenses paid plus cash stipend, stayed at Trump Tower (lol) etc. I found out I won this award a few weeks before this trip and it conflicted with a gig that my band had at a crappy privately owned apartment in a bad part of town. He literally expected me to NOT go on this trip because of a gig at this "venue. " The band shut me out of practice for several weeks so they could "get a fill in bassist up to speed." They never found anyone and instead played the gig with two guitars and drums. They later told me it was awful and the music sounded terrible without me and they should not have played the gig.

    Major Red Flag 2:

    In 2013 our drummer (the second of three we had since I joined in early 2012) had to quit because his wife was undergoing treatment for colon cancer and they had a young child at home. This drummer was one of the nicest humans ever. Just a fantastic happy go lucky guy. The same guy - Guitarist/Vocalist 1 - made this drummer feel bad for quitting WHEN HIS WIFE HAD CANCER. It was to the point where this drummer was practically in tears because he wanted to remain friends.

    Major Red Flag 3:

    They almost replaced me a couple years ago because their "manager" promised a European tour. At that point we'd never played outside of Omaha. Literally not even Lincoln, Nebraska. I suppose that kind of lunacy should have been my first clue but that's another story. They eventually saw it as silly and fired the "manager." (Should be noted that this "manager," though he did have some actual experience managing bands in the past, had more experience spending time in jail for burglary and possible felony drug charges. Hey we've all done stupid stuff when we were young, not judging, but did I want him handling our money? Not really.)

    All in all, it's their loss and they'll crash and burn on their own. They think they have a "vision" but they were always too lazy to respond to emails in the Facebook band inbox. In fact, whenever there was a show they didn't want to do, they would scapegoat me. "Tim's got some work thing" or "Tim's grandpa died" etc. They couldn't just say "We're not doing shows right now or thanks but no thanks." All in all...spineless.

    I've gotten two offers to play bass in the time since I got "fired" and I'm better off. They can go on tour and pretend to be rockstars and I'll be sitting here working on an Onion/Hard Times style article entitled "Local Garage Rock Band Fires Bassist For Having Too Good of a Day Job."... "he was too corporate man, what with his American-made instruments and working amplifiers. We really needed someone with more of burger-flipping job with a garage sale bass reeking of cat piss. Also he was sober and TUNED his bass. What's up with that, man!"

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  2. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Personally, I'd probably thank them as they are "very, very, very bad people", I have to watch the profanity.

    I think YOU need a little introspection of yourself and why in "really hot place below the Earth's surface" would you put up with this, the fact that you recognize this but didn't act before is sort of disturbing.

    Good Luck, I'm sure you'll find better, I also think that when time is precious, the last thing you need to be doing is working on something unworthy of your efforts.
  3. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    Man, they sound like a bunch of spineless goofs. You'll likely be happier not wasting your time with these guys. Move on and enjoy playing your instrument. There will be other musical opportunities with people who treat you and each other with common decency and mutual respect. On to the next!
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    you should reply, "You cant fire me because I quit ! 7-12 days isn't a "tour" it's a
    road trip. Get some perspective... You're a garage band. "
    filwitheneff, hombass, Alik and 39 others like this.
  5. Wow. I'd like to think I'd have quit after witnessing that.

    That is pretty good you should consider writing that up and submitting it to the Onion for reals.:roflmao:
  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Getting "fired" by a band like that would be a relief!
  7. For a lot of local bands, touring is a Peter Pan syndrome castle in the sky Adventureland scouting expedition. The bands that offered me an opportunity to tour invariably came home dirty, hungry, sick, and strung out from lack of sleep and too much drugs/alcohol, several $$$ in the hole, someone owes someone $$$, busted/stolen gear, job/relationships in jeopardy, credit card debt, and absolutely not one inch more advanced than if they had just stayed home and kept their noses to the grindstone on their own turf.

    The best I've seen my musician friends do when touring is stay out of jail, not lose any equipment, miraculously keep their jobs and relationships, not pick up an STD, manage one square meal every day, and break even financially. That is the "reward" of the self-funded, self-planned and promoted "tour." Status quo.

    Most of us adults reach a point where doing something for a goof and "good memories" is not practical. You're better off fielding your other offers.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Take the high road and wish them well. Meanwhile, this is not meant to quibble, but if I have to back out of a gig and the band has to bring in a sub, I tell them that it's OK for the sub to take my spot at rehearsals leading up to the gig.
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Send them all a "thank you" card.
    bumperbass, Alik, MrLenny1 and 22 others like this.
  10. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    This. Exactly this.

    Bunk McNulty, jnsnj, basses51 and 2 others like this.
  11. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    A lucky escape for you, even though it sounds like you should've bailed years ago.
    That was a bad business with the drummer's wife having cancer and I'd have walked right there.
    Life is just too short to tolerate people like that.
  12. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The good news is, you now know what kind of people to not be in a band with next time.
  13. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    You sound like you've been suffering from Stockholm syndrome, for the last 6 years.

    You are 100% better off now.

    Everything your wife said rings true.

    Now go and watch "Green Room", starring Patrick Stewart, and feel another 100% better off about how that tour is going to pan out.
  14. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I can't believe I haven't heard of this movie. I'll check it out.

    Raw N Low, Stumbo and Wood and Wire like this.
  15. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    Congrats... you've been done a favor. Despite what things had happened you were still playing with these guys when youre clearly capable of better.... so now you can go do that.
    basses51, CapnSev, chip134 and 3 others like this.
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Touring on your own dime is just dumb. Let them have at it. I think you're better off. Some bands are hardly bands at all. Been there done that. Got fired some years ago and the reasons given were extremely petty. I was planning on quitting anyway but I was pissed he got the jump on me.
    BBQisgood, Sixgunn, basses51 and 4 others like this.
  17. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    I for one love a good firing story

    it's too bad though, I actually downloaded the mint wad willy album back when it was new
    pjbassist and TimBosby like this.
  18. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    You're OUTTA THERE!!! :D :D :D Time to celebrate
  19. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Wow, assholes AND crappy musicians. Yeah, they'll be sleeping on floors, fighting over gas money, playing to YOOGE crowds!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    BBQisgood, Sixgunn, basses51 and 4 others like this.
  20. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    Seems to be common for bands to be fickle like that, a lot of that in rock band movies also to help ease the shock I suppose. Don't let it bother you and move on.
    Find a sad old dog and train it to sit out in front of their home, staring at them.

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