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Welp... I think that band just exploded...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by hrodbert696, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I auditioned for and joined a rockabilly band a little while back, I guess starting in October or so. Seemed like a good group, played pretty well, nice guys. The BL is lead guitarist, there's a singer/guitarist and a drummer and me. We threw together a short set to play a benefit for my wife's library, a week before Thanksgiving, and all seemed good.

    After that, it seemed to be having some trouble moving forward. We didn't have any system to set what the next set of songs were to be for the following practice, and kind of stewed around, ran through the existing stuff and added a few tunes but didn't really get anywhere.

    So two weeks ago the drummer says, he needs to have homework for us to work on. Nobody did anything, so I went ahead after last week's practice and set up a Dropbox for the band to use (all having agreed that it would be a good way to go). I don't have files of a lot of relevant tunes but I have some ideas I've been batting around, more current and offbeat stuff that fits the genre, but I don't have a lot of the classic oldies rockabilly. I set up separate dropbox folders for "ideas" and "homework" and drop my songs in the "ideas" folder. Everyone gets links to give them access.

    Days pass. Nothing else gets added to the folder. Then Sunday afternoon, a freaked-out email from the BL: "this is all wrong! It looks like a mess. It is a mess! Where are all the classic rockabilly hits?"

    I bite my tongue and draft as businesslike an email as I can muster, saying that everyone has access to the dropbox and can add whatever songs they want to do, but that I can't add the songs he wants for him, I'm waiting for him to add them and I'll be happy to learn them. Still nobody adds anything to the folder. Instead there's an email from the BL saying we'll have to talk Wednesday (when we practice) and discuss the direction the band is going in. OK...

    So tonight comes and I get to practice, the rest of them are there. The BL starts to talk. Basically, his idea was to have a classic 50s band, he doesn't know all these other tunes and they confuse him (backstory; the second week I was with the band, I asked them if the idea was to have a nostalgia/oldies band or if they would be open to a more contemporary/retro approach. We established the initial idea was oldies but they were open to adding more contemporary stuff as we went along. Hence my planting some in the "ideas" folder). OK, fine, this is all well and good, I'm waiting for him to wrap up and let the rest of us to say our piece and give our perspectives.

    Then all of a sudden he transitions into laying into the drummer, says we need to be practicing at home because the drummer needs to be practicing at home because he's playing the wrong tempos and he's dragging the band down and really he's the weak link in the band and... and.. and... I'm totally taken aback by this twist. He throws in those "fake apologies," saying "I'm sorry I'm being honest here, and if I'm the only one who will...", implying that the singer and I are also unhappy with the drumming (we're not, and say so) but he's the only one with the guts to say it... and on and on...

    The drummer tries to defend himself and tries to get back on track but the BL is pretty much off the rails now and has run this in a direction where there's no constructive way to work our way out of the hole he's dug. The two start yelling and then the BL is storming off to another room like he's going to calm down but then he's back in and picking up on the same track...
    The singer is a smart and mild-mannered guy who tries to intervene and mediate and get them listening to each other but it's too far gone for that, he and I can't really do anything but sit by and watch them have a meltdown.

    Next thing I know the drummer is packing up his sticks and leaving, BL is storming off to the other room again. I look at the singer and say, "Well, I've got family at home. Let's let this cool off and reconvene after New Year's and see where we stand then." He nods, I unplug and leave, and that's that.

    It's too bad, there really weren't any red flags of this at the audition or in the first weeks, everybody seemed pretty flexible and chill. I guess the honeymoon is over and we're seeing the BL's actual temperament come out. I don't know what their pattern is, if they blow up and patch it over (they have history) and it just goes on. But I'm not so desperate to be in this particular band or playing this particular music. I'm going to give it some time to think about it, but I think I would need a lot of persuading to want to continue with this group.
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Wow. Crazy stuff! You and the singer are good guys. Most would have joined the meltdown and poured gas on the fire.

    Please update this after you find out where everyone stands. This is fascinating.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think he is a good one. He's also in the Blues Brothers tribute I subbed with, I would work with him anytime. Frankly, I can't really blame the drummer in this situation, he suddenly found himself getting laid into. It was really the BL just going off the rails.
    drummer5359 likes this.
  4. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Time to grab the vocalist and maybe drummer, and find a guitarist who remembers to take his meds,
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
    RSBBass, Spent, AltGrendel and 26 others like this.
  5. getrhythm


    Nov 2, 2015
    New Jersey
    Run away.
  6. Life is to short to be dealing with that stuff. You can't pick your family, but you can pick your band!
  7. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm gonna kiss each of my bandmates on the forehead at the next gig.
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    That's Show Biz.
    Good luck.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Wear a flame retardant suit or head for the exit, amigo.
    Sixgunn and hrodbert696 like this.
  10. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Sorry to hear. Felt like I was living that with you as I read it. I've had similar experiences. You can almost see the bubble pop. People are fekkin crazy sometimes... the good thing is you experienced it quickly. Some people take a lot longer to show their colors.

    I'm quite certain if you move on, you'll be moving onto something better. Wishin you the best.
  12. MCF


    Sep 1, 2014
    You seem to be on the right track; take a holiday break and if you think it is worth salvaging, pick up again in January. Rockabilly can be a fun genre, but you kinda have to be into it. It doesn't sound like you know the others all that well yet, particularly the crazy bl. Maybe do a bit of research, suggest 10 or so "classic 50's" songs (Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Elvis, Rick Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, there's a long list of great songs you could come up with) and a few from the seventies revival era (Blasters, Joe Ely, etc...) and see how that goes over. Relatively easy to play and a good excuse to get a 50's reissue Pbass.

    I cut my teeth playing that stuff and a mix of early sixties hits when I played in bands in the seventies (think American Graffiti and Happy Days). But if your heart isn't in it, maybe cut and run.

    Let us know how it turns out for you.
  13. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    But I like Sleepy LeBeof and High Noon...
    hrodbert696 and GBassNorth like this.
  14. The above solution works for me, yet this could be a good idea;
    Sometimes the reasons given for a blow up are not the true reasons.
    brbadg and hrodbert696 like this.
  15. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    maybe you should let the drummer know that the others didn't feel the way the BL does. i'd hate to think that all my bandmates thought i sucked, and right now, he probably does. and then i'd find a new BLL or someone who plays his instrument and become a democracy if that might work.

    good luck, and let us know how this turns out.
  16. If you're not desperate for this band... then I think it's best to move on. Can you see yourself putting up with say 3 years of that? A guy who acts like that in this situation is likely to act like that when other difficulties -real difficulties- arise, and they will arise. Run. Fast. If singer is good... stay in touch with him ;)
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  17. StraffordMike


    Apr 25, 2015
    So? What you're saying is there's a local drummer looking for a band? Where's he at?
    Max Blasto, pcake, brbadg and 2 others like this.
  18. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    You have a good drummer and a good singer? Sounds perfect. Go find a grown up guitarist and make a run for it. Hit Youtube and type in Rockabilly, then go buy an upright with flames. I'm working on slap now
  19. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Run Rudolph.....RUN....
    drummer5359 and hrodbert696 like this.
  20. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    As in some relationships, maybe this was a 'stepping stone' for the BL... Like Joe said, people can get crazy, but this time of year can really ramp up the Bellevue, in all of us... Go with what feels right... from what you posted before, I have a feeling you will. Take care...
    Matthew Fisher and hrodbert696 like this.

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