What would you have done

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dwsmit, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. Dwsmit


    Mar 27, 2020
    Ok bit of a backstory. Hang on it might get long.

    In a 4 piece Classic Rock/Country cover band, all members are over 50. The singer is female, lead is a female, she formed the band and acts as boss, drummer is male, and I, the bassist, am male. The lead player is an intermediate level player, and that is being generous. I stayed with them as the novelty of a cute, blonde girl playing lead seemed to be ok for us as we were gigging one or two gigs a month. Last January lead player found out she has breast cancer, very mild stage 1, so we didn’t play until May. She is cleared no cancer now and seems healthy.

    We had our first gig post cancer on May 24 weekend (Canadian thing ). All was ok but it’s the same old same old as we never progress. End of gig lead player says, “that was great, we will get together now and go over some new material”. Ok finally? I think. 3 days later she sends us a group text, hey just to let you guys know a band from a town about an hour and a half away contacted her and asked if she would play with them. She told us she already had jammed with them before the last gig and she really didn’t know any of their material so she will be busy for the next while learning their songs. She says that the rest of us have outside projects which we really don’t. Singer does open mic once a night, I was doing videos with old band during Covid, but they are clear across the country from us. And drummer did have another band, but the fizzed out. She then sends us her availability for the rest of the whole year, one or 2 days a month available.

    I wait a few days and send a group message to her and ask, what is your priority, I then say that not playing for 6 months prior to last gig has really caused me to lose interest in the band and I fear that her not having time to play now will really kill my interest in band. I just ask for a simple answer, what is first priority?

    She responds, “Really, you guys all have outside interests, how come I can’t “. Classic heat reversal, she rants a bit more and tells me maybe I should go book some gigs.

    So for me that’s it, I’m out, I wait a week or so not a chirp on our usually quite busy group chat. I decide to talk to singer, she is just as angry and confused as I am. I ask her if I find another lead player would she like to play with us, she loves the idea, same story from drummer, but they both won’t commit to leaving the current band. Just do the new band on days the old lead player is not available.

    I go on Bandmix and fortuitously find a lead player who just that day decided to find a band that is gigging, we have gigs lined up already by the singer. He says he is very professional and has played on studio recordings, we scheduled a jam with him and he is smoking, so good in fact that the singer and drummer decide right then and there that they are out of the old band and want to devote everything to getting the new band going. We are fit together perfectly the first time we played our songs with him sound a hundred times better than a hundred with the old lead player, he is easy to get along with, has great ideas, and all around just a nice guy.

    I then send a group text to the old lead player on the old band chat. Told her you’ve had your chance, been dismissive of me one too many times, I’ve taken the band to a new amazing lead player, see ya later.

    The drummer went to her place to pick up his drums a few days ago and she said the new band didn’t work out, I’m sure once they got over her looks, her mediocre playing didn’t cut it. So now she is out, alone.

    I wonder if I am a bit of a jerk or hothead for not giving her a few weeks to see that the new band wasn’t going to work. Maybe it was just the cancer caused her to have a bucket list sort of episode? Was it ok to drag the band with me, I was gone no matter what? They were angry with her too.
    Beej, fleabitten, 31HZ and 5 others like this.
  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    She made her decision and the rest of the band moved on. It’s a story as old as music itself. It’s not your fault her new thing bombed. Enjoy your new band.
    zenrad, Scott Bland, Mark_70 and 27 others like this.
  3. Take the good memories of that old band and keep them. Let the bad ones fade and mainly-
    enjoy your new band.
    That singer chose her fate and seemed to make it easy for you.
    Rock on, ride free!
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Doesn't sound to me like you dragged anybody; they followed you willingly.
    I've seen this before.
    mediocre player decides s/he's all that, discovers reality.
    did (else) anybody really think the 'new band' an hour and a half away would be so impressed that the project would be an instant hit?
    you all failed upward. don't gloat, but move on with confidence.
    Aqualung60, Dust2Dust, 31HZ and 2 others like this.
  5. Dwsmit


    Mar 27, 2020
    The amazing part about all this is that the band an hour and a half away she went to join, is named Trilogy _ _ _ _ , 3 guys, and they already have gigs almost every weekend, usually 2 nights. We can’t figure out what she was bringing to the table?
    JettBlaq likes this.
  6. kevindahl


    Aug 21, 2006
    I'll guess I'll go against the grain and say you sound like a bit of a jerk(your words). Your post appears to me to be a little sexist. Keeping and playing with somebody in a band because they are attractive and a novelty is a bit disingenuous, no?

    I don't want to come off as being mean but you asked.
  7. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You didn't do anything wrong, but the way you did it wasn't great. Two of my favorite song lyrics: "Keep on the sunny side," and "Let's say goodbye like we said hello, in a friendly kind of way."
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    What would you have done

    i can't be certain that i wouldn't have ended up with the same 'net' results (i.e., out with the old, in with the new). but my take on the OP = the process sounds like it was more 'dramatic' than it needed to be. ;)

  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Why would you think you are being a jerk? She decided to step away on her own. Move on. No need to start being a jerk as she doesn't sound like a bad person, no need for bad blood. Just she made her choice and you made yours. Congrats and good luck with the new-ish band. Sometimes all it takes is that one spark and it sounds like you all found it. That's only positive.
    Aqualung60, Dust2Dust and JettBlaq like this.
  10. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I have no problem with the move - she decided her side hustle was more important than the "main" one - you guys had to do what you had to do. From your description, she should have been cut some time ago because of her "just good enoughness". She just gave you an easy opening.

    The cancer story is really irrelevant.

    But I feel you did ultimately handle with less class than you could have. No need to show her the door that way - a simple, "sorry, the position has been filled" comment would have sufficed - no need to get snarky about it. It's a good lesson for her to learn (looks will only get you so far - learn your instrument!), but
    is pretty harsh.
  11. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Nothing you did was "being a jerk" except this.

    "I then send a group text to the old lead player on the old band chat. Told her you’ve had your chance, been dismissive of me one too many times, I’ve taken the band to a new amazing lead player, see ya later."

    This was ridiculously immature, ESPECIALLY via text. There was absolutely no need for this. Now all you have with her is a burned bridge. And there was no need for that. This is middle school playground drama. It was the text version of this.

    Everything else is just grownups going in different directions.

    Glad you found a new guy and the new band is looking up.
  12. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Decisions and actions have consequences. The fact is you did exactly what she said the rest of the band should do. As for bringing her back or feeling guilty, just remember, she dumped you guys first, and you starting a new project without her is the consequence.

    I'd have no problems moving in a new direction. The question is, does the rest of your gang agree?
  13. Dwsmit


    Mar 27, 2020
    Ya, looking back I think I was a tad off in the way I handled it, but we had a bit of a contentious relationship. Not the first time she texted me with the “really”. I think I was ready to leave, but didn’t have the fortitude to do it without her putting us on the side. I’d hate to see them still gigging while I wasn’t .
    31HZ and PaulS like this.
  14. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    I say, why burn a bridge if you don’t have to?
    hrodbert696, 31HZ, Ewo and 1 other person like this.
  15. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    I would have replaced her with the better player once she refused to commit, but probably in a kinder way. Most local music communities are small, and you may find yourself working with ex band members again down the road.
    31HZ likes this.
  16. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    You're not her mother. She made a bad decision, and from the way you tell it, was rather rude about it as well. You made the best of the wreckage she left behind, and it just so happened yours worked out better. Don't get survivor's guilt over this.

    Perhaps in the future the new band can offer her a gig as a backup singer.

    FYI: I worked on a startup band for months back in the day. Great band. It was the singer's band, and she was terrible, but she was the boss so that was that. Our first gig was at one of the premier spots in town. She was an unmitigated disaster. She seemed to have stage fright in addition to being a bad singer. The next day the entire band quit and reformed. So, it happens. There are good reasons for things to take place.
    JettBlaq likes this.
  17. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Hey it is fine if she wanted to go and play with a secondary band.
    So honestly it works out better for you guys anyway.
    She was holding you guys back and that is a learning process for all of you.
    Stay friends if possible and if she ever wanted to just get together for fun times then that's up to you guys.
    IF ALL of you are happy with the change then don't worry about it.
  18. nealw


    Sep 9, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey, you don't see many 16 Horsepower fans! :thumbsup:
  19. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    I think I am not understanding the interaction. Unless her side pursuit was causing a conflict (missing rehearsals, not available for gigs) then I don’t think I would have asked about priorities and kicked all this off.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  20. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Dont think you did the wrong thing moving on but the way you did it wasn't anything to rave about.
    newwavefrank likes this.

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