Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Who's being more unreasonable here?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by ambolina, Dec 6, 2004.


  1. ambolina

    ambolina Guest

    Apr 7, 2004
    San Diego, Ca
    I was setting up a show my band booked and wanted two other bands on the bill. I had one band and through the wonder's of myspace.com, I get ahold of a band recommended by friend who'd just played with them. I talk on the phone to the lead guy, answer his questions, he said yes they'd like to play. I said they could go 1st at 10 or 3rd 11:45ish (my band was 2nd). After he debated aloud which would be the better spot, he decided they'd like to play 3rd. All was agreed and I even sent a confirm e-mail to their myspace acct b/c a different bandmember handles that than the one I spoke to on the phone and I wanted to make sure the info on the show got to everyone. Didn't want to chance it.

    That was on Tuesday. Friday was the show. My band gets there at 9 and as we're loading in my amp the guy at the bar said the above band had called and said they couldn't play last because their drummer had to leave by 11 to be at work or something and they wanted to go first. Well that's a pickle:

    1. I don't want to screw the original first band b/c all their friends will be there to see them at 10pm as expected. It would be lame to move them to the last spot, not to mention we're friendly with them and they've tried to help us out a couple times.
    2. It's really irresponsible to ask to move things an HOUR before the show starts and to not even BE at the venu to try and work things out.
    3. It's our show which we put together and none of the bands on the bill have more clout than any of the others, so since we put it together, we get the best slot (2nd). I don't want to play third.

    So we decide it would be in the best interest of all parties if the band w/ the drummer probs went on at an early first - 9:30 and would be done by 10:15 so the original first band would only have to start a half hour later than expected. They agreed to that.

    Well at 9:15 the other band hasn't even shown up yet and we eventually get ahold of the guy I orignally talked to on his cell. He had known about his drummer problem the day before but "didn't have my phone number'. Uh - when did cell phones stop storing the numbers of your recent phone calls? And did I not leave him two voicemails with my number? I did. AND - if all else fails, get on freakin' myspace or my band's web site and e-mail us.

    Anyway, we talk to him on the phone and say they can go on at 9:30. Then he hem's and haw's about that and asks if they can go on second instead. ***? Oh, I was so irritated. Now I understand last minute problems coming up with band member availability. But these guys were just so disorganized by not telling us sooner and even more so by not being at the venu. So my guitarist was the one doing all the talking to the guy and he was about to check with the band who was there to see if they wanted to swtich the times again when I just flat out said to tell this band no, they can either play first or they can just not come at all (they decided not to play which was fine, the bar didn't care either so that was cool).

    It was clear if they were so willing to swap around times, they weren't planning on bringing anybody. I do believe the drummer thing was legitamate and not just a ploy to jocky into a better slot. Or maybe they were trying to get out of the show altogether and were just seeing what they had to do to get us to say no.

    Anyway, sorry I'm so wordy =) Gahr to irresponsible bands!! Do you think my attitude to this situation was unreasonable?
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i think you handled the situation well. Frankly, i can't belive that they weren't there well before 9:15.
     
  3. The "I Don't Want To Play First or Last; San Diego Band Syndrome".... i have dealt with this MANY times... Not too be a complete jerk but would you PM me the band name so that if we ever get stuck with them we can be prepared? i can give you guys the heads up on a few myself... that is so stereotypical for bands from Dago.. we all know why (drunks come out late and drunks leave early depending on the venue).... hopefully you won't deal with that again...


    PS i saw your blurb in The Reader.... How come your guitarist (i think it was him) got the Gene Simmons Tat and not you??? :D
     
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Welcome to the wonderful world of promotion and management. When you take it upon yourself to arrange for bands and timeslots, you have officially left the realm of "musician" and become a promoter and event manager. That's why those guys get paid the big bucks.

    In the future, I'd suggest that you confirm everyone's time slot both verbally and in writing, and in both be sure to inform them very clearly that everything is firm, not subject to alteration, and if they aren't there on time, they don't go on. Its not up to you to screw your gig because they're irresponsible and unprofessional. You don't want to continue to do business with people like that, it makes you look bad.

    My two cents . . .
     
  5. ambolina

    ambolina Guest

    Apr 7, 2004
    San Diego, Ca
    Thanks for your two cents Eric. I had assumed I HAD covered my bases by sending e-mails to both bands after talking to the flaky guy confirming when the show started, what the line up was, and who was going when. I didn't want to be super-anal organizer girl by making them reply back and confirm they read the e-mail or by saying it was non-negotable, but I guess with some people that will be necessary.

    Then again, I also learned to trust my insticts. The guy sounded like your stereotypical flakey musician when I talked to him and I was half afraid all week something would go wrong. Which is why I e-mailed the other guy in his band to make sure he had all the info too. Lesson learned.

    It was actually our drummer and of course the article had many misquotes, one being that that was his "newest" tattoo. It's really his first and at least a good 8 years old. I don't think it was legal for me to get tat's at that age =)
     
  6. Having set up a couple of shows myself, I know your pain. One band always seems to have problems getting there in time, and in the end, it comes down to being a promoter before being a friend or a nice guy or gal. You acted completely reasonably. Musicians... *cough*g**tarists*cough* can never seem to keep times and dates straight, nor conjure up any sense of responsiblity when they suddenly change their mind.
     
  7. Razor

    Razor

    Sep 22, 2002
    Dallas
    Sounds like you handled it very well and very professionally. Sad thing is...this is a very common thing with live music/club scene. Start getting used to the fact that in the music biz a large majority of people who call themselves "musicians" are actually flakes. Flip side is..it makes you truly respect the people who act responsible. Again though, you handled it very well. Kudo's to ya.
     
  8. From the way I understand it, you're completely in the right. I've seen tons of bands that pull the "we can't play last- our singer has to work in the morning" stuff. I used to do that when I was doing the Army Reserve thing- but back in those days it was prestigious to play last.

    If you've legitimately tried to work around it- you've done your job.
     
  9. Dynna

    Dynna

    Oct 23, 2004
    First, you handled it really well. You didn't burn any bridges, and nobody was put out too much(stress aside)

    If you are essentially booking the band, they should be told a time to be there by. AND what time they are DONE. They have two other bands to respect and work FOR(they're opening remember), as well as the people that have come to see the other bands. It's a SIMPLE respect issue. If you're booking them, don't be afraid to lock down some times before hand, and don't be afraid to pull the plug if it ain't working.

    Kinda makes you rethink booking huh?
     
  10. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I got burned BADLY in one of those situations. This band pulled the old "member has to leave early" scam, and unbeknownst to me, the lead singer agreed. Well, they went on @ 11:00 and did a 30 minute line check, because they had "special equipment, then they preceeded to do a 2 1/2 hour set, after promising to do 45 minutes. :mad: Mind you, this was a weeknight gig, and I had to be at my accounting job @ 6:30. My friend told me that they were laughing while they were packing up their gear to leave. Luckily other bands were in attendance, so after that, the only way they got guest gigs was to play last. They eventually broke up.
     
  11. ;) You did well Ambolina - very well :cool: I've done a little in that line and in the past even ran an independant recording co-op and there's always flaky pretenders around.
    No good worrying about 'em babe, just learn to recognise the signs and prepare yourself when the signs are bad.
    IMHO anyone serious about their vocation is willing to sign a
    performance contract - why wouldn't you :eyebrow: it sets start/finish times, misc. items like riders can be confirmed /controlled, payment rate/ percentage confirmed -
    it protects the band AND you from being ripped off because it's a legal agreement. If they were fair dinkum why not :D
    Regards Mohter.