Why do we put up with bad behavior?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sawzalot, Jun 29, 2022.

  1. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I've noticed a lot of threads lately describing awful situations from one or more band members where the OP almost asks permission from TB to do the obvious thing--which is usually to fire badly behaving member or leave the badly behaving band. I myself went through this with a badly behaving band for far too long before I did something about it. Why do we do this? Are we all just too nice?
  2. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Most of us are raised to believe that if we give people an opportunity to change, they can and will. Most of us are not raised with the idea that people show you through their behavior exactly who they are, and you are under no obligation to work with someone who is showing you something you don't like.

    We're also raised with the ethos that we're subordinates in many situations (to our parents, to our bosses, to other authorities like bandleaders) and this is supposed to be a good thing. We believe we have a duty to defer to those who outrank us. So we get confused when our instincts are telling us that a situation is untenable, but what we've been told is appropriate behavior doesn't match up with our instincts.

    Then we post about it here.
    javi_bassist, Alik, OldShark and 69 others like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    For some of us, there just are not as many options for playing, due to
    - our age
    - the economy, in part thanks to COVID
    - fewer venues with live music.
  4. It's kind of weird because, when I was "coming up" musically, I was a guitar player and bass players were so in demand, they were the ones who exhibited most of the bad behavior (and I could tell some stories).

    That to the side, I won't tolerate bad behavior and I want to clarify: I don't consider bad behavior to be the same thing as most. Missing a rehearsal? Okay (provided there's a good reason).

    Showing up un-prepared? It can happen on occasion.

    If there's a decent reason ... Hell, I lost my right leg in December and have only been to one rehearsal since. I have told my band mates several times to move on, but to their credit they have not.

    So, what is bad behavior? Well, showing up late (when you bother to show up) because you had to stop at the bar a mile away to "check in" with your buddies and being un-prepared on top of that.

    I had a drummer tell me it was my job to teach him the drum parts (I guess I kind of was the band leader at that point, but still ...).

    Yes, some of us give bad actors far too much rope with which to hang themselves, but that just means when the end does come, we build the gallows a bit higher and when the job does get done, it's done for good.

    (Disclaimer: that last paragraph is only metaphorical)
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
  5. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    It can be thought that a crap gig is better than no gig....

    It isnt..but .
  6. ArtechnikA

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

    Feb 24, 2013
    IME, with very few exceptions, there are givers, and there are takers...
    Givers will give too much, and takers will take all they can.

    When I switched to bass 10 years ago, I put up with a lot because the lower tiers was all I was good enough for.
    I've worked my ass off these past 10 years and have moved up in the professional caliber musicians I'm qualified to hang with.
    And gained a lot of self-confidence in the process; I just won't put up with the same sh!t I had to in the beginning years, nor do I have to.

    I get that there are not a lot of opportunities for some due to life circumstances, in which I group geography.
    Still, we need to be the best we can be to rise above the lower tiers; it's hard work, but often that's what it takes to escape the clutches of the takers.

    Beyond adolescence, complete change from a taker to a giver is very, very rare.
    When people show you who they are, you're entitled to believe them.
  7. Dr. Keebs

    Dr. Keebs Bassmaster General

    Jan 9, 2016
    I do not. As soon bad behavior manifests, I set expectations. If expectations are not met - buh-bye.
    rickwebb, Florinda4, whero and 6 others like this.
  8. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    I think another part of it is that creative/arty types tend to be eccentric so we feel like we need to take a certain level of "crazy" when working with creatives. Musician being creative/arty types fall into that.

    If, say, the lead singer of a band is an insanely charismatic performer and the reason the crowds come, many band members will put up with said frontperson's offstage behavior and shenanigans because that's what's keeping them famous/their name in the press.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2022
  9. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    When I see bad behavior, first thing that comes to mind is “…this is not NEW behavior”. It won’t sort itself out.

    Per “TJ’s Rule-of-Ten”, the scope and breadth is far worse than one might hope.

    OpposableThumbs and BlueTalon like this.
  10. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    I like to give people the opportunity to redeem themselves. Stuff happens. I have bandmates who beat themselves up way too much over minor mistakes and that can bring the vibe down just as badly as someone who makes huge mistakes day after day.

    If you show me that you're TRYING, I will cut you a lot of slack. I've been working with a drummer who isn't the most experienced drummer ever; he needed a lot of guidance about seemingly simple things, but he has consistently worked hard and taken on board all the ideas we've thrown at him about how to do the job. I was very proud to be on stage with him last weekend.

    I'll take someone like that any day over a perfect player who doesn't ever practice and forgets the arrangements.

    But there are certain behaviors, like you mention, that are red flags because they show a lack of respect for others in terms of time or commitment or whatever it is. If you show up consistently unprepared, you aren't really respecting the work and time others are putting in. If it happens once, it's just a bad week. You know, stuff like this is observationally subjective, and sometimes a judgment call.
  11. jeffb28451


    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    If a person shakes your hand and say, “ Hi, I’m a jerk”, you should believe it and probably not rely on them for
    better behavior than they can offer.
  12. I believe in the 3 strike rule. People's life's can get in the way sometimes and you have to allow for that to a point, but once that has become and issue after the 3rd strike I am not shy at dropping the hammer and moving on
  13. You'd have to ask my friends.
    Rich Fiscus, CTv, Lowendtech and 10 others like this.
  14. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    I think that when we are working with someone who is really good, we tend to hope that these other things don't get in the way too much. Some folks are much better at keeping their eccentricities out of the way, and some not so much.
  15. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The primary reason is that the vast majority of humans have an aversion to tension/confrontation/negotiations.many younger people are scared to death of it. They would rather internalize all of their problems than deal with them.

    Musicians are weirdos (myself included). So they/we have to be dealt with on occasion. They/we have to be reprimanded on occasion. The adult ones get over it and keep on going.

    But that's it in a nutshell. It's not kindness. It's fear. Fear of confrontation amd fear of the unknown if the confrontation doesn't go well.
  16. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    there are usually pros and cons. most folks post here in this fashion to vent about the cons. i always assume there is a list of pros that has up until that point balanced out the cons. when the cons outweigh the pros for you, it's time to go (or time to make a post about it).

    when i was trying to "make it" i put up with A LOT of BS because 1) i was young and lacked self-confidence 2) the band i was in was showing strong signs of "making it". we didn't, but the pro of "we might be able to make a decent living at this or better some day if we can just hold on a while longer" outweighed many cons. eventually the band leader's addiction issues tipped the scales, and we fizzled out (just before the record containing the single that was getting a little bit of airplay was going to be released (it never got released)). i didn't wait around in a stressful situation because I was nice. i did it because i saw an end that i desired and stuck it out while i still had hope it would happen.
  17. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Lots of people are far too willing to stay in abusive relationships. ;)
  18. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Over the last few days, I've come to understand that such behaviour is more often than not the result of mental health problems (going the full spectrum from unadultered narcissism to well-hidden depression), and we shouldn't generalize people like that as jerks. One of my bands is dealing with a case just like that, right now.

    Now, how to deal with that, that's the question.
  19. CryingBass

    CryingBass Just a Fool Whose Intentions are Good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    mikewalker likes this.
  20. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    I have that there is a direct correlation between what we will put up with and musical contribution from members.

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