Caution, long thread. For optimal comprehension read whole mess. If in a hurry, read last three paragraphs. I have a great friend called Earl, with whom I have a lot in common. We're the same age, we grew up in similar situations and like the same things. By dumb coincidence (not really), Earl and I are both bassists whose skill levels are similar. We like the same music and go to school together. We also talk about a lot of stuff. Today, Earl asked me a question about a situation he was in and how he handled it, and I (actually, Earl) would like to extend the question to you. A week ago, Earl got a cal from an ex-bandmate whom he had not seen in many (well, about four) years. She was getting a band together and wanted to know if Earl wanted to play bass. Earl's friend had called him once and he declined because his schedule was full and the former bandmates musicianship proved unremarkable at best. This time however, Earl, for old time's sake, accepted the invitation and went to a rehearsal with the new group. Besides his friend, who sang and played keyboards (A 5 octave non-touch sensitive Casio), Earl met the guitarist, who had a lovely '76 Les Paul (so Earl tells me) and a drummer, who had custom made drums and 4 or more cymbals which prevented eye contact with any other player in the room. The band played a bunch of 70s Top 40 tunes, songs by The Police, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Earls friends musicianship remained unremarkable, although she now sang and played simultaneously, meaning some improvement had been made. This lack of musicianship didnt bother Earl at all; if anything, it showed him how far along he had come. He could detect the flaws in his friends performance, know what was wrong and adapt faster than he ever could before. The guitarist, a sorta shy guy who was muddling his way through the poorly written charts even complimented his playing a couple of times. After muddling his way through jazz charts for years, three-chord pop tunes were childs play. Unfortunately, all was not well. Earl would have played quite happily throughout the entire rehearsal if the guitarist and the drummer didnt hijack the songs on occasion, transforming them into extended go-nowhere jams. This was caused primarily by the drummer, with whom no eye contact could be established. Oftentimes, the Jam part of the song went longer than the song itself, with no end in sight. When the band played Come Together, it evolved (?) into a long and pretty much unproductive jam. Earl felt very frustrated, because it was more than apparent that the Keyboardist/ Singer, the Guitarist and Earl would sometimes try to move on, yet the drummer would keep on pounding away. After a while, Earl, who had a long cord, walked up to the drummer and stood next to him. Still, the drummer wouldnt stop. Earl stood next to the drummer for the better part of two minutes, and had to basically tap the drummer on the shoulder to get his attention. The drummer looked surprised. Earl asked the drummer if he still was playing Come Together the drummer said yes. Earl said he felt that the tune had basically degenerated into noodling and the drummer was doing exercises instead of playing the song. The drummer took offense and told Earl hed been playing for 25 years. (Earl was the youngest person in the room, mind you). Earls friend said that it was good to express ones opinion sometimes. The drummer said he didnt mind the opinion, but that it could have been done without Earls attempt to pick a fight, then he said needed to take a break and left the studio. The other three members then played another tune, drumless. The air hung a tad heavier. My friend started feeling bad, and asked if he should apologize. The guitarist said he would if he were in Earls position, so Earl went out, found the drummer sitting in his car and apologized. It went smoother than he dared hope. The drummer said he was playing with his eyes closed and was startled by Earls sudden appearance next to him. The group played for another hour or so, then split. Earl got into his car, drove back into town, bought a 12-pack of Miller and came over to my house. What would you have done if you were Earl? Im sure that was not Earls finest moment and he now knows better, but the guys only human, for crying out loud. Anyway, thanks for reading. Impressions, anyone?