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Band member w/out transportation a “red flag”?

William Cairns

Senior Member
Messages
128
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.
 

Guitar Josh

Resident Curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,308
It really is unfortunately. The last thing I would want to do after a long gig is have to make sure a fellow band member got home. But I would also be worried about what if you and your wife split, got into a fight, she needed the car, etc. Bands are hard enough to keep together without additional worries.

I once played in a band with a singer that had to take the bus and walk a mile to practice. We had to let him go after showing up an hour late (and once, not at all).
 

pepedede

Member
Messages
3,225
People in bands want reliability and certainty, when they are looking for band members. Especially when you are unknown to them and it's a professional gig.

It's the same with most jobs you apply for. Also, if don't live close to others, they see it as a potential hassle. Even though you said you have lifts available.

No one wants hassle.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,132
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.

Typically, no transportation = unreliability.

There's definitely a stigma against it even if there are valid reasons.

Also, wives/girlfriends/partners and bands don't mix. Even if your partner is the most supportive person on the planet, there is still a concern when they are more closely involved.

Most of the concerns for these are based on experience - after the 10th person who can't drive flakes out on you you can understand why it would be a "requirement for employment" so to speak. After the wife starts making polo shirts for the band, and makes everyone feel bad for not wanting what she did becuase it's not their vision, and putting you and them in awkward situations, they don't want that around either.

But here's an opposite red flag: Having to audition. And worse, twice.

These are all things green bands with immature people do. Some grow up, some don't.
 

guitarno

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
903
Seems a bit severe to me, at least under the circumstances you stated. It might be understandable if your not driving were actually due to DWI's. That would indicate potential trouble to me.
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,317
Yeah ... Sorry to say it kinda is ...
Unless you help load, unload, setup & breakdown
Then chances are good they will come get you & take you home
 

Paleolith54

Senior Member
Messages
3,446
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.
I can see their reluctance to rely on you relying on someone else, but this is a case in which I'd have treated you being driven as being as good as you driving yourself. Of all the ways in which the reliability of band members is questionable, this would be WAY down my list.
 

Ayns

Member
Messages
181
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.
I think that was quite unfair to be honest. You *did* have transport.
I started gigging when I was about 18, and I didn't drive a car until I was 30. I must have played hundreds of gigs during that time, but I really can't remember how I got to gigs (band mates/ girlfriends I presume). Nowadays I would consider it a "red flag" :-(
 

chanley

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
582
Does the proliferation of ride-share services, (uber, lyft, etc..), change anyone's mind? Not sure that's an option if you are carting half stacks to gigs, but....hrm, I don't know. I guess I could see both sides, depending on where you live.
Just rubs me the wrong way to categorically dismiss a person because they don't have a car. I wonder how jeff healey got around in the early days....
 

AVWIII

Member
Messages
453
I live in a large metropolitan city and I've never driven a car. My rig is portable and I'm punctual and professional. Never lost a gig due to my "lack of transportation."

I could see it being a deal breaker in more rural areas, or to not be able to share driving responsibility during a tour, but local shows have never been a problem.
 

saltbird

Member
Messages
1,912
It's because the likelihood of running into timing/scheduling issues is much higher when somebody doesn't have their own transportation—enough to the point where people just don't even want to take the risk or deal with it. There are always exceptions but there's no way for a band to know without a proven track record of the person. If you're new, again, people often don't even want to go through the rigmarole of finding out because it takes enough time and energy to the point where it's probably not worth it to them.

I've been in 3 bands where there was a member who didn't have a car and every time it ended up being a major headache. That's a small sample size but it's also a success rate of zero, and is enough to give me reservations about it.
 

twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
12,594
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.
Depends on the gig. If the band is going to tour, there might be an expectation that you would take shifts driving the van. In that case, not being able to drive might be a deal breaker. Aside from that, I wouldn't care how a person got to gigs and rehearsals, as long as they had their own means of transportation.
 
Last edited:

Bill Dennis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
665
In a certain other now-closed thread, the subject of transportation came up. It was said multiple times that a band member not having transportation was a “red flag”.

I hadn’t heard that before, but it reminded me of something. Back around 2004-2005, thanks to medicine, I was briefly bolder than I am now or before, and actually jammed on my bass with other people , lol.

I auditioned for a pop/rock band, my only audition ever. All originals, no covers. They said they were being backed by the owner of Sam Ash, apparently. They were actually pretty good! I learned and enjoyed the tunes. I think they were originally called “Boost” but changed it due to the energy drink.

I did two auditions and they were super happy. They said I had the gig. Then outside the rehearsal studio, transportation came up. I said I don’t drive, my wife drives. They immediately stiffened up. “DWI’s?” No, I said, I have no depth perception. I cannot tell how close or far away certain things are, so driving would be very difficult. I told them my wife would always be able to get me where I needed to go.

Suddenly, I no longer had the gig.

Is self transportation really that important? I’m not snarking, I’m genuinely asking. I can see where wondering if the guy was going to make it to a gig would be troublesome, but what if they were always totally reliable? Is having your own car equal always being totally reliable?

just curious about the opinions here! Thx.
It tends to be indicative of issues to come with missing practices, missing gigs and in many cases general irresponsibility when it comes to handling their business. You have a legitimate medical reason. To me that is a different situation. Generally speaking though, lack of transportation does tend to be an indicator of other problems to come in my experience
 

Ayns

Member
Messages
181
I played for about 10 years with a drummer who didn't drive; no DUIs, he just didn't drive. He was a mediocre drummer , but he had the best singing voice in the band. Voice of an Angel. Unfortunately he could start a fight in an empty room. Our singer bought a trailer to transport his drums to every gig so he had to drive him home after every gig, where he'd complain all the way home:- Stage was too small, stage was too big, guitars were too loud, guitars were too quiet, vocals were too loud/ quiet. Etc.
 

TheClev

As seen on TV
Messages
5,331
Like all things, it's the details that matter. I've been in several bands with a fantastic drummer who has macular degeneration (deteriorating eyes), so he's not legally or otherwise able to drive himself. However, he's an incredibly gifted, reliable, solid musician and an all around good guy I absolutely love being in a band with. You just have to take into account that he might sometimes need a lift to or from a practice or gig. Not his fault, and not much of a burden on me as a bandmate.

On the flip side, I've also been in a band with a guy who couldn't make it to practice because his only vehicle was in the process of getting repossessed. He turned out to be extremely unreliable (not showing up to practice, not bothering to let us know ahead of time so we could cancel or reschedule, sometimes showing up loaded, etc.). He was a great singer, but I'd rather be in a band with a tone def mule singing than a guy who can't be even remotely reliable and doesn't seem to care at all about inconveniencing his bandmates.
 






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