What was your last straw? (quitting band content)

mikendzel

Member
Messages
905
Seriously, you should start a thread giving us your take on what the keys are to your success. I would be interested in other people’s takes in successful bands as well. What you have is incredibly unique and thusly your experience very valuable.
Thanks for the confidence Steve.

I'm not sure this will help, but here is advice from a Nashville touring guitarist:
"Everyone down here can play, the dudes who get gigs are GOOD HANGS."

I'm afraid my advice may only be pertinent to people wishing to be in "really fun bands that play dock bars!" But here goes...

As far as being "successful" as a long-term band:
#1 - read the book 'How To Win Friends And Influence People'
#2 - be humble
#3 - allow other members to be themselves, musically and personally (in other words, try to improvise as much as possible, and embrace others improvising)
#4 - embrace musical differences
#5 - don't take yourself seriously
#6 - care about the other members
#7 - care about the fans
#8 - define success
#9 - expect nothing

I have found that in my band (and life in general) whenever I have very specific expectations, in circumstances that I can't absolutely control, I tend to be unhappy. The more I simply appreciate what life throws at me, the happier I am. These connections that we make, the events that occur, and adventure we are having, can all be viewed from multiple perspectives. Don't focus on the obstacle, focus on the opportunity to accomplish!!!

If I were starting from scratch, I would seek others who have the same qualities in my list above, and communicate thoroughly with the other members to constantly address what everyone wants to do.
 

MountainCraft

Member
Messages
602
#5 - don't take yourself seriously
#6 - care about the other members
#7 - care about the fans
These especially!
:beer

I have found that in my band (and life in general) whenever I have very specific expectations, in circumstances that I can't absolutely control, I tend to be unhappy. The more I simply appreciate what life throws at me, the happier I am.
IOW, develop and practice an 'attitude of grattitude'

Sage advice!
:aok
 

MountainCraft

Member
Messages
602
The musician in general is fickle, self centered and usually has narcissistic tendencies. It's the nature of the beast. You spend so much time working at your craft alone that it's unavoidable for most.
That's a great point.. Never looked at it like that before..

I have also been in a few "fun only" bands where we didn't care how many gigs we got or where we played. That was certainly the most fun I have ever had in a band situation.
More confirmation that 'this' is the direction I want to go... Fun over money! Besides I'm too old (and tired) to worry about trying to get rich anymore... As long as I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a little left over for hobbies/fun/comfort, it's all good!
 

shadowbox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
884
Just curious what other people's last straw moment was. My most recent was when another member admitted that he went out of his way to play head games with me, just to see what I would do. (This is a founding member, so me staying and him leaving was not an option.)

What's your moment, and, maybe more importantly, what are you willing/not willing to put up with to be in a band and play the music?
I was the guitarist in a very popular cover band. We'd pack every venue we played at and had no problem at all getting gigs. The clubs loved us because our audience was comprised of 20- and 30-somethings who could be counted on to drink an ocean of alcohol throughout our 3-hour shows. Everyone but me loved playing out and the band wanted to do a show every weekend. After two years of this I was thoroughly sick of the tunes we were playing, even though our set wasn't the usual cover-band fare and some of the music was challenging to play, e.g., Radiohead, Tool, Rush, etc. I finally proposed that we take a few months off and spend the time learning 12-15 new songs. Majority rules and the majority wanted to keep playing what we were playing and keep gigging every weekend. I was just bored out of my head playing the same stuff, told them I just couldn't do it any longer, and quit. I did offer to teach a replacement guitarist all the guitar parts if they found someone good who could read. I haven't played in a band since. I'd love to put a band together, but it's so hard to do.
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
905
That's a great point.. Never looked at it like that before..



More confirmation that 'this' is the direction I want to go... Fun over money! Besides I'm too old (and tired) to worry about trying to get rich anymore... As long as I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a little left over for hobbies/fun/comfort, it's all good!
They tend to go together!!! People will go out of their way to see a fun band = charge more money
 

stevenymets

Member
Messages
473
Thanks for the confidence Steve.

I'm not sure this will help, but here is advice from a Nashville touring guitarist:
"Everyone down here can play, the dudes who get gigs are GOOD HANGS."

I'm afraid my advice may only be pertinent to people wishing to be in "really fun bands that play dock bars!" But here goes...

As far as being "successful" as a long-term band:
#1 - read the book 'How To Win Friends And Influence People'
#2 - be humble
#3 - allow other members to be themselves, musically and personally (in other words, try to improvise as much as possible, and embrace others improvising)
#4 - embrace musical differences
#5 - don't take yourself seriously
#6 - care about the other members
#7 - care about the fans
#8 - define success
#9 - expect nothing

I have found that in my band (and life in general) whenever I have very specific expectations, in circumstances that I can't absolutely control, I tend to be unhappy. The more I simply appreciate what life throws at me, the happier I am. These connections that we make, the events that occur, and adventure we are having, can all be viewed from multiple perspectives. Don't focus on the obstacle, focus on the opportunity to accomplish!!!

If I were starting from scratch, I would seek others who have the same qualities in my list above, and communicate thoroughly with the other members to constantly address what everyone wants to do.
I love this and will copy it and keep it somewhere as a reminder as to what to concentrate on and priorities for the band I am currently in. Right now we are very fortunate as we get along well (we actually hang outside the band socially, what do they call that again......oh yeah, I guess you'd say we are friends......) and I think there is a lot of respect amongst the players, but we are starting to go through a change as we are gigging more frequently for us (still not very much) and we have been together going on 5 years now, so this is another step in our evolution. Whenever things change you never know what the impact will be. A lot of this thread is "things were good, then they weren't" kind of posts, which I totally get. You can have one environment where people work well, then a number of factors change, and in a band things often are evolving, and what was working not too long ago might not work anymore. How to manage against that is a real challenge, as often you can't foresee what factors will change in the first place.

@mikendzel thanks for your post. You are in Easton, would you mind posting your band name or messaging me with it? I am in Northern VA, I am always curious about the bands in the general area (though Easton is a bit of a trip.)

Is that you in your profile pic., cus that is pretty epic......
 

Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
I had a guy approach me when I was lifting wieghts at a local health club back in the late 70s, and wanted to know if I was who I am, it turns out he is the much younger brother of a guy I went to school with. He asked me if I wanted to put a band together, so we did.
He had another guy show up , Dave, and Dave was the straightest looking dude I ever seen, he looked like an insurance salesman. Turns out Dave was also one bad ass guitarist. Dave and I immediately hit it off, we got a bass player and a singer that the guy that had approached me about the band and I knew from the neighborhood.
So this was mostly pretty much a neighborhood band.
I was the only real strong personality in the band, the other guys were kind of, not real agressive. I am not aggressive, but I am also not the Jimmy Stewart type, when needed I have no problem getting in a fools face and setting the record straight. Which, I have seldom had to do.
But with this band, another guitarist ended up in the band, he was another guy from the neighborhood. So we ended up a 3 guitar band.
Sadly, the dude that came into the band as a 3rd guitarist decided he was going to run the band ( and as I have said for years, it is most often the least talented guy in the band that wants to run things). We shifted from doing some cool rock music to this guy wanting to do metal crap, and the other guys in the band just didn't have the moxy to tell him no. I had already named the band, and the dude changed the last letter of the bands name to a "Z", which, of course, in metal is almost a rule.

At the time I was going through a divorce and just wanted to play music as a bit of a diversion and to get out away from all the B.S.

So this dude continued to be an arrogant self important prick.
Eventually, one day at practice, I had enough of him. At the time I was a big boy, I had been into physical fitness and was strong as a bear.
I got pissed at the dude and , in the middle of a song, picked up my Traynor twin amp and guitar and left, because I knew if I didn't I was going to pick the little weasel up and destroy a drum kit with him, and I didn't want to end up in jail.
I knew that as long as that dude was in the band that it wasn't going anywhere.
The band ended up getting offers for opening act stuff, but sadly this dude would go to the meetings to meet with the headliners suits , and he would start making demands of them, which of course they would quietly put their paperwork back into their briefcases and walk away. Thank God I wasn't there for that.

The interesting thing is that Dave owned all the gear and his friend ran a sound production company who was going to do the shows for the band for whatever we could pay.
The dude then fired Dave from the band, and called him a week later to ask to borrow Daves P.A.
I suppose the polite term for that is "unmitigated gall". I've got my own name for it.

Dave and I and the dude I originally started the band with are still all friends and occasionally I get together with one or the other of them, or every great now and then all three of us.
The dude the ruined the band, his name is pretty much mud now.
He was your typical "I want to be a rock star" poser with very little musical ability to back it up.
I never seen him again, his guitar skills were limited to mostly wankering and trying to see how fast he could play, but he wasn't really that good of a guitarist, so I doubt he was much use in bands after that.

That is really the only time I split with a band on bad terms with anyone in it, and then it was only with one guy.
Not bad for decades of playing.
 

MountainCraft

Member
Messages
602
They tend to go together!!! People will go out of their way to see a fun band = charge more money

Have you ever been to a Dred Zeppelin show? Guaranteed to be the most 'fun' at a show you ever had.. If they come to your town, don't miss them! They do Zep and Elvis cover songs, sometimes combining them, all to a reggae beat, with an Elvis impersonator as the front man... and they are very high quality! (Page and Plant are big fans)

I used to live down the street from Ed Zeppelin when they were just rising to fame.. Mayor Bradley gave them a key to the city (LA), and they have an honorary holiday in the area for them.. (or they did anyway, I moved from there back in '06)

Great stuff.. Model all of the attributes as a band that you listed!
 
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Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
Of course it was the drummer! LMAO!
What's wrong with those guys, anyway?
:rimshot
Why, they are all rock stars, doncha know!


Awesome man!

I've only been in one rock band in my life, and aside from that was a worship leader for a few years.. Loved both, but the worship leader thing became abusive towards me and my time by the pastor and his wife (this was in the last decade), and the rock thing ended when we lost our rehearsal room (I had converted the garage of the drummer's girlfriend's house with a completely self standing soundproof building inside of it, and then they broke up after a couple years and she sold the house)..


We tried to do it again at a place I rented and soundproofed, but never quite got it together again.. It was just largely jam sessions and partying, which was okay because there was 'some' good music coming out of it.. Ended up losing that place when it got sold and torn down for an apartment building..

Ultimately I had a falling out with the other guitar player.. He was my room mate in a small rented house near the beach, and ripped me off while I was away for the weekend (my big glass antique 5 gallon water bottle accidentally 'broke' and all the quarters miraculously disappeared to the tune of a several hundred dollar loss), then he didn't have the money for the rent, and I came home from work and he and all his stuff was gone, and I later got a $900 phone bill where he had run up phone sex charges.. Evidently he had a cocaine problem that he was hiding pretty well... Until he wasn't..

We all live way apart now, and the other guitar player, got his act together, thankfully (I am assuming after a do or die rock bottom moment or three)

It's been thirty years since that band and I'd like to give it a go again.. Gotten some great insight in this thread, and the greatest point was about 'keeping it fun'.. Make money yes, but it's gotta be 'fun' first and foremost.. I miss the camaraderie we had together, and we partied too much to ever be considered serious, but we were a 'band of brothers' and had a lot of 'fun'.. Hard to find players around here, but I'm gonna give it a go again.. Will perform solo if it comes down to it...

not looking to get rich, but I'd like to supplement social security/retirement income (it's not enough to live on by itself) with a little cash in some areas.. Hoping music to be one of them.. Don't know if it will come from performing, doing live sound, teaching, recording or all of the above, but I hope it's mostly from performing because that's the most fun.. I want that 'chemistry' again!

My 'hope' is to find what you have found!
even a light version of it...
Sounds like freakin' heaven to me!
You are blessed, for sure!
:aok
I played in gospel groups, in so called "Christian rock" bands, and in churches as well as ran sound in a church for a number of years.
Never again. I never experienced egos and head games like I did in the "Christian" realm.
I always got treated a hell of a lot better playing biker bars than I did in churches.
I still have very strong Christian beliefs, but I will not set foot in a church now. They tended to too much of a burden on my spirituality.
The last church I went to, within the time period of six months, I seen the church board run the pastor off , who was a very good dedicated guy, then all of them left themselves. They replaced the preacher with a kid right out of seminary, he proceeded to bring in musicians and a worship leader from a huge mega TV ministry church and they were the most arrogant rude nasty people I ever met. Inside of a year the church was empty and a different preacher came in but could not save the fiasco. All the music team had left ( including me) and even the churches founders wife left.
Today the place is an illegal alien day care center.

Being a musician in churches means being behind the scenes and seeing what really goes on, unfortunately.

It is kind of interesting that bikers are among the most benevolent people on the planet and are always doing poker runs and having huge bashes to raise money for people who have health issues or are down and out for some other reason.
I feel like I am practicing my faith better by playing the places I do now than I ever did in churches.
 

musekatcher

Member
Messages
2,314
Got yelled at out of nowhere, by a musically inferior BL, in front of the band at a practice as if I were a child, shouted down even during a defense or reply attempt. And he was completely wrong on the issue, and refused to be corrected, even politely and gracefully. Had more than one season with this crew. Something wrong there...

BUT that wasn't the last straw. The last straw was seeing how gaslighted the other members were, as if under a spell to just take it (Stockholm like) and expected me to as well, in what felt like a spiritual loyalty to this BL. This was a small potatoes, gig-every-other-month band...neurotic bordering on psychotic behavior if you ask me. I finished the gig that weekend, and dropped all the remaining gigs with that band, due to personal reasons. It took months before the BL stopped hounding me as if nothing happened. I felt vindicated that the BL has a tick, in that he never even mentioned it. Case closed.
 
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2020jan08

Supporting Member
Messages
4,335
Why, they are all rock stars, doncha know!




I played in gospel groups, in so called "Christian rock" bands, and in churches as well as ran sound in a church for a number of years.
Never again. I never experienced egos and head games like I did in the "Christian" realm.
I always got treated a hell of a lot better playing biker bars than I did in churches.
I still have very strong Christian beliefs, but I will not set foot in a church now. They tended to too much of a burden on my spirituality.
The last church I went to, within the time period of six months, I seen the church board run the pastor off , who was a very good dedicated guy, then all of them left themselves. They replaced the preacher with a kid right out of seminary, he proceeded to bring in musicians and a worship leader from a huge mega TV ministry church and they were the most arrogant rude nasty people I ever met. Inside of a year the church was empty and a different preacher came in but could not save the fiasco. All the music team had left ( including me) and even the churches founders wife left.
Today the place is an illegal alien day care center.

Being a musician in churches means being behind the scenes and seeing what really goes on, unfortunately.

It is kind of interesting that bikers are among the most benevolent people on the planet and are always doing poker runs and having huge bashes to raise money for people who have health issues or are down and out for some other reason.
I feel like I am practicing my faith better by playing the places I do now than I ever did in churches.
Funny how church can seem like a birthday party where the person that has the birthday is not invited.
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
905
I love this and will copy it and keep it somewhere as a reminder as to what to concentrate on and priorities for the band I am currently in. Right now we are very fortunate as we get along well (we actually hang outside the band socially, what do they call that again......oh yeah, I guess you'd say we are friends......) and I think there is a lot of respect amongst the players, but we are starting to go through a change as we are gigging more frequently for us (still not very much) and we have been together going on 5 years now, so this is another step in our evolution. Whenever things change you never know what the impact will be. A lot of this thread is "things were good, then they weren't" kind of posts, which I totally get. You can have one environment where people work well, then a number of factors change, and in a band things often are evolving, and what was working not too long ago might not work anymore. How to manage against that is a real challenge, as often you can't foresee what factors will change in the first place.

@mikendzel thanks for your post. You are in Easton, would you mind posting your band name or messaging me with it? I am in Northern VA, I am always curious about the bands in the general area (though Easton is a bit of a trip.)

Is that you in your profile pic., cus that is pretty epic......
My band is unfortunately named 'Johnny Bling.' And yeah, I broke my scaphoid roadracing motorcycles, and had to take my guitar into the doctor's office to get it molded to my guitar neck. I ended up needing 2 casts, the black one was the second one. Didn't miss a show! I actually played the night I broke it, before I realized it was broken; I thought it was just a sprain. I was racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park, and drove straight from the crash truck to Ocean City, MD to play. Loading in and out SUCKED, we were playing Seacrets in Ocean City, and they didn't have parking for me, so I literally parked at the end of the lot, and carried my Tone King Comet, giant pedalboard, and 2 guitar bag all the way to the beach stage, in 1 trip. They at least let me pull my truck to the front of the building at the end of the night!
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
905
I love this and will copy it and keep it somewhere as a reminder as to what to concentrate on and priorities for the band I am currently in. Right now we are very fortunate as we get along well (we actually hang outside the band socially, what do they call that again......oh yeah, I guess you'd say we are friends......) and I think there is a lot of respect amongst the players, but we are starting to go through a change as we are gigging more frequently for us (still not very much) and we have been together going on 5 years now, so this is another step in our evolution. Whenever things change you never know what the impact will be. A lot of this thread is "things were good, then they weren't" kind of posts, which I totally get. You can have one environment where people work well, then a number of factors change, and in a band things often are evolving, and what was working not too long ago might not work anymore. How to manage against that is a real challenge, as often you can't foresee what factors will change in the first place.

@mikendzel thanks for your post. You are in Easton, would you mind posting your band name or messaging me with it? I am in Northern VA, I am always curious about the bands in the general area (though Easton is a bit of a trip.)

Is that you in your profile pic., cus that is pretty epic......
I used to play in Northern VA with a friend of mine who is a country artist, Shane Gamble. We played 9:30 Club November 2017, probably the highlight of my musical career!
 

Ltsft

Member
Messages
205
Have you ever been to a Dred Zeppelin show? Guaranteed to be the most 'fun' at a show you ever had.. If they come to your town, don't miss them! They do Zep and Elvis cover songs, sometimes combining them, all to a reggae beat, with an Elvis impersonator as the front man... and they are very high quality! (Page and Plant are big fans)

I used to live down the street from Ed Zeppelin when they were just rising to fame.. Mayor Bradley gave them a key to the city (LA), and they have an honorary holiday in the area for them.. (or they did anyway, I moved from there back in '06)

Great stuff.. Model all of the attributes as a band that you listed!
Saw them booed off the stage at a reggae festival many years ago. I thought they were great and was pissed, though i would have left too if i were them.
 




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