What was your last straw? (quitting band content)

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Sombras, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Lead singer who was very good and very well known started pushing his karaoke act during our full band shows. I saw it in direct competition to the band working. He got to the point where he actually started singing along with his ipod during our breaks, handing out flyers and promoting over the mic while on stage with the band.

    I had worked with the band for 6 years but told them that this was the last straw and if he continued to do it I would be done with the band. I had already given my notice months ago and was willing to stay on until they found a replacement. It seemed like they were making no real effort to find replacement.

    When the singer started with the ipod I said if he does it again it would be my last gig. They thought I was joking. With about 10 minutes left in a gig someone in the audience requested a song the band didn't do. He pulled out his ipod and started singing along while the band stood there. I unplugged my bass, loaded amp into my car and that was it. I heard they were really pissed but I had given them clear warning I would be done next time it happened.
  2. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    East of the Rockies...
    The only time I've quit bands it was to take a better gig...more nights per week...playing closer to home...that kind of thing. If a band is gigging and there seems to be progress I don't quit. Of course these days if I get an offer its just one more band I'm playing with...
  3. Jimmy3Fingers

    Jimmy3Fingers Member

    Nov 8, 2012
    I have an almost identical story...except that the worship leader and husband/pastor had a bit of a meltdown that caused the core team to move on. Supplement that with adding beginner players to a team of seasoned musicians/singers.

    Been lucky with secular bands...go figure.
    Steve Hotra and ChazMania like this.
  4. ajmxbend

    ajmxbend Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2017
    Was in a band for several years playing a mix of covers and originals. We played clubs and bars on the West Coast and it was really fun.

    The band decided to get really serious focusing on becoming full time so we got a great practice place, booked some gigs during the week spread out over the West Coast, and committed to playing all originals. Time, money, effort, etc...

    Days before our first gig, out of the blue our lead singer says he's quitting to go find himself in LA and follow the footsteps of Jim Morrison (not kidding). Wow.

    We tried keeping things together but I quit after a while as it fizzled out. I still think about it sometimes with regret because we were so close to at least giving it a go. Ah well...
    MountainCraft likes this.
  5. Sombras

    Sombras Member

    Jan 31, 2016
    All this stuff is really informative and helpful. I've been around enough people and long-term relationships to know that some dysfunction is normal, but I'm learning that regular human dysfunction thrown into the blender of music and musicianship can get pretty bizarre. I'm feeling even better about my decision to leave after hearing some of these stories.
  6. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I've been in, and left, A LOT of bands. Most were for good reasons; some I left prematurely. Admittedly, I can be a bit demanding to work with, especially when I was younger, and some of the musicians had other life priorities that I had little patience for. I've matured though and understand those things much better now which is why I gig solo. ;-)

    My reasons (off the top of my head):
    -Got tired of the road
    -Musicians weren't good enough
    -Rehearsals were inefficient (usually due to lack of preparation, drinking, drugs, etc.)
    -Found a better gig
    -Personality issues (this mostly happened after playing together a while)
    -No chemistry. The band was going nowhere and it was obvious.
    -Left one great band because it was shredding my voice; singing 80's rock for 4 hours a night was tearing me up. I thought I had nodes but fortunately it turned out that I didn't.

    I MUCH prefer being a solo acoustic artist these days and not having to deal with band drama. I'm really happy with that decision and have been for some time.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  7. Tidbit

    Tidbit Member

    Dec 8, 2017
    I had a drummer, that I had played with for close to 20 years, that started getting squirrelier by the day. He began by refusing to help carry any gear but his own and complaining about everything. He then began to get verbally abusive. One gig near the end he sucker punched the singer from another band who invited us on to the show.
    The show was running late and he erroneously blamed that band. He began heckling the singer during their last two numbers. The singer, not being able to see who it was, gave it right back with interest. After they were done, my drummer walked up to him from behind and punched him in the back of the head while I'm loading my amp on the stage. He then grabbed his cymbals during the confusion (back lined drum kit) and left while I was taking my stuff back off the stage because we obviously weren't playing any more. I spent the rest of the night apologizing profusely to the singer (who was a friend).

    Two gigs later, we're on a big stage with the same band that he started trouble with. He decided to sabotage the gig by playing as light as possible with zero fills or accents. It sucked hard. It was embarrassing. A friend who I hadn't seen in twenty years showed up uninvited and said the band was good but the drummer was terrible.

    I had another gig lined up that I cancelled. That was it.

    Ironically, he called me a several months later to join a new band he was putting together. I respectfully declined. He got the message.
    Abram4235 likes this.
  8. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2015
    The band leader was a good friend of mine. He wasnt the best singer and was a terrible front man. Very awkward and made bad/forced jokes on stage. Booked gigs without checking for availability and was a general douche bag. Pauses between songs were way too long. Like multiple minutes between songs and he didnt take learning songs seriously, he just winged it and thought he was the greatest musician ever. He had a bad problem with distorting reality for sure. We're not friends anymore, my choice.

    I wanted to spend more time with my kids and significant other. The money dipped very hard and the trade off wasnt there anymore so I called him the next morning after a gig and said I was done. I was really nice publically though and just said that I was burnt out from gigging. That was 4 years ago or so and I havent gigged since.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  9. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

    Oct 8, 2009
    yeah, if someone even showed up w a keytar id be done w that band.
    MountainCraft, MadFrank and A_F like this.
  10. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

    Jun 23, 2013
    About a year ago I decided to stop playing with a band not because of a thing that happened but because I just didn't enjoy it very much. I didn't enjoy playing the music I was playing with them the way they played it. The places they played at were not places I enjoyed going to. The folks who went to the places we played at were not folks I enjoyed hanging out with. And the other folks in the band did music a lot more casually than I do. One day I just realized I wasn't the right cat to do that job in that particular band.

    A few years ago a guitar player who had some gigs was looking for a bass player. I am primarily a guitar player but also play bass. I told him I was interested and gave him my number. He called me and asked me if I could play a gig with him the following night. He also sent me some mp3s of tunes he did. I crammed. And the next night I showed up and did the job. But when I would look at him for visual cues he would turn away. He also made be think I wasn't doing a very good job. But at the end of the night he paid me. And the next day he called me and told me that I played bass like a grown man and he wanted me to be his regular bass player. So I put in some extra time working on the tunes for the gig the following weekend. I showed up for that gig. He yelled and made negative comments to me and the drummer between just about every tune. On breaks he would have "talks" with us. Eventually not only was he yelling at us but he was yelling at his wife. Within a day or two after that I told him I just couldn't do it.

    Around about five years ago I started working with a regularly gigging cover band. It wasn't really "my kind of music" but they were gigging regularly and the gigs, especially considering how often they gigged, paid well enough for the job with that band to be worth my time. And it was for the first two and a half years. But the keyboard player left. And things gradually fell apart after that. The band leader started complaining about lots of things. Not long after the keyboard player left the bandleader fired the drummer. For my last six months or so with the band it was the bandleader and me plus a series of short term bass players and drummers. But eventually the bandleader rehired the drummer he fired. And one of my pretty good friends who is a really good bass player started playing with us. So I stayed on a little while longer. But it all came to a head. For an outdoor gig the bandleader decided he wanted one of his friends to "sing backup". His friend was a slimy and somewhat creepy dude. During the gig the bandleader's friend was doing a weird hillbilly chicken dance. Eventually he was moving around the stage doing his chicken dance. While doing his chicken dance he came toward me and went behind me. I thought that was kind of weird. I wondered what he was doing back there. Then I felt an arm go around me. With one hand I moved the chicken dancing creepy dude away from me. The show continued. After the show we packed up, I got paid, and I went home. The next day I got an email from the bandleader telling me that I needed to apologize to him and to his chicken dancing friend for my behavior or I was no longer welcome in the band. I replied with "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?" but in my own words. He emailed me back with a crazier email. Right after I received that email the phone rang. It was my friend the bass player. He said he had just gotten a crazy email from the bandleader telling him he was "fired" for his behavior over the weekend. My friend the bass player called just as I was about to send an email to the bandleader telling him I was leaving the band. When my bass player friend and I concluded our phone conversation I sent an email to the bandleader and told him I was leaving the band.
    beanbass, LPTyler and Abram4235 like this.
  11. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Chattanooga, TN
    Yellow light: sending demos to bandmates several days ahead of practice and having them all tell me "I didn't have time to learn it, sorry."

    Red light: sending demos to bandmates several days ahead of practice and having them tell me "I didn't LISTEN TO IT."

    Check, please.
  12. Jim85IROC

    Jim85IROC Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Probably like "honey, do you like this new guitar I just bought?"
  13. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Funny enough, that's pretty much how it was put to me, in angry, yet slurred terms from a 45 degree lean.

    Seriously, it was sad. Bandleader was talented guy but was eventually overcome by personal issues. Ended up homeless living in an RV.
  14. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    A lot of the above would lead me to quitting a band.

    In all my years, I've never had a "last straw" moment because I'm not one to let things build up to that point and I avoid playing with people who push my buttons. That last two bands I left pretty much just dissolved. One band broke up because we had run out of new material. We were an originals band that also played cover band shows and after putting out a pretty good album and gigging a lot, we didn't have any more songs. The primary songwriters just ran out of ideas and the music the rest of us wrote wasn't right for the band. When that started to cause pressure in the band, we realized we should probably call it a day before things could get contentious. For years we reunited for some stray gigs and we remain good friends.

    Similar experience with another band that called it quits last year. It seemed like we were struggling more with new material and then one member left for family reasons. Once that happened it kind of pushed the whole thing over. Again amicably. The drummer is in a new band with me now and the other guys remain great friends.
    MountainCraft and LPTyler like this.
  15. iGouger

    iGouger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    Outside of SLC
    Last straw: spent more time going over our "stage moves" than nailing down the songs. C'mon.
    beanbass, A_F, Bentayuk and 6 others like this.
  16. Jupiter Tarts

    Jupiter Tarts Member

    Apr 11, 2015
    Central NJ
    Was in a jam band a few years ago and played drums and sometimes rhythm guitar. No last straw. Everyone just went different directions and we just went on permanent hiatus.

    I got busy with my day job teaching high school. Other guitarist went back college and is now an engineer. Bassist and singer moved on to other projects and other bands. I occassionally still get invited to their bbqs or jam sessions so it's all good. Life just happens.
  17. Bhobb

    Bhobb Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Unreliable, albeit good, singer. Had missed about 40% of rehearsals through "illness". She was a relative of the other guitarist so broaching the subject of her unreliability was tricky. When we finally played our first gig with her (on the Sunday), we drew a good crowd and she was particularly well-received. I thought this was a turning point and things would pick up from there. The following Thursday, rehearsal night, we were all there but her. Bass player texts her, only to receive the reply, "OMG, I forgot we had a rehearsal." I quit the next day.
    LPTyler likes this.
  18. gennation

    gennation Member

    Feb 25, 2006
    Grand Rapids, MI
    He called her an a$$hole. It was a $hit show at times with this group...the money was good but there was always some sort of drama and I was really felt I was losing progression as a musician. I think their son might be out of the band too at the point, idk for sure though.
  19. music321

    music321 Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    Greater New York Area
    They refused to remove the brown M&M's.
    Angeln, DeSolo and monty like this.
  20. ruger9

    ruger9 Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    New Jersey
    This thread is depressing.

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