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Had to Let Band Member Go

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Ward, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    That's rarely an easy task. I've had to fire band members in the past too, not something I look forward to but it's sometimes necessary to keep the band together and/or moving forward. That's the burden of leadership! You did the right thing.
     
  2. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    This has always been my experience, that certain band members are completely out to lunch with their perception of how the band sounds, reality, etc.

    We're now 5 strong, and hopefully we can find a PSG guy who's on the same page with us. I'm now willing to wait for awhile to find the right guy. What's funny is that there's about 10 songs we do with distrinctive PSG intros that our steel player never learned, despite constant prodding. I've learned them all since I wrote that first post on my guitar. It's funny how I got so upset internally about him refusing to learn parts when I could have just been doing them myself all along.
     
  3. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    His wikileaks (er...wikilinks) page is real interesting. So many versions of why it happened.
     
  4. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    If I have the burden of leadership, why don't I get the benefit of groupies and roadies?
     
  5. jlott

    jlott Tele-Meister

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    Ward, thanks for posting. I had a bass player in my three piece who never practiced and it showed. He would show up to rehearsal unprepared and flub every bass line. We were doing kind of a punk thing. Some of the tunes are super easy and minimal. It did not seem to matter he would still flub them up. Add alcohol into the situation it was even worse. The worst part was his constant critiquing of me and the drummer. Telling us are feeling or timing was off. I lost it on him one night, and felt bad for him, but it had to be done. Now it is a two piece and sounds great. The last I heard he was talking **** about me saying I was not serious and didn't want to "make it". He was right this is just a hobby.;)
     
  6. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    Same here. Fired Drummer and Keyboard player. Endless complainers. Advertised for drummers and had 200 apply. Found the best. No more whiners or complainers from now on.
     
  7. hannigan

    hannigan Friend of Leo's

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    Get bent you are mean but you were also correct .

    You temper the mean with a snappy wit so I like your style .

    Managing to keep a group moving in a positive forward direction is not an easy task .

    I think every group needs at least one mean guy .

    I think of you and Tim as the good mod bad mod team just like coppers .
     
  8. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    The thing about it is..he knew ...


    Any player who is reaching weekly to get to where he should already be, already knows...you only confirmed what he knew was coming, and if he didn't know it was coming shame on him.


    Some players like to "float" on top, which means they really don't know the song, can't play the song or didn't put the time in to learn the song...but they know...if they are playing the same "non related" licks to the same songs you have played 500 times..well...

    thats a problem...

    I think Ward has a good thread here, one other band folks can learn from...GetBent is not mean,he's honest...

    If we are in a band situation and the band is growing and we are not, for whatever the reason...we should reconsider what it is we are doing....

    t
     
  9. hannigan

    hannigan Friend of Leo's

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    Honest and mean but part of his charm .
     
  10. Dave Hopping

    Dave Hopping Friend of Leo's

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    Business is business,even in the music business.I've never had a problem telling bandleaders I liked everything about the gig except what it cost me to do work for them.
     
  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I've let myself go a bunch of times, but I've never been "let go".
    Maybe my time is coming.
     
  12. Sharp5

    Sharp5 Tele-Holic

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    It's a funny thing, it seems to me that when it comes down to players who want to really work 2 to 4 nights a week, the pool becomes very small despite the hundreds of "musicians" in a given city. It's seems to always be the same guys in the working bands.

    Despite being in several bands that worked all the time, I've yet to be in a band that understands what a rehearsal is. The last band I was in was good at face value (to the public), but if I was riding home and heard some songs we played, the drummer and I would shake out heads at the parts that were missing. It's like they were just comping the chord progression out of a fake book or something.
     
  13. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think that's very true and I think what happens is that it doesn't take long for reputations to be out in front of the players and opportunities. How many times have we all sat around and talked about possible new band members and someone says..Nahh ,not him he's a....or interviewed a few players who have stated they are really experienced and they show up with a very minimal skill set to offer. I think this is why the same hand full of players are always working... and are always getting called.

    My friend in Ct used to say 100 guitar owners, only 10 players... I used to ask him, which category am I in ? He would say..I'll have to get back to you !

    t
     
  14. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    That's exactly what was going on. We get a great crowd response, but if you listen back, the out of place notes and wrong chords from the PSG are just glaring.
     
  15. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    I'm sure he knew. We constantly had to point out chord changes, and I had to give constant reminders that he wasn't learning parts to songs, especially intros. I have a tough time hiding frustration, so I'm sure he saw it coming.

    The floating over the top thing is a great point. A lot of lead instrument players go along trying to guess chords, play lead lines in the key rather than following chord changes, and just try to figure it out over time in rehearsal. It's a great skill for a fill in gig, but doesn't work if you're part of the band
     
  16. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    The reputation is a good point, and one thing to add about bandleaders is that I think you get a reputation of either having a good or bad band, and that will attract or repel taleted musicians, regardless of your individual talent.

    There's a couple of guys around here who constantly get the best musicians in their band, and if one leaves or can't make a show, another awesome picker shows up.

    One of the things that finally caused me to pull the trigger is that I realized that my reputation (and probably the reputation of the other guys in the band) was ultimately going to be negatively affected. It think that when bar owners and audience hear a band, they often can't pick out which individual instrument is off, they just hear that the band is off, and assume everyone in the band collectively sucks.
     
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    hey Ward, send me an Airline ticket and I'll fly across the country with PSG in hand for ya ! and, I don't eat much...well..that might be a lie...

    t
     
  18. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    The core 4 of us have been together almost 10 years... we've worked hard to get gigs, to learn 250-300 songs... to build our barn, our trailer, all our PA stuff and recording stuff... and here was a guy who BEGGED to be in the band and when he got the opportunity (this cat is retired too) he completely took it for granted.

    We went, as a band, to see Asleep at the Wheel sunday night in Santa Cruz.. we got to sit in the front row and all of us watched those guys like hawks... What a band! We could tell Ray is having hand troubles (I went through some last year and could just tell).... the rhythm player is pregnant, the keyboard player is about 19 (wow, what a player) it was a fabulous show... on the way home, I brought up the guys who we've played with and parted ways and our main singer/fiddle player said, "I've told my wife 50 times how glad I am that you and Mike take care of the dirty business and just let me play... I couldn't do all the booking and money and firing stuff... "

    Figuring out who is nice and who is mean is not nearly as easy as people can think it is.... There was lots of gentle support and suggestions for 'section' practice and tutoring etc and it was all ignored.

    Tony, I have been guilty of 'floating' on a fill in gig or two.... and, since we've used hired hands for steel for about a year now.... I've lapsed into letting them play the signature solos... I've gotten my steel out and my lap steels and have decided that maybe we'll go smaller and I'll cover more parts and do all the sig parts again.... it will be good to have that rigor again.
     
  19. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    floating on a fill in gig is to be expected, I also do it, but a long time band member should not rely on floating throughout the set lists, if he or she does, they should go float somewhere else !

    Now get that steel out and get to work !

    t
     
  20. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    Asleep at the Wheel is amazing. I wish I could pick Ray Benson's brain about how he's kept it all together all these years. I'm sure he's had to let people go and was probably very good about nipping these kinds of problems in the bud.

    To me, he's kind of the ultimate success story for bandleaders, and is real throwback to the old days, where one guy (i.e. Bob Wills) was responsible for making the band run, hiring bandmembers, etc. To hear Ray's perspective and advice on this subject would be incredible. Is anyone aware of any interviews he's done on this subject?
     
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