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Another band tragedy and dilemma


saturn
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If everything would have gone right, I would be with my band setting up for a gig right now. However, on Wednesday our bass player sent a group text saying him and his wife have a severe case of the flu and could we cancel the gig. He also runs sound and has most of the PA equipment. There's no way we could get a fill-in this late, so we said of course we will cancel and for him and his wife to get well.

 

Later that night we heard they both were admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Then the next day we found out that he had a heart attack while in the hospital! He is alive, but in very critical condition. At best, it will be a long time before he's ready to play again. Needless to say, we are all very concerned for him. Especially the keyboard player and I, since we have all been playing together in various bands since around early 2000s.

 

But, the world goes on. We have more gigs on the books and have to decide what we will do. While we all hope to some day be playing with Mike again, for now the band has decided to try and honor our upcoming gigs and find someone to fill-in.

 

I'm conflicted. I don't think there's anything disrespectful to him. We all have spoken before and agreed that if any one of us couldn't play for any reason, the band should still try to continue. No insults here. I would expect the same if it were me. But, from my selfish perspective it's different. I also play in another band and do acoustic gigs. It's hard enough keeping up with 3 or more set lists, and juggling available dates etc. Plus having a family life. Now we will have to find time to squeeze in some rehearsals to break-in the new person. I'm just not sure if my heart is in it? I guess I will give it a go, but at some point I might have to ask them to look for a guitarist as well as a bass player.

 

I was really just venting, but welcome any opinions or advice.

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Jay,

 

Your love and concern for your friend and bandmate Mike is very much on display, and it's admirable.

 

But as surfpup said, you have commitments, and gigs already booked.

Shop around, find a bass player, get some more PA gear, and let that musician know that it's a temporary thing, with just a 50-50 chance of becoming permanent.

 

All my thoughts and prayers to Mike and his family, and to all of you in the band.

 

[crying]

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I'm sorry for your situation Saturn. I hope your friend and bass player recovers and soon. I know how I would feel in the same spot, my friend and bass player have been together off and on for a really long time now.

 

Finish the gigs you've got, or find a suitable replacement band and offer them to the bars. After that, you and the rest of the band have to knock it off until bass player is up and about again.

 

We'll all get where you are someday. Good luck to your friend, you, and your band.

 

rct

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How awful. Hope he recovers quickly,but on top of pneumonia, sadly that is unlikely.

 

Impossible to suggest what to do as who knows if any other members are feeling the same as you about it - might be worth a deep band meeting - but I'd think maybe a short term solution could be that if the bassist from your other band or another members' side band could fill in so it's 'doing a mate a favour' rather than seeking a brand new player on a 'maybe' basis, that could buy you time. (?)

 

All the very best to you and Mike.

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How awful. Hope he recovers quickly,but on top of pneumonia, sadly that is unlikely.

 

Impossible to suggest what to do as who knows if any other members are feeling the same as you about it - might be worth a deep band meeting - but I'd think maybe a short term solution could be that if the bassist from your other band or another members' side band could fill in so it's 'doing a mate a favour' rather than seeking a brand new player on a 'maybe' basis, that could buy you time. (?)

 

All the very best to you and Mike.

 

Yeah. That option has been discussed. Most members of my other bands have met each other and most have sat-in or played together at some point. But logistically, I don't think that will work.

 

Thanks everyone for the well wishes. But, I have to say it looks grim.

 

Here were the last two band photos I have with him. With the 5 string bass just before Halloween and in the back next to me just before New Years Eve.

 

v9M1mML.jpg

 

qj6JhG9.jpg

 

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Like others have said, our thoughts and prayers are with them both for a quick and total recovery. Having been in a few bands myself over the years the question of replacements are always

the toughest decisions. I was surprised to read that you are in multiple bands. That is always is a logistical nightmare just in play dates let alone in equipment and transportation.

Hope you find someone who will fit in for a while. take care

Rev. David

 

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Sorry to hear,

 

my 2 cents go as follows..

 

 

commitments or not, you have to consider the effort to find a replacement, vs the money you are expecting to make. maybe I've just become jaded after so many years of dealing with this, and putting in way more than I ever got back in compensation.

 

 

if it's a private function, and the money is great, then I'd see if a replacement could be found.. a $600 bar gig,, no way... I am sorry to say, that long gone are the days when I push the loyalty the way of the club or bar room that's hired us. they'd screw you over in the blink of an eye and not even give a crap.. For that, nope.. call em and cancel, they'll find some one else to play..

 

really,, I'm not trying to be ungracious, but, who cares? in the grand scheme of things, the gig has to be worth the effort. otherwise, nope..

 

at my age, and 40+ years of this BS, I'm not busting my nuts for 100 bucks for anyone..

Edited by kidblast
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Sorry to hear,

 

my 2 cents go as follows..

 

 

commitments or not, you have to consider the effort to find a replacement, vs the money you are expecting to make. maybe I've just become jaded after so many years of dealing with this, and putting in way more than I ever got back in compensation.

 

 

if it's a private function, and the money is great, then I'd see if a replacement could be found.. a $600 bar gig,, no way... I am sorry to say, that long gone are the days when I push the loyalty the way of the club or bar room that's hired us. they'd screw you over in the blink of an eye and not even give a crap.. For that, nope.. call em and cancel, they'll find some one else to play..

 

really,, I'm not trying to be ungracious, but, who cares? in the grand scheme of things, the gig has to be worth the effort. otherwise, nope..

 

at my age, and 40+ years of this BS, I'm not busting my nuts for 100 bucks for anyone..

 

Yep. As much as I love these guys (and girl) and have a blast playing with them, the high commitment/low return thing is getting old. Not sure if I feel like getting to know a new bass player.

 

Plus our acoustic gigs are easier to book, pay more (per person), are usually 3 hours and only have 20 minute set-up break-down times. Hard to keep sacrificing those gigs for big band shows where I play 4 hours, plus about 2 hours set-up and an hour break-down, and I might walk with $80 to $100. Plus when our band plays, the place usually writes us a check which we have to wait to cash.

 

So for now I'm going to go with the flow, and try to play our near future gigs. But we have gigs booked out through the summer and into the fall already. Unless Mike were to make a miraculous recovery, in the back of my mind I don't see myself going that far. Even if I do decide to leave, I would try to leave the door open if they ever need me to fill-in for my replacement or even sit-in occasionally.

 

 

 

 

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Tough situation, I hope your friend has a quick and complete recovery, that is the most important thing. Along those lines, perhaps the best thing would be to do a few fundraisers for him, incorporate them into your commitments, it sounds like your band has been around long enough to have some fans and at least some demand, perhaps other bass players in the area would fill in for him at different gigs.

 

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Tough situation, I hope he recovers fully.

 

Hard to offer advice as to what to do, especially since you're not sure how long he may be out.

 

This negative situation may cause you to do some contemplation about how many bands you want to play in etc. and head in a different direction.

 

Hope you are able to sort it out.

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Yep. As much as I love these guys (and girl) and have a blast playing with them, the high commitment/low return thing is getting old. Not sure if I feel like getting to know a new bass player.

 

Plus our acoustic gigs are easier to book, pay more (per person), are usually 3 hours and only have 20 minute set-up break-down times. Hard to keep sacrificing those gigs for big band shows where I play 4 hours, plus about 2 hours set-up and an hour break-down, and I might walk with $80 to $100. Plus when our band plays, the place usually writes us a check which we have to wait to cash.

 

So for now I'm going to go with the flow, and try to play our near future gigs. But we have gigs booked out through the summer and into the fall already. Unless Mike were to make a miraculous recovery, in the back of my mind I don't see myself going that far. Even if I do decide to leave, I would try to leave the door open if they ever need me to fill-in for my replacement or even sit-in occasionally.

 

 

I think you are on the right line of thinking Saturn. The acoustic gigs ARE easier, I've done a handful of solo gigs, and it's a lot more enjoyable than I thought. Play what you want, setup as you wish, take home all the money!! [thumbup]

 

As much as this can be fun (bands/gigging) there is a definite element of needless hassle to go along with it. one reason why I don't gig all that much these days have a good day job, the money at this point isn't enough to pull it's own weight.

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I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I hope for a full and speedy recovery.

 

As far as the shows go, it depends on how quickly and if you can find a temporary replacement bass player. As long as everything is done up front, you shouldn't have to worry too much. Our bassist got in a car accident the week before a show and wasn't ready to play. We brought a guy in, practiced some with him, wrote out cheat sheets for the songs and he filled in for the weekend. After that, our bassist was ok to play again and we thanked the other guy for filling in. I've filled in for bands at the last minute too when they need someone. I think your friend and band member would understand as long as he knows his job is there waiting for him when he recovers. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, things with my bass playing friend got worse. At this point hospice has been called in and his wife plans to bring him home for his final days. I'm beginning to feel that being in a band with me is bad for your health! msp_unsure.gif It's weird, one of his bass's and some of his PA equipment used to belong to our old friend Ed, and Mike got it when he died.

 

For now, we have a rehearsal set up Saturday with a fill-in bass player to honor a gig on February 3. Not sure if he will stick around to be permanent, or how we will handle the other future gigs.

 

I guess we just keep on keepin' on.

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oh Jesus,,

 

 

Just when you think you're having a bad day,, (I was in a car accident on my way home from rehearsal last night) someone comes along and erases it..

 

I'm sorry to hear things have turned for the worse.

 

you have certainly had it rough these last few years, I know you lost a friend/band-mate a few years ago.

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I'm sorry to hear about your friend and bass player as well.

 

Kidblast, I hope you're ok!

 

I'm fine, car's a wee bit banged, up.. guy cuts in front of me trying to get to Mc Donalds as I was going thru the intersection -- with a green light I might add.. We were the only 2 cars on the road at the time. I don't think he even looked to see if anyone was coming.. "you couldn't wait 3 seconds for me to go by?" -- "no speak english you ok yes??" I-yi-yi...

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