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Band life

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Band 1:  Been with this drummer almost a year.  We've had a handful of guitar players, got the current guy late last summer, he's been great.  Sings really well, him and I are very different guitar players but we work really well together and we can sing together.  Bass player, not so much.  We've had at least a halfa dozen in, none of them have stuck.  Current one is guy from England, he has been great, but is parachuting out as we speak.  Since I am spending time I don't have with this thing and it is going absolutely nowhere at light speed, I will exit immediately after he notifies us he won't be back.  I hate to do it, drummer is a great guy and him and I get along fabulously, but this has gone on far too long.  Other guitar player is already auditioning elsewhere and I don't think it'll take long for him to find something good.

Band 2:  Last year after Thanksgiving hooked up with some folks right down the street.  Lady singer is really good, bass, drums and guitar have been together long time and it shows.  Looking for a guitar player to be a guitar player and sing maybe a dozen leads at most to give her a rest.  I had one audition in January, went great.  They were not, as I had feared, looking for a singing guitar player so they could dump her, so that was a relief.  I was asked back for a second audition but passed because Band 1 seemed to have a bass player that would stick with us.  Of course, the week after I turned down the second audition the bass player in Band 1 started making sounds that indicated his lack of commitment, and then he took two weeks off for "some stuff" he had to take care of.  Other guitar hinted he wouldn't be back and I was not surprised.  So, back to Band 2 I go, see if they are still looking.  They are, another audition with them sometime after next Wednesday.  Lots of material outside my usual, grrrly current pop, some old Heart which is fantastic, and I sing a few of the oldies I usually do.  Her and I harmonized well at audition 1, so we want to do some more of that to see how it goes.  I could dig this, but I don't know how serious they are about getting out, so that'll be a good talk we would have to have.  

Band 3:  My old band, I left last year, couldn't hack being only guitar player and singing half or more of a night.  Bass player and I have been together off and on, more on, since the mid 90's.  Couple previous member have passed away, couple have moved away, we would disband and re-group, and so on.  Long time him and I, and on a good night we can make magic singing.  So bass player got one of our guitar players back, called me up and I went over couple weeks ago and BAM! like we never even stopped.  Even got the old name back.  Three singers, other guitar player is great and again we are very different but work really well together.  So that's a definite, we've had maybe twelve hours of rehearse time and we will be out in two weeks.  He has casino connections for sure so some Loud Rock Lounge stuff coming up, don't have to bring much and sound men are built in, all a plus.

So Band 1 will be done before Monday, and that's a relief.  It will be a toss up between the old band and the old stuff and everything that goes with it, but plenty of gigging, vs this new thing with a good deal of new material that I don't normally do, and I find myself excited about it.  I think, I think at the moment that if that one were to pan out pretty good and look like a good gigger with plenty of casino action I would go for Band 2 full time and have to gently back out of Band 3.  Again.

I'll be 60 in May.  Didn't think I'd live this long much less be in three bands at once.  I'm gettin too old for this crap and want to just work one band as seriously as it can work.

Just venting.  Ignore the tired old guy.

rct

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If you want to gig, which Band can get the Gigs is the question to ask yourself. Jody Reynolds, Rockabilly Hall of Famer & old friend used to say, "If you got a Gig you got a Band. If you ain't got a Gig, you ain't got a Band."

If a Band isn't gigging already it's very hard to determine who an successfully Book the Gigs & negotiate the Money.... That's a talent! Most important, unless you're that Guy.. In which case you're the most important Guy in the Band.

Bands that don't have a Gig Getter usually don't last very long... At least in my experience..  

I have a few few friends who have Bands that are always gigging.. Because they're not only good Musicians but have the knack on how to get Gigs. If I were looking to gig I'd be figuring out how to join one of their Bands..

I'd look for a working Band if possible...

 

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Even if you dont always know which way to jump, its always nice to have options. Good luck.

I've barely got one band still dawdling along. We met for a meal a couple of weeks ago. I have to find some practice rooms for us before my son's wedding in August.

 

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My band is me in my room playing horribly on my D-41.

Does Springsteen need another guitarist?  

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Ideally it would be guitar, keys, bass, drums, and either a front person/singer or one of the instruments as front person/singer, as long as it isn't guitar.  Ideally it would be the best of the old classic rock stuff because of keys, just so much you can do with authority and authenticity with a good keys player.  My personal gigging frequency is every weekend, but that isn't happening here, hasn't for a decade or longer.  Most of the rock clubs along this part of the shore have long gone.  Small bars that don't want to pay anything or casinos, and the casinos are getting harder to get into all the time.  The music scene here has been a long slow motion decline as the casino water reached it's own level and then receded.  The economy in Atlantic County NJ is some of the worst in the country, and that really does matter when you are trying to get people's fun money.

rct

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Was wondering what you've been doing band-wise since you retired, thanks for the update.  Sounds like band 1 is toast.  Band 2 might be interesting, but no keys and questionable how much they want to get out and play?  At our ages (I'm 10 years older than you) and after years of gigging, rehearsals just don't cut it for me if the band isn't going to get out and perform.  So my suggestion (which means nothing) would be to go back to the old band (#3), if there are enough places to play out.

What is the union situation along the Jersey shore?  Back when I was in Chicago, the really big venues that paid well (like your casinos) you had to be union musicians to get in.  The small clubs didn't want union at all cause they would not pay scale, so we were always caught in between.  Card carrying members one weekend, and pretending not to be the next.

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The union stuff died long ago.  Bass player and I and the other iterations of this band have done lots down there with no union anything.  The trouble these days is that certain bookers have gotten their hooks into it all somehow, and without one of those three or four you are doing nothing in AC.  Sucks, but is how it is.

rct

Edited by rct

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A friend of mine has been signed with Epic Entertainment (Booking Agency) for 20 plus years. Does Corporates & Weddings mostly. Pays extremely well. Six Figures +...

But, he can provide anything from a Duo to a 10 Piece Orchestra with Chick back up Singers & Horns.. Plus, they can play multi Genre's from 40's to 2020... Whatever the Gig calls for.. I admit he's unique...

One of my Drummers quotes is, "A Gig is just a paid Rehearsal"..... He's right!

If a Band isn't gigging, and gigging is your goal, I wouldn't waste my time with them....

Good luck..

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The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate stupidity.

Musicians are generally a different breed of people anyhow, with a larger percentage of flakes.

I'm guessing this is why you see a lot of older solo acts...

 

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The Drama is just part of it all.  I've found that the best way to handle the drama is to get the band out, get some gigging done, get some positive feedback.  Take the guy or lady that rides in on the Drama Llama aside and talk about how good it is going, how each is the MVP of whatever spot they are in, and that the only way we are going to continue gaining the adoration of dozens of people a year is to knock off your fukking drama, be part of the team, and help make the whole thing better.  We did that with the drummer in Band 3 years ago.  Once he got the flick, once he realized that these old dudes are not kidding, that this can be a really really good time unlike any other, his drama with his Wee Todd wife ended abruptly.  Once the Drama person understands that we can't be good if one of us is just a simpleton with their dumb sh1t they usually get in line.  Or, as is often they way, they are fired and it is fully understood why they are fired.

Fortunately, all three of these bands have only small amounts of drama, and always the same guy, so it isn't a surprise.  "Hey...we're a great band...except for you..." usually works wonders.  lolz

rct

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I applaude your ambition Ron (Weekly gigging,  oh hell no.)

But the drama,, yea I hear all that,  I can't take any of it any more to be honest.  Luckily the two projects I'm involved in, we all get along great.  Gigs are few and far between tho.  No one is really "pushing" too hard at the moment.

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Might touch '70 today, I see my first campfire gig happening this evening.  I got my bass and drums lined up, unfortunately no one else can see them 😉

KB - I think to your point is have a good group of folks you play with, and then play out to the schedule that suits you.  

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1 hour ago, billroy fineman said:

 

KB - I think to your point is have a good group of folks you play with, and then play out to the schedule that suits you.  

Exactly,  I'm really not in it for the gigs, or the dough.  I have a job that pays well.   And I have my weekends free so the wife and I can do things together.   She put in her time watching the kids, or coming to the gigs, only to have me preoccupied with "working" 3 or 4 sets for enough of the years in the past.  I wouldn't mind a few gigs a year, but I'm done for now with the "steady" cycle thing

schlepping the gear, and setting up, tearing it down from one bar room to another for the measly money that is being paid out is not much incentive..  

That was ok when I was 35,  at 63, it just doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun for me.

RCT is not alone though, as there are a lot of guys I've played with in the past my age and older still doing it.  it just aint for me.

 

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If we were to make a list of all the turn offs that can happen playing with other people most musicians would never get out of the practice room. There is something that happens when strange people get together and something clicks and endorphins kick in. Then the only thing that seems to matter is reaching for Grail. This initial feeling gets amplified when listeners react. As the audience gets larger the addiction gets stronger as you watch how all the faces respond as you transform into your stage persona.

For me this is what makes the problems disappear. I continue with jam sessions, meeting new problems. Not having to work I play  to keep my hands working and because every once in a while I get that old feeling again.. 🙂  

Edited by mihcmac

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8 hours ago, Murph said:

The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate stupidity.

Musicians are generally a different breed of people anyhow, with a larger percentage of flakes.

I'm guessing this is why you see a lot of older solo acts...

 

I've been tolerating stupidity my whole life...unfortunately my own.

I'm a bit jelly RCT in that I would love to be in a band again. Life has been disrupted over the last year but I would still love it. I, like you, would prefer key, bass, a drummer, and a singer to play with.  Black Squirrel could get together again and maybe will happen. Evryone else plays in other bands making practice somewhat difficult. Best to you in your quest to find band happiness. At least you'll be playing it sounds like.

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Sounds like you kinda have your pick of whatever you want to do. I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but to get good gigs you probably have to play a lot of that  pop music.  Girly or not. Years ago, I would not have seen myself playing stuff like Earth Wind and Fire but here I am.  

Personally, I've been in two bands fronted by females and although they were great I would be reluctant to go back to that dynamic.  Good luck whatever you decide. 

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Well thanks for the good wishes, all of you!  I'll do anything, any music, to get out there.  Band 1 officially over.  Band 3 moving on with rehearsing and getting out this month.  Band 2 still a question mark.  It's all good!

rct

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Good luck! I got out of the band scene for over 20 years and got back in a couple years ago. We're doing 2 or 3 gigs a month, usually one nighters. We have a dedicated sound man and we pay him an equal share (usually around $100.00 each per night) and he helps load in and load out as well as setup. And, my 22 year old son comes along and I buy him some food, a drink or two and pay him $20.00 and he helps load in and load out, helps get everything hooked up. At this point, I'm not interested in drama either.

Good luck and I hope it all works out!

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