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Burning bridges


J. Dan

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Life lesson here. So the band I fill in with sometimes lost their lead singer. One of their regular backups would have been the obvious choice - literally award winning voice. About 2 weeks prior to the normal lead singer quitting, he mad a big "always the brides maid, never the bride" argument. The BL told him to be patient for a coup,e weeks. He put his foot down, ended up bailing on a couple gigs, so now the guy who was a shoe in is not even in the running,

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Far be it from me to play Devil's advocate...

 

But there is an argument to be made for assertiveness in some situations (but maybe not in this case as I don't know the nuances/details).

 

Employers and bosses don't always have an immediate incentive to follow through on that review/promotion/raise that was promised.

Sometimes a certain amount of assertiveness is required to overcome this inertia.

 

Among the only bargaining chips of the employee or musician: withholding work or working elsewhere.

 

Of course there are risks involved that need to be weighed. And hopefully everything can be conveyed in a reasonable, diplomatic way.

 

Several times over the years I've had to say to an employer the equivalent of, "Look I love working for you guys but I need a certain amount of work/pay/gigs to make it work financially. I'd hate to go elsewhere but I'll simply have no choice if I can't make the numbers add up."

 

I've been doing it on and off since I waited tables 20 years ago. But each time I've done it the possibility of the scenario described above happening was always my worst fear!

 

 

 

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The fact that this talented singer is not in the running is just as much a BL problem as a burnt bridge problem. Was he not justified in feeling that he was "outperforming" the lead singer? What's keeping him from getting a chance now besides someone else's attitude?

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Ended up bailing on a couple of gigs
+ in a couple of weeks meaning no real notice (maybe even just didn't show without notice???)

result - "not even in the running."

No problem at all with being assertive, but unwillingness to wait for a mere two weeks seems like a bit of overreach.

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Actually, on reflection I'm confused about the order of events. Why did BL tell him to wait a couple of weeks if the opening was because the lead singer quit one (future) day? Did the BL know the lead singer was thinking about quitting? If so, what was there to wait for? Why not just say, "X is on his way out the door and when he goes, the job is yours"?

 

And if he DID know the singer was leaving, and didn't offer the job to the award-winner during the "wait a couple of weeks" talk, then it would seem award-winner made a logical choice not to stay in a dead-end situation that showed no signs of ever being anything more. No?

 

I think clarification may be needed...

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I think things were getting flakey with the other singer and maybe the writing was on the wall, but the BL wanted to hold off a little longer before making any decisions. Either way, I think the guy should have fulfilled his obligation to do the gigs he already committed to. The reason he's out of the running is mostly because the BL doesn't want to deal with the same kind of drama with this guy as he did with the last one, and his little episode made him realize it.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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No, I've been filling in with these guys for a few years now. The guy who left has been doing this for a very long time and was just burned out on the bar scene. He had started picking which gigs he wanted to do and have them get fill ins for the ones he he didn't want to do. He's doing a solo acoustic thing now - big change of pace. The other guy was one of 3 who had been filling in from time to time. In his opinion, the BL should have fired the other singer and hired him, and that's what he was putting his foot down about. He didn't quit, because he was never in the band. If he would have just chilled out and fulfilled his existing obligations, he'd probably be the singer now. He does have a little bit of an attitude problem. He's really good and he knows it, and he'll tell you so. But he's not as good on stage working the crowd as the other guy was.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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But he's not as good on stage working the crowd as the other guy was.
I guessed this. Being a good front man is a skill just like being a good musician. It's not just about technical ability. You have to have stage skills. It's show biz.

 

If the player/vocalist is technically accomplished but has an attitude problem, that's why he/she will not be a permanent member of the band. The exception to this is the asshole who is successful precisely because he's willing to be an asshole and push his trip all the way to success.

These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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In my experience, if you can work the crowd, then you can get by with a mediocre voice.

 

If you have a great voice but can't work the crowd, you are screwed.

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In my experience, if you can work the crowd, then you can get by with a mediocre voice.

 

If you have a great voice but can't work the crowd, you are screwed.

'zackly
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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In my experience, if you can work the crowd, then you can get by with a mediocre voice.

 

If you have a great voice but can't work the crowd, you are screwed.

 

Mr. Jagger........paging Mr. Jagger......

 

The old Eddie Murphy routine: proof that women love singers no matter what they look like is that Mick Jagger gets laid.

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Id disagree about Jagger. I dont considder him a singers singer but the stones wouldnt have sold so many albums to people who have never seen a stones concert if he didnt reach people with his singing . Unless you think hes working the crowd through the medium of sound alone which im not ruling out.
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Ended up bailing on a couple of gigs
+ in a couple of weeks meaning no real notice (maybe even just didn't show without notice???)

result - "not even in the running."

No problem at all with being assertive, but unwillingness to wait for a mere two weeks seems like a bit of overreach.

 

Just caught the "hang in there and be cool for a few weeks" bit. THAT should have been enough for anyone with half a brain. (Unless that line had been used 16 times recently.)

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Assertive is way different than putting your foot down and bailing on gigs, just sayin.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Assertive is way different than putting your foot down and bailing on gigs, just sayin.

This. Of course this.

 

But there is an argument to be made for assertiveness in some situations (but maybe not in this case as I don't know the nuances/details).

 

Employers and bosses don't always have an immediate incentive to follow through on that review/promotion/raise that was promised.

Sometimes a certain amount of assertiveness is required to overcome this inertia.

 

Among the only bargaining chips of the employee or musician: withholding work or working elsewhere.

 

Of course there are risks involved that need to be weighed. And hopefully everything can be conveyed in a reasonable, diplomatic way.

And this. If the guy had said "look, I've decided don't want to be backgrounds any more. I'll fulfil the gigs we've got booked, but beyond that I'm handing in my notice. It's nothing personal - if any work comes up for me as lead, let me know, I'll happily consider it", that's professional and doesn't burn bridges.

 

I auditioned for a band recently, and if I'm honest I didn't like the material, and didn't rate the musos (fine as people, but way below my skill level - which hovers somewhere around "competent"). However they all liked me, and the contribution I could bring.

 

I didn't say "you're all crap, this stuff is crap", but I did politely say that the material didn't really light my fire, so I wasn't interested. I see the BL occasionally at a local jam, and he jokes that he's still going to get me in his band! He's probably wrong, but we haven't fallen out.

 

Cheers, Mike.

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