Band shot itself in the foot.

jbonzo1

Silver Member
What if he hops in his car after playing a gig while drunk and kills someone?
You think the victim's lawyer might look at the rest of the band? And the venue?
Offer help but kick his ass out for sure.

Silver lining, there's a country song here waiting to be written. Does he have a dog, a mother, a pickup?
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Back in November the country band I am in let a new player join the band. He is a guitar player and he is a booking agent. Things started out fine, but have quickly gone downhill. Since he started booking the band, we have been playing a lot. We had 11 gigs last month. We have two gigs coming up opening for national acts. The thing I didn't know, was that at the time he joined he was wearing a monitor that alerted the court if he drank alcohol. He had several DUIs and that was a condition of his probation. As soon as the monitor came off, the drinking immediately got out of control. He passed out on stage at New Years Eve. He has started fights on stage with the singer in front of the audience at four different gigs. He got involved in a fight out in the parking lot at one gig when it didn't even have anything to do with him and he didn't know anyone involved. When he gets drunk, his playing becomes horrible. I could go on but you get the point. We decided to fire him from the band and he didn't take it well. He became belligerent and told us that if we fire him we will never play anywhere again, he will cancel all our gigs and make sure no one books us anymore. A couple days later he called and begged to be let back in the band. After he calmed down he realized how good a gig he has and he didn't want to let it go. After much discussion, we gave him another chance. The next gig was fine and he didn't drink. The gig after that, he showed up drunk and was argumentative again. He didn't show up for the gig after that, and put up pictures on Facebook of himself sitting in with a band at a bigger club than we were playing that night. We want to fire him again, but who knows how that will work out with all the clubs we are playing since he books for all of them. We are going to have to go into damage control mode and let the club owners know that the band is still together, we aren't broken up ect.. Letting him in the band has been a horrible decision that might have irreparably harmed the band.
Here's what i think:
His threats are meaningless for the most part, because an alcoholic who is going off the wagon is doing it everywhere. He'll soon be without any gigs.

Find another booking agent. You could consider hiring him to book you, but not play.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Unfortunately the guy has a disease - the brain pathways light up when presented with the right triggers and it's very difficult to control. An intervention won't do much unless it can convince him to go to a rehab (better if he decides to want to do it himself) and stay there for at least a month and then enter a 3+ month AA plan of daily meetings (and for life). This will only control his addiction.. and being around bars all the time is the last place he should be if he is ever going to recover.. it will take years. So.. let him know you are doing it for his best interests and move on. Good luck finding someone that brings a positive direction for the band!
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
...But there are people who fail at sobriety a few times, and then get the hang of it down the road. Why would you stop trying to help, if, in the meantime, the guy's not part of your group or otherwise causing damage to your life/job/hobby/whatever...
This well may be true, but back to the issue of whether he can ever be in your band...

Let's just assume for a moment he does get help, he goes through rehab, he re-examines his life, and turns things around. Would any sane counselor endorse the idea of him participating in an endeavor that places him in bars/clubs from 8 'til 2 on weekends? No matter how thorough and genuine the turnaround, that is just too much temptation. Remember the old AA adage, even after you stop drinking you are still an alchoholic. That should be the answer to "Should he stay or should he go."

Not to say his musical career should be over -- he just needs to channel it into projects that do not include these establishments.
 
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So one thing to consider...

How much do you know this guy really? I mean, you let him in the band and all, but is he a good friend now? Is he someone that means a lot to you?
He needs help but where is his family? His friends? The people that care about him? Why aren't they at the forefront of this? Or are they? Fill them in on his behaviour maybe they need to step up, or have, and need to know.

Yes, helping him is part of being a human, and I'm all for it, but how much time do you guys need to invest in that? I'm not saying it's not beyond you guys to try to help him get straight, but at what point is it not your burden? It sounds like trying to help him could end up in a long drawn out drama. Is that your and/or the bands job to do?

To the original question, I'd cut him loose with the honest explanation of why. If you guys want to move forward it's not happening with him.

Best of luck.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
"He has started fights on stage with the singer in front of the audience at four different gigs."

That was 3 gigs too many... Drunks don't deserve a second chance.. the courts already had to step in at least once. Never pity a drunk they know what they are doing...
Sorry...but you have no idea what you are talking about.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Threatening to make sure his band mates never get booked again? That's not alcohol. That's just assishness, and completely removes all obligation to treat him with any fairness. He DESERVES to never have a decent job again. Flat out, end of story.
Of course it's alcohol...he's an alcoholic. He's ill and needs help.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Why is it OK that he threatened them with his power as a booker? Answer that, and you'll have my response. Abuse of power needs a wake-up call, and probation didn't give him enough of one. Next stop on the wake-up call train is prison. IMHO.
Oh, it's not OK. He should have been fired immediately. And he does need a wake up call. But prison? If a wake up call is what's needed, then the permanence of a prison record is too much. Plus, it's actually cheaper and more effective for everyone to get him to rehab.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
It depends completely on the dynamic between the band and him, we don't know the full extent of everyone's relationship, or what's left of it. Is it their responsibility to step in, and expect to have a more positive effect, when the legal system was apparently not enough to straighten him out? Believe me, if I lost my license, I would straighten up forever! I wouldn't need a room full of people to drive the point home.

If this became someone's personal mission to help, that's a good thing, and I wish them the necessary luck. But I don't feel it's this band's responsibility for any reason. It would be different if it was a long-running band with permanent members and a solid dynamic, and someone began having personal problems, regardless if it affected the band or the business. But this band's problems begin almost immediately after the player joined just recently. You've got to be able to walk away for your own sanity, progress, and in this case, safety and protection from litigation.

Let me put it this way, I may give a bum a handout, such as orange juice (never money, btw.) I will not give every bum something, nor can I, or I will surely end up like them. There's a line I have to draw, even though I don't like it sometimes. I wish I could take in every stray dog I see, but it's obviously impossible logistically and financially.

If a dog was to bite me right off the bat, he'd also be out of the band. I'd feel no obligation to facilitate his re-training.

Bermuda
Well, our guy doesn't need to champion the cause (this is probably best left to family), but a few phone calls plus a meeting isn't going to impoverish anyone.

Comparing a human to a dog isn't very fair, since rehab programs do actually work. Human brains are bigger and capable of learning new tricks.

My recovered alcoholic friend called me for a gig, just last week. He doesn't do bar gigs at this point, but he'll play festivals and weddings. One day at a time, as they say.

I won't give bums handouts, and I don't feel bad, because there are lots of shelters in the area. Enabling is not the same as helping.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Well, of course he doesn't want to be helped. But there are people who fail at sobriety a few times, and then get the hang of it down the road. Why would you stop trying to help, if, in the meantime, the guy's not part of your group or otherwise causing damage to your life/job/hobby/whatever? A gathering of friends and family might be the push he needs. It's easy to write people of one at a time, or in small groups. Much harder to turn down a room full of people, even if some of them are newer friends.
It depends completely on the dynamic between the band and him, we don't know the full extent of everyone's relationship, or what's left of it. Is it their responsibility to step in, and expect to have a more positive effect, when the legal system was apparently not enough to straighten him out? Believe me, if I lost my license, I would straighten up forever! I wouldn't need a room full of people to drive the point home.

If this became someone's personal mission to help, that's a good thing, and I wish them the necessary luck. But I don't feel it's this band's responsibility for any reason. It would be different if it was a long-running band with permanent members and a solid dynamic, and someone began having personal problems, regardless if it affected the band or the business. But this band's problems begin almost immediately after the player joined just recently. You've got to be able to walk away for your own sanity, progress, and in this case, safety and protection from litigation.

Let me put it this way, I may give a bum a handout, such as orange juice (never money, btw.) I will not give every bum something, nor can I, or I will surely end up like them. There's a line I have to draw, even though I don't like it sometimes. I wish I could take in every stray dog I see, but it's obviously impossible logistically and financially.

If a dog was to bite me right off the bat, he'd also be out of the band. I'd feel no obligation to facilitate his re-training.

Bermuda
 

Icetech

Gold Member
"He has started fights on stage with the singer in front of the audience at four different gigs."

That was 3 gigs too many... Drunks don't deserve a second chance.. the courts already had to step in at least once. Never pity a drunk they know what they are doing...
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Because he got loaded and said some (obviously untrue) things? A criminal record is a fair price? Ok Hammurabi.
Why is it OK that he threatened them with his power as a booker? Answer that, and you'll have my response. Abuse of power needs a wake-up call, and probation didn't give him enough of one. Next stop on the wake-up call train is prison. IMHO.
 

calan

Silver Member
Because he got loaded and said some (obviously untrue) things? A criminal record is a fair price? Ok Hammurabi.
if he's had several DUI's and an ankle bracelet from probation, then he already has a record. Not advocating a position here, just something to consider.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I re-read the first post, and am reminded that this guy has been through the court system, and once off probation, was back to drinking and causing problems.

Helping is the right thing to do as fellow humans, but they'd be spinning their wheels. He doesn't want to be helped.

Bermuda
Well, of course he doesn't want to be helped. But there are people who fail at sobriety a few times, and then get the hang of it down the road. Why would you stop trying to help, if, in the meantime, the guy's not part of your group or otherwise causing damage to your life/job/hobby/whatever? A gathering of friends and family might be the push he needs. It's easy to write people of one at a time, or in small groups. Much harder to turn down a room full of people, even if some of them are newer friends.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
Piss and wind.

This guy wouldn't have half the influence he thinks he has when he's three sheets, so I wouldn't concern myself for a solitary second about "never playing anywhere again".

Get rid of him and move on. Oh, and enjoy your gigs that he'll be unable to take away from you too.
Concur. It was just likker talk.

He needs to reconcile himself to himself, for himself. Given time on the current bearing he continues along - He will be back before the courts. Sad, really; a terrible disease.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I re-read the first post, and am reminded that this guy has been through the court system, and once off probation, was back to drinking and causing problems.

Helping is the right thing to do as fellow humans, but they'd be spinning their wheels. He doesn't want to be helped.

Bermuda
Yep. I can't agree more. He had his chance. Now it's time for some prison. Maybe that will give him the necessary change of heart.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Sure, they're going to feel sucked in, and they should definitely kick him out. In the process, though, they're in a position to try to help. If he refuses the help, or his friends and family won't come together to aid in the process, well, at least they tried.
I re-read the first post, and am reminded that this guy has been through the court system, and once off probation, was back to drinking and causing problems.

Helping is the right thing to do as fellow humans, but they'd be spinning their wheels. He doesn't want to be helped.

Bermuda
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The issue is about his involvement with the band, and that relationship must be terminated - too much damage has been done to make nice at this point. If the guys genuinely care about him, then they can pursue some help for him. But that's a separate issue from him booking and playing in the band right now. He has to be out so that the band and its opportunities aren't destroyed by him.

If he's able to get back on track, then the band would need to have an extremely serious and judicious talk about whether he was such a fabulous booker and player as to let him get involved again. They also need to determine whether this guy has perhaps done irreparable harm to the band's relationship with the venues, and whether bringing him back makes them poison to their former employers. I know we're talking about a person with a problem, but business is business. Assuming everyone ends up feeling okay about him, a unanimous vote is the only way he should be let back in, with strict, clearly stated conditions and no additional chances if he screws up. Make him sign an "I know this is my last chance" pledge to demonstrate his commitment.

I've seen people bounce back from drinking issues, and I applaud them. Not everyone really wants to be helped. Sometimes there's a point where you have to walk away so that your life isn't sucked into their hole. As an outsider looking in, I'd say the band is entitled to feel that way right now.

Bermuda
Sure, they're going to feel sucked in, and they should definitely kick him out. In the process, though, they're in a position to try to help. If he refuses the help, or his friends and family won't come together to aid in the process, well, at least they tried.
 
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