Crossroads

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I quit my band of 8 years last July, and recently left an original blues/rock/swing type band for a few reasons. I didn't like the gigs for reasons I can't state here. I really liked the leader guy and his songs, but as it turned out, musically, I didn't care for 2 guys in the band, the bass player and the saxophone player. It was a far ride for practice with tolls and everyone was expected to donate half their gig pay to the band fund. If I crunched the numbers I'm sure I paid out to play in that band. There were other little things that tipped the scale to relating to the sax player. The return on investment wasn't worth it for me.

I still have a straight up blues band I play with but those gigs are like maybe once a month.

I'm not sure what I want to do now and it feels strange. I have time to gig, but it's OK if I don't, too. I've been in at least one band for the last 15 years.

Just putting that out there.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
8 years is a long damn time.

It's "only" a band but it's certainly a loss.

Have a drink, find a rebound band and bang the hell out of 'em ... (the drums, pervert)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It's you time now Uncle Larry, do what you want. When I stopped gigging, I too didn't know what to do with myself. So I worked on things I wasn't able to before. If anything, it made me more well rounded as a drummer. And drumming became more enjoyable again. There was no musical pressure at all. One of the best decisions I ever made.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Hit the jams, Lar.

You'll have a new gig in no time. Drummers might be a little common, but good ones are less so.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If a band or gig is no longer fun, that's just one great reason to walk away, apart from how bad or good the money is. I don't recall if I've ever quit a band, but I did quit a fairly regular, 5-day, decent-paying gig a few years ago, because I didn't like the disrepair of the house v-kit. I was hating it up there, and didn't want to play with that emotion. It wasn't a hasty decision, I actually let it ride for a few years before finally putting my foot down.

I do still play with that artist, and occasionally do one day at the venue, and regret it each time I do. I've got one more coming up in April, and won't accept any more after that.

So yeah, if a gig or band are no longer enjoyable or at least tolerable, and there's no rationale for continuing, then walking away is the right move. I'd say that applies to almost any business relationship, unless the money is just stupid. Then you can kick yourself all the way to the bank.

Bermuda
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Start your own band. Go to shows, find guys you like and get a group together that is a fun hang. Write some of your own stuff, mix in some covers and go have a good time. Forget about money and who pays what, just have a good time playing music. Play dive bars and clubs with other bands, get loud and enjoy hanging out with other like minded musicians.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wow Larry I don't blame you for quitting-and you still have the one gig. I'd let it ride and see what opportunities good fortune may have coming your way. You're a great drummer and plenty of experience so I'm sure you will be turning down offers that just don't meet muster. I quit gigging completely I guess it's been 5-6 years now and man I miss it like stink. I was burned out, always hated holiday gigs when I could be with my family, but within a year I had second thoughts. I tried a few bands from Bandmix but none worked out-guess I'm getting picky now. Anyways you don't need the money (obviously since you've been getting hosed by your present band lol) -you do it because you enjoy it and want to get your Guru-ve on. I've got a question Larry regarding your son-you mentioned he plays drums. Do you encourage or is he a DW member too?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Something will come along Larry. You're a great drummer and I'm sure they knew that. Did the band even ask you why you quit?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Start your own band. Go to shows, find guys you like and get a group together that is a fun hang. Write some of your own stuff, mix in some covers and go have a good time. Forget about money and who pays what, just have a good time playing music. Play dive bars and clubs with other bands, get loud and enjoy hanging out with other like minded musicians.
My first thought was to join an already gigging band. I could start my own, but I'd rather jump right into gigging I think. I kind of know the jams around me. I'm picky.

Something will come along Larry. You're a great drummer and I'm sure they knew that. Did the band even ask you why you quit?
I'm not sure whether to sit back or actively pursue. Right now I'm kind of enjoying my "time off". I'm just kind of waiting to see what's going to come around the bend.

They never asked me my reasons, I offered my reasons up. I liked and respected the band leader so much that I felt I owed it to him to be honest. I'm picky.

Wow Pete I can't believe you posted a Larkin Poe link. I kind of just discovered Larkin recently. I thought for sure she was Rory Block when I first heard her. I'm a big RB fan, huge, I even named my son Rory right after her. I really like Larkin, and that clip was cool. Thanks Pete. I wonder if she's related to EA Poe?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Mate, that was fantastic. I'd never even heard of these chicks. Have been lost down the YouTube rabbit hole for the last hour or so checking as much of their stuff that I could find. They're great. So very enjoyable. Just about to start buying up some of their music!!


Uncle Lar. I have no real words of wisdom. But I've seen enough of your playing........I just know you'll be alright........whatever path you chose.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Playing out once a month isn't a bad deal. There have been long stretches in my life where I'd have killed to play out once a month!

I think you should take some time for yourself before jumping back in. Find something to be excited about, then go do it! :)
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Take the time to re-charge the batteries and look for a newer group, or start one of your own. You know the venues you've played before, and the management, which should help get gigs. Best wishes.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
everyone was expected to donate half their gig pay to the band fund.
What the hell!!!! Who got rich off that? I'd have gone after 8 seconds never mind 8 years!

Do something with zero baggage on your own terms. The enjoyment will come flooding back.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'll never start a band again. Why? Because if you are the one who starts the band, then all of the other band crap tends to fall on your shoulders.

While I didn't officially start one of the last bands I was in, I ended up not only as the drummer, but I also had the practice space, I was the PA guy, I did 90% of the booking and scheduled practice. My discontent came to a head last summer when I was having one of my band-fueled NBC (Nag, B!tch, and Complain) sessions with my wife about this band. I said something like, "I've been playing with these guys for 3 years, and I still don't know anything about their commitment level." She said, "If you don't know where they stand in their commitment to playing out after three years, I think you DO know." This spoke volumes to me, and I'll never forget it.


We had our last gig in October. I love those guys, I really do. They are some of the nicest people I've ever met, and they have an incredible amount of talent, and I do love playing with them. I think we have (had?) an INCREDIBLE amount of potential. However, at some point between then and now I told them they were in the driver's seat when it came to the practice schedule and gigging. I simply said, "Book it, and I'll play it" and I pretty much said the same thing about practices: "Tell me when, and I'll do it." How many practices have we had since October? 0. How many gigs do we have lined up? Zilch. I don't foresee this changing.

In addition, I'm playing with another band at the moment, and we are so busy, it's very refreshing. My wife loves it when I'm playing a lot because she says that I'm much happier...and I have to agree with her. I have so much to look forward to these days.

I don't know if this helps Larry, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
It was a far ride for practice with tolls and everyone was expected to donate half their gig pay to the band fund. If I crunched the numbers I'm sure I paid out to play in that band.
Somehow or the other I’ve managed to never get paid for gigs, because of this same “band fund” mentality, or being told it wasn’t a paying gig, when it actually was...found out way after the fact.

Anyway, my most recent experience was with a working band that paid a minimum of $75 a gig. Total chump change, but I figured what the heck, it’d at least pay for sticks, heads and gas....not so fast. The band HAD to practice in a rented space weekly @ $25 for each member and multiple times before any gig with little to no improvement. The leader wanted a $500 tab covered to get someone out with video equipment to record the band, them money to cover promotional materials, etc., none of which I agreed to.

The final straw was gig night. The band leader rented a ton more PA gear and wanted to be reimbursed for it “because without the gear we would have sucked.” Well, we sucked, because no one could or devoted the time to playing anything remotely correct. The rental gear actually made it worse!

The lesson I learned after years of longing for a band again was be really, really picky. It’s far better to never see the light of day, but play what you like, then waste one moment working hard to be sub par, with a nunch of guys who are overly excited to remain sub par. Having to pay for that too....just castrate me already!

Sadly, I see very few bands around here any better, or attempting to do any better. The ones I’ve met have thus far been way too far away to even consider.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Larry, I got "fired" from a band once (long dumb story that had nothing to do with my performance or reliability, and after a year or so I was asked to come back, which I did - bygones and all. That was in 2013. In the time I wasn't gigging, I felt like I was in a free fall. I thought I was going to be able to get another gig fairly quickly, but I didn't - I did gig here and there on some one-off things, but I felt pretty out sorts going from gigging 2-3 times a month and getting paid pretty well to do it, to not having a gig at all. With that in mind, I hope you can find something that charges your batteries back up soon.

I know that as a working musician, in the short times I have had where I wasn't gigging regularly, it really wreaks havoc on my psyche - at this point, I have recognized the fact that I need to continue to do it, at least for the foreseeable future. (There will probably come a time where I decide to hang it up on both trumpet and drums.)

Good luck to you with everything.

If a band or gig is no longer fun, that's just one great reason to walk away, apart from how bad or good the money is. I don't recall if I've ever quit a band, but I did quit a fairly regular, 5-day, decent-paying gig a few years ago, because I didn't like the disrepair of the house v-kit. I was hating it up there, and didn't want to play with that emotion. It wasn't a hasty decision, I actually let it ride for a few years before finally putting my foot down.

I do still play with that artist, and occasionally do one day at the venue, and regret it each time I do. I've got one more coming up in April, and won't accept any more after that.

So yeah, if a gig or band are no longer enjoyable or at least tolerable, and there's no rationale for continuing, then walking away is the right move. I'd say that applies to almost any business relationship, unless the money is just stupid. Then you can kick yourself all the way to the bank.

Bermuda
I've been a part of a couple of situations where I ended up leaving because for one reason or another the joy was getting sucked out of it. In those cases, I've always tried to leave without burning a bridge if I could, which in all but one case has led to the occasional sub-in, but I've also experienced a thing where even the sub-in dates become a drag, and I question why I agreed to do it. There once was a time where I took any gig that came my way if I thought I could logistically make it happen, but these days I've come to realized that for some, the juice just isn't worth the squeeze, and I politely decline those. I guess I'm just getting too old to deal with certain less-than-acceptable situations.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
You have a nice basement set up, rught? So use it! Invite a musician, who’s playing you like, over to jam. No promises or pretenses, just a jam session. See what happens. Maybe pick some tunes to jam on beforehand, so you’re actually playing something instead of gabbing the whole time. Build that friendship and musical rapport first. Worry about bands and gigs later.
 

TMe

Senior Member
This reminds me of an interview where Stewart Copeland talked about being on the road vs. being at home. He said that when he was home, he spent 10% of his time wishing he was on the road. When he was on the road, he spent 90% of his time wishing he was home.

The same logic applies to some bands. If you spend 10% of your time wishing you were back in the band, but previously spent 90% of your time wishing you weren't, well... you do the math.
 
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