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  #1  
Old 09-29-2011, 02:46 AM
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Default Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Hello DW family, I have a bit of a situation in my life right now, and would like some input. I'll sum up the story as quickly as I can:

A few months back, an acquaintance of mine moved out of town, and had to give up a gig of his in town. He referred me for the gig, I took it on, and have been doing it for the past couple of months. It's a great gig, and I even quit another band I was in to make room for it in my schedule, and also decided to not sign up with a holiday gigging group I've been involved with for the past 7 years. Anyways...he called me up last night and told me he was moving back into town and asked if he could have his gig back. I won't tell you what the pros and cons that immediately went through my head were, but I'm wondering what the fine folks here at DW would do...would you give back the gig or keep it?
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

acquaintance or good friend? Did they inform you they'd be back and wanting it when they would be in a few months? Do they know you quit another band?

If it was me and I was not told it would be temporary I'd say no.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Sorry, save your "Mortal Dilemma" for something truly "Mortal".
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

First rule of both life and drumming is this,
"You Can't Go Home"
Meaning,
If you give up a gig then it is lost.

Going back never works anyway. I have gone back to a few bands because they asked me to come back.
I never stayed.
After I returned, I realized that I left for a reason the first time.

If your friend comes back he won't stay.
He will use it as a temp gig and he will leave again.

Tell him No in a nice way if you really want the gig.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Hello DW family, I have a bit of a situation in my life right now, and would like some input. I'll sum up the story as quickly as I can:

A few months back, an acquaintance of mine moved out of town, and had to give up a gig of his in town. He referred me for the gig, I took it on, and have been doing it for the past couple of months. It's a great gig, and I even quit another band I was in to make room for it in my schedule, and also decided to not sign up with a holiday gigging group I've been involved with for the past 7 years. Anyways...he called me up last night and told me he was moving back into town and asked if he could have his gig back. I won't tell you what the pros and cons that immediately went through my head were, but I'm wondering what the fine folks here at DW would do...would you give back the gig or keep it?
CW, What would you do if you were returning, would you even ask for the gig back?

Seems an odd expectation that you would "hold" the spot until he got back. Very interested in hearing how it turns out.

Good luck, on a positive note, only somebody with class would even worry about it. A good problem to have, I suspect.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
Sorry, save your "Mortal Dilemma" for something truly "Mortal".
What does he do with a "moral" dimemma though?......and what did you do with your reading glasses? :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilbagua View Post
acquaintance or good friend? Did they inform you they'd be back and wanting it when they would be in a few months? Do they know you quit another band?

If it was me and I was not told it would be temporary I'd say no.
This sums up my thoughts I think. Much of what I did would be directly related to how good a mate he is. You've given up a fair bit to do the gig and if he never told you he may want it back, I think it's a little unreasonable to ask you for it.

Whatever the outcome, you shouldn't feel a single ounce of guilt if you say no, mate.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
.

Good luck, on a positive note, only somebody with class would even worry about it. A good problem to have, I suspect.
That is my thought too.

Instinct say it's yours, not his, too bad for him. But I also know in my heart, I would have a hard time saying that.

Have you discussed this with the band leader? It seems the decision is not 100% between you and him.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

I'm with Bob as well. You can't go home. I even left a good gig and let somebody else have it, then I wanted it back, and when I actually 'subbed' in it a couple of times, I found it frustrating. Like I went out somewhere and bettered myself, and then came back to....this?

Your buddy doesn't really want the gig back, he'll discover the same thing we all discovered, that you can't go home, and then he'll split. Be nice and tell him no.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

...

I don't see your moral dilemma. If anything, he should be having one. Tell him you've rearranged your entire life to work around this gig since he's been gone. Tell him you've quit a lot of work so you can do this gig. If he still wants it back, he was a pretty lousy 'aqaintance' to begin with.

Last edited by aydee; 09-29-2011 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
If anything, he should be having one, once you tell him you've rearranged your life to work around this gig since he's been gone. Tell him you've quit a lot of work so you can work this gig.
That's what I was thinking - let him know that to quit the gig would send you backwards.

The music biz is weird ... it's a job and people's livelihoods depend on it but in some circles there's this mateship thing going on where people gloss over the fact that being a pro musician is a job.

So these situations crop up. Putting on your professional hat when someone you know approaches you on a mateship basis is considered bad form - uncool. Oddly, trying to con someone out of their professional benefits with a manipulative appeal to mateship seems to be judged less harshly ... hey, it might be dodgy but at least it's not stodgy. Right? Rock musos are not allowed to be stodgy unless their name is Robert Fripp.

If there's no pre-arrangement, his request is outrageous and he's relying on your good nature and wish to retain good relations (while playing fast and loose with his relationship with you). If you watch The Big Bang Theory, it's a bit like Sheldon invoking the Friendship Clause of the Roommate Agreement. The unwritten Muso Solidarity Agreement.

Maybe he you could get him to ask your wife if he can have the gig back and he can suggest to her which items your children should do without since you'll have less cash? *evil grin*
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Pretty clear Caddy. Agree with all advice thus far. It's his issue, not yours, & the new band has a stake in this too. To clarify your position, I suggest having a chat with your new band first. Tell them the situation, & ask them honestly, if given the choice, who would they prefer to have. That's a difficult question for them to answer, so you should be able to get quite a bit of info from their reaction. Use that as your baseline, & take it from there. Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Absolutely 100% not.
Kindly explain what you have given up to accomodate the gig and im sure he will understand.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
CW, What would you do if you were returning, would you even ask for the gig back?

Seems an odd expectation that you would "hold" the spot until he got back. Very interested in hearing how it turns out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilbagua View Post
acquaintance or good friend? Did they inform you they'd be back and wanting it when they would be in a few months? Do they know you quit another band?

If it was me and I was not told it would be temporary I'd say no.
He moved to the new city with his wife and kid. He came back after about 4 months because his wife didn't like it there, and she wanted to move back. He was fully intending on going there for the long haul, and never expected to be coming back, especially so soon. So, no, he didn't give the gig to me with a rubber band attached. And, if I were to be in his same situation, I would probably ask as well, in the off chance that the new player isn't liking the group or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post

Instinct say it's yours, not his, too bad for him. But I also know in my heart, I would have a hard time saying that.

Have you discussed this with the band leader? It seems the decision is not 100% between you and him.
It sounds like you understand my "tug". He's not a close friend, but we've been buddies since college. We call each other maybe once a year, and it's always good to hear from each other, and so on. He's definitely somebody I respect and care about, and asking for the gig back shows that he really liked the group. He actually called the band leader right before calling me, and the band leader told him to work it out between the two of us. Solid leading there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Pretty clear Caddy. Agree with all advice thus far. It's his issue, not yours, & the new band has a stake in this too. To clarify your position, I suggest having a chat with your new band first. Tell them the situation, & ask them honestly, if given the choice, who would they prefer to have. That's a difficult question for them to answer, so you should be able to get quite a bit of info from their reaction. Use that as your baseline, & take it from there. Good luck!
The band went out to a pub and had a "business discussion" about it. They like us both, and they agree that the situation is awkward. I was watching for their "micro expressions" as we talked, and they seemed legit. We had a pretty intense talk for a bit. I told them that if they had any preference of him over me, that now's their chance to speak up, and I wouldn't hold it against anyone, but I would seriously like to know as it would probably help influence my decision. I got a couple of "we actually like you better"s from that talk. I think the decision is pretty clear cut, true, and 100% of the people I've talked with have agreed. I just feel conflicted about saying no, like I'm being a tool or something. I dunno. I guess it's the "people pleaser" in me.

Thanks for the replies. I'll keep you updated as things progress...
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

I'd ask the band to decide. Ask them who they prefer playing with. It'll take it out of your hands, but of course, there is always the risk you'll lose the gig if they prefer the other guy, which bites. idk, this situation sucks man, sorry
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Given all the info "thus far", I'd say keep the gig.
If it was a cat I saw, say, one a week ... once a month ... different call, then .... but some guy you see "once a year", no ... he walked ... and he, and only he, is responsible for his actions.
You picked up the ball, it's your game now. If he has "any" resentment towards you, for that ... then he's "less" a friend than you think he is ....
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

It sounds like you've approached it in the most honest and respectful of ways. That is an awkward situation to be sure. I guess you just have to weigh how difficult it would be to pick up all the ground you lost against your desire to stay where you're at and your more "humane" instincts toward him.

But I don't think it's necessarily taking the high road giving the guy his former gig back. He relinquished his spot in moving so that's entirely his cross to bear. He would also have no reason to hold it against you should you not hand it back, but I would think you would be entirely justified in harboring at least some resentment toward him for putting you in this situation, regardless of what decision you make.

Actually, now that I think about it, it seems like it was bad form for him to approach the band leader before calling you. That's a bit of an undermining move if you ask me. He should have called you and suggested that if you weren't happy with the gig for whatever reason, that he'd be happy to retake it without ever asking for you to step aside. And once he learned that you liked the gig, he should have pursued it no furthher - no subtle pressure on you, and definitely no calls to plant seeds with the band leader. That just smacks of lameness to me.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

The guy really put you on the spot. I think that violates some unwritten rule somewhere. I think you are well within your rights to point this out. He left, he gave you the gig, it was supposed to be permanent, you've made changes to accomodate the gig, and now he wants to pull this? I'm calling foul, you just don't do that. I think it would be an easy case to "win" because he is breaking the "rules".

I'd keep the gig on principle, plus you won't feel good about yourself if you give it up.

But, since no one has suggested this...

What about sharing the gig?
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Quite frankly, friend or not, he's an ass. He's put you in a very uncomfortable position. If it was me, 'i'd say NO!

Do you think he'll try to weasel back in the band by talking to the other members behind your back? How do you think the other members feel about having him back?

Better strap on a parachute just in case.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
The guy really put you on the spot. I think that violates some unwritten rule somewhere?
Agree with Larry and Muckster. The more I think about it the more he comes off as a total ass for asking you for the gig back.. sheesh, such a thing I nevah' hoid.

( Its like giving your friend a stick of chewing gum, and then asking for it back while he's chewing it. )


...
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

I'd probably give the gig back and then resent the guy for the next five years.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
What about sharing the gig?
I actually have considered this. He's definitely first call on my sub list, no question. :)

I have another possible solution to the situation--switching instruments! I discussed this with the band leader, and he's game for giving it a try. I'm going to work up some guitar parts and see if it will work out. The group is "between" guitar players at the moment, and we've been subbing out for the past month, searching for somebody to fill the slot in the lineup. Who knows...I might just be able to get him his gig back, AND get to work with him! We'll see.

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I'd probably give the gig back and then resent the guy for the next five years.
I don't want to do that. Plus, I don't want him to have any bad feelings towards me, either. I dunno. I think he should have addressed it like MikeM suggested, which is how I would have approached it, had I been in his situation.

For the record, I don't think he's an ass at all. He just seems to be breaching a line I wouldn't have crossed in the way that he did. I'm sure it was an extremely difficult thing to ask.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
... I would probably ask as well, in the off chance that the new player isn't liking the group or whatever.
And if the other drummer is just testing the waters, why is it a moral dilemma to say, "Sorry, I gave up other gigs to take this one"?

Would the bandleader take you up on the guitar offer? Seems the band is doing fine without an extra guitar and it would reduce everyone's cut. And if things got tight, you'd be the most expendable ...
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

You have a delicate situation here. On one hand you could shut him down, nicely, but this is bound to make for some taint down the road. I like your guitaring idea, as long as you are just as satisfied playing guitar, and you don't lose any money. This seems to be the most mature solution, but you are giving up the drum spot. A good sub is valuable to have and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that relationship. Tough call. If you give up anything at all you must never let him forget, and should periodically remind him of how he put you on the spot, and you acted highly unselfishly and he owes you for the REST OF HIS LIFE. You could get a lot of mileage from that lol, it may be worth it.
If you do give anything up you should wise him up on the "Indian Giving" thing. Maybe break out the written copy of those unwritten rules.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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This seems to be the most mature solution,
No mate. This is a job. How would it be if you took on an electrical job due to someone leaving, you put in a solid few months of hard work and then he returns and kindly asks for you to put yourself back out on the street (or relegated you to just driving the van) because he changed his mind? The most mature solution would be for Caddy's mate to realise that you can't give up a gig and then just expect it back because he'd like it to be so.

Whether it ruffles feathers or not, I just don't see why Caddy should be expected to hand anything over. Sure the guy can ask....a bit cheeky for mine, but no harm no foul.....but he shouldn't blink an eye if/when Caddy says "Nup, you asked me to do it for you, I've given up a hell of a lot to accomodate you. I'm sorry and I understand your position but at the end of the day it's unreasonable to expect me to be unemployed because you walked and now wanna come back."

Sharing gigs or playing guitar isn't maturity at all......not when it's gonna put him out. Maturity is the other guy accepting his loss and finding something else to do with himself.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Well, seems there's friendship involved here and that's a different ball of wax, but Im having a hard time putting myself in his shoes and asking for my gig back..
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

To me, it all comes down to: What were the expectations about this? Like, did he say, and did you agree to, something like: "I am leaving town for five months and I'd like to ask you to fill in for me while I'm gone. When I return, you agree to give the gig back to me."

If that's the arrangement, you have to honor it. If it was more like, "I'm moving away and I want to make sure my old band gets a good drummer to replace me. Do you want to do it?" then you should keep the gig if it is working out for you and the band.

If it's not that clear-cut, you need to recall as best you can.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

I'd cut the guy some slack for asking: remember he didn't want to come back, it was his wife who couldn't settle in the new environment. So I can see his point, but at the same time he shouldn't expect to get a "Sure mate, have it back!" from you.

Offer him the sub and leave it at that. Instrument-moving could get messy in the long run.

Just my 2c.

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Old 09-30-2011, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
And if the other drummer is just testing the waters, why is it a moral dilemma to say, "Sorry, I gave up other gigs to take this one"?
The more I think about it, and the more I talk with people about it, the less this seems like a moral dilemma. I would love to be "that guy" who would give his gig back, but I enjoy the gig and count on it as part of my income now. Oh, and I'm playing bass in the band, by the way.

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Would the bandleader take you up on the guitar offer? Seems the band is doing fine without an extra guitar and it would reduce everyone's cut. And if things got tight, you'd be the most expendable ...
I talked with the bandleader, and he's totally up for trying it out. We're actually looking for a new guitar player at the moment, which is why I brought up the possible switch to guitar--it would also save the band the trouble of looking for a new guitar player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
No mate. This is a job. How would it be if you took on an electrical job due to someone leaving, you put in a solid few months of hard work and then he returns and kindly asks for you to put yourself back out on the street (or relegated you to just driving the van) because he changed his mind? The most mature solution would be for Caddy's mate to realise that you can't give up a gig and then just expect it back because he'd like it to be so.
Yeah. I've heard so many analogies that people have offered regarding this situation. I'm getting a clearer picture of what this looks like "from the outside".

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
To me, it all comes down to: What were the expectations about this? Like, did he say, and did you agree to, something like: "I am leaving town for five months and I'd like to ask you to fill in for me while I'm gone. When I return, you agree to give the gig back to me."
There were no expectations or agreeing to give the gig back or anything. He was moving to a new town. Clean break. Not coming back. Giving up the gig due to moving. We happened to talk, and I happened to get hooked in. It was (is) my gig.

I'm looking forward to talking about it with him tomorrow. I'm going to tell him that I can't give up the gig, but I am going to try out the guitar thing, and if it works out, he's golden and we finally get to work together after all of these years. If not, he'll be a great first call if I need a sub. Thanks everyone for your input! :D
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
I'd probably give the gig back and then resent the guy for the next five years.
lol!

I'd want to know about his situation, like is he happy, Is he employed, how's the move back affecting him, etc. If he looks like lifes' been rough lately I'd give him the gig back. Sounds like he's just trying to settle in again from the recent departure.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
The more I think about it, and the more I talk with people about it, the less this seems like a moral dilemma. I would love to be "that guy" who would give his gig back, but I enjoy the gig and count on it as part of my income now. Oh, and I'm playing bass in the band, by the way.
A nice attitude. It feels good to be generous but it depends on whether you have the wiggle room in your lifestyle, and how it impacts others who could be affected by your income (or lack).

Gee, you get around - drums, tuned percussion, guitar and bass. Do you have a preference? Do you get the chance to do any home recording? I take it this other bass player would be fun for you to play guitar with. I also take it you sometimes "hear" guitar parts in the music and want to have a go at making them happen.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Two years ago I got asked to fill in for a gig because the drummer kept missing gigs for various reasons - the last being an injury sustained during a hunting trip. I played the gig with one abbreviated practice and less than one week with them under my belt, and more than half of the songs were originals that I obviously didn't know. The band was pretty impressed with my playing cold like that (I listened to some of their demo recordings to get some familiarity of the songs).

So the other drummer shows up at the gig, and after listening to us play, knew he was in trouble. He begged the bandleader to get his job back but they eventually said they were giving me the job. It was very awkward for me, since I was caught in the middle and didn't want to start off by pissing off someone. I thought I was just filling in for one gig, but two years later I'm still playing with them. I was fortunate in that the band decided whether they wanted him or me.

You seem to be going way over and above the call of duty here, by offering to switch instruments, thereby putting yourself at risk of being shuffled out of the band at some point. I would have told him that I gave up other gigs for this one, and see what his reaction was. He should understand, and if not, then he's being the jerk and then I wouldn't offer him anything.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

Turn of events...the other guy plays guitar as well, and has fronted other bands playing guitar in the past. This situation couldn't have worked out better. He's going to take over the guitar chair, and I'm going to stay on bass. Win/win. Well, unless it doesn't work out for some reason, but it definitely seems like it's going to.

Thanks for the advice/input, everyone!
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
First rule of both life and drumming is this,
"You Can't Go Home"
Meaning,
If you give up a gig then it is lost.

Going back never works anyway. I have gone back to a few bands because they asked me to come back.
I never stayed.
After I returned, I realized that I left for a reason the first time.

If your friend comes back he won't stay.
He will use it as a temp gig and he will leave again.

Tell him No in a nice way if you really want the gig.
x2 on that action. i have seen that same scenario many times.
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
Turn of events...the other guy plays guitar as well, and has fronted other bands playing guitar in the past. This situation couldn't have worked out better. He's going to take over the guitar chair, and I'm going to stay on bass. Win/win. Well, unless it doesn't work out for some reason, but it definitely seems like it's going to.

Thanks for the advice/input, everyone!
So who's the drummer??
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post
So who's the drummer??
He's not on this forum, so it's negligible...
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Moral Dilemma: What would you do?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
He's not on this forum, so it's negligible...
It's just ironic that two drummers were vying for the role, and neither got it!
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