Band shot itself in the foot.

DrumDoug

Senior 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.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Too bad for your band.
Better to fire him and get rid of a bad scene, than have a bunch of gigs that always become bad scenes because he is in them.
Fire him again, urge him to get help for his alcoholism. I bet you can short-circuit his control of bookings. Who knows maybe the clubs he books don't like him either.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Damn. I'd say stage an intervention, but playing clubs is not going to go well for an alcoholic. I would check with his previous band that he played with, see how they handled him.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
He became belligerent and told us that if we fire him we will never play anywhere again
The result will be no different if he stays in the band for to long.

Just fire him. Get er done. Then get back on your horse and keep riding.

Fuck drama.
 

running

Member
I would be more worried about your ability to keep the gigs with this guy still IN the band than out of it. Let him go!

Make sure to save pictures and video of him being belligerent, standing you up, etc. Those could come in handy.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
This is rough, & I feel sorry for the band. I too feel you're better off out of the situation, even if he does deliver on his threats. Communicate your story to the clubs then sack him.
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
Get rid of the guy as soon as possible. If he plays badly on stage, it really won't matter in the long run, the damage will be done. I wouldn't take a threat of not getting gigs lying down either, be proactive in establishing your own contacts with the venues you have played and let them know who your new booking agent is.

You could wind up getting into even messier situations because of his alcoholism.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Wow, guy has a lot of problems.

Sounds like quite the toxic situation to be around. I'd get rid as soon as possible.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
You should not be held to ransom, as others have said above the only option you have is too let this guy go. It suggests to me he is an alcoholic and this will always bring chaos to any band situation.

You may well get less gigs, you may not be accepted on the scene (due to bad mouthing) but I would still urge you to politely but firmly drop this guy or else he will do more harm.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Too bad for your band.
Better to fire him and get rid of a bad scene, than have a bunch of gigs that always become bad scenes because he is in them.
Fire him again, urge him to get help for his alcoholism. I bet you can short-circuit his control of bookings. Who knows maybe the clubs he books don't like him either.
Yeah, you have to figure that other people have noticed a drinking problem of that magnitude. It's dirty pool, but I would start putting out feelers to any of the clubs where you have your own contacts or that you think might be sympathetic to you. You have to be very delicate about it, of course. A good place to start would be any club where he's recently caused an issue. Managers and staff notice these things and unless he has incriminating photos of folks, they may be looking for an opportunity to side step him as a booker.

Another question, if he's a booking agent, he must be booking other bands, no? If he is, ask them what their situation is. If a number of you band together (heh) you'll be in better shape. In the end, the clubs just want good acts on stage to sell beer. I doubt most of them have any particular loyalty to a guy who behaves as badly as this one. I used to manage pubs and while you have your relationships, in the end it's a pragmatic concern. If you can get a good band on stage hassle free, that's better than dealing with a guy who's likely to start a fight with a patron or worse.

And if my extensive experience with alcoholics and other addicts is anything to go by, I'll bet he's trumped up his resume and influence a fair bit. Addicts are usually liars. You may be on much stronger footing approaching the clubs directly than he's made you think. It's part of the game to make you feel he's indispensible. The fact that he came crawling back to you suggests he doesn't really have the upper hand.

Lay the groundwork with the clubs and then can him. And while you probably feel bad, know that if he's been through the courts, he's had plenty of opportunity to seek treatment for his drinking. It's not on you to fix him. He will get help when he's ready. You can be his friend and help him there, but you can't have him in your band or be the one to fix him. It's not on you.
 
Last edited:

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum 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.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
It probably wouldn't be too hard to arrange for him to get another DUI and get him a paid vacation courtesy of the state. I know that's evil but you would be taking a drunk driver off of the street, assuming that he is continuing that practice.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It was correct to give him a second chance, but he obviously has to go. It shouldn't be a problem to contact the venues where the band did well, and get new bookings on your own.

Problems only become problems if you let them go too long.

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If you were booking before you should be able to book now. His antics are going to hurt his future chances way more than he can hurt yours. I would advertise as being under new management and write him and the experience off.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
You're far worse off with him than without him. Dump him, reconnect with the venue managers, and put in the work needed to repair your reputation as a band.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Honestly surprised you guys let him stay on as long as you did and then let him back in after letting him go. Fight's on stage and passing out at a gig are totally unacceptable in my book and make your band look bad at the venues you were playing at when that happened.Those are things that will keep you from being asked back by a venue, not a guy who has a serious drinking problem saying he'll make sure you never play again, I doubt he carries that kind of pull.
 

belairien

Silver Member
Keeping him would be shooting yourselves in both feet. You are better off connecting with the venues yourself or contacting a proper booking agent.
 
Top