Canning a guitar player

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Once canned a metalhead who thought it'd be kewl to play distorted 80's rock in a backyard blues BBQ setting.........
Some people have no sense of what's musically appropriate it seems.

I never fired a guitarist (I fired a soundman once though) but recently, I made a guitar player realize he wasn't right for a band and he left on his own accord.

Last week I was auditioning for a blues band, along with a guitar player. Nice guy, good player, but he played rock licks to every song. He is old enough to know better. The leader called "The Thrill is Gone" and I said, "Cool. Let's not play it too happy though, it's a somber song" Agreements all around.

Lip service on his part, he was doing all this over the top stuff, bended trills, acrobatics, too much stuff, too many notes, no sense of space, too high energy, wrong feel all around.

Even though I was auditioning, I spotlighted the fact that he was playing leads of the wrong genre. He asked if that would bother me and I said umm yes it would. (I can't lie when it comes to music)

I then said it would be the equivalent of me playing a prog drum part to a blues song. He didn't like that too much.

He tried to defend himself saying that that's how he felt it, and this is how he plays.

On the ride home, he told the leader that he didn't feel he was right for the band. I agree completely.

The leader got a new BLUES guitar player that will audition this coming Friday.

Sorry but I'm not gonna lie and be easygoing when I know things are just wrong.
 

mikeg

Senior Member
i have never understood these people who hate coming to band practice. to me, band practice is fun and is one of the main high points of my week! i've always loved playing, and it's hard for me to understand musicians who don't seem to enjoy it. oddly enough, some of these practice haters are really good. did they used to love it and now they hate it? did someone stand over them with a gun and force them to practice when they were young? what happened to them?
I agree with you. I enjoy rehearsal night and we usually always have a good time while getting our songs arranged. The band's playing mostly for the enjoyment of playing out a few times per month, so rehearsal night is just one more chance to play music.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
i've got all kinds of horror stories about firing people, not just singers or guitarists either.

i've been in the same band now for 18 years, same name, roughly same group of people. so about a year ago we needed a singer, since i'm the jack of all trades i step up and start doing vocals and hired a guirtarist to replace me. phenominal guitarist, did nothing but play hour after hour, day after day. younger kid about 19 or so. so he comes down and auditions, gets the spot, 2 months go by and i start noticing the rest of the guys aren't taking him seriously and blowing off pretty much everything he says. so i ask the other guitarist whats up, he tells me when i'mnot around this kid is talking like he owns the band, it's HIS band, he's the leader and everybody needs to do what he says.

now, we don't have a leader, nobody is the boss. everything is put to a vote with us and generally they all look to me since the studio is mine and the vast majority of the equipment is mine but i'm not the leader and i'll never claim to be. it's all run very democraticly.

this don't set well with everybody, especially when he starts talking about firing the bassist who's been with us for 12 years. then talks about firing the drummer who created the band with me 18 years ago. all along not a word gets said to me about whats going on when i'm not there.

best part of this, after a week of hearing all different kinds of stories about what he's saying i fire him, tell him it's not working out and he argues with me. your fired, no i'm not your fired, dude you can't fire me cuz everybody sent me to fire you, well i'm not leaving, really? well it's my studio so i guess that means your trespassing. it almost made me laugh. so we finally get him to leave, and for 2 weeks he keeps calling us wanting to hang out and whatever, never call him backa nd he eventually stops calling. couple months after that about 10pm i get a call from a friend of mine telling me my band is playing this bar playing our songs and not a single one of us is in the band, just a bunch of strange kids he's never seen before...

guess who? yep, i show up at the bar an hour later to see this kid playing the songs we tuaght him, using our name. he went and found 4 other kids, tuaght them the songs and started using our name.

this has gotten longer then i intended so i'll leave it at by the end of the night my knuckles were bloody and he won't be using our name or songs again...

and i didn't even make it to the drummer i fired then dated then had a kid with and can't get rid of now.....
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
couple months after that about 10pm i get a call from a friend of mine telling me my band is playing this bar playing our songs and not a single one of us is in the band, just a bunch of strange kids he's never seen before...

guess who? yep, i show up at the bar an hour later to see this kid playing the songs we taught him, using our name. he went and found 4 other kids, taught them the songs and started using our name.

this has gotten longer then i intended so i'll leave it at by the end of the night my knuckles were bloody and he won't be using our name or songs again...
Amazing tale, Azrael. The guy so deserved what he got.

Do tell more about the drummy mummy :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Agree w/ Pol, great story Azrae.
Unbelieveable that the guitarist would have the stupidity to use the bands name. I'm not fired you're fired! lol that is priceless!
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Never been in a band that fired a guitar player. Been in plenty of bands where a guitar player should have been fired but wasn't. Two come to mind that should have been. One was a mid-fourties hippy that played nothing but Beatles-era guitar licks and was forever stuck in that era. Couldn't get past early 60's rock and roll. Couldn't play anything else but that. The other was a rhythm guitar player / singer who forgot the words to his own lyrics and wouldn't sing directly into his mic. The audience couldn't hear him sing. And he would start songs way off tempo than what we rehearsed. But he had a fantastic looking wife. Maybe that had something to do with it.....
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Twice.

First time, my then band was playing a showcase, and Sony records was in the audience.
Our then guitar player was an amazing soloist. However, he went behind our backs and got stoned in the bathroom right before we went on. Then on stage, he had trouble working his amp because he was too stoned to remember how his amp worked. Once he got that going, he then decided to veer off the well rehearsed songs and solo over just about everything. Ad given it was the 90s and not the 80's anymore, that didn't go over so well.

We got a letter form Sony "we like the band but hate the Eddie Van Halen wanna-be"

And that was it. He was gone. But our then "manager" did the dirty business. And of course, Sony never came back to see our new "now with less shredding" line up.

In another band, I had asked a buddy who I knew was into similar stuff as ours to come on over and add his touch of guitar skill to our songs. He showed up, he was cool, but it just didn't gel. And then he made the comment that maybe we needed to write better songs. Doh! So after two such rehearsals, I said thanks, but no thanks, this isn't working.
You must lose sleep thinking about what might have become if the guitar player didn't throw you guys under the bus...how tragic...
 

KBadd

Silver Member
NICE REPLIES! OK the question to be answered: I will answer in about 2 weeks or so....
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
Well, I used the canned ones earlier, but now its only organic fresh ones for me.

View attachment 35263

...
gene simmons pretty much ruined that sandwich for me.

strippers pop out of cakes, rock stars pop out of greasy meat and cheese sandwiches.............


god i hope it isn't a tongue sandwich, i think i just made myself sick thinking that.......
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
You must lose sleep thinking about what might have become if the guitar player didn't throw you guys under the bus...how tragic...
Not so much that incident, but that we played in front of every record company in existence at the time, and we always got "the contract is in the mail" or "we'll sign you next Tuesday", or at the end of my industrial band, the singer imploded as we were negotiating a deal.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
ha! drummy mummy.... that's funny. thats a long bitter story. she really wasn't a drummer but certainly thought she was. she played with us for 2 1/2 rehearsals before i figured out she knew absolutely nothing and she wasn't "getting used to the drum kit". so i sent her packing, she started crying, i felt bad, started hanging out with her. one thing led to another and out popped junior we broke up.she bailed on the kid, billions of lies, 25,872 knives stuck in my back and 1 loony bin later here i am, with a 4 year old kid that sings death growls like cookie monster before he hit puberty and a crazy ex likes to cuase as much trouble as possible for the 2 of us...

well thats the short version anyway...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Is it wrong to laugh at tales of singer songwriters who forget their own lyrics? Or about a soft-hearted musician getting an upset failed auditioner up the duff? hahaha. The things people do ...

Agree with tea and sympathy bestowed on DED ... I would have been sooo spitting chips.

Larry, as a dabbler I know those issues with authenticity like the guitarist had. There's a school of thought that if it's a twelve-bar or a slow 6/8, then it's blues :)

Not that there's anything wrong with bastardised blues, which can sound great in its own right (eg. Zep) but specialist blues players are their own breed like hardcore players of jazz, ragtime, folk, Afro-Cuban, metal, etc. Only the very most talented dabblers gain admission ...
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
All these horror stories are kind of frightening me.

My band is currently short of a bassist, and the keyboardist and guitarist are desperate. Then again, I don't know anybody, and this is southern Maryland. They currently have this one guy who's never picked up a bass before up for audition. I'm thinking "Nope!".
 

aydee

Platinum Member
All these horror stories are kind of frightening me.

My band is currently short of a bassist, and the keyboardist and guitarist are desperate. Then again, I don't know anybody, and this is southern Maryland. They currently have this one guy who's never picked up a bass before up for audition. I'm thinking "Nope!".
Dont be frightened. When David Byrne of Talking Heads could'nt find a bass player he talked his art school friend Tina Weymouth into trying it.
Tina Weymouth, a bass beginner when she joined the group, developed a minimalist style that drew on R&B, rock, and West Indian styles. Weymouth’s simple three-note verse line on “Psycho Killer” defines the song. Elsewhere, her tubby, melodic sub-hooks on songs like “Pulled Up” supply a perky, rocking pulse.

They made music history together. You never know, if you dont try it.

...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Dont be frightened. When David Byrne of Talking Heads could'nt find a bass player he talked his art school friend Tina Weymouth into trying it.
Tina Weymouth, a bass beginner when she joined the group, developed a minimalist style that drew on R&B, rock, and West Indian styles. Weymouth’s simple three-note verse line on “Psycho Killer” defines the song. Elsewhere, her tubby, melodic sub-hooks on songs like “Pulled Up” supply a perky, rocking pulse.

They made music history together. You never know, if you dont try it.

...
Funny ... I was going to answer "No, don't do it!" but I didn't know Tina was talked into playing. My fave bassline of hers is in this gem of a band performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzvIo-RU9v8

In the early 70s, when King Crimson recruited vocalist, Boz Burrell, they needed a bassists and Fripp taught him how to play.

Not sure what qualities are needed to be a natural bassist because I always found it an incredibly difficult instrument to approach - you need strong, tough fingers!
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
...

I canned a guitar player once. Small cube sized portions in brine. Tasted good on melba toast.

...
I guitar player tried to test me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice 'Keeyantee.'

Pol,

Great Talking Heads. Man, I Ioved that band. They were great. Remain in Light was a revelation, and sound spiritual advice. :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I guitar player tried to test me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice 'Keeyantee.'

Pol,

Great Talking Heads. Man, I Ioved that band. They were great. Remain in Light was a revelation, and sound spiritual advice. :)
Guitarists' Tongues in Aspic, anyone?

Agree about TH ... so many great songs. When I first saw Stop Making Sense it blew me out of the water. The only other band movie that's blown me away like that was Floyd's Pompeii.

In the 80s I needed to adapt to that style - having to really thwack the backbeat (and everything) but I wanted something organic rather than the usual e-drum sound - so Chris Franz became my role model at the time. It's a very fat, simple and clean approach that forced me to play more accurately and consistently - because when you're not on the button in that style it sounds abysmal.

I am sooo glad the 80s are over :)
 

KBadd

Silver Member
I just returned from firing our guitar player. We already have a replacement and have rehearsed and have many gigs booked.

I basically had to tell him that nobody can work with him anymore. This was not easy but had to be done. It took about 20 minutes and then we parted ways.
 
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