The gig that you turned down and regretted it

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I guess here's the one gig that I turned down and regretted it.

I pursued the CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) industry for a solid 10 years of my life. I was in several different bands, and I got to travel quite a bit over the years (believe me when I say it was nothing glamorous). Even still, a couple of bands I was in had the opportunity to open for a couple of big-name acts in the business, and my eternal hope was that these bigger-named acts would be impressed with us, make some calls, and get us a connection in Nashville.

The last CCM band I was in was one of these bands that got a couple of opportunities to open for some larger-name acts, and there was this one time that we got booked almost a year in advance to open for one of these big-named bands. At the time, I was 31 or 32 years old, and I KNEW that if I was going to "make it," this would pretty much be my last shot. During this time, we were dealing with a lead singer who was an absolute flake who had more issues than Reader's Digest, and in pure lead-singer fashion, he quit one night after refusing to show up for a gig where we were booked to play a 1,600+ seat auditorium...which was about six months or so before this gig we had opening for the big name. So, our band went through the gut-wrenching process of trying to find a leader singer. After several months and many canceled shows, we simply stopped looking and disbanded.

Well, the night came where we were SUPPOSED to open for the big-name person. So because we had no lead singer, we were taken off the bill, and so the band that was supposed to open for us got the opening gig. Guess what? After 10 years of my hard work, the OTHER band impressed the big-named artist, got some connections in Nashville, and ended up signing a deal and touring. There's nothing to say that we would have impressed that guy, but still, just to be given the chance to do it would have been great. Granted the big-named artist is no longer around, and the band that was signed is no longer around either.

So, what happened with us?

One guitar player is a minister, has 3 kids.
Another guitar player toured with a cover band, ended up LA/Hollywood, and is doing a lot of guitar work for TV shows, movies, etc.
The bass player owns a computer business.
I am a college instructor, but I still play music a couple of weekends a month.
The lead singer? Last I heard, he moved away, did some bad business deals, got into gambling, and spent some time in jail/prison. I've only seen him one time since he quit the band, and that was 12-13 years ago.

Looking back, if we would have landed a major record deal, I'm almost positive we would have imploded within weeks. But still, I would have loved to have had the opportunity and possibly make some connections in Music City for my own benefit.

This was the one gig that I regret not playing.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
One time I tried out for a couple of local guys I knew regarding a punk rock project they wanted to start. At the time I was also trying out for a slightly less local indie rock project.

Both of them wanted me to play drums but already having several other music projects I had to pick.

The guys in the punk band were a fair deal younger than I; like full generation gap and the kit in dudes garage was a mess... Being honest I was also iffy on how I felt my punk rock drumming chops weren't the best. I was keeping up but felt a little less comfortable simply because I hadn't really practiced too much "real" punk of late and my usual fluidity wasn't as fluid.

So I joined the indie band. I thought for sure there would be more demand for the music and the older guys would be more motivated to get out and play and accomplish some stuff.

So of course that punk band picked up a drummer who isn't even as proficient as myself (meaning my worries about my playing were nonsense) and proceeded to line up gig after gig and get a following going much faster than I imagined.

Not to say I regret joining the indie project, though. We're making some cool music and one guy in particular is a great musician. But I do have to admit we are simply not moving as fast as the 20 year olds I turned down who have gig after gig while the indie project is still trying to get on more radars. Granted, the punk community is extremely supportive, but even so... Always wanted to be in a proper traditional style punk outfit.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
in 2010 I turned down the Chris Robinson gig because "my band" was going on tour .... ugh!!! ... what a fool

live and learn

a guy named George Sluppick got the gig and he deserved every second of it ... wonderful player
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have possibly one regret, although looking back, it may have been more a case of dodging a bullet.

Around 1975/6, I did some rehearsing with a band fronted by Martha Davis. They weren't really The Motels yet, and I lasted about 2 weeks. But that's not the story.

Around 1980, I used to advertise my drumming services in Music Connection, a new L.A. magazine then. I got a call from someone to audition for a band, The Motels. They were going to play clubs around town then try to get a record deal. Yeah, right. I politely declined. Someone else from the band called a week or two later asking the same, and I was probably a little less cheerful with them.

Anyway, The Motels soon got their record deal and enjoyed a few big hits. While it could have been a cool gig at the time, history shows that the band didn't last very long, and I don't think any of the guys still work with Martha. So, when I say I dodged a bullet, I mean that I'm glad I have the continuing career I do.

Bermuda
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I have possibly one regret, although looking back, it may have been more a case of dodging a bullet.

Around 1975/6, I did some rehearsing with a band fronted by Martha Davis. They weren't really The Motels yet, and I lasted about 2 weeks. But that's not the story.

Around 1980, I used to advertise my drumming services in Music Connection, a new L.A. magazine then. I got a call from someone to audition for a band, The Motels. They were going to play clubs around town then try to get a record deal. Yeah, right. I politely declined. Someone else from the band called a week or two later asking the same, and I was probably a little less cheerful with them.

Anyway, The Motels soon got their record deal and enjoyed a few big hits. While it could have been a cool gig at the time, history shows that the band didn't last very long, and I don't think any of the guys still work with Martha. So, when I say I dodged a bullet, I mean that I'm glad I have the continuing career I do.

Bermuda
you live the dream brother ... I'd rather know you as the guy who's kept a nearly 40 year steady gig with a legendary artist than the guy who used to play with the Motels ;)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
you live the dream brother ... I'd rather know you as the guy who's kept a nearly 40 year steady gig with a legendary artist than the guy who used to play with the Motels ;)
Thanks, and with all due respect to their best-known drummer Brian Glasscock, you're right! :)
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
For me it's not a gig I turned down it was a communication breakdown. I'd changed my mobile/cell number in 2003 and missed a call from the local drum shop that would have been the biggest gig I'd have ever played.

An ex-drummer of Budgie (Welsh prog rock) lives locally, he had to retire due to Parkinsons but he was part of some international Parkinsons association who had something to do with a massive show in the states where one of his bands from Wolverhampton (aka Slade-land) went and supported Bruce Springsteen.

The band that was booked dropped or lost their drummer just before the gig and the guy from Budgie went into Drum Attic asking for a drummer asap. Unfortunately I hadn't given them my new number and missed an all expenses paid trip to the states and a chance to meet Mr Weinberg.

Bugger!
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I played in really crap punk bands in my early teens with pals of mine.

When I joined college one of the first things that happened was I joined the college covers band which was a Beatles tribute. We played together two years and got really damned good. Not just the vanilla stuff, but we had a bass player who was able to handle complex keyboards to create some of the later era Beatles stuff.

So, my Uncle Colin came to see us at the local pub we played on one occasion. Turned out (and I never even knew at the time) that Colin was the main promoter for all the holiday entertainment on the Isle of Man (which was booming back in the mid to late 80s.

He was able to offer us a full summer season. Playing 4-5 nights per week at various hotels. Paid plus free accommodation and food.

A dream come true.

The lads wouldn't do it. They had places at University. I tried to persuade them to take a gap year. But they wouldn't have it. So they drifted off.

I never forgave them. And regret not doing it to this day. It could, quite seriously, have sparked a proper musical career. But not to be.

The irony...none of them fulfilled their potential. They all pretty much achieved piss all in life. Whereas I have had a reasonable career (without a University education) meaning I can likely retire at 55 (I could have done a lot better in my career if I could be arsed to mind you !). Plus I continue to enjoy my music as a hobby.

There's possibly a moral in the story.....when it's offered, grasp it for Christ's sake, and don't be a dick
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
One time I tried out for a couple of local guys I knew regarding a punk rock project they wanted to start. At the time I was also trying out for a slightly less local indie rock project.

Both of them wanted me to play drums but already having several other music projects I had to pick.

The guys in the punk band were a fair deal younger than I; like full generation gap and the kit in dudes garage was a mess... Being honest I was also iffy on how I felt my punk rock drumming chops weren't the best. I was keeping up but felt a little less comfortable simply because I hadn't really practiced too much "real" punk of late and my usual fluidity wasn't as fluid.

So I joined the indie band. I thought for sure there would be more demand for the music and the older guys would be more motivated to get out and play and accomplish some stuff.

So of course that punk band picked up a drummer who isn't even as proficient as myself (meaning my worries about my playing were nonsense) and proceeded to line up gig after gig and get a following going much faster than I imagined.

Not to say I regret joining the indie project, though. We're making some cool music and one guy in particular is a great musician. But I do have to admit we are simply not moving as fast as the 20 year olds I turned down who have gig after gig while the indie project is still trying to get on more radars. Granted, the punk community is extremely supportive, but even so... Always wanted to be in a proper traditional style punk outfit.
Don't know about where you live but punk is making a huge resurgence up in the North of England, especially across in South Yorkshire.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Don't know about where you live but punk is making a huge resurgence up in the North of England, especially across in South Yorkshire.
Let's just say there's a lot of water between us and apparently punks don't like to swim.

California. We got punks, but it's one in a crowd of a hundred. What we really got is hipsters, which is more like 20 to 30 in a crowd of 100... Honestly maybe more. Not sure if the hipsters can swim that far or not.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
One band, I had been friends with them for years, and I loved their music.

One day their drummer died tragically. They carried on a for-hire guy,

They approached me several times, saying when the time was right, they were interested in me being their permanent guy rather than having a for-hire guy.

I was into the idea, because we were already friends, and I loved the band. And I went to the shows, hung out, etc,

But the reality hit in of it meant going on tours that didn't always make money. Work was sporadic. I was already well past 30, about to get married, and the whole idea of touring on a minimalist budget didn't seem as appealing as it would have when I was 20-something.

So I stopped pursuing it, and they ended up just keeping the for-hire guy (whom I'm good friends with).

Looking back, it was the right decision for me. The band eventually slowly fizzled out, while I'm quite happy being married. But for numerous years, every time I'd go see the band or get their new album, I'd kick myself for not being a part of it.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
I’m not sure if you would call it turning a gig down, but it’s definitely a mistake on my part.

The band was looking for someone to replace their drummer who tragically died. I was asked to audition and given a few songs to learn. The songs were great, but I hadn’t heard back from them in weeks so I cannot say I actually learned them.

Next thing you know they contacted me stating they could do the audition the next day. I went in there winging it, half-assed. I didn’t get the gig needless to say and they continued on becoming a fairly big indie band playing 1000 seat places throughout the US.

The only thing I am glad I missed is the band dynamics of being the replacement guy as I’ve done that plenty of times before. Those who have done it know it may take awhile before you can feel at home and maybe even the guy they wished they always had.

I can only imagine what it would be like replacing a guy who passed that they obviously loved. My feelings are most likely true as there’s been a revolving door of drummers, sometimes the promo photos did not even include one.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I just remembered one.

I auditioned for a "band" (it was more like a singing group with musicians) that was sponsored by a Baptist State Convention. I auditioned for drums, and I ended up playing bass and keyboards, and the "drums" were on a backing track. Lame I know. Not my idea, but it was a chance to go on the road for a summer. We played for 11 weeks, at least playing 6 nights a week. The schedule was grueling, and the music wasn't that great, but we did our best to have fun. The next year, the producer of the group begged me to come back and play drums for them, stating that the previous drummer had ended up playing on Leno with him that last year (the producer was actually nominated for a Grammy or two in the upcoming years).

There were two reasons why I turned it down. First, I was going to summer school to finish up my degree so I could get married the next year. Best decision ever. Second, the manager of the band was the absolute, 100% biggest jerk I have ever met in my life. I'm not a violent person, but I swore that if I ever saw him on the street after that summer, it probably wasn't going to end well.

Our last day, we all had a debriefing at the convention. When it was time to go, we all just sort of left. No tears. Just a few handshakes and hugs, and that was it. We were so tired, and we were tired of each other.
 
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