Unexpected results

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This is a tale of how quitting bands really made things better for me.

Backstory, I've been in the Don Evans Band since 2010. In 2018, I became very unhappy about the song tempos (which I don't control) We were so comfortable playing with each other that things became too automatic and we ended up playing faster instead of feeling it out like we used to. Non musicians would comment on how fast things were. Huge red flag for me. It wasn't getting any better, my input had no effect, so in July 2018, I decided to switch gears and try my hand elsewhere.

I went with an original band who I really like the leader guy and his songs. I had real input in this band, and a few ideas I had for his songs are still being used. After a while, I realized I didn't like the bass player or the sax player, like at all. The rehearsal was a far drive and the gigs were...not my cup of tea. Retirement homes, benefits for medical issues, gigs for the mentally challenged etc. I also realized that as an original band, if anything good did happen, I didn't want to travel and all that crap that goes along with being in an original band. It wouldn't happen anyway, not with that bass player. (who provided the rehearsal space) Plus the pay was substandard and everyone gave some of that back to put back into the band. After about 6 months of this, I realized that all I want from music is to have gigs where good looking women wanted to dance. That's it, I'm good. At 61 I'm not looking for success in the music business, I just use it as my source of fun. And I want all the fun I can get. These were not they types of gigs we were getting. I left them in Feb of 2019.

Long story short, I just didn't get the offers I was mistakenly expecting after leaving the Don Evans Band. So I didn't play a whole lot in 2019 compared to previous years.

Don called me this past November, the guy who replaced me (I replaced him in 2010) needed rotator cuff surgery and would be out for some months. I was asked to do some gigs, so I did, and now I'm back with him. Here's why it's better for me now:

Apparently Don must have took things to heart finally, because the tempos are where they should be now. I discovered that I was pretty sorely missed by both Don and Bill the bass player, and our regular crowds (including the bar owners!) They are still coming up to me expressing their gratitude that I am back with the band because apparently, it just was a much lesser version of the band with the other guy. I am not taken for granted anymore. It really upped my stock. It feels good too.

And the original band calls me for gigs once in a while, at full price, and I don't have to rehearse with them. I just get the good stuff now.

So quitting bands really increased my value. I didn't intend for it to happen like that, but it did anyway. I do belong with Don, we sound wonderful together. So it's all good now.

You don't miss your water until the well runs dry.
 
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Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Great to hear it all worked out... But I knew it would. You focus on the stuff that makes you valuable to a blues band and as such, would be hard to replace.

Didn't see it coming that you'd go back to Don, but if you're happy, I'm happy!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I didn't see it coming either James. He does get some nice gigs that I like a lot and missed. And he really is the very best musician I know by a large margin.

I'm happy because what happened before, shouldn't happen anymore.

We might have 2 blues gigs a year, that's another reason I left. The blues gigs dried up. It's not a blues band anymore as defined by the gigs although we still have a good repertoire and can whip it out and swing it around at any time ha ha.

The stuff I learned from blues completely applies to the regular bar setlist too. Blues and Country, required learning in my life. Served me well. Knowing Country served me well. I was kind of forced into it in the 80's. How little did I know then how much it would benefit me in later years.
 
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lefty2

Platinum Member
If I watch the good looking women dance too much , I lose track of the metronome 😁 Well it was the long way around but sounds like things worked out for you.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's funny, I don't actually gawk at them. Well sometimes. When I know the material upside down and backwards, I play best with my eyes closed. Kind of like a horse with blinders. I must have my eyes open at many places, and that's when I enjoy seeing the crowd have fun. Otherwise, I'm in la la land.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Exactly the type of experience I used to have in bands and desperately trying to replicate it with no success in years. Just don’t meet people who want to play with conviction. Everyone is just getting by. Retirement home gigs? trailer parks? Charities? Not only do they rarely if ever draw a decent crowd, but mostly end up costing more than the effort put in. Very discouraging. Maybe some day I’ll have a similar experience. I could only hope! Glad it worked out as it has Larry.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I really enjoyed your journey summary Larry, and I'm super pleased for you. It was abundantly clear you were being taken for granted in that act. Remember the looper debacle - is that still a "thing"?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I'm not surprised to hear this. I don't think it's luck or fate or anything like that. In my experience, we get the respect we demand. I think that's what you did here (even if you weren't consciously thinking about it when you quit the band) and you were rewarded for it. Happy to hear things have worked out for you.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I really enjoyed your journey summary Larry, and I'm super pleased for you. It was abundantly clear you were being taken for granted in that act. Remember the looper debacle - is that still a "thing"?
Yes.

But he got a new looper that has a little microphone that attaches under my snare drum. The microphone supposedly adjusts the looper to my imperfections. It's an improvement for me, but if the same loop is used later on in the song, then my tempo control comes into play. So far so good.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
WoW Larry great tale to regale. So are you permanently replacing the rotator cuff drummer dude? I know it feels great to be appreciated by patrons and other band members.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yea I'm back. I have a real need to play out and I wasn't playing out enough after I left, that's a big reason I'm back. I miss the gigs.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Man I'm happy for you Larry-and envious! I really miss my old band and mates (especially bass player) but since I moved no chance for that. I was really burned out and my hearing at that time suddenly got worse and I freaked so I quit gigging. In hindsight a poor decision-I was going to sell all my drum stuff, but I got better hearing aids and started back with brushes-which didn't last long before back to stick. Since I've been mildewing because without some goal orientation I'm just meandering and stagnating. I really liked playing with much better musicians because it really made me concentrate to meet their needs-now I meet mine which is, as always, jumping around a lot going nowhere.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
It's funny, I don't actually gawk at them. Well sometimes. When I know the material upside down and backwards, I play best with my eyes closed. Kind of like a horse with blinders. I must have my eyes open at many places, and that's when I enjoy seeing the crowd have fun. Otherwise, I'm in la la land.
I feel the same way you do. The world is a cruel and unfair place to many. If I can make a handful of them forget about their problems for just a little while, then I've done my job. I love helping people have a good time.
 
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