Walk away from it...

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
Usually I don't make reference to many things in my private life on this forum apart from drumming, but this event crosses the boudaries and blurs my private life with my drumming and music life.

Let me explain: Back in Sept. 08 I auditioned to be the drummer at a tiny church venue about 45 minutes from my house. I passed the audition with flying colors, so to speak. All was going great from Sept - Dec 08. I received many compliments on my playing and even did some side gigs with a few band members around Halloween and Xmas. The pay was nothing expect for a few free lunches and dinners. I was never reimbursed for my gas or equipment expenses. I did it mainly to get back into playing with a legit band. Of course, I made some mistakes and I worked to correct them, but all in all, my playing was on par with what they wanted and they liked it. They said I was "innovative" because I used mallet cymbal rolls, maracas, wood blocks, and Djembes; pretty normal stuff but I'll take it.

Comes the new year and we get change in band leadership. I've written several posts of my opinion of our new leader, so suffice it to say, I didn't like the guy's ego or arrogance, or his limited leadership ability. From Jan 09 - mid-March he compliments me none-the-less. I even ask if what I'm playing is ok. I receive more compliments from him along the lines of "It sounds fine", "sounds cool", "great", etc. What would a normal person think? Must be doing ok, right?

March 17th I'm dismissed - in other words - fired. The leader or the pastor didn't even have the balls to tell me themselves. Another band member had to delieve the news. When I asked why, all he said was "he thought" the leader wanted to bring in his buddy from another band to play the drums. This was a non-paying gig, so money ain't in the equation.

Needless to say, after spending 7 months driving twice a week up and down the highway, spending my hard-earned money when gas was almost $4.00 per gallon, buying additional equipment to use, putting in time and effort and rearranging my schedule to accomodate them, while sometimes juggling my two kids' schedules to attend rehearsals, I WAS MAD. I planned on meeting with them to find out exactly why, but again, they were too chicken shit to even confront me since I let it be known I was angry.

Skip forward to this month. I get a notice from our city's police department saying I've been harrassing the leader (Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail) and I need to come to the HQ to "discuss" the matter. Ok, now I'm really pissed off. I walk in with my attorney and meet with a detective assigned the case. I explained my side of the story from beginning to end. I got an understanding nod from the cop. After evaluating what I told him versus what the leader said I did, the entire case was dropped and dismissed on the spot. Even the cop was chuckling a bit.

Bottom line: whenver you run into a stuck-up prick like I described my former band leader to be, no matter what, walk away from it and don't look back, no matter how mad you are. These people screw people around royally and then expect to get away with it, but they are the very first to jump up and yell and scream the loudest whenever they experience it themselves. Just walk away from these idiots; they ain't worth your time or trouble.

I'm now in two bands playing music with a more mature, fun-loving bunch of cats who thoroughly enjoy themselves and have no egos whatsoever.

Cheers!
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Enjoyed your post. So sad when someone colours your impression of human nature to such an extent. There's always a few of these little pope's out there. Glad to hear you're now playing with people who regard you as valuable. I hope posting your story has helped you put this behind you.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Glad everything worked out, but it still amazes me that this takes place in church bands.
So much for love thy neighbor.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Good move. It's better to post here and vent than involve yourself any further with morons like that. I've run into a few in my life that are like that and there's no real vindication in any of it after "crazy" takes over.

I once had a contractor tell me and a group of others in the same room that he would rip my head off and beat me with it. When I stayed afterwards saying, ".. now you can get on with it, if you dare, all by yourself with noone watching.." he later tried to get a restraining order saying he felt threatened by me on the job.

Walk away from it... words to live by.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
You did the right thing by walking away. Don't waste your time by asking why. The band leader wouldn't tell you when it went down so there was no way he would explain it later.
We all know when someone isn't upfront, they're up to something. I would bet that it won't be long before the rest of the band starts slowly getting replaced by his buddies.
The pastor doesn't care one way or another and the band leader will always get what they want as long as there is not an uproar with most of the congregation. I've said it before and i'll say it again, church bands and the politics involved are brutal.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
Yeah, walking away is the best course of action whenever you're kicked out. I've luckilly only been kicked out of 1 band when my availability was severly limited for 3 months. It was from a couple guys i really bonded with as tight friends but they did what they felt they needed to do. Fast forward a year later when my new band is sharing the stage with them and we totally blow them out of the water and my playing is on a whole different level than my replacement drummer. They are absolutely dumbfounded that i could play like that. That was satisfaction enough for me. Reminds me of a little story.

I met an older gentleman who said he used to be in a college garage band back in his days at the University of Florida (Gators, Gainesville). His buddies and him jammed with this guy they knew from their musician circles named Tom. Tom was the rhythm guitarist, just "really weak with awful vocals". Anyway they kicked Tom out of the band and got a different buddy of theirs to do the rhythm guitar. Even though the "new" lineup was a lot stronger, they faded into obscurity. The sucky guitarist went on to form a new band called the Heartbreakers and they were a little more successful in their endeavors.





Tom PETTY and the Heartbreakers...
 

yamahaha

Member
Glad everything worked out, but it still amazes me that this takes place in church bands.
So much for love thy neighbor.
I've played with several churches and never experienced discord between the musicians. It's usually between the church leadership and the musical director, and from my experience most of that is because it's impossible to please everyone's musical tastes. The older folks like the "dirge" hymns and lower volume levels and the younger folks like upbeat stuff at a reasonable volume.

I have worked with music leaders who didn't have the best people leadership skills but often times made up for it in talent and/or in other ways. Bottom line, you got a bad egg so just understand that's all it is and not necessarily a reflection of you.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I have to ask, what would have made the band leader claim harrasment? Were you contacting him after he gave you the boot? There's a space of time in there you're not accounting for too clearly.

The leader and all involved were real jerks. But you have to let things go and move on to the next thing. Sounds like this is what you did. But if you kept contacting people looking for some understanding, that could be interpreted as unwanted contact. Some people are just jerks and you will never get them to admit anything.
 

bpumpkin

Member
Yeah, walking away is the best course of action whenever you're kicked out. I've luckilly only been kicked out of 1 band when my availability was severly limited for 3 months. It was from a couple guys i really bonded with as tight friends but they did what they felt they needed to do. Fast forward a year later when my new band is sharing the stage with them and we totally blow them out of the water and my playing is on a whole different level than my replacement drummer. They are absolutely dumbfounded that i could play like that. That was satisfaction enough for me. Reminds me of a little story.

I met an older gentleman who said he used to be in a college garage band back in his days at the University of Florida (Gators, Gainesville). His buddies and him jammed with this guy they knew from their musician circles named Tom. Tom was the rhythm guitarist, just "really weak with awful vocals". Anyway they kicked Tom out of the band and got a different buddy of theirs to do the rhythm guitar. Even though the "new" lineup was a lot stronger, they faded into obscurity. The sucky guitarist went on to form a new band called the Heartbreakers and they were a little more successful in their endeavors.





Tom PETTY and the Heartbreakers...
Haha...wow. I didn't see your last line at first and I'm thinking 'Wait a minute, the Heartbreakers? As in Tom Petty? No, couldn't be.' That's pretty cool.

To the OP: I had a pretty bad experience a few years ago at a church I was playing at. I had family members going there and I was asked to play drums for them since they were so short-handed. I did and I ended up playing there for two years for zero pay. I did it cuz I enjoyed it. Long story short, they started getting authoritarian with me and the other church I was attending at the time and they shoe-horned me off their worship team. I was furious at the time, but I'm playing at MY church now and absolutely loving it.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I have to ask, what would have made the band leader claim harrasment? Were you contacting him after he gave you the boot? There's a space of time in there you're not accounting for too clearly.

Trying to make contact - letters, emails, some phone work, etc. I basically wanted to know what exactly I was doing wrong to be let go, since all he did was compliment my playing. If I was missing something regarding my playing ability, I wanted to know so that I could work on it.

Tom PETTY and the Heartbreakers...

Wow! THAT is impressive! Kudos to TP for overcoming his weaknesses.

Great story, thanks for the post. I'm glad your not in jail.

Thank you! Me too! I didn't really want a big cell mate named Walt or Reggie thinking I was cute or anything...

Thanks for letting me vent everybody. Hopefully someone else can learn from my bad experience and realize it's best to just let it go and get on with life. Most of the time it's not you, it's the other person who has the problem when something like this happens.
 
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motleyh

Senior Member
Seems like there are a lot of bandleaders out there who don't have the common courtesy (tranlation: respect for their musicians) to understand that an investment of someone's time has a real value. It's one thing to be dismissed from a paying gig -- that's a job. It's another to be unceremoniously dumped out of a volunteer position without even an acknowledgment of of what you've contributed, let alone a discussion of what is or isn't working.

I learned a lesson when I was 16 and playing rehearsals with a community big band every week for several months. A week before they finally were going to give a performance, they brought in a guy in his 40s to play instead. All it would have taken to make me feel valued, as a kid, was to let me know earlier that what they wanted me for was a rehearsal drummer to hold down the fort -- I would have been OK with that.

Don't be surprised if it happens again some time. It's not about you -- it's about the bandleader's power trip. You're right to just walk away.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I have to ask, what would have made the band leader claim harrasment? Were you contacting him after he gave you the boot? There's a space of time in there you're not accounting for too clearly.

Trying to make contact - letters, emails, some phone work, etc. I basically wanted to know what exactly I was doing wrong to be let go, since all he did was compliment my playing. If I was missing something regarding my playing ability, I wanted to know so that I could work on it.
If he wasn't be honest with you when you were playing with him, don't expect him to be honest with you after he gives you the boot.

I would have sent an email explaining how I felt jerked around to all involved, then let it drop. Insisting again via phone, letters and emails that they reveal their true thoughts just gives them power over you - whether they want it or not - and leads to trouble, as we saw with the police getting involved.

In the future, be prepared to deal with jerks like this in a different way. Breakups and rejection happen all the time in bands, but if you find yourself in these kinds of conflicts as time goes on, you may need to examine your own behavior.
 

Fishnmusicn

Senior Member
Understand that there are a certain percentage of people that don't make any sense and trying to understand them will get you nowhere, they are just f$^#@d up and it's not your doing at all.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
I learned a lesson when I was 16 and playing rehearsals with a community big band every week for several months. A week before they finally were going to give a performance, they brought in a guy in his 40s to play instead.
damn! that's stone cold!
 
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