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What happens when your gig turns into a jam? (Long)

6/14/2003 5:43 PM
What happens when your gig turns into a jam? (Long)
I'll tell you what, it goes for a sh*t! I'm in this band and we've worked pretty hard at getting tight and picking good kickin' tunes. We don't play out much at all and this is all that I've got. Well, over the last couple of years we've played this local bar and everytime that we've played there my bass player asks if it would be ok to let one of his friends up to play "a couple" of tunes, so here's what usually happens I give up my spot on stage to this guy and give him my guitar and then I exit the stage. Now this particular individual plays almost every other night at various gigs and jams so he's way over exposed around the local scene. This is my once-in-a-blue moon gig but I tend not to rock the boat so I play the good sport and let him on. The first couple of times I let him up there, he played a couple tunes then went on his merry way but the last couple of gigs he's not wanted to get off the stage right away and wants to play a couple more songs! Oh, and one other thing I should mention is that this guy is a real hack, we're talking pretty bad guitar playing here and the tunes that he lauches into suck and they have nothing in common with the other songs in our sets. Also, he's usually pretty loaded by the time that he elbows his way onto our stage. This guy is one of these rare people who don't have any sense of respect or common sense, so if you leave him to his devices he'll ruin the show. The other night, after his few songs I had enough and tried to give him the hint that our band should resume our show he just ignored me and started a fourth crap song, well that clinched it for me, I even had people in the audience that I don't know saying that it looked like I had been replaced, the audience didn't really take a shine to this guy either. Our first couple of sets went really good, we really had a good momentum going and then to have him get up in the middle of the third set and take the show down the tubes because he always has to be the centre of attention really got to me. Here's how bad it got, at some point he takes his shirt off and does these ambarrassing stage moves/dances. Also he's pretty rough on other peoples guitars when he's playing, like trying to be Pete Townshend, bashing the guitar and abusing the toggle switch on my prized LesPaul. This experience was eating me up all week, I didn't want to make waves but I had to talk to my bass player and he did agree that things got out of hand with buddy and that we won't get him up there again in the future. My new policy from now on is, I don't care who's in the audience, nobody's coming up to "jam". The audience paid good money to see a show that's up to snuff and they deserve nothing less. Gig night is not jam night. I could see it if your a blues band and there's a good friend/musician in the audience then that might be different, but that's not our case. I'm interested in hearing your experiences and thoughts on this topic, thanks!
6/14/2003 6:28 PM
Le Basseur
1.You should clarify with your bandmates this's not very clear,but you DO have their support or not? If "..not quite..",ask them in the most directly manner you're able of if their acceptance of this situation is a sign for pushing you out from the band.  
2.No matter how "routinized" the guy is,kick his butt off! Though,it's YOUR band,also.....  
I didn't have never in my life such kind of problems...nor in the old days,25 years ago,when I began playing experimental rock,or hard-rock.  
Maybe it's a question of overall atmosphere between bandmates,maybe there are some different "unwritten laws",maybe it's a common-sense question....who knows?  
In another phrase of yours,you were I'm playing mainstream & bebop and fusion jazz,and every time we have a friend in the audience we invite him to join.I guess,in fact,that's the point with this kind of music....  
Cheer up!
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6/14/2003 6:41 PM
Steve A.

    Hopefully your little talk with the bass player will do the trick. You must be a saint to let that jerk play your guitar... couldn't you just lie and say that your insurance company doesn't allow anybody else to play your guitars? ;) We ought to get a good cover story together in case we run into that situation ourselves...  
    As for not hurting the jerk's feelings, how about "Tuesday night is jam night here... maybe we can get together then"?  
--Good luck!  
Steve Ahola
6/14/2003 7:34 PM
Le Basseur
Steve,you're a real gentleman....:)  
As for the jerk's feelings,sorry,but a musician's life can be sometimes rude....what about the HB's feelings in the first place?!?
6/14/2003 11:05 PM

How about ,"No." Enjoy your evening.
6/15/2003 1:24 AM
Steve A.

How about ,"No. Enjoy your evening."  
    Yeah, that would work... ;)  
    It was the bass player who kept asking if his buddy Jerkwad could play with them... I think it would be up to the band (or band leader) to decide on a policy for that. As for playing my guitar and amp, well, that would certainly be up to me!  
    You don't want to get the bass player mad because he might... ummm... errr... — so what do bass players do when they get mad? ;)  
Steve Ahola
6/15/2003 3:29 AM
A Colman

Hey Humbucker,nobody touches my guitar man...  
Tell your bandmates this will not do.  
This is not the time to be politically correct with the dude if he is a jerk.  
Good luck  
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