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Friday, October 22, 2010

AlanHB Storytime #1: The Maestro

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This will be the first of a set of blogs based on previous events in my musical experience. Some are basically copy and pasted from old posts on UG. Enjoy!

The Maestro (Events occur in February 2009, post is from this time)

So I get a message on my phone asking if I'm willing to try out for a band. This is not uncommon, as guitarists that play something other than metal are becoming harder and harder to come by, and bands are starting to email guitar schools where I live to see if they have any guitarists willing. My guitar school always promotes me for anything other than metal bands, because it's not my thing.

I have a quick chat to the guy, tell him to email me some demos and chord sheets. To my surprise, the demos are REALLY good. Like awesome. I've never enjoyed listening to demos the first time like those. I work up some parts for the songs and get ready for the "audition". Not really an audition because I was the only guitarist willing to try out; the songs were extremely complex piano songs, which as we all know aren't like songs written for the guitar - shifting keys all over the place and random chords.

So audition is on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning they call and say it has to be put back a day. Umm, ok. Thursday morning, another call, they push it back to Saturday. I don't like where this is going. Saturday we actually catch up and it has a nice groove, I'm happy and keen to catch up again soon.

Two days later the singer messages me, we have a very long message conversation (I was very drunk watching the footy at the time. I nearly got into a physical fight over Michael Jackson. One of "those" nights). Basically I explicitly said that all I want is professionalism and dedication and the singer agreed, he was really keen.

I organised a rehearsal room. One problem. The pianist doesn't have a keyboard, the bassist doesn't have a bass or a bass amp, and the drummer doesn't have a drum kit. Whilst this may be acceptable when you're 12, it's not with me - I'm not in bands just to play around. Because the music was so great I told the singer I'd organise a drum kit, we'd hire a PA and stick my bass into that temporarily (which the bassist would use) and all the singer had to do was organise a keyboard. I told him that it's very important he get the keyboard. I hired the rehearsal room for 3pm on the Saturday.

Saturday rolls around. At 2pm (1 hour before the practice) the singer calls me. He checks whether we're still on, I assure him we are. I ask whether he has got the keyboard. Nope. He hasn't got one, despite being given a weeks notice to get one. He assures me that he'll get one by the time he gets to rehearsal, he's just "leaving his house now". Eh? Bit early to be leaving mate? Nope, he's about 100 miles out of the city.

Well I'm mates with the guy who owns the rehearsal place so I show up on time. I don't want to be blacklisted with him, it could affect my other bands. So I show up and wait. And wait and wait and wait. I wait for an hour before the singer and drummer arrive. We play for the remaining hour that the room is booked in. The pianist refuses to play certain passages of the songs. He says they sound like crap because he doesn't have his sustain pedal. The pianist is also a drummer, and every song is stop start whilst the pianist jumps onto the drums showing the drummer EXACTLY what he wants him to play. I've never seen anything like that before, I'd get pissed off if someone told me EXACTLY how to play my guitar parts. In fact, I can feel myself getting pissed off for the drummer.

After that's over another practice is scheduled in a week. I put time aside to go, and the practice is canceled some 2 hours before it starts. I give the singer a call and say I'm quitting. I tell them that I made it explicit that I want professionalism, and this is obviously just a bunch of guys ****ing around. The singer pleads and pleads for me to reconsider, and although I was inwardly tempted to give it a shot, my logical side dictated that this situation was not going to change. I tell him good luck with the future and that he may want to consider being a solo performer due to his inability to be organised with band stuff and that he was inconsiderate of other people's time.

I'd wasted enough time with that band. End it early before I really got pissed off. The singer took it like a little girl though, sending me messages and calling me for a week like some chick I broke up with "you're so great!", "I can change!", "it won't work without you" bla bla bla.

So that's the last time I quit a band. If I was going to kick anyone out of that band it would have been the singer, but he wrote all the music which was awesome. Quite sad really, that this great music will never be heard simply due to lack of organisation.

2:42 am - 2 comments - 2 Kudos - Report!
Zaen wrote on Jan 19th, 2012 12:14am

Nice read. (:


Pastafarian96 wrote on Mar 4th, 2014 8:54am

Wow, that was worse than a poorly rehearsed talent show entry. It saddens me to hear about bands who really want to do this sort of thing, but are too lazy and incompetent to succeed.


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