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Monkey Steve

Worst Band Mates Ever!

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There seem to be a few topics that dance around this, that you quit a band, refused to join a band, had your worst gig experience, etc because of some toolbag that was in the band with you.  I also just got an e-mail from a mate who's a drummer and has moved to a smallish place which has a thriving music scene, meaning that everybody plays in about four bands and you can't just recruit people to form a new one, you have to first cross check everybody for any ongoing feuds or you'll never get past the first rehearsal.

So let's have some full on venting - let it all out!  Who are the worst people you've played in a band with?

When I thought of this I had in mind asking everybody to pick just one person, and for it to be based on them being somebody you can't stand to be around, rather than somebody who just wasn't up to the gig musically, but on the basis that I'm torn between two people who fall on either side of those criteria, I'll let it go, do what you want.  After all, the Forum has proved time and again that doesn't really care about rules for replies, so I'll instead ask some questions:

  • For context, what was the background of the band in question?  First teenage band playing in the drummer's garage, or experienced musicians on the verge of greatness?
  • What is their level of talent?
  • How did it end - a sacking, a resignation, or are you still in the band with them?
  • Did you ever get to tell them what you thought of them?
  • Would you ever consider being in a band with them again?

Oh, and obviously, all the details of what did they do to annoy you, but that goes without saying

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7 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

Oh, and obviously, all the details of what did they do to annoy you, 

I don't know where to start 

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Must not post....Must not post...

Self imposed NDA.Or it could get litigious. I'll regretfully let others tell their tales. If we ever meet up over a pint . That's a different matter.

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4 minutes ago, Low End Bee said:

Must not post....Must not post...

Self imposed NDA.Or it could get litigious. I'll regretfully let others tell their tales. If we ever meet up over a pint . That's a different matter.

possibly we should add that names should be changed to protect the guilty, or at the very least protect BC from lawsuits...

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Ok, let me kick things off.

Very good Blues band playing all over. Guitarist (well it was always likely to be , wasn't it?) a very fine player but far more jovial than necessary and convinced he was the world's funniest man.

He was also a congenital liar and claimed to have an amazing guitar collection that was with a variety of friends in oredr to keep them from falling into the wrong hands (his, perchance). He would swear blind he had called me and I had not replied (my mobile never recorded these missed calls). HE was an ar$e of the highest order.

He got the chance to do some touring with an American female Blues singer, which he did. He was let go because they deemed him too annoyingly cheery. His confidence took a knock at this but he compensated by being even more cheery.

Eventually he left the band to pursue a change of direction (or avoid me maybe) and we got in a guy who's as close to playing with Jeff Beck as you can without actually playing with Jeff Beck.

We do that very English thing (or maybe Spinal Tap) of being overtly nice to each other when face to face but I can barely even the mention of his name. Suffice to say our musical paths will never cross.

Edited by Steve Browning
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13 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

He got the chance to do some touring with an American female Blues singer, which he did. He was let go because they deemed him too annoyingly cheery.

Well it was a Blues band!

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2 hours ago, Unknown_User said:

I have to say @oZZma , I much preferred your previous profile pic to this pencil thing!

But it's the Butthole Surfers!

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1 minute ago, bartelby said:

But it's the Butthole Surfers!

Means nothing to me I'm afraid. I've heard the name but never been tempted by it!

I'm afraid as I'm getting older I have a much lower tolerance for horrific depictions of awful violence. I just can't watch films even with blood and killing any more.

Sincerely,

A. Biggtart

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I was in a band many years ago with a guy who had a real bad run in life at the time. He got very angry and bitter as a result, turning very political and became basically difficult to be around/in a band with.

So I left but now in later years I wish I’d stuck it out a bit longer and just been a better mate. 

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Awesome guitarist who was always 30-45 minutes late, never there to set up the PA, never stayed to pack down...never learned parts properly...

He was part of the reason I quit. But he was one of the worst band members I’ve had.

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Ok let me talk about my previous drummer.
He was the kind of guy who tries hard to seem smart, he had logorrhoea and always had an opinion on everything, which he expresssed in a pompous, self-satisfied way, like if he was "teaching" you. 
He just could not shut up, not even on stuff he didn't know or understand at all.

The funny part is that he also had a bunch of "ready-to-use" speeches/phrases that he liked sooooo much, because he felt that they made him seem "clever", and he pulled them out like a rabbit from hat with EVERY new person he met.
There was one in particular, that he has used  literally with EVERY SINGLE PERSON we have met. Here it is:
"Because, you know... After John Cale's 3'33 there is nothing more to say in music"
Aside from the stupidity of this statement, in case you are wondering: no, these are not typos. And no, he wasn't being ironic or something. I never corrected him (I am cruel, am I? :x)

I wonder if he at least tried to keep track whether he had already used his phrases with a person, or not, but of he did, he was uneffective.
I also planned with an old friend from my hometown to introduce him to my (ex) drummer and at some point my friend should have pronounced exactly the drummer's favourite clever phrase to see his reaction. Unfortunately (???) he quit before we could do it. No one tried to stop him :biggrin:

 

The story could have been longer because he really was a collection of cringeworthy behaviours but this pretty much sums up his "personality"

Edited by oZZma
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Genuinely not mine, but a mate had a load of hassle with a bandmate who was married with two young kids but who would insist on copping off with any woman he could after a gig but expecting the other bandmates to cover for him. It all came to head when he decided to do it mid gig last year and they were late starting the second set as he was at it in the back of his van in the car park and they had to go and bang on the outside to get him. The shame is that he is a fantastic musician but a pretty terrible human being.

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Mad drummer who was convinced I was too loud. Every gig he would moan about how I was too loud, until one day I turned my volume down completely to zero (as an experiment) and he still complained I was overpowering everything.

At that stage I realised he was mad as a f**king hatter and decided he had to go. Luckily he got sacked at our next gig for stopping in the middle of a song because (you guessed it) I was too loud????

He' was a good drummer but obviously delusional. 

He joined another band and persuaded them to get rid of the bass player. Eventually, the penny dropped, and they got rid of him.

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We had a nice line up going for a while with one band, but the guitarist had to leave for some reason so we auditioned this guy who had moved to the area and claimed to be a former London session player. Amongst his claims was playing on Kung Fu fighting, singing bvs on Rocket Man and being in a band who’s name I’ll cunningly disguise- Lightening Applause Oldman. He turned every song into an exercise in proving how hard he could groove because, you know, he had studied rhythm in Africa. The only gear he was interested in ‘was the gear he smoked’. I can’t remember why it started but we had huge argument that ended in him calling me a nazi. 

I later found out he’d moved to the area and alienated everyone who had even a sniff of musical success, including trying to charge a decent local studio for having him record there. I’ll stop there before the really litgeous stuff but he was the embodiment of nightmare band member. 

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Flash Clap Pensioner? Never heard of them.

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first of two I'm going to nominate.

My first serious band, 30 years ago, playing thrash metal when it was still new and exciting, and the first band I'd been in where I didn't know everybody else in advance.  I was the last in, and at my first practice the guitarist (and BL) showed me the riffs to a couple of songs, we run through them, and then we're away.

The singer steps up to the mic...and it's dreadful.  Like a dying, vomiting dog.  There wasn't any attempt at a melody, just shouting in the deepest voice he could manage.  Now, there is a place for that style of vocals in extreme metal, but we were far too melodic, touching on prog even, to be in that category.  To add to this, when we started gigging, the singer had no on stage personality whatsoever - no confidence or showmanship (he is a bit of a dull man anyway), just stood at the mic, staring at his shoes, making a horrible noise when he was singing, and muttering a few words between songs, never engaging with the audience.  Me and the drummer (my mate, who'd invited me to join) complained about him endlessly - it was really affecting the band as everybody agreed that the music was great but the vocals were awful - but the singer was there because he was the guitarist's best mate and he was never going to get sacked.  This went on for a couple of years.

Then we did a fairly high profile gig as main support on a four band bill, and a load of my non-metal liking mates came along.  As the band finished and started packing down, the singer left the stage to get to the bar, to be told by my mates that he was terrible, not the band, just him, what with him not being able to sing and everything.

We had a gig the next day and after we soundchecked he announced that he was leaving the band to move on to new projects!  I already knew the story of what had happened, as did the drummer, so we sniggered and had more than a few celebratory pints, but not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth we said nothing and let him keep his dignity.  We certainly didn't do anything to persuade him to stay (which I  think is what he was hoping for).  And that would have been the end of it, someone I would never be in a band with again because he has no musical ability, but not somebody I'd avoid contact with...

But he's stayed in my circle of friends, and I see much more of him these days than before - we go to a lot of gigs and festivals together.  So for the last 25 years I have heard a non stop stream of fake news about how he's always one step away from being in new band, how he's working on a new project, how people said he was a great singer (based on one comment from 20 years ago taken out of context - he does that a lot), and including himself in any discussions that me and my actual musician friends have about bands, gear, etc.  He seems to genuinely believe that everybody loved his vocals in the old band and that we wanted him to stay.  To hear him, he's currently in between bands, and the casual observer would never know that he hasn't been in a band for a quarter of a century.  Worst of all, he saves special disdain for the musical exploits of his former bandmates - me and the drummer mainly, who have remained active in bands from then until now. I'll save the numerous stories, but he manages to dismiss anything we do, but if there is any praise being given, he will bend over backwards to make sure that people know he was once in a band with us, like he's one of the cool kids.  When I was depping with a name band for a couple of gigs at Christmas, I joked that he would tell me to my face that it wasn't anything special, and behind my back tell everybody he knows that he's mates with the bass player in this band that they will have heard of.  That is exactly what he did.

So about a year ago we were out for a drink and the subject of bands came up - him complaining about the delays in yet another one of his projects that never quite seem to happen, so i told him I'd been talking about forming a band with a singer from an old band of mine, who knew a guitarist, and i knew a drummer, etc.  He spent the next three hours banging on about how that was a really bad idea because that singer (now fresh out of rehab) couldn't be trusted, he'd let down my old band, what was I thinking?  Every time anybody tried to move the conversation on he kept dragging it back to this singer and why he was a bad choice.  His girlfriend got fed up and went home, leaving me to listen to him going round and round in circles about it.

Which sounds bad, but was a beautiful moment, because it finally gave me the excuse to say to him that I didn't know why he was fixated on telling me that this other singer was awful, but if he was trying to suggest that I should instead be asking him to join my new band he should forget about it because he cannot sing, has no musical ability whatsoever, and I will never, ever ask him to be in any of my bands.  Ever.

I slept very well that night.

He seems to have selectively forgotten that night, or at the very least decided that he definitely wasn't suggesting that I ask him to be in a new band and is back to his usual, deluded self.  Oh well, still worth it.

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I answered an ad to audition for a funk band with two female singers, one of which was an ex pro on the cabaret type circuit. 

I turn up and it's all being run by a guitarist, let's call him the band leader. He seems like a nice guy and we get on well. I'm the only bassist. A drummer turns up but he's not very good and anyway he plays stuff like system of a down... No idea why he was invited/ asked to go. Guitarists come and go. None of which are "good enough", i.e. one of them was proper rubbish and another was excellent but I think the band leader felt threatened and didn't want him. 

Anyway I get on well with everyone, they seem to like me and we meet up a few more weeks. We get a keyboardist. He's bludy awful. Throws in the odd chord here and there but really can't play for toffee. It would be like giving me a go at it. He made loads of noise while setting up about playing festivals and how this festival didn't have some technical piece of kit so it was too amateur etc. Etc. But the guy just really couldn't play. Add to this he had never heard of any popular music from any era. It was hard work. After a second session he was let go. 

Anyway, the bad band mate turned out to be the band leader. We had two awesome female singers. I thought I was joining a funk band. What songs worked was 80's power ballads like Heart's "Alone". It felt to me like a direction worth pursuing. The band leader likes stereophonics and while it's early days I'm ok playing easy songs we all know just to bash through. But we ended up adding more and more of these stereophonics songs. For a funk band. With female singers. Who sound awesome doing power ballads. He hands out a CD for people to pick songs off. Early 90's rock and indie. Doesn't fit the vision of the band I was sold (jamiroquai etc) or the style of the muso's in the project. He gets abusive when I suggest songs like "I think we're alone now" which would have worked. Proper abusive, like would deserve a punch in the mouth if he was stood in front of you. Weird.

Also his tactics for getting rid of people were a bit shoddy. The keyboardist was terrible, we should have just hit him with a shovel and buried him out the back, but instead it was "pack up all your gear, and when he's gone get it all out again". Childish, cowardly, and ridiculous. A waste of time and just stupid. I packed up and just said "nah, it's late. I'm off".

The band ended over email. Arguments over song choices and direction. The arguments got silly and I am not to be taken at face value often saying things tongue in cheek, but again got more abuse. Me, the rhythm guitarist and drummer had one jam together, with me filling in on vocals until we could find someone. They wanted me to sing Aerosmith and were annoyed I couldn't do it. I made it clear I'm not a very good singer, perhaps Aerosmith is a bit ambitious? Never saw them again. 

No idea if the band went anywhere. It's a shame as the girls were awesome singers and worked so well together. I'd have loved to have had a proper band with them in it.

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I joined this v odd band because a mate was singing in it - we dressed up as vikings and played '80s anthemic pink torpedo rock to bemused people out for a quiet pint. It was fantastic fun as the singer had an amazing rock voice and the guitarist was a brilliant player of that riff-heavy, blistering solo style. 
Guitarist was a bit odd, though. I worked hard to arrange my work and young family life to make it on time to rehearsals. He had v little else going on (self-employed, no family or really any other commitments) but would breeze in 45 minutes late to a three hour rehearsal - every time. Drove me nuts. 
He was stone cold broke - so bad he couldn't contribute to rehearsal costs sometimes and actually just took a whole gig fee once without consulting us because he was so strapped. But he always drove a new Merc on lease 'because it gives the right impression'. We never worked out who he was trying to impress.
He had other quirks, like being a bit of a conspiracy nut and carrying his thoughts/convictions to pretty extreme ends, but he could be lovely too. 
It all came to a head one night in a pub with a full-wall plate glass window looking out on to a side street. His gear gave him grief and he wasn't loud enough on a big solo so he got in a huff and unplugged his guitar. He walked out the door, took his guitar by the neck and started battering it on the ground, Pete Townsend-style. Trouble was he wasn't very strong (or the guitar was very well built), and not much happened. It stayed intact.
So the rest of us keep playing on, just cycling through the chords as we and the bemused punters watch through the window as this guy in a viking outfit and Christina Aguilera wig ineffectually leathers his guitar at the road outside. We, and the crowd, were pissing ourselves. 
Best bit was when a homeless guy came up and tried to take it off him, thinking it a terrible waste. 
He came back in sheepishly, picked up his spare guitar and finished the gig. 
The band dissolved in acrimony not long after because of a bitter dispute about the ethics of giving to charity. Odd all round. 

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2 hours ago, magee said:


He was stone cold broke - so bad he couldn't contribute to rehearsal costs sometimes and actually just took a whole gig fee once without consulting us because he was so strapped. But he always drove a new Merc on lease 'because it gives the right impression'. 

I'm sorry, what? WTF? I mean, WT actual F?

 

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20 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

I'm sorry, what? WTF? I mean, WT actual F?

 

It sounds worse than it is - it was very much an occasional fun band, we never expected to get paid. He emailed us a while after one of the gigs to say that it turns out we were getting paid, it was £150 and he'd just taken it cause he was so broke. There were four of us and he gave one guy his share of the money cause he was a student but not two of us because we had jobs. There's a sort of logic to that, and we had expected to do the gig for free anyway. 

By this stage it wasn't even that high up on a long list of things we were fighting about and the band was obviously falling apart, so it didn't really even get discussed. 

 

 

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OK, but I bet he didn't offer you a new Merc!

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