Frustration Rant Blues…WTF!
One of the peeves I have with the Blues band is that the leader, the person who the band is named after, never has a list of songs we are going to do. Beside not practicing, which I have said before, but having a song list is a simple thing and takes only a small effort. It looks very amateur to be on stage and say “ok, what song are we going to do next” especially to me, I am his Bass player as I have heard him say on several occasions.
So we have another showcase at Overheat and before that I say after being ASKED if I can make it. Ok, I can, but “Be sure to know what song we ae going to do before we get on stage”. His reply to me is “and be sure to check your tuning before you get on stage” !! WTF! The reason being that he has had to wait sometimes for me to check my tuning before starting. He is always rushing to start, at times even before I am fully setup. The TIME to check one’s tuning is before starting, that is part of one’s setup time. You do not wait until after you have started to check tuning. You do not rush to start, then find out you are not in tune. Ok, I just say “right”, because it is not worth it to get into a fuss. This guy is a Doctor, not a pro, or semi pro. Never played with a close to pro group. He is just there for fun.
Speaking of which I notice that it is pretty common here, for folks just to be playing for fun. No thought of being discovered, getting a contract, getting a gig, it is just fun. Different from the states, it is fun but also fun with a purpose a goal, a dream, a hope. Many of the players here, at least at the places the Doc plays at are just about fun. As I said before sort of like a live music Karaoke. My dreams of being ” discovered ” are long over but I would like to sound good, get a regular gig, make a CD, play some original songs, grow musically, something!
I was speaking with a friend, a singer the other day, she has her own band. I mentioned that yeah, I heard a recording of our band from the Chicago Rock owner. I was surprised we actually sounded pretty good on a couple of songs, for a band that does not rehearse. She laughed and said, yeah, a lot of people here are just out to have fun playing, not really serious about what the are doing. I said hmm, drives me nuts! rehearsal is not always fun but it is like practice of any art, to get better one needs to practice! It is a different world here.
So we are there waiting for our turn, I am watching as everyone that comes up checks their tuning once they are on stage, setup and just before playing. I said nothing, but I am thinking see dumb azz, people tune up on stage just before playing. One can turn before going on stage, but tuning pegs get bumped, strings change tension with heat and cold, crap happens.
So we are on stage and first song up he says I want you to sing. Ehhh! I say, do not want to start first. He says why not? I take a breath and say ok, rather than get into it on stage. Not a professional way to do things. We sat there watching the other bands for 2 Hours, and he could not say something about wanting me to start! WTF! Grrrrrrrrr!
Next he does a song, then turns again to me and says ok your turn, they like to hear a native speaker. I am thinking WTF! It is not a good night, I am getting in bad mood from this. Besides being asked to come to this showcase and then having to pay out of my pocket to get in, which I would have not come if I knew I had to pay, now I am getting forced to carry the singing! I am not pleased! Before going on, Mr Leader should have said, I would like you to start off. Simple, thoughtful, professional
Ok, I am thinking, this is BS, I need to change this up. So I say, ok, lets have a few of the other musicians who were there also come up and join us. A drummer and another guitar player, a good jazz guitar player come up. It was a little rough at the start finding the groove, but it turned then into fun after we got our Mojo working together. It made the night worthwhile for me.
So with the last two songs, which I had to pick and sing, it turned my mood around. Things started bad, but ended well. However, yeah it is time for me to seriously think about another band. It was sort of worthwhile when this band was getting a regular gig at Chicago Rock, but that has fizzled out, because we have no draw. Now that, that is over…time to reconsider things. Maybe I will just quietly start being too busy with other things to make his showcases. Yeah, I am pretty frustrated. Perhaps I need to kick up my Chan training practice a noch! It really feels like a dead end with this “band”, however at least I am meeting people, making connections.