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  • What's the official definition of a "Dad Band"?

    There are a couple of active threads floating around at the moment in which the term "Dad Band" is being tossed about as though understood to mean "somebody other than us!!!".  That said - I'm curious what the consensus is regarding what constitutes a "dad band"?

    Clearly, just being a dad isn't the deciding factor .... there are lots of dads out there in bands that they don't consider to be a "dad band".

    Neither is age apparently the sole determinant ... again lots of older guys are playing with bands that they don't seem to consider being a "dad band".

    Is it music selection?   ...plenty of older, classic rock material on the playlists we've seen posted by folks who don't appear to consider themselves a "dad band".  

    Is it the type of venues they play?   ...plenty of links out there showing venues where the bands are set up on the floor in tiny little joints - shared by guys who don't appear to consider themselves a "dad band". 

    Is the number of gigs per month?  ... lots of forumites who are older and likely fathers gigging the 1x-2x per month schedule - and mentioning "dad bands" without it seeming to apply to their band. 

    So ... what is it exactly that makes a "dad band" a "dad band"? 

     

    The SpaceNorman

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  • #2

    We had quite a thread on this last year.  Someone may want to paste the link.

    Comment


    • jimiv
      jimiv commented
      Editing a comment

      Found the thread here:  http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Backstage-With-the-Band/Dad-Bands-your-definition/m-p/31373446#M267906

       

      I think it is a term used to instantly evoke an image of older cargo shorted geezers with music stands playing classic rock at a bar somewhere,....generally.  I don't think it is used to convey the muscianship as much as the style of music (usually classic rock) and the image of the band itself.


    • WynnD
      WynnD commented
      Editing a comment
      Dad band doesn't seem to be us. We're pretty much all old enough to be Grandpa's. (Several are already. My Son and his Wife of 10 years don't seem to be in any hurry for children.) But the term Dad Band would be a group of older musicians who went without playing for a very long time and then decided to get back into it pretty late in life. I did go through a couple of short time without playing. (1975-1980 and 1985-1987)

  • #3
    It's those other guys
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

    Comment


    • tlbonehead
      tlbonehead commented
      Editing a comment

      Lee Knight wrote:
      It's those other guys

      oh, so it isn't THEM?

       


  • #4

    SpaceNorman wrote:

    There are a couple of active threads floating around at the moment in which the term "Dad Band" is being tossed about as though understood to mean "somebody other than us!!!".  That said - I'm curious what the consensus is regarding what constitutes a "dad band"?

    Clearly, just being a dad isn't the deciding factor .... there are lots of dads out there in bands that they don't consider to be a "dad band".

    Neither is age apparently the sole determinant ... again lots of older guys are playing with bands that they don't seem to consider being a "dad band".

    Is it music selection?   ...plenty of older, classic rock material on the playlists we've seen posted by folks who don't appear to consider themselves a "dad band".  

    Is it the type of venues they play?   ...plenty of links out there showing venues where the bands are set up on the floor in tiny little joints - shared by guys who don't appear to consider themselves a "dad band". 

    Is the number of gigs per month?  ... lots of forumites who are older and likely fathers gigging the 1x-2x per month schedule - and mentioning "dad bands" without it seeming to apply to their band. 

    So ... what is it exactly that makes a "dad band" a "dad band"? 

     


    For me.. "dad band" means a band full of people who have way higher priorities than being in a band. I know people who are dads and grandads who are still full time, pro musicians, in pro bands.

    When I say "dad band".. I generaly mean:

    1) "Who cares what the crowd thinks? They just don't get good music/understand what we do." 

    2)  "New songs?! It's not like there's been any good music in the past 20 years." and "No.. we don't play stuff like that.. why do you even like that garbage?"

    3) "No band ever makes more than $400 bucks for a 6 piece... and at least my pay for the night covers most of my tab"

    4) "Why take the time to make any kind of business strategy? It's just a band.. we can do whatever we want!"

    5) "Yeah.. we can cancel tonight's gig so you can go to your daughter's boyfriend's aunt's third cousin's cookout! See you at practice!"

    6) "Look at all those cheesy bands in ties and suits.. or that gimmick band that plays 80s song and dresses like a John Holmes movie. After all.. this December weather is perfect for my cargo shorts, Bermuda shirt, and flip flops... unless I play in a band that plays island music.. then I need to wear a Skynyrd t-shirt and blue jeans."

    7) "Who needs all that jumping around, talking to the crowd, getting people to sing along/clap/chant, or smiling while playing? If they can't appreciate me just standing here and playing my instrument, screw em!"

    8) "Lights? Yeah.. we've got three old par cans from the 80s we can put up on this tree and not aim"

    9) "If you don't like what we do... we don't need to play for you anyway."

    10) "Pfft, what do they know? Just because that works doesn't mean we should do it! Let's just do what worked 20 years ago instead.."

    ... granted not every band I'd consider a "dad band" does all those things. But that's what I'm trying to say in not as many words when I say "dad band".

    Comment


    • SeniorBlues
      SeniorBlues commented
      Editing a comment

      I stopped playing for a long time in part because I couldn't imagine that guys would want to play this stuff much beyond thirty-five.  In 1972, older guys weren't doing it . . . at any level.  In a sense, I was guilty of ageism . . . same as many of you.  

      I also assumed there there would always be full-time professional cover bands with an average age of twenty-five. . . .  just like us.

      Wouldn't it be more accurate to refer to "pros" and hobbyists" and leave out the age thing?


  • #5
    Pardon the Siri to iPhone mess ups to follow I'm sure.

    Like Senior above this post, I got out of playing at the age of 30 which was 23 years ago. Holy crap! After playing a minimum of five nights a week 4 sets a night for 13 years straight, without exaggeration except during periods of being a recording artist and doing one set a night, I called it quits with live performance.

    My choice made absolutely no sense to my contemporaries. I wasn't making a stand that older guys couldn't rock or any some such nonsense. I just happened to see the eventual deterioration of a club scene that could support a livelihood like I'd had the past decade plus.

    This is why it always cracks me up when I read that the end is near. The end was decades ago guys. But I still have friends from that era that play every night of the week. None of these guys are in what you're calling dad bands. They command an audience and do well based on their musicianship and the promise of a great night of music. They earn their living playing music professionally. Full time.

    But that is a hard fight and one I chose not to fight any longer at what is now seemingly young age of 30. I have, however, played stints on and off throughout the years between. And while it could be a total joy musically, it always ends up feeling less than satisfying.

    When I play a reunion gig or two for a power pop festival, that is the real joy. A purely musical event.

    Ironically though dad bands seem to have this one figured out. They're doing it for the music and for the fun of it. Unfortunately what I consider to be a dad band and what I do believe this is referred to when that term is thrown around, those dads were never really all that sharp when they were 25 years old musically.
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

    Comment


    • tim_7string
      tim_7string commented
      Editing a comment

      Yeah, when I think of "Dad Band" I think of the following:

      • Guys in their forties/fifties looking a bit unkempt (wrinkled clothes, beatup sneakers).
      • Guys wearing shades indoors, thinking just by wearing the shades, it makes them look cool when in fact, it's the exact opposite effect.
      • Guys with very 'square' hairstyles, but still trying to 'headbang' as if they had long, flowing hair when they play.
      • Guys that face each other on the stage when they play, not the audience.
      • Guys that barely move, basically statues the entire time.
      • Guys that stare at their fretboard for the entire night.
      • Guys that play out-of-tune and don't realize it, or worse, don't care.
      • Guys that play songs they like that only a select few in the audience might like too.
      • Guys that have no unified onstage look, just a bunch of casual outfits.

      The funny part is equipment can be all over the map. Some guys might be playing a $5000 Paul Reed Smith through a $2000 Matchless amp while others might be playing a Squier Bullet guitar through a used Line 6 Spider amp. It depends on the income and what they feel like spending, I guess.

      Basically, it's just a whole "uncool" factor. You know it when you see it.


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      Lee Knight wrote:
      Unfortunately what I consider to be a dad band and what I do believe this is referred to when that term is thrown around, those dads were never really all that sharp when they were 25 years old musically.


      This is what I think of as "dad band" as well.   Back around the mid 90s I noticed music stores started marketing specifically to what they called "weekend warriors".  I had never heard the term before then.  These were primarily guys around the age of 40 who now had the time and the money to play some music for fun and a little extra cash.  Most had never done it professionally on any level.   These were largely the guys that I played with for a bit in HS and college who, while I decided to embark on a career playing music, these guys fell out to finish school, raise families, etc. 

      So most never brought that same sense of professionalism and attitude to the idea of being in band in their 40s because they never really felt that same "bug" back in their 20s.   The dad band guys today are largely the same dudes--they are all just now closer to 60.   Although there's also a younger generation taking their place.


  • #6
    I've been getting to put my finger on what constitutes a dad band and haven't been able to. I think it comes at the point that a band stops taking its presentation seriously, once you reach a certain age. You can be fifty, and if you're clearly committed to being a musician, you'll come across accordingly. If you look like you are just there to have a good time with the boys, you're a dad band. And there isn't a thing wrong with that. I think it only becomes a pejorative when you're a dad band trying to compete for other demographics.
    Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

    http://www.silentlapse.com

    Comment


    • #7
      I used the term in the mutiband open mic thread . I meant DADS. Band to refer to older guys with good full time careers & famliys that Love to perform weekends with or without $75.

      Comment


      • toober
        toober commented
        Editing a comment
        To me a dad band is a non-solo band old enough to be dads. They don't push the music envelope although they may play originals. They play very few newer songs/styles. They don't have "a look" other than casual. They would look and play the same in public as they would their back yard. Equipment doesn't matter, could be great, could be mediocre. They have a laid back attitude and want to be everybody's friend instead of putting some soul feeling into a song or what is said on the mic.

    • #8

      My, it's just so refreshing when musicians support each other, respect each other and not judge each other based on their appearance, their age or their day-jobs. 

       

      Stupid me - I thought it was about music!  What the hell was I thinking?

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Originally Posted by MattACaster : *Runs 2 blocks down the street to Guitar Center, grabs detuned Schecter off the wall, plugs into Line6 Spider and proceeds to bring teh brootalz*

      Comment


      • SeniorBlues
        SeniorBlues commented
        Editing a comment

        flemtone wrote:

        My, it's just so refreshing when musicians support each other, respect each other and not judge each other based on their appearance, their age or their day-jobs. 

         

        Stupid me - I thought it was about music!  What the hell was I thinking?


        Really.

         

        There's an awful lot of lazy prejudice going on here.  Do you all think this way about race, gender, ethnicity . . . .?


    • #9
      Dad band- looks like my dad, dresse like my dad, carries itself like my dad, and plays what my dad thinks is cool.

      Fortunately, my dad is a person, who is likely to enjoy it. I honestly don't consider it to be a negative. It seems that way here, because we're all trying to work and make money and they are typically lower-priced competition. This is really just a repackaging of the whole hats and cargo shorts thing.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

      Comment


      • #10

        my guess is that you can probably tell they are dad bands by their socks. Dad bands will be wearing dress socks.

        tlbonehead@yahoo.com
        www.myspace.com/tbone_tommy
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        • #11
          Nothing says "rock" like a pair of white gym socks. Or no socks and loafers.
          _________________________________________________
          Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

          Comment


          • tlbonehead
            tlbonehead commented
            Editing a comment

            guido61 wrote:
            Nothing says "rock" like a pair of white gym socks. Or no socks and loafers.

            dress socks = rawk? or loafers, for that matter. I assume purple socks and sandals = metal?


        • #12
          Boots. Preferabally high enough that no one sees your socks. But even low boots rock much more than anything. Everyone know this, right?
          _________________________________________________
          Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

          Comment


          • tlbonehead
            tlbonehead commented
            Editing a comment

            guido61 wrote:
            Boots. Preferabally high enough that no one sees your socks. But even low boots rock much more than anything. Everyone know this, right?

            I guess YOU do, which is all that matters.


          • dan88z
            dan88z commented
            Editing a comment

            guido61 wrote:
            Boots. Preferabally high enough that no one sees your socks. But even low boots rock much more than anything. Everyone know this, right?

            boots work for me most of the time. when it's 90 degrees and we're outside on a waterfront deck? I'm full on Dad Band then, shorts, sandals or deck shoes, maybe even a Hawaiian shirt but probably a tank top to show off my hyooge gunz to all the babez.


        • #13
          Tlbonehead: nice we finally agree on something.
          _________________________________________________
          Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

          Comment


          • #14
            Dead on Tim. There is a band from home called the Mello-Tones, and they've been old-fashioned for my whole life, and most of my parents' lives. But they're as popular as ever in their eighties, because they're just flat out good, and they fill a surprisingly versatile niche.
            Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

            http://www.silentlapse.com

            Comment


            • Kramerguy
              Kramerguy commented
              Editing a comment

              I've referred to my band as a dad band before.  Not that I like the term.. but the shoe does kinda fit..

               

              We're all parents to some degree

              We're all 40'ish

              We're not dressed like a band, more like everyone else in the bar

              We play mostly dated music, although mostly classic grunge, not classic rock (almost nothing prior to 1992)

              We play only the local bar scene and a handful of private parties

              We all have day jobs

              We all have to keep a shared calendar mostly to keep up on each other's family commitments and not accidentally schedule a gig on a neices cousins fathers brother-in-laws surprise birthday party.

               

              It seems to me that much older classic rockers would be more of a 'geezer band' than a dad-band as described on the first page.  Just opinion in any case.


            • TIMKEYS
              TIMKEYS commented
              Editing a comment

              SLScott86 wrote:
              Dead on Tim. There is a band from home called the Mello-Tones, and they've been old-fashioned for my whole life, and most of my parents' lives. But they're as popular as ever in their eighties, because they're just flat out good, and they fill a surprisingly versatile niche.

              Rock till you drop.    Most of the musicans down here are in their latter 50s to mid 60s.   I even know one that wears crocks.   You have to remember that mick jagger is like 70 years old.   Senior rockers are a reality.  

               

               


          • #15

            A band made up of dads is not necessarily a Dad Band.  Obviously, the term is a bit denigrating, which is why everybody makes the point that their band is not a Dad Band.

            In the world of playing music, there are people who get it (people who take music and performance seriously to a certain level), and people who don't, and the two groups can rarely exist together in the same band.  Most people who care enough to have found this forum, and almost certainly everybody who has become established as a regular here, gets it.  Dad Bands are (a) bands of people who don't get it (b) made up of players past the first flush of youth, often people who (as mentioned above) played in their youth, but then got away from music for some period of time, and then later take up playing with their buddies again as a social activity. 

            There are plenty of bands of young people who also don't get it, but they are just crappy bands.  Because they don't get it and consequently never get any traction in music in their youth, when they get out of school or whatever and real life starts to make more demands, the music goes by the wayside.  They form Dad Bands when they get back into it later either out of nostalgia and/or because, having made some money, they figure they can buy the success that they couldn't achieve on merit the first time around.  (This factor keeps the Gibson and Fender Custom Shops and a whole slew of boutique amp builders in business.)  They will play for peanuts because it's important to have A Gig (to maintain the delusion that they are a real band), and then, to rationalize playing for small audiences for chicken feed, they redefine "success" downwards.

            If you make a list of things headed by "If you're serious about music, you do the following:", Dad Bands don't do many of them.  The obvious manifestations include bad stage wear, poor stage presence, music stands for bonehead rock covers, etc.  But those are just symptoms of a more pervasive attitude; they don't define Dad Band-hood.

            My band: www.dec8de.com

            Comment


            • SpaceNorman
              SpaceNorman commented
              Editing a comment

              Vermoulian wrote:

              A band made up of dads is not necessarily a Dad Band.  Obviously, the term is a bit denigrating, which is why everybody makes the point that their band is not a Dad Band.

              In the world of playing music, there are people who get it (people who take music and performance seriously to a certain level), and people who don't, and the two groups can rarely exist together in the same band.  Most people who care enough to have found this forum, and almost certainly everybody who has become established as a regular here, gets it.  Dad Bands are (a) bands of people who don't get it (b) made up of players past the first flush of youth, often people who (as mentioned above) played in their youth, but then got away from music for some period of time, and then later take up playing with their buddies again as a social activity. 

              There are plenty of bands of young people who also don't get it, but they are just crappy bands.  Because they don't get it and consequently never get any traction in music in their youth, when they get out of school or whatever and real life starts to make more demands, the music goes by the wayside.  They form Dad Bands when they get back into it later either out of nostalgia and/or because, having made some money, they figure they can buy the success that they couldn't achieve on merit the first time around.  (This factor keeps the Gibson and Fender Custom Shops and a whole slew of boutique amp builders in business.)  They will play for peanuts because it's important to have A Gig (to maintain the delusion that they are a real band), and then, to rationalize playing for small audiences for chicken feed, they redefine "success" downwards.

              If you make a list of things headed by "If you're serious about music, you do the following:", Dad Bands don't do many of them.  The obvious manifestations include bad stage wear, poor stage presence, music stands for bonehead rock covers, etc.  But those are just symptoms of a more pervasive attitude; they don't define Dad Band-hood.


              What's with all the judgemental comments regarding "Dad Band" member motives?    Here are a couple of 'em culled from your post:

              "...they figure they can buy the success that couldn't achieve on merit..."

              "...to maintain the delusion that they are a real band...." 

              As a proud and happy member of multiple "Dad Bands" past and present - I can state with certainty that you couldn't be farther from the truth.   The fact the many "Dad Band" musicians are at the point in life that they can afford to buy the gear of their dreams - and are in the position that they can elect to play or not play without much regard for the money is neither trying to buy success - or delusional. 

              I would argue that most "Dad Band" musicians are far from delusional.  Virtually all of the "Dad Band" musiciains that I know recognized early on - that for them, making a decent living in the music business was extremely unlikely - and pursued other careers and fulfilled their family commitments.   They never lost their love of music - or their desire to play.   Now, with stable day jobs and families that are well on their way to being grown - they've got time to return to their music.   Folks that make those kinds of decisions are certainly not delusional in my book.  

              I don't know anything about where you're at in terms of musical career - however, if you're NOT being chauffered to your gigs in a custom Prevost, if you're schlepping your own gear and/or performing covers at venues that include words like Grille, Tavern and Pub in the name - take a long hard look in the mirror.   Accept it or not - if you're the weekend cover band warrior type - you're either IN a "Dad Band" .... or will be in a "Dad Band" as soon as you finish growing up.













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