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Cure for Tardiness?


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As already said, depends on the venue. You can refuse to show up 4-5 hours before a gig all you want, but if the restaurant says "you gotta be set up before we start dinner service...." you have no other choice other than to turn down the gig. Which, as you say, is an individual business decision. Do as you will.

 

But I don't know too many bands who get to tell the venue what time they are showing up and when/if they are soundchecking and that's that. At least no band I ever played in held that much clout.

 

Back a million years ago when there were still big rock clubs to play, we'd always set up early and get a big, full loud soundcheck before the doors opened for customers. Then we'd go change clothes, shower, eat dinner....whatever.

 

When I was playing the $500 a night bar/restaurant gig scene, it was usually a set-up-amongst-the-patrons deal and you'd be as quiet and discreet as possible so as not to disturb their eating. And we had an opening number especially designed for soundcheck. It started with a drum beat, then the bass came in, then the guitar, then the keys, then vocals. But some higher-end places wanted us to set up earlier. Especially if their dinner crowd and later-night bar crowd were two different clienteles.

 

Sometimes it was a mix between the two. I remember one fine-dining type place we played with a bar downstairs and the restaurant upstairs. We had to bring in all the gear before 4PM lest we get in the way of the high-dollar dinner guests going through the entrance. But we could come back later and set up whenever we wanted. Quietly, of course. We just couldn't be dragging gear through the doors after 4PM.

 

Every place seems to have their own quirks and rules. Whatever. Just the nature of the biz. Either the gig is worth it to you or it isn't. No big deal.

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I have this problem. Unfortunately, it's with our lead singer. He's been on a downward spiral since getting a divorce and losing his job several years ago and just not the same person he used to be. He is consistently late to everything: gigs, practices, meetings - whatever - at least 30 minutes to over an hour usually. I've tried reasoning with him, doing the ol' "pretend the gig starts an hour earlier and start getting ready accordingly" trick and nothing helps. He says it's because he is unable to manage his time, which is probably why he got fired from his job - so that doesn't surprise me. He's truly a trainwreck. It's reached the point that the band is pretty much non-functional now. We have no gigs booked. I think it's time to call it a day, which is sad because we've been working on building this band up over ten years and made some great progress. He's just throwing it all away. He's hella talented too. A walking jukebox. What a shame.

 

Anyway, I hope you can get it figured out but I've come to realize that people just aren't going to change and to try to force that is just going to leave you frustrated and unsatisfied.

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Tell him be there an hour earlier than you tell everyone else.

 

A) he's either going to be on time, or B) he's going to be waiting for everyone else and might finally understand how rude and disrespectful it is.

 

 

^this!

 

My wife used to make us late for EVERYTHING, usually by an hour. I tell her to be ready by 4 and she would barely make it out the door by 5. So I started telling her an hour earlier, and it worked like a charm. Still does!

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Okay, so you can't fire him. You're nice people, and that's good. So:

 

He'll change when he wants to change, and he's not going to want to change just because you want him to want to change. The main thing is, DON'T WAIT FOR HIM. Start gigs and practices at the starting time and end at ending time. Don't return to the songs the drummer missed.

 

The more you help him be bad, the more he'll be bad.

 

I ushered for Canned Heat once, and Alan Wilson, who sang "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again," arrived about half an hour into the show.

 

When Wilson walked on stage, the whole band shamed him. "Oh, look! Look who decided to join us tonight! What an honor! Hey, everyone, this is Alan. He's late! Everyone say hello to Alan! Hey, how about giving Alan a big hand? Maybe he'd like to tell everyone why he's late. So glad you could join us, Alan, how much do think you're gettingt paid tonight, Alan, was she worth it, Alan?..." and so on.

 

He died several deaths. Then (and this is just as important): They stopped shaming him and let him sing something. It was forgotten as quickly as it was dealt with. So the audience got a laugh, Alan got schooled, and the show went on.

 

I have no idea whether that cured the guy, but the rest of the band sure got off on it. And here's the important thing: IT WAS A GREAT SHOW - both before and after Alan showed up.

 

I was in a band with a drummer who was late (once) to a gig. We just start playing at the appointed time. I wish you could have seen him set up while the rest of the band was going full tilt. Hilarious. If you throw yourselves into your music, folks will get into it. The poor guy was a wreck. Couldn't believe we'd started without our sacred drummer.

 

So keep in mind:

 

1. It might be hard to believe, but if you all know your parts, you'll get by without the drummer. Or singer or bassist or lead guitar or anyone. Count in the songs yourself.

 

2. People HATE being shamed in public. Alan squirmed like a cat getting medicine.

 

3. If you do it well, it you won't have to do it often.

 

Del

www.thefullertons.net

( •)—:::

 

PS - Bonus tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QexO...=RDHf0Dm-OaTNk

 

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Options:

 

1.) Tell him everything is 30-60 minutes earlier than it really is.

2.) Make him accountable and pay him a percentage less - he's working less than his band mates and (presumably) making the same $$$

3.) He's in charge of more stuff after the show and is there later as a result (if he can't be on time, he can afford to stay late and wrap extra cables/ clean the venue)

 

But yeah, musicians will do what they can get away with.

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Guitar Slim, advice is easy to give and hard to do. That said: COMMUNICATE! Even if ya hate to do it..say what you're feeling..he probably has things to say that you should hear,and consider. Don't react after ya hear them.---------------------------wait a fewdays..consider the whole smear and then work on the behaviour. Realize you might have to fire him. ALWAYS keep in mind..a good firing produces substantial attention in the other team members!

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