inebriated musicianship

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SmellsLikeIan
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:24 pm
Location: TX

Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:45 am

Thursday night we were rehearsing with a fill-in bass player (our lucky asshole bass player is on vacation in Europe somewhere until Monday). This guy is a well known older local player with a great reputation as a bad ass bassist. He has so far proven himself, as he's learned 30 songs in about a week. We've rehearsed twice, and we all feel confident that he will do great tonight.

But during rehearsal Thursday, I drank about a half to 2/3rds of a pint of Kentucky Deluxe. And smoked a couple of bowls. Substitute bass player stayed stone cold sober.

The next day he comes over to my house to hang out for a while and tells me I'm the first drummer who actually sounded better after a few drinks. This guy has been playing with all kinds of people for 30+ years. He actually told me I sounded as good or better at the end of the night after a half pint or more of whiskey. I can't actually remember how much I drank during rehearsal, as I then went to the bar down the street (yes, I had a ride) to watch my brother play and drank the rest of the bottle with his band.
yee freakin' haw
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Atmerrill
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Location: Murrieta, Ca (Southern California)

Post Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:31 am

Qbs wrote:I'm always sober during a gig and I insist on the rest of my band to be sober as well - I believe that people don't pay us to see how we screw up after a few beers ;]


Thank-you. I agree 200%. There's nothing worse than getting on stage with someone who goes from drink to drunk. I tell folks we're not there for a party - with me, it's biz. You show up on time (and you better be early!), you practice your parts at home , and you be ready to play straight and give the folks a good show. That to me is musicianship.

Sounds kind of hardass I'm sure (and I do sympathize with folks who battle stage fright, I really do), but there's too much competition for good paying, repeat gigs to have an evening screwed by someone on stage who can't play on account of being in the cups or stoned. Some screw-ups are not reversable. I'd just rather not deal with it. Party on your time, not mine.
Last edited by Atmerrill on Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alden Merrill

Slingerland and Ford Drums, Zildjian Cymbals,
Aquarian Heads, Vater and Vic Firth Sticks
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SmellsLikeIan
groove master
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Posts: 1313
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:24 pm
Location: TX

Post Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:39 pm

I don't get drunk at gigs, but I do drink a few. As I've stated in a similar thread (or maybe this same one, it is 10 pages long now) the band I play in and the places we play call for us to "lead the party" so to speak. I don't kid myself-a big part of my job is to help bars sell alcohol. It would seem hypocritical to me to be saying "drink up everybody" and not have some myself. Of course, not everyone is in the same situation as I am, especially you Atmerrill, being a jazz player. There are a lot more people that go to actually watch/hear your show instead of just getting hammered and finding a cute girl to go home with. I envy you in that respect. Its not the same for me at the moment.

And I absolutely agree with you on your view of practice. I've always felt that individual band members should do as much as they can to learn their parts at home first instead of everyone wasting each others time while a member or two struggles to catch up to the rest at a rehearsal. Wasting each others time like that is a real quick way to kill a band before it plays its first gig.
yee freakin' haw