Band Kings?

Dumpy

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I was talking to a friend of mine, and he kept talking about his “band king”. I finally asked what he meant by “band king”.

He explained that the guy is the supreme leader. Nobody questions him, even when he does wrong. It sounds like my friend is in a deplorable situation. He is toiling away under the fifth format change in four years. Every time they start getting traction, his band “king” changes it up. They start at the bottom of the barrel once again! This friend of mine is too talented of a keys/horn player to put up with this.

I was in one band where I started addressing my band leader “Mr. Tator” when he was becoming too dictatorial, but he’d get the hint. Of course he turned the band upside down by firing the singer and guitar player and I quietly exited the band without incident or drama. I understand the need for a singular voice, but not a dictatorship.

It just seems unthinkable that a band leader can be like that. Just weird.
 

Tornado

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A talented keys/horn player probably shouldn't be in "a" band, he should be in multiple bands or just a straight up hired gun. No reason for a guy like that to invest a lot of time for no payoff.
 

Dumpy

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A talented keys/horn player probably shouldn't be in "a" band, he should be in multiple bands or just a straight up hired gun. No reason for a guy like that to invest a lot of time for no payoff.
I have told him that.

We were in a band together and the alleged “king” was our bass player. He would drive the band so fast it wasn’t funny! He would then blame me!

I ended up going another way when that guy was putting together his own deal. So happy I didn’t join his little outfit!
 
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Squirrel Man

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Should be "band queen" maybe.

I've really been in one official band outside of garage bands, played with them for a couple years, had a blast. It was an easy decision to go with them even though their style wasn't exactly mine but I still liked it, it was mostly because they were great to work with, no crazy personalities and egos and all that.
Looking around for bandmates now but with the scene as DOA as it is I'm not optimistic but same approach - if I even sniff a bit of wackyness nope.
 

RIDDIM

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I try not to work with anyone intentionally difficult. There are too many proficient folks with good or great people skills and it's not like we're all overbooked.
 

Dumpy

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I try not to work with anyone intentionally difficult. There are too many proficient folks with good or great people skills and it's not like we're all overbooked.
You’re right. After all, if they are the ones booking, you need a salesman.
 

drummingbulldog

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Buddy is kind of a terrible example. No one can imagine what it was like for him to lead a band. In my opinion, the greatest drummer ever. He was also paying guys good money to play in HIS band.

Most of the band king douchenozzle types are guys who have a p.a./rehearsal space/etc and use that to control the others. Singers are the worst band kings because they hold everyone hostage. There are just people not cut out to be leaders that meddle with things. Not just in bands but at every kind of endeavor.

Buddy was always 110% & I feel for the guy. I think he was a damn good band leader. It's because of guys like him that people still can go see big band music.

A band king would be more like Sting. Go watch Bring on the Night or the Ten Summoners Tales sessions. He has top notch guys & uses his stature/control in a bad way. He did it with the Police too. Lute playing tool.
 

Dumpy

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Buddy is kind of a terrible example. No one can imagine what it was like for him to lead a band. In my opinion, the greatest drummer ever. He was also paying guys good money to play in HIS band.

Most of the band king douchenozzle types are guys who have a p.a./rehearsal space/etc and use that to control the others. Singers are the worst band kings because they hold everyone hostage. There are just people not cut out to be leaders that meddle with things. Not just in bands but at every kind of endeavor.

Buddy was always 110% & I feel for the guy. I think he was a damn good band leader. It's because of guys like him that people still can go see big band music.

A band king would be more like Sting. Go watch Bring on the Night or the Ten Summoners Tales sessions. He has top notch guys & uses his stature/control in a bad way. He did it with the Police too. Lute playing tool.
Here is the rub: Buddy was all in AND one heck of a player. I would bet if he had a bad night, he would lambast himself. Buddy Rich had product quality control he was trying to maintain. Everyone is 100% accountable.

The last band leader I had teetered on being a band king. When he started changing things up for the sake of changing, I became super uncomfortable. He fired the singer and guitar player for no good reason except they started voicing their opinion on what he was doing. He told them to start their own band if they didn’t like it. So, I was burning out anyway and saw myself out. He had the PA, rehearsal space and a 15’ trailer. He looked like a professional outfit but was far from a pro. It wasn’t that bad in the beginning but got super weird. I like him when he’s just a dude, not a band leader. I kinda soured on music for a spell after that.
 

DanRH

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The only reason I see why a band would put up with a band king or queen is because it’s worth it to them. Personally, I think pure democracy in a band doesn’t work. I like someone to take charge. It’s when it gets personal is when I head for the hills.
 

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Here is the rub: Buddy was all in AND one heck of a player. I would bet if he had a bad night, he would lambast himself. Buddy Rich had product quality control he was trying to maintain. Everyone is 100% accountable.

The last band leader I had teetered on being a band king. When he started changing things up for the sake of changing, I became super uncomfortable. He fired the singer and guitar player for no good reason except they started voicing their opinion on what he was doing. He told them to start their own band if they didn’t like it. So, I was burning out anyway and saw myself out. He had the PA, rehearsal space and a 15’ trailer. He looked like a professional outfit but was far from a pro. It wasn’t that bad in the beginning but got super weird. I like him when he’s just a dude, not a band leader. I kinda soured on music for a spell after that.
Buddy is kind of a terrible example. No one can imagine what it was like for him to lead a band. In my opinion, the greatest drummer ever. He was also paying guys good money to play in HIS band.

Most of the band king douchenozzle types are guys who have a p.a./rehearsal space/etc and use that to control the others. Singers are the worst band kings because they hold everyone hostage. There are just people not cut out to be leaders that meddle with things. Not just in bands but at every kind of endeavor.

Buddy was always 110% & I feel for the guy. I think he was a damn good band leader. It's because of guys like him that people still can go see big band music.

A band king would be more like Sting. Go watch Bring on the Night or the Ten Summoners Tales sessions. He has top notch guys & uses his stature/control in a bad way. He did it with the Police too. Lute playing tool.
Common thread here. Whoever owns the PA and other critical gear that makes the gigs possible, it often gives them leverage over the others. I think everyone knows this on some level, and it can be abused.

And that's fine, if that guy wants to use that to make it "his" band, that's great. It's his band. But the others should take the stance of letting it be his band. Let him run with all the changes he wants to do, he can do that on his own time. The others just need to know when to show up for the gigs, be prepared, and be paid. There's no reason to be invested beyond that.
 

Dumpy

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The only reason I see why a band would put up with a band king or queen is because it’s worth it to them. Personally, I think pure democracy in a band doesn’t work. I like someone to take charge. It’s when it gets personal is when I head for the hills.
There has to be a singular voice for certain. I was in a band by democracy and it was TERRIBLE. But having the band fall in lock step with the leader and not having the band be hired guns working for said band leader doesn’t work. In the situations I had chronicled, the band leaders made unilateral decisions that truly upset the whole dynamic. My situation was a cakewalk compared to what my buddy is going through. It got weird and not fun, we weren’t booking gigs for a bit, so it was a good time to exit before I got to hating the situation and the band leader. We’re on speaking terms.
 

DanRH

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Yeah, in one band I’m in, the hard decision’s just don’t get done. Like replacing a member that needs to be gone. And the leader agrees with me and keeps telling me it’s happening... a year and a half later the said member is still with us.

in my other band, I guess I’m the king. We had a bass player that needed to be gone, the rest of the band and I talked about it and boom, it’s done.And of course I’m the bad guy for doing the dirty work.
 

Dumpy

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Yeah, in one band I’m in, the hard decision’s just don’t get done. Like replacing a member that needs to be gone. And the leader agrees with me and keeps telling me it’s happening... a year and a half later the said member is still with us.

in my other band, I guess I’m the king. We had a bass player that needed to be gone, the rest of the band and I talked about it and boom, it’s done.And of course I’m the bad guy for doing the dirty work.
Dan- there is NOTHING wrong with making decisive action. Someone has to do it. Said member is slowing down the progress, everyone is complaining, and you say “enough”. See- that would earn my respect.

I was in one situation where someone was trying to wrest control of the band from the leader and because the mutiny leader was best friends with the lead guitar who the hapless leader was friends with, it got super weird. I asked him “whose band is it?” I left and there were hard feelings for awhile; however after a few years, the leader and I are friends again.
 
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RIDDIM

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You’re right. After all, if they are the ones booking, you need a salesman.
I have no problem with he/she who books or writes the checks making the rules. What I'm saying is that I chose not to work with folks who are gratuitously difficult. If I don't care to work with someone, I don't.
 

Dumpy

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I have no problem with he/she who books or writes the checks making the rules. What I'm saying is that I chose not to work with folks who are gratuitously difficult. If I don't care to work with someone, I don't.
If they are difficult, they would be difficult for EVERYONE to work with is what I am saying, including clubs they are selling themselves to.
 


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