I joined a good 80s cover band with a talented punk drummer and a rhythm guitarist who didn’t know when not to play for the good of the song. Punk drummer plays too fast, doesn’t practice, drinks hard at every show and basically isn’t ready when the band says “Wow, let’s clean up our act and make some money having fun like this.” Drummer has the talent but no discipline and no desire to improve. Guitarist has poor tone, poor stage presence, and poor judgement. Intervention with drummer is attempted; instead of kicking problem member out, we tried to come up with an improvement plan. Plan rejected, then drummer quits when pressed for an alternate plan. Rhythm guitarist leaves out of solidarity. Drummer instantly replaced. I take over rhythm guitar duties, but the number of songs I actually need to play on can be counted on one hand. Songs sound better with non-punk drummer and no second guitarist cluttering the mix. We never even had to cancel a gig in the wake of their departure–instead, we started to see the hard work finally pay off. Private gigs start paying off handsomely, because we now operate professionally.
Drummer goes into the back-end of our websites and accounts and changes our passwords like a spiteful little troll. Drummer then starts new band that sounds quite good. Guitarist does nothing, apparently, but stews in own juices and yearns for the old days when he was a real live performer. Both hate hate hate hate hate the band that they chose to leave. Clearly, we’re to blame for their walkout.
The stunning part is that we did the math and it’s been three years since the split. They left in 2003. We’ve gone through several other drummers due to health issues, other commitments, you name it; our current guy is a total pro with dozens of years and high-profile gigs to his name. But these two knuckleheads are still pissed, as evidenced by their MySpace pages and crude Photochoppery of stage photos where they remove any evidence of their affiliation with the band. Friendships with other band members that span 15 years are shattered and attempts to repair are rebuffed.
Ask anybody who saw the band then who has also seen it since: Them leaving and success arriving is not a coincidence. What hurts them is they know it, but they don’t want to deal with it. They were holding the band back, and in their petty way, they’re still trying. It’s easier to hate us than to admit they failed.
So, I’m breaking the silence just this once, out of sheer incredulity, to speak my mind. And what I want to say is this.
Grow up, bitches.