Band or banned?
It's interesting the phonetic similarity between the word 'band' & 'banned.'
In my unfortunate experience - the two have always amounted to the same thing, because the biggest obstacle to gathering & keeping a band together - is narcissism!
I've always had the opposing viewpoint to the majority of people I've "had the privilege" of sharing band space with over the years.
If I came across someone who was extraordinarily talented - I would see that as an asset ....a 'star' to brighten our 'constellation' all the more. The more talented people you have in a band, the stronger & more creative the band becomes, & the greater the music that they will produce - theoretically.
It's also very inspiring to be in the company of uniguely attractive & talented people because they raise the standards of performance, creativity & presentation - all of which is demonstrably beneficial to a bands' public appeal.
Because it doesn't take long to realise that the "music industry" is full of masonic, hetero-phobic, gate-keeping dickheads, it seemed to me that the best way to forge a career in music would be to take it directly to the public, as a member of a band, playing live, original music.
In practice however, this proved troublesome & evasive at best. Naively assuming my view about talented people to be 'the norm' (among career musicians) proved to be my downfall on so many occasions. While I preferred to work alongside the most talented & attractive people that could possibly be found, other band members simply saw them as 'threatening' - as rivals who's talents were to be 'hidden' - for fear of being 'upstaged.' (???)
If the band had a heart-throb loved by women, instead of seeing that as a feather in the cap of the band, (& hence something that could get us more gigs) other members would get upset because it wasn't them the women were drooling over.
Just can't understand that shit! I mean, really??? - It's people letting their own egos get in the way of a potential career - presuming a career in music is what they wanted ...or thought they wanted.
The 'mediocrities' would do everything against the 'brilliant ones' - from singing/playing over them, turning their mics down or off, unplugging their instruments, insisting on unsuitable keys for their singing voice, etc ....& that was when they weren't making them the butt of their jokes, making accusations against them, refusing to ever believe a word they say (no matter how honest they were) & ganging up on them at every opportunity.
In the end, you just get to the point where - once you see envy raising it's stupid, narcissistic head, you just give the owner a wide birth - because envy is only ever present in morons, liars & idiots!
When you become part of a band, there shouldn't be any more 'I' or 'ME' - because it should be all about 'the music' - which means only thinking in terms of the band as 'a collective.'
When you join a band, you're supposed to become part of the machinery that produces music - but the sad reality is that so many people just don't (or won't) get that, because they're too egotistical to ever "suffer the indignity" of being just a part of anything.
In the end, I got tired of the perpetual cycle of auditioning, recruiting & rehearsing, only to have members fighting about stupid & irrelevant things like 'choice of covers' (when we were supposed to be eventually doing a fully original set anyway) & who's not carrying gear up the stairs fast enough, & who's not allowed to dance onstage (as though it's better to be stiff as a board !!! - Yeah that'll really get you more bookings - ha!!)
In reality, such things are nothing more than a means by which dull & unremarkable people seek to punish brilliant people for being too sexy & talented for their liking.
Thankfully - around the time that the penny was beginning to drop - that I wasn't going to find any like minded people in the North of Ireland, Korg ....
.... began to introduce 'professional arranger keyboards' (Korg I3 & I30) onto the market - eventually followed by other manufacturers.
These were 'digital bands' of the best musicians possible, with instant rapport with your playing, that would never argue, were always on time, never got envious, felt upstaged, busted strings or messed up a song & would always be there when you need them (live or in rehearsal) - pretty much a no-brainer, really!
Rehearsals, remember them - something that real musicians do!
I was like: "Shove your "band members" up your ar-is - this 'digital band' fits into my Yaris!" (Ha! Ha!)
These professional arrangers allow realtime performance (not karaoke, or MIDI-file sequences) - LIVE music, with all the spontaneity, interactivity, unpredictability & sheer power you can only get from a real musician - playing live!
Just wish they'd come along a lot sooner!
I still love the organic nature of bands, but nothing could entice me to ever put up with such crap again - it really isn't worth it, when all you want to do is to write & play music.
At a recent gig I wanted to try out my newest song & it didn't even need to be rehearsed - because the "band" already knew it - priceless!!
These days I have an even simpler set-up - a 73-key portable digital piano, but it's good to know that when you need to keep a huge crowd bopping all night long, you can do that as well.
Cheers & God bless!