Old Bands Are/Aren’t Family

Pete and I were talking the other day about our old bands. These are two particular stories that we shared:

Pete regarding a picture of his old band: “The day we took that photo was stressful. My sister had just broken up with David, the drummer to go out with Cody the Bassist. Cody and David didn’t speak to each other at all during the photo shoot. Paying someone to take photos of you and then having to worry about whether or not two members are going to kill each other over your sister doesn’t paint a very happy picture of the band in the shoot.

Me: “Your sister dated two members of your band?”

Pete: “Actually three, the lead singer dated her for 2 years… He didn’t know at that time that the other two were fighting over my sister, it was 6 months after he broke up with her. And when he found out, he was sitting across from me at subway, coked up, shaking and yelling, “My Bass player is dating my girlfriend!” which reignited his hatred for our Bass player. The others were shorter relationships, 3 weeks with David, and 9 months with Cody. I got used to it after a while… ”

His old band was almost family. Actually, kinda was family here and there.

My story: My previous band had three members. I found Andrew on craigslist. He was (and still is) a very gifted Drummer, Bassist and mellophone player. After we decided that we were compatible, we looked for another member. Justin answered our craigslist ad  and was immediately in the band. Justin was a punk rock/ska kid from Louisiana. He had a hard life, but was happy to be in a band. Justin was 10 years my senior at 28 and was married. After playing as a band for about two or three months, Justin had an announcement for us: “Hey guys, just so you know my wife has a problem. She does this thing. She’s slept with members in my bands before. It’s kind of a problem. So, if she ever tries to have sex with you, don’t let her. Let me know though. It’s all good, it probably won’t happen this time, but just let me know if anything does happen.” I think Justin was drunk that day, but regardless, it was the most awkward moment I ever had as a band mate.

Thankfully, Justin’s family didn’t become part of my family or Andrew’s. and Justin eventually had to leave the band.

Bands are like family. Bands are much, much more difficult to keep together and happy than keeping a couple together and happy because everyone plays the role of your brother or sister as well as your husband or wife. In a band, you have several relationships and they all have to be delicately handled. Example: With a wife, you don’t have to tell her that part she just created isn’t very good.


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