Dealing with trouble
Running a band, as I have said previously, can be a totally different experience to playing in one. Once I am up and playing, I enjoy the experience, especially when we are getting a good response from the audience. We seem to get that regularly, playing our local venues and pleasing the audience. finding new gigs is always a pain in the neck but it has to be done. A few of our venues are closing down, due to not being able to make it pay or dwindling club membership, and some just keep on booking us which is nice. Some are really popular venues and we compete with bands across the local scene to play their. We are getting known as one of the better bands in the area for what we do, which is great, but that doesn't mean that the competition isn't out there.
However, issues arise that never should and when they come from your own band members it really hurts.
We have one venue we play and go down very well at, it's called The Travellers Inn and is about 20 miles away from where I live. Unfortunately the two bookings we have for next year have had to be cancelled due to a mix up on their part, double booking with other acts who were booked their first - how these things happen is beyond me but they do. My way of dealing with this is to say OK, we will play another time. however, our other guitar player decided to tell Bev who owns the venue in no uncertain terms what he thought of her, using severely bad language and being very rude. Not only did he do that, he went on a public website used by venues and bands and posted even more vitriol about the venue and it's owner, again using unacceptable language and calling the lady concerned names that I was disgusted with. There was no need for this at all.
I do not do business in this manner and I have taken a pride in how I deal with venues, which after all, are making a living from their clientele where as playing in a band for us is in effect, just a hobby. I find you get more with honey than you do vinegar, so when I have difficult situations I always find that being friendly is the best way to resolve them. So, I called the venue up, spoke to the owner who I know, and gave her an unreserved apology for how she had been spoken to and for the posts made by our other guitar player, who had no business in making such posts. I apologised for abusive nature of them and said how I was ashamed to be associated with them as they were made in the bands name. (Later on that night I was at a Wishbone Ash gig with our bass player who could not believe what I told him about these posts). Well, lots was said in our conversation and the venue owner very graciously accepted the apology I made and said she knew it wasn't me and that I and the rest of the band would be welcome with the exception of our other guitar player. Just right now it would crate more problems than it would be worth to replace him so in some way I have to deal with this to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. This matter will come up for discussion, but our other guitarist has had outbursts before, usually aimed at myself when I have had to tell him about something that he didn't like. While he would apologise later on very sincerely, I am now seeing a pattern of behavior which I won't put up with, and the other guys in the band don't like either. When I tried to ask him about all this he refused to discuss it with me. So at some point in the future this will have to be dealt with. As a result of this, I have told the other members of the band that unless they get a gig, they must stay out of the management role of the band.
What Bev (the venue owner) Did tell me was that sometimes she is let down by bands and loses custom as punters come to the pub expecting a live band and there is none, as the let down has been at the last minute. So I told her that we would be willing to help her if we are able to. I was trying to changer her perception of us from a problem to a solution. she liked that and said she would indeed give us a call in such circumstances, so the relationship is on the way to being repaired. However, I think it will be 2021 before we get a proper booking there again, which saddens me very much. But Bev and I ended the phone call on good terms which enables me to go back with a new band or with a new guitar player.
On a different note, I am on the hunt for another guitar to add to my tonal palate. As Heritage guitars are all but unavailable here in the UK I am looking at other makes and models. The ones coming on to my radar are PRS, Duesenberg, Musicmann and similar. I would love a PRS but at £3800 for a core range model I just can not afford one and I will not get into debt for one. Maybe a used earlier USA made PRS may be affordable, but certainly not a new one. I really like the MusicMann Silhouette HSH with trem, they play beautifully and are so comfortable strapped on so definitely a contender for a future guitar in the next year or so. But the surprise on the list is the Yamaha Pacifica 611VFM. This guitar has two Seymour Duncan pick ups, (not the cheaper ones) a Wilkinson Trem sysystem, Grover locking tuners and is superb to play. These are extremely competatively priced guitars and play and sound as well as guitars which cost much more.
I like the simplicity of one tone and one volume control which is great when playing live. With myself, I have to have a job for a guitar to do before I buy it and this guitar would be very versatile. The neck is maple with the rosewood board. I am very impressed with Yamaha guitars, every one I've ever played has been a really good instrument, although I don't bother withe the cheaper end of the pacifica range. Yamaha seem to know how to make great guitars at a good price point, check out the Yamaha SA2200 Semi - fantastic build and playability.
So that's if from me today, thanks for reading and best wishes to all,
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