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How to Get Kicked Out of A Band

Copyright 1985 by Bruce Jaeger. All rights reserved.
Published in Bluegrass Unlimited, December 1985


In which the author, who has thus far escaped forced retirement only for the probable reason that he owns a substantial portion of the band's P.A., details many reasons that may drive a band to give a member the Big Boot.

The author also wishes to disclaim any responsibility for underlined and highlighted portions of this article being found taped to any musicians' cases.

How to get kicked out of a band:

Always show up for a gig after the rest of the guys have hauled in the P.A. system.

Whine about rehearsing.

Don't know what key every song is in, and then hold up the performance while you put on your capo and retune.

Always wait until the band calls you (sometimes over the loudspeakers!) before you go off break. And then take several more minutes to tune up.

Always find something wrong with most of the other person's song selections.

Gripe about the cords needing straightening out and repairing, but wait for someone else to volunteer to do it.

Drink a lot.

Agree with all criticisms of your performing and promise to change. But don't really try.

Always turn your microphone up the loudest.

Gripe about the set list, but never help make it.

Bring your beer bottle on stage with you.

Wait until a song's been introduced before saying you don't want to do it.

Talk over the mike during someone's break.

Giggle during a gospel song or other serious number.

Or, on the other hand, never smile at all, even during the humorous portions of the show.

Demand center stage--and then don't do anything with it.

Insist on singing lead on that slow (or high) number that your voice really can't handle.

Reject a song that everyone else likes.

Always invite your friends in the audience to come up on stage and jam.

Have problems with gas.

If you're not a singer, talk your way out of most rehearsals, which, after all, are mostly spent on vocals. Then plead ignorance to the song arrangements when you get on stage.

Tune into your microphone.

Go out of your way to tell people that your old band was better than the one you're in now.

Ignore the maintenance of your instruments to the point that it makes the band sound bad.

Eat onions and don't brush your teeth for a week before gathering around the mike for harmony singing.

Be a prima donna.

Always make horrible grimaces and disparaging remarks when someone in the audience asks for "Rocky Top," the "Orange Blossom Special," "Dueling Banjos" or "Bonnie and Clyde."

When playing in a restaurant, wait till the middle of a set, then call the waitress (over the mike, of course) and order food for your next break.

Then grumble when the rest of the guys filch your fries.

Never carry enough spare strings, picks, etc.

Wear parts of your band uniform as normal everyday clothing, so that your set looks faded and soiled compared to the rest.

Refuse to wear a cowboy hat, even if the rest of the band wants to.

Even if the booker says "Dress Western," show up in your usual golf pro-shop outfit. With the sneakers.

Insist on a "break" for every song, even though you don't know one, or the song doesn't call for a break from your instrument.

Miss a lot of rehearsals, even with good reasons.

Complain loudly and often about the lack of jobs and the low pay. But don't do a thing to hustle any gigs.

Be a cynical, disagreeable person. This is the surest way to get kicked out of a band, even though you're the greatest picker to walk the earth, and the angels pause to hear you sing.


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