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The audition...

Discussion in 'Bands on the Run' started by Artunes, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Artunes

    Artunes Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    111
    Mar 16, 2017
    Oshkosh B'Gosh
    Apologies in advance for the length of this post. I don't post much, but some of you may remember that I had mentioned in another thread that I had my first audition in many years coming up.

    Last night was the night. Easy prep for me, I only had to "learn" four songs. I had already played three of the four in other bands, and the fourth was very easy. I was also to give them two songs to learn that I sing lead on. I chose two easy songs, but both have to have the right "feel" to sound good.

    I had been communicating solely with the drummer of the band, but he was not the leader of the band. The drummer seemed like a nice enough guy, and he had played with a very good guitarist that I knew many years ago. He said that they practice at the bandleader's house, only 10 minutes from mine.

    I was told to get there by 5:30, so we could be playing by 6:00. I got there at 5:30 sharp, and nobody was around. So, I drove around the very newly built McMansion neighborhood until I saw some action at the house at 5:45. The drummer that I had been talking to had just pulled up, so we greeted each other and he led me to the practice room in the McBasement.

    It was then that I met the Leader. The Head Honcho. The Big Kahuna. He did not look at all like he was a musician, but I've learned not to judge a book by its cover, so I figured I'd give him a shot. It turned out that my initial impressions were correct. The drummer had told me that there would be an amp there that I could plug into, so I figured I wouldn't need to bring my amp for six songs. There was a small bass amp and a very small solid state guitar amp along with a Line 6 amp. The Head Honcho points to the bass amp and says that can plug into that. I asked him what the bass player uses, and Mr. McHoncho said he wasn't sure. The drummer then interrupted and said that the bass player plays through the bass amp, and I could plug into the Line 6. Fine. Whatever. Soon the bass player showed up, and he was a nice enough guy, too. They said they were just waiting for the rhythm guitarist to show up, and then we could get started.

    Soon, a young woman, probably in her mid-30s, came down the stairs carrying a guitar case and a tweed Blues Junior amp. She shook my hand, but she seemed very cold. After we had all tuned up, it was time to get started, or so I thought. Somebody mentioned that "Bob" was on his way. Who's Bob? Apparently, Bob is the old guitar player, and can't play out anymore, but he comes to rehearsals to help the band work out vocal harmonies. So, with no "Bob", we had to start with one of the songs that I had brought, "Lay Down Sally". Easy, I figured. The drummer kept a steady tempo, but the beat was all wrong. The bass player couldn't get the feel right. And the rhythm guitar player had no idea what kind of rhythm to play. We got to the guitar solo, which, as you probably know, plays over an A chord for the entire solo, and soon the bass player started playing different notes, and the rhythm player started playing entirely different chords. I stopped them and said that it stays on A for the solo, so I count everybody in again and started playing the solo, and it took about four measures before everybody figured out what the hell they were supposed to be doing. It's a freaking A chord! Getting very frustrated now.

    Right after we finished the song, "Bob" showed up carrying a guitar case. He opened it up and pulled out an old Firebird, but it doesn't say Gibson on the headstock. It did, however, have the words "Jesus Saves" badly and deeply etched into the front of the body of the guitar. I asked him if it's a Gibson, and said that it was. I looked at the guitar more closely, and ask "'64?". "Yes", he says. It turned out that he's a minister, which explains the wording of the etching, but there are no explanations for any amateurish etching on a 1964 Gibson Firebird V..

    So, the rhythm guitar player says that we should start with "Blue Bayou", a tune she sings. I get ready to play the song, but she starts singing the chorus right away, so I play the chorus. Then she tells me to stop playing because she wants to hear the vocals. I turn my guitar down and listen as "Bob" tries to teach everybody their harmony parts. Let me tell you, it wasn't just awful, it was terribly awful. Or awfully terrible. Or both. A couple times I played a single note to help the bass player find his singing note, and again the rhythm player tells me to be quiet. Half an hour later, without any of us playing a single note on our instruments, she declares it good enough (it wasn't even close), and we move on to the next song, "Nowhere Man". Again with the vocal caterwauling with no instruments. I looked at the clock and saw that I would have to be going soon, because I get up stupid early for work. More vocal work. Two minutes later I turn my amp off. More vocal work. Two minutes later, I unplug the cable from my guitar. More vocal work. Two minutes later I stand up and put my guitar in the case. They asked, "are you leaving?", and I said yes. I told them calmly and politely that I thought this was to be an audition. I said I had wanted a chance to hear them play and sing, and to give them a chance to hear me play and sing. You know. An audition. I told them that I had been there for two hours, and we'd played only one song (and badly at that, but I left that tidbit out). The drummer walked me out, apologizing. He said that he told everyone that I had to be outta there early, but that "she" had insisted on working on vocals. Well, they have a lot more work to do. And they'll have to do it without me.

    Ahh, well. I've got another audition on Thursday. We'll see how that one goes.

    Sorry for the rant! Carry on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017

  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    you stayed longer than i would have. that whole deal just seemed creepy to me by the way you described it. strange how people that are cold or not very nice usually cant play very well.
     

  3. Artunes

    Artunes Strat-Talker

    Age:
    61
    111
    Mar 16, 2017
    Oshkosh B'Gosh
    Creepy is an accurate description. What the hell was I there for?
     

  4. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    well, maybe the next one wont be so bad.
     

  5. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    53
    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
    Very weird!!!! I hope the next one goes better!
     

  6. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia
    I think I saw this band play.. ONCE !!
     

  7. jofish

    jofish Strat-O-Master

    573
    Aug 28, 2015
    Hull, UK
    To be fair, it sounds like you approached it all with the right mindset: patient, open-minded and willing to give them a chance.

    It also sounds like you made the right choice in getting out of there and not looking back... :D

    Hope the next audition is a better fit. Myself and a couple of guys I've started playing with recently are auditioning three singers and a bassist tomorrow, hopefully I don't have another horror story to share on here!
     
    stratobiker and s5tuart like this.

  8. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    Wow, that was an interesting read. You stayed an hour longer than I would have.

    I had to laugh about the solo in Lay Down Sally..."how hard is it, it's a freaking A chord!!!" :).

    Yeah, I hope the next one goes better for you!! At least it wasn't a ton of prep work wasted on your part. For my recent audition, I had to do a LOT of work beforehand and I was fearful it was going to go something like what you describe. Thankfully it didn't.

    If anything, you have an interesting story to tell!
     

  9. s5tuart

    s5tuart ...... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    73
    Aug 8, 2011
    Bedford, UK
    Great story. Any band "leader" who subs out the recruiting work to the drummer isn't a leader in my eyes.
    You made the right decision by leaving! :D
    I hope the next band you try is perfect for you (and knows how to stay on an A chord for a few bars!) :D
     
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  10. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Fa-ra-ra-ra-raaa, ra ra ra raa! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 19, 2011
    red barn, USA
    You can always join us in the McBarn...
     

  11. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    Just wow!

    I think I may have left quite a bit sooner. You were very polite.

    Im not sure how Id get out but, Id get out. I wouldnt want to be rude but, may not be able to help it.
     

  12. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    man i have absolutely no problem being rude to people who deserve it.
     

  13. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Certified Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    In my own little world
    I'd have Keef'd the lot of them.
     
    jofish, s5tuart and heltershelton like this.

  14. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jun 22, 2014
    The Shed
    Man that sounded rough. Stuff like that always leaves you a bit incredulous, you know it was bad, feel bad about it and it sticks to you for a bit. Fortunately it passes.
     

  15. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.
    They may have had a different idea of whst was supposed to happen.

    Anyhow, good luck to them eh.
     
    stratobiker and heltershelton like this.

  16. MetalPedal

    MetalPedal Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 22, 2016
    Auto-Wah, Canada
    This sounds like a scene from some horror movie where if you stick around long enough, you get trapped into an endless repeating loop where the players start turning into skeletons and you find out an entire band committed suicide through acid overdoses. Bet if you go back there tomorrow, the house will be nothing but a vacant lot with tall weeds.
     
    amstratnut and Mansonienne like this.

  17. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    Man, if you're auditioning for a band, then the band should have some kind of audio or video clips for you to listen to – otherwise, it's just a jam. And based on your description, it's a stretch to even call what you attended a"jam"... or those gathered there a "band"! :eek:

    Glad you made it out alive!!!:D

    EDIT: was it like this?

    [​IMG]
     

  18. MetalPedal

    MetalPedal Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 22, 2016
    Auto-Wah, Canada
    Why is that dude pulling down his pants????
     

  19. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Maybe, inspired by young Elvis?
     

  20. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    Or maybe inspired by Old Crow! ;)
     
    Stormy Monday and MetalPedal like this.