I just had an amazing conversation with my drummer Scott Chazan. It started out with this text message he sent me:
"Ben I am sorry dude...... I am eating dinner. I am going to have to back out of the gig due to many reasons. I know this isn't cool. It just isn't feasible to drive all the way up there just to set up and basically rehearse. I will try to set us up a gig where we can play in front of people. I like your material. It is just not fair to both of us to have to travel so far to rehearse. I have no drivers license and have to drive at night on a Saturday night trying to find my way with gps and cops behind me. It just makes no sense. I have to simplify my life, and taking that risk is a step in the wrong direction."
So I called him on the phone and confronted him about the fact that he is committed to playing that show, and that it's not "rehearsal", it's a concert. He called the 15-member audience at our first show "no one" (as if 15 equals zero), and Nostradamused that "no one" would be at our second show, also. I told him that his suggestion that after canceling this gig he would get us another gig is absurd, as I would never play with him again after he canceled this show. I promised that I would never play with him again. He cited excuse after excuse, the same ones "professional" musicians have been telling me for 15 years now, and quite frankly, it gets old. One excuse was his loved one's upcoming doctor appointment that might- I repeat, might- culminate in a diagnosis of something terrible.
He had the audacity to ask me how him backing out of the gig will hurt me. I rejoined by asking him why people have him play drums for them. Is it that they don't really need a drummer, they're just pretending? Their show will go on no problem without you, Scott? I told him that I will ask the venue if I can do a one-man show instead, since my drummer bailed on me, and maybe they will reluctantly let that slide, or maybe they will say no. THAT'S HOW YOU'RE FUCKING HURTING ME, SCOTT! Besides, it's beneath me to even explain to a motherfucker why backing out of a commitment is bad. He told me that I need to grow up, and I rejoined that grown-ups stick to commitments. Then he ceded that maybe he is the one who has some maturing to do.
I reminded him that in the half-a-year we've known each other, he's harped incessantly about how the members of all of his past- and current- bands did not stick to commitments, as well as other complaints, and the irony of his current actions within my musical duo.
In the end of the dialogue, I told him that if he doesn't play this show, we're through. He said "I guess we're through, then." We each said "bye" and that was the end of it.
Summation: If I'm playing for you, you can run your career how you see fit. If you're playing for me, you had better be prepared to stick to commitments and not be a flake. I hope this post scares off any other flakes that might consider playing for me.