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Playing in bands post 40


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#1 chemistry1973

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:11 AM

I just joined a band. The music is great and we play a show in 2 weeks. It's all new and the vibe is positive, so I'm looking forward to more shows.

However there is this cynical part of me - nagging me about just giving this idiocy up. I have bills, a wife and kids, a job.

Anyone else in the same boat? If so, what are your plans from here on out? Are you pushing towards musical success, or do you now consider yourself a 'hobbyist' ?

#2 Always the Winner

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:11 AM

I've been playing with my very first guitarist from 29 years ago for about a year now. I hadn't seen him in 22 years and a quirky little twist brought us together again. And last summer we added the drummer we had from '90-92. We do about 20 or so gigs a year, mostly 5k, 10k and half marathons run by a guy in New Haven, CT. We also have a girl singer who plays keyboards too. I do about half the lead singing as well. It's a simple little band, but it's a lot of fun.

But I am at the age now where there's no "gear ego". I use my smallest 2x10 cabinet and let the PA do the work. Except next month. We're playing the legendary Toads Place in New Haven, so I'll use a 15" as well.

I'm having a blast. Play 2 hours, make $150 each.

Just got the email with the proposed setlist for next Sunday's gig.
1. Suddenly I See – Laurie
2. Big Me - Tom
3. Maps – Laurie
4. Good - Tom
5. Smoke Break - Laurie
6. Slide – Tom capo1
7. Gold on the Ceiling – Laurie
8. Hey Jealousy - Tom
9. Sugar – Laurie
10. She's So High – Tom
Set 2: (10:30 -11:30)
11. Drive By – Tom/Laurie capo4
12. Before He Cheats–Laurie capo2
13. Counting Stars – Tom capo4
14. Ex’s and Oh’s – Laurie
15. Suffragette City – Tom
16. Heart Beat Song – Laurie
17. Kryptonite - Tom
18. Roam – Laurie
19. Learn to Fly – Tom
20. Put the Gun Down – Laurie
21. Crazy Little Thing Called Love–Tom
22. Everybody Talks - Laurie
23. Mr. Brightside – Tom
24. Ain’t it Fun – Laurie
25. Rock and Roll Again – Tom
26. Livin On A Prayer – Laurie
27. Paris Oh La La – Laurie
28. It’s Not My Time - Tom
29. Dani California – Laurie
30. Stacey’s Mom – Tom

www.run4coverband.com
  • chemistry1973 likes this

Hey...where's Perry?


#3 chemistry1973

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:46 AM

I used to go to Toads Place all the time back in the day. I grew up in Madison, CT-- what a killer venue that is.

#4 Three Eyes

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:47 AM

I'm past 50. (Yikes!) I was pretty serious as a co-songwriter in a band in the early '90s but differences with the other members put an end to it. The differences were mostly about the frequency of full-band rehearsals. By that time, I'd had it with band drama and never formed or joined another one again although, circa 2000, I briefly took up with a drummer with an eye toward starting a three piece but that never materialized.

 

I continued writing and recording songs for many years after my early '90s band broke up but, admittedly, I never had much hope the songs would go anywhere. Fast-forward to now and I haven't written or recorded a song in almost a decade. But I did recently compose and record a short orchestral synth piece for an animation project I'm working on which I plan to post to You Tube on some future date. I'm also writing an actual song for this project. So I guess I haven't abandoned music altogether.


  • chemistry1973 likes this

Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#5 Moving Target

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 12:35 PM



Anyone else in the same boat? If so, what are your plans from here on out? Are you pushing towards musical success, or do you now consider yourself a 'hobbyist' ?

 

Hobbyist age 51.  But I still look to improve my playing and understanding of music.  I like playing at open-mic jazz nights.  I'd be happy to play wedding gigs, but that is such hard work on top of the day job.


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#6 Hemisfears

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:19 PM

I just contacted a drummer that wants to do a Zappa tribute as well as a prog band.
Not sure if it will ever happen as he needs musicians.....by the time it would be up and running, I will already be 50.
It's almost over for me as far as being in a band though.
Not too many places to play either.
Zappa and prog-rock equals bad alcohol sales and that is all that matters to clubs. I don't drink, so I don't care.
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#7 fenderjazz

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 02:45 PM

Unfortunately my drummer moved away and I've really been dormant the past 10 years.  Occasionally members of my former bands and myself get together.  My kids play sometimes too and I might play along with them.  While in my heyday, I'd play Floyd, Rush, Who, etc, lately it's just whatever I feel like.  Sometimes it's blues, sometimes, it's just whatever.

 

Toad's Place?  Hey that's a half hour away!  Next Sunday, however, I'm away at a skating competition in PA.  Is that when it is?  Are there any other dates planned?


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#8 Always the Winner

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:23 PM

The Toads gig is March 6. This Sunday is at Hillhouse HS. We also play Cheshire HS in April, East Rock Park in NH in May, and Jennings Beach in Fairfield in June. They're all early-late morning gigs. I think last year at Toads we actually started at 8am.

Hey...where's Perry?


#9 fenderjazz

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:52 PM

The Toads gig is March 6. This Sunday is at Hillhouse HS. We also play Cheshire HS in April, East Rock Park in NH in May, and Jennings Beach in Fairfield in June. They're all early-late morning gigs. I think last year at Toads we actually started at 8am.

 

Cool.  I'll try to make my way to one of them



#10 stoopid

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:16 PM

Last band disintegrated when the guitarist moved away, then a few years later moved back just in time for the other member to have a kid.  That was 2008 or 2009.

 

Since then I've been collaborating and working on my own stuff.  I'll be 41 soon with no interest in 'bands' anymore.  I have some great experiences, very few bad ones.  Just not worth the effort, and the music scene gets lamer by the minute (fewer and fewer decent size venues for original / local music in my area).  Certain genres flourish around here, and there's even an occasional 'fest'.  But unless you're into folk (ie - country without twang and with pot smoke in the air) there's just not enough people looking for local live music.

 

The democratization of music with the explosion of the internet has helped and hurt.  It gets you out there in ways unheard of before.  But it also helps everyone else reach those same ears.  It's literally become a din of online bands.  There's some really good music being made now, with zero music industry backing, but almost none of them are 'known'.  The only bands still standing out, in general, tour.  So if you still have a dream of being a rock star then you have to play gigs.


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Putting the oOgEyMe back in Boogeymen.

#11 Cygnify

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 03:18 PM

I'm 45 and struggling to keep doing it. I've always had a day job (I'm a professional Engineer), I'm married, 3 kids. But music is my passion - I feel like it's a big part of my identity. My bands have been changing, the scene is changing, etc. I love playing for an appreciate crowd - even if it's just cover songs. Amazingly, I've been mostly able to do this with music that I actually like (never had to resort to crappy pop or country.) However, the amount of bullshit surrounding playing is such a drag..... the drama and/or ego of certain musicians I know, dealing with unreliable players, unreliable club managers, venues that don't know what they want in terms of music - and on top of that, just finding the time to practice & play.

Not bitching and moaning, but here's a typical weekend gig for me:

Friday 8 am - 5 pm work my fairly stressful day job (actually, Monday - Friday 8-5 +, typically 45-50 hours)
Friday 5 pm - 7 pm drive home, get changed, eat something, see kids
Friday 7 pm - 8 pm drive to our rehearsal spot (more on that later), load drumkit in van (kit had to be disassembled and put in bags at last rehearsal; my kit is reasonable, but more elaborate than a 5 piece - YYZ, Santana, etc. would not be the same without full kit...7 drums, 2 cymbals cases, double pedal case, sticks/chimes/mics bags, 2 large hardware bags on wheels)
Friday 8 pm-9 pm drive to venue, unload gear (usually 3-4 trips alone, sometimes no closer than 300 yards from courtyard venue)
Friday 9 pm-10 pm Set up kit, make adjustments, get signal checks
Friday 10 pm - Sat 2 am Play 3 ~50 minute sets of pretty energetic music (Rush, Zeppelin, Police, Chili peppers, Incubus, Rage, STP, etc...) I get a good workout, and get to have a drink while doing it... lol
Sat 2 am - 3 am - Leave venue (kit can remain set up and covered!), drive home on other side of town
Sat 3:30 am Head hits pillow

Sat 11 am - Sat 9 pm Get up, eat, be a Dad (!), try to accomplish something in house in spite of feeling fairly tired, try to chill, try to take a power nap,etc.
Sat 9 pm - Sat 10 pm Drive to venue, park, uncover kit
Sat 10 pm - Sun 2 am Play 3 ~50 minute sets of pretty energetic music (Rush, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Police, Chili peppers, Incubus, Rage, STP, Alice, etc...) I get a good workout, and get to have a drink while doing it... lol
Sun 2 am - Sun 3:30 am Tear down kit, pack in cases/bags, transport kit to my van, help others load PA, etc
Sun 3:30 am - Sun 4:15 am Drive kit to rehearsal studio (on same side of town), unload kit, lock up
Sun 4:15-Sun 4:45 am Drive home (across town)
Sun 5 am Head hits pillow

Sun noon Wake up with sore joints (yeah, what Neil said about hitting things with sticks is true...)
Sunday Try to be a Dad, Husband, accomplish something in house, while feeling exhausted - almost a "jetlagged" feeling as my clock turned upside down in past two days / hope that my wife continues to tolerate this as she knows it is my passion

Monday I get up at 7 yeah, and I go to work by 9. I got no time for livin' yeah, I'm working all the time.....
Monday- Friday Carry on at work as if nothing happened, try to deal with insomnia as my sleep yo-yo's and overcompensates....

Typical net for 2 gigs: $400. (I don't do it for the money!)(btw, I know I could do alot better $ playing shittier music for corporate events!)

===================================================

Doesn't that seem insane when broken down like that? Then deal with unreliable people, narcissist guitarist, drunk people, seedy club manager, etc. WTF do I do it?

Another motivator for me is having a rehearsal studio. I've rented a spot in a music store (private entrance) for the past 23 years. It is fairly expensive - but I have always shared it with my band and one other band. We've had our "tenants" leave and leave us to cover the full rent until we find another reliable and friendly band. For me, as a drummer, this is pretty much my only outlet to play my acoustic drums (I have an electric kit at home, nice V mesh head - but it is not the same.) While I rely on this rehearsal space to play my acoustics, it is a good 35 minute drive from home, and I would have a hard time justifying paying the full amount, or even half, by myself. If I give the space up, I will not be able to get it back. If I give the space up, there is not another secure place like this in town. If I give the space up, I fear I will never be able to casually practice my acoustic drums again (no basements in Florida - not like the one my Dad soundproofed in our home in upstate NY 30 years ago; Garages are not a real option in Florida either with 90+ degrees for a long summer with massive humidity. I have thought about converting my garage - but honestly, with zero lot-line and neighbors that would not tolerate it, not to mention, we keep a car in the garage along with 3 kids bikes, etc, it is just not a real option.)

So what's a drummer to do? I just keep hanging on. But it is fucking hard.
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#12 Always the Winner

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 05:28 PM

^^^ We only play a few clubs so thankfully I don't have to that anymore. I have the opposite problem. Next Sunday we're playing the Shamrock and Roll 5k race in New Haven, Ct. The actual gig will be at Toads Place, which is kind of a thrill. But we START playing at 8am. The police close off the roads for the race at 6:30am, so I have to be there before that. I live about 1 hr 45 mins from the gig, so I've got to load up the night before, wake up at 4, take a quick shower and leave by 4:30am. Luckily my gear load is minimal. 2 basses, an amp head, 2x10 cab, and a duffel bag with all the cords, mics, tuner, etc...
  • Cygnify likes this

Hey...where's Perry?


#13 chemistry1973

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 05:57 PM

One of the few nice things about playing LA is that this city understands the concept of the House Kit.

But holy hell Cygnify do I feel your pain.
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