Road Worrior: Don’t Be That Guy

Road Warrior: Don’t Be That Guy

Recently, our regular bassist couldn’t make two shows, so we employed a former bandmember as a sub (henceforth known as “Sub”). The plan was to meet at Sub’s house at 11:00 A.M. on the day of gig. I arrived, after a 30-mile drive from my house, just before 11:00. There I found Sub, who, for 20 minutes, ran around the house, gathering clothes, charts, and selecting his gear du jour. This is a guy incapable of being on time when the band comes to his freakin’ house!

Don’t be that guy!

During the drive, Sub spread his charts around the back seat, subjected us to overly loud playbacks of our CDs, and constantly importuned me to get him through the 90-minute set. The killer is, this gig had been in his book for at least six weeks.


When not frantically poring over his charts, he was on his cell phone, subbing out one gig to make $150 more at another; paying other bassists to hold dates while he chased down some other gig; putting employers in a bind while he attempted to cover his butt on three different gigs; calling other bassists trying to get back gigs he had subbed out because the choice gig he went for didn’t pan out. I swear it was like late Friday afternoon on the floor of the stock exchange of penny-ante club gigs. And what was that smell? Oh yeah, burnt bridges.


Prior to the show, Sub’s pacing shattered the ambience in the dressing room. I won’t even mention my revulsion at watching his sweaty hand taint the hospitality table. Oops, guess I did.


Once on stage, he was so terrified of unexpected changes (of which there were many), he looked like a guy ducking golf balls in the middle of a driving range.


The next morning, because he had scheduled an early-afternoon gig two hours from his house, we were forced to leave at 8:00 A.M. At five past, he was on his bed watching a tennis match, where he remained until ten past, while we sat shivering in the car.


Although it was a bassist, and a guy, that could have been any of us. I guarantee this off-the-chart show of “pre-fessionalism” will make his gig selections much easier.


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