A few years ago, a local band formed, made up of members of other projects. They were humble, and very hungry. They promoted their songs and their shows endlessly, were cordial to the crowd, and gave great show. They appeared, for all intents and purposes, to be going places.
As we worked with them, we saw something special and shared their music with other promoters, Internet radio stations and other people in our network… As we are wont to do with any of the artists in our family. Their fan base grew, and what should have been a nice long ride, by all evidence, began.
I won’t go on with that part of the story, it’s a matter of record through not only our blog, but others. Locally it’s become legend and a prime example of what NOT to do if you are starting a musical career. But again, that’s not the story. The core members, the originals of this band made peace with themselves, the fans, and the promoters long ago, and they remain part of the family to this day. No, this story is about the cause of the decay. This is the tale of the disease that came in disguised as a band member, promising the world and delivering nothing. A burner of bridges and worlds that destroyed all he touched. After destroying the band, friendships, fan base, and industry relationships, away he went. While the original members of the band have split to the 4 winds, they have buried the hatchet amongst themselves and they kept the webpages and sites up and open as a shrine to that brief moment when they were poised to move the world. This was the one repository of music and video files, pictures, and fliers, basically the one stop digital scrapbook for the entire band. And here comes yet another lesson no musician should have to learn.
Through whatever mechanations or hunger that caused the original members to add this member (and I won’t name him, explanation later) to their line up, whatever youthful hubris and desire to take the fast lane to the big time allowed them to swallow what this pathetic joker was feeding them, they do as many bands do, they made him a brother, an equal partner member and handed him all the keys to the kingdom. And true to form, this putz did what he has done from day one with anything he has touched. He destroyed it.
Why start a new page when you find another sucker, err, I mean find another project to play with? Too much work, just steal the one from the band you walked into (you remember them? The guys you fucked over, lied to, and manipulated? The credit you stole, the fans you alienated, the songs and shows you ruined due to the complete lack of musical talent or ability to play?) Just wait a few years after the wreckage has cleared, use the administrator privileges you had to the old band page and wipe it clean! Because why should the actual people who started the band, wrote the songs, earned the fans, had the talent, did the actual work, oh, and tried to redeem themselves have memories of their hard work or passion or brotherhood together? You were just the guy who walked in at the 11th hour, lied, connived, sucked, and ultimately POOFED out of the scene, so you can just undo it and take the likes that they earned and continue on your way.
There is a very special place in hell for people like you. You’ll recognize it LONG before you get there, because it will be an eternal repeat of how the majority of your life will be all the way to the end. You get what you put in. You, put nothing in, you just take. You’ve already been found out here, where you’re originally from, and other places you’ve passed through, it’s only a matter of time before you’re smoked out of your new sleazing grounds.
I’ve not mentioned your name, because YOU never earned one, but you’ve earned a reputation, and there are a great many people who remember THAT in the industry. Much like that time period when your actions caused your previously mentioned band to lose opportunities, traction, and fans, you will get EXACTLY what you deserve.
All you brother and sister musicians out there, if you didn’t grow up with a newly added band member, they didn’t come highly recommended by a reputable peer, if they don’t walk the walk much more than talk the talk. If they can’t put their money where mouth is, they are a hired gun, an employee, NOT an equal partner. They don’t get publishing/performance rights, name rights, admin credentials, and they don’t get the power and position to take over your band. If you have this guy already and you’ve given up any of the above, change your passwords now and rework your personel agreements. EVERYBODY has to pay their dues in the real world, there are NO shortcuts to success. People who exploit the system and skip the processes burn out and are forgotten quicker that you can blink.
To my musical brethren who have been afflicted by this cancer, I hope your messages have been received and the powers that be can reverse this situation for you and soon. No one deserves to have their hard work and passion to be stolen or destroyed by someone who didn’t create it in the first place.
Peace and long live rock n roll