These Boots Were Made For Walking

We were doing some gigs as a jazz quintet. We had only been together for a couple of months, still trying to feel one another out. As we went along, the realization came: Harry, our lead singer, liked to imbibe; a lot.

Harry didn’t play an instrument, but had an amazing ability to stay in tune regardless of how much alcohol he consumed. Quantities could be copious; every solo, Harry was at the bar slamming another round.

A Saturday night at the club, and Harry had his game on. For some strange reason, as usual, intoxicated, he decided that he would shut down Robert, our guitar player. He spent the first two sets completely ignoring Robert, showing complete disdain. During the break between set two and three, with out a word, Bob broke down his gear and split. We finished the night as a four piece, and, after getting paid, the bass player and I quit. The keyboard player and Larry only lasted a couple of more gigs.

In another band, Melissa, the lead singer and guitarist, thought pretty highly of herself. We had been together almost five years. The band was an original act, with horn section, and we had three rehearsals a week. Gigs were few and far in between but the act seemed to have a ton of potential.

Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this one. Half the band had to drive 30 to 40 miles each way for rehearsals, so there was an incredible time spent driving to and from. Melissa offered no reciprocation for those of us who had to commute two hour transit times on urban freeways.

One day, after years of being prepared and accountable, I missed returning a phone call in regards to some sort of band business. Two days later Melissa read me the riot act. After years of dedication, this is the reciprocation I receive? Besides being furious, I walked out of that one.

At this level, there is no such thing as circumstances not being personal. It’s all personal, every single bit of it. We spend hours, day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out…

Bob and I took these situations as an affront to our persons, character and effort.

I work way too hard to have my ethic called in to question. Sure, I make mistakes, but those who know me well would never even think of such recourse.

Is there any way we can help?

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