My band broke up yesterday. It went out with the tiniest whimper, and sounded like this:
Text from me: “Practice at 8 tonight?”
Reply from band leader: “No, I’m sorry but I’m done.”
It was basically a really lame break up text. I talked to the drummer later last night (we’re on the same trivia team, along with the band leader who of course didn’t show) and he was just as blown away by the seeming randomness of this as I was. There were some warning signs, but nothing big. No group talks, no trying to fix whatever it was that the band leader thought was wrong, just giving up without giving it a real try.
It all boils down to having a guy in charge who didn’t want to be in charge, but never saw fit to appoint anyone else. Without a leader, groups fall apart. And when the guy who writes all of the music and calls all of the shots refuses to step up and tell people what he thinks and what actions he needs for others to complete, it’s a little hard to meet whatever hidden expectations are there. How can I possibly know what you want from me if you don’t define it? And how can the group show up when you want them if they don’t have it set in stone that these are the dates and times we will ALWAYS play, and these are the expectations for sound quality, and here’s how much work each person needs to go through to get us gigs, etc.?
I fooled myself into thinking I was in a band with grownups, but I was wrong. At least I got to sing one last time. Now I’ll save on gas money, and have more time to put into the last three months of school. And now when The Man says it’s time to get the hell out of New Orleans (which I hope will be really, really soon), there’s nothing tying me here.
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Though I haven’t been in a band in a long time, the breakups were always pretty lame. In fact, I’m not sure they were breakups so much as a matter of simply losing interest. It’s even possible that I’m still in a band a don’t even know it. But your point about needing a leader is well-taken and applies to music as much as pretty much anything in life. If someone isn’t there to take charge, things fall apart. Sad news about the band, but an insightful post nonetheless.