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Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 581
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 9:09 am:   Edit Post

Whats your worst audition experience?

Heres mine. Found a guitar player local to me who was looking to put together a band, and invited me over for an informal jam session in December. We had some musical interests in common, and he had fronted a fairly successful local jam band for the past 4 years, so I was pretty interested in meeting him.

His house was at the top of a mountain, that had a one lane driveway almost a mile in length leading up to it. One shoulder of the road was bordered by the cliff side, the other was a sheer drop to the highway below.

So I arrive, setup, and jam with him for about 30 minutes while waiting for the drummer to show. He shows, up, we jam for another hour or so, take a break than play for another 40 minutes. All this time friends of the guitar player keep showing up until all told there were about 20 people in the house. Little did I know it, but not only had he scheduled an ecstasy party for that night, but the entire time we were playing it started snowing and sleeting heavily and I had no way of getting back down the mountain (road was way too slippery to navigate, and one persons car was stuck half way up the driveway.

So, I was stuck there for the next 12 hours (took that long for a plow to get up there) in the middle of two dozen people that I never met before, all tripping their faces off on ecstasy....Since (aside from some reefer now and than) Im pretty straight, and Im also not really into marathon hanging out sessions, this was not my idea of a good time....
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2270
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 9:18 am:   Edit Post

Did you get the gig? :-)
Advanced Member
Username: spose

Post Number: 263
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 9:22 am:   Edit Post

I could imagine much worse situations, but never the less being stuck somewhere when you want to be home is never fun. If that is the worst thing that has happened, you're VERY lucky.

I'd say my worst audition experiences are the ones where I check out a band...they want me but I don't want them. It's hard to tell the band leader the truth in those situations but I do try to do just that. An example would be a band that I auditioned for had great songs and pretty good players but the drummer was terrible and a deal breaker for me. I did tell the band leader that when he asked if I was interested. If you get a better drummer, I would be willing to work.
He understood where I was coming from, but it was a bit awkward to tell him his good friend on drums sucked the life out of the music.

oh well..
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1643
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post

Auditioned for a rich kid singer in Beverly Hills once. Great guy, great songs but he couldn't sing to save his life. Very awkward, because the guy was terribly nice and apparently no one had ever bothered to tell him he sucked (probably because he was, er, very rich)..

Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 3685
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post

Of course there was the drummer who showed up for his audition so blasted that he fell off his drum throne.

But I had a recent experience that is fresher in my mind. I answered an ad in craigslist for a "Bob Weir" for a dead-type band that had all the other bases covered. I talked to the guy putting it together (the drummer) on the phone for a bit about the usual topics: experience, equipment, etc. I told him I was looking for a band that did dead material and also brought a dead approach to other material. Improv jamming with everyone listening and contributing was very important, and the last thing I wanted to do was a Grateful Dead tribute band where everyone was expected to copy the Dead note for note. The drummer guy sounded pretty cool and in tune with what I was looking for.

I schlep my equipment up to the other guitarist's house for an audition (about an hour away). The "rehearsal room" is a VERY small shack in the backyard - (bass drum inches in front of me, door knob hitting my back!) I get there and find out I'm auditioning with the drummer and guitarist only - if this works then I'll get to play with the bass and keys. (I'm wondering how we can see if the improv thing works without half the band?) Then the guy tells me that the rhythm guitar player should sing all the Bobby songs and the lead guitar player will sing all the Jerry songs. (Gee, I always thought the guy in the band who has the best voice suited for any particular song should sing that song, regardless of instrument). We start playing and I'm soon asked "can you play it just like Bobby played it"? We do "The Music Never Stopped" and when we get to the end I play a particular part like the record version arrangement. The drummer stops and tells me I did it wrong. I told him I did the record version, but I'm certainly open to a different arrangement. He tells me he has a tape of them doing it live and that is the version I should be playing. (I'm thinking, I've heard the Dead do this song literally dozens of times - and they never did it the exact same way twice - I mean isn't that the whole point of the Dead trip?) Needless to say, I didn't get the gig (not that I would have taken it). I wonder if he asked the lead guitarist to cut off his finger and be just like Jerry? lol Anyway, they put me on their email list, so now I'm getting announcements of their new Grateful Dead Tribute Band. Considering I told the guy up front that the last thing I wanted to do was a "tribute band", this was a complete waste of an afternoon. At least it didn't snow or involve a bunch of nasty drugs!

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 766
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 11:38 am:   Edit Post

Worst auditions:
Band who used midi files for bass and keys, I learnt all the set then he said I couldn't play because the midi files got corrupted and they controlled the lighting system, I said play it without the backing(he played keys but pretended)
I told them to shove it

One was some guy who thought he was the president as he ran the band. He said there seemed a personality clash, mainly because the female singer turned up late, forgot lyric sheets(which I then supplied) and then she got annoyed as she couldn't one song right and had a tantrum, I told her to calm down and we will come back to it later..I told the 'leader' he sucks.

Another told me why do I read the dots, I said it is to get the right notes as I find it difficult to hear the bass line(always way down the mix) he said reading was for idiots who don't know real music..I told him to f***k off there and then and then had drop him on the floor as he lunged at me with a mike stand.

I have had some great auditions but I have had some bad ones too.
Advanced Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 285
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

Worst audition for me: a "vocalist" and I were auditioning at the same time for a spot with a drummer and guitarist. I knew the drummer from having played with him in another band. He was a decent drummer but the guitarist was really good. I wanted to play with the guitarist so I took the gig. HOWEVER, the "vocalist" was F&*%ing TERRIBLE and he was offered and accepted the gig as well (I, of course, had no vote). I thus proceeded to waste the next 1 1/2 years of my life. I'm not sure why I hung around that long. Must have been the weekly acid parties.
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2276
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

I've conducted some bad ones, but never really went to a bad one. The worst experiences are the people you already know who want to join up and then turn out to suck. It can be difficult to figure out the right way to tell a friend that it just won't work.

Neither of these is that bad compared to what some of you guys have been through, but here are the two worst for me.

Talked to a potential drummer for one of my bar bands and the guy sounded like he was into it. When he showed up, it turned out he was only into playing blues, and preferred the non-commercial stuff that no one has ever heard before. Too bad, because he was a good player and had previously done the bar band thing in the area. I'd say it was a waste of a few hours because it didn't accomplish the intended purpose, but we had a few tunes that sounded great right off the bat and it's hard to be upset when that happens.

It wasn't a bad audition, but I wasted a bunch of afternoons playing with a bad band, or at least a band with one bad musician. The major problem was that the leader, one of two guitar players, mostly sat around playing folk tunes and what have you. He had no band skills, so he would try to play the same things as he did when he was alone. He'd try to play the bass line and rhythm at the same time, and fill up all the necessary space for the song to sound right if no one else were playing. It was painful to listen to the continuous jangle that stomped all over any feel that we might try to create. Very good player, lousy musician. There were a couple of other long-time friends in the band, so it was hard to leave. I could have lived with the musical part of it, but they only wanted to get together on weekend days in mid-afternoon time slots, and that was a real pain.

Intermediate Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 198
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 11:49 am:   Edit Post

In my college band at UC Santa Cruz, in 1980, (four guys looking for a lead singer) after a few of the typical "American Idol" self-deluded types, we met a girl who could channel Janis and Bonnie Raitt. She was awesome. Two weeks after she joined we became lovers, we were married in 1984, and are about to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Talk about the mother of all bad auditions............ I mean, after a year of trying and failing to get laid, I finally met two different woman willing to sleep with me, and like a week later I fall in love with the singer. Monogamous since then.
Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 2233
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post

geez turn on the FLAXINATOR

i am sorta going through this right now since i am totally disgusted being treated as poorly as drummers are.
So i decided that after the last group i was in asked me to leave that i need to take control and make up my own group.
so i post an ad in craigslist for a 50% dead bal classic rock. NO jerry or bob clones.
i want to jam and then get out and gig.
i got some good initial replies. 2drummers, gmen, keys. so my next email is when are you available and give me a list of 10 tunes- 5dead 5 non dead
so i can throw some sort of list together and have everyone on the same page.w hen i say 10 tunes- telling me you know most of the deads repertoire doesnt count as 5 and picking 5 other bands doesnt count either
one gman sends me an email-how am i feeling about the project so far? do you have gigs? how is the drummer? i enjoy getting lit up and play but
im kinda old and i need motivation to come out and play- psst- flax is 55!
have you played with anyone yet.
ok- thanks for answering- get lost.....
as for other experiences- lets see- i played with someone who had all of weirs moves down pat. didnt play as well as bob. but looked the part
drummers who didnt know the tunes.
guitarists who said they had gigging experience quitting in the middle of a tune at audition...
Senior Member
Username: 57basstra

Post Number: 838
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post

Excellent Guitarist.....way too loud

Drummer was good but had some sort of device to mic (or amplify) everything he had...way, way, too loud

They wanted a three piece and I was to sing most of the lead. I could not hear myself. My hearing has gone downhill over the years and I was not about to sacrifice what I had (have) left for such as that....LOUD, LOUD, TOO LOUD ...during practice. I could do it in my 20s and into my 30s..by the time my 40s rolled around I simply was not going to go through it.....

If it is too loud you are too old..If that is indeed the criteria..I reckon I am finally too old.....
Username: jedisan

Post Number: 65
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 9:52 pm:   Edit Post

James, I am not sure your post qualifies for this thread. Your post should be under "the best auditions". Way to go on 25 years! Congrats!

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