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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Band Mortality rate/member turn-over

Next 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 11th, 2016 11:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've been in this oldies band less than a year now. I'm having fun and I plan on riding it out as long as it lasts. We've all of a sudden gotten pretty busy, and the schedule seems to be wearing a bit on our geezerly members, causing tension and the idle threat of quitting (geezers can be such babies!)

I've heard of guys that have played together for decades, but I've also heard of bands that don't last but a few months - or in some cases, past their first gig.

So, what's the mortality rate for bands these days, and of the ones that stick together, what's the turn-over rate for members?

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Apr 11th, 2016 12:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"So, what's the mortality rate for bands these days, and of the ones that stick together, what's the turn-over rate for members?"

I'm going to say it's the same as it's always been - some last, some don't, and the time frames vary all over the place.
I have no idea what the relevant statistics might be.

"geezers can be such babies!"

Hey, now!!!
(honestly, that trait has no age restriction, in my experience)

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Apr 11th, 2016 01:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Guy Patterson: We've only been together for 2 months.

Del Paxton: Some bands I've been in, that's two months too long...

-That Thing You Do

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Apr 11th, 2016 01:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sometimes it's meant to be, other times not.

The first band I was in here in SoCal lasted 17 years, I played guitar. We had drummer issues and took a break because we could not agree on how to handle the drummer position. We got back together a couple of years later and did 3 more years. Awesome. We had a keyboard player for a good part of that time and a sax player too but the core stayed pretty much intact going through a few drummers.

I'm in another now that looks like it will last. I'm 13 months in playing drums. The guitar player and I have started an acoustic guitar instrumental duo in the last couple of months. It looks good so far. The song list grows and we are doing showcases locally.

Between these projects there were several failed projects. It was always attitude issues from other members or persons not doing their home work that tore them up.

In my lifetime all the project that lasted a while have been democracies, no leader per say. It really helped the hard feeling issues when everybody has input and a voice.

Contributing Member

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
Apr 11th, 2016 02:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I still play with most of the same guys who were in my band in the 70's. Our keyboard player then was pretty heavy into Rx drugs. He died in the late 90's but never joined us when we reunited. Another guy joined us soon after we reunited and he is the best singer in the band now. It is still fun.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 12th, 2016 05:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, even though I have the least amount of "commercial" experience, the other band members seem to get more stressed out and negative about gigs than I do. Maybe because I've always played for the joy of playing, and these guys are more focused on making money at this. Whatever the reason, my band mates just seem more cranky than they need to be, and I have to wonder how long before one or the other walks off for good.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Apr 13th, 2016 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm a bass player and in all the bands I've been in, I'VE been the one who left. Time comes when it's just time to call it a day.

The last band I quit had been going about 4-5 years. It was too loud, and a bit of a grind. We were good though.

One gig, in 100+ hot weather, outside, as we were loading up, the rain came....hardedst rain I've ever been in. That meant moving quickly.

From the intense sweating in the 100+ degree sun, I got home to aching muscles, a headache from hell, and my knees were pooled with blood. I took pictures.

Not worth it. I bailed.

My current band is great. 5 years and of all the bands I've ever played in since 1967, this is the one I'm proud of.

But we're in our 60's. I have to sit half the night due to severe, degenerative arthritis. The guitar player is dealing with arthritis in his hands. The drummer has shoulder problems.

We're likely at the end of our run. I'll stick it out till the end. 5+ years...no drama, no fights, just great music.

I quit my first band because after 2 years of playing guitar, I wanted to switch to bass. So I left and started another.

The next one was good for a few years. We were a loud, hard rock band. But toward the end, we added a third guitar player and the two originals just weren't trying. They stopped singing harmony. They gave all the lead parts to the new guy.

I had enough. It was tiring. I sang every song and was wearing out.

So the new guy and I started a new band. Lots of fun.

I quit an all original Christian Rock band....best music ever. We played all over the state, with the support of our church for traveling costs. My Jewish wife opposed my involvement at church and especially this band. The strain of her anger finally got to me, and I bowed out. I left her a few years later. The anger was just too much.

I've been with my wife now over 9 years. Not an argument yet.

Contributing Member


Apr 13th, 2016 12:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My" band is still together after about 3 years, but we're having a tough time scheduling practices and shows.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Apr 13th, 2016 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Whatever the reason, my band mates just seem more cranky than they need to be, and I have to wonder how long before one or the other walks off for good."

Based on some past threads I think you have some chemistry issues in your band, no?

The last band I was in was a 4 piece. The best dynamic, everyone on board with the same kind of life views, no type AAA personalities. But from past experience sometimes it does take one of these types to kick it up a notch, get gigs, etc. Unfortunately they're usually also the reason the band breaks up or loses members.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 14th, 2016 07:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My situation is, my band mates are either semi or completely retired. In a couple cases the band is all they have going on in life. And yes, one of them is a type A personality. When he perceives someone isn't giving it the same dedication he does, he rants, which causes tension. Then another member reacts by trying to deflect onto someone else.
The music is great, and the type A does push us to do better, but I see some toxic stuff going on. There may be a reason why I'm the first guitarist to stick around long enough to produce a marketable product. I guess I'm more tolerant than most.

Contributing Member

North Gnarlyington

Apr 14th, 2016 07:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I figured as people got older their lives became more simplified, that with kids gone and jobs either established or over making time for music would be easier. Doesn't seem to be the case, and then throw creeping (or sudden) physical issues into the mix and things aren't at all predictable. The more members involved, the more likely things will go awry.

C'est la vie! I'm with you- if it's not fun, eff it.

Contributing Member

Subtropical Florida

Apr 14th, 2016 07:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think it's critical for the aged musicians (not delusional about still "making it") to all be in the same place. All wanna be weekend warriors? Great. All wanna gig their butts off like it's 1979? Great. All wanna make this bowling night out with the boys? Great.

From my experience it takes very little deviation between those three mindsets to cause trouble.

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Apr 14th, 2016 08:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Our 50/60's Oldies Band played 27 years. During that time we had a turnover of three members.

MID LIFE CRISIS was a 6 piece band (lead singer did not play an instrument). We had a change in drummer, bass, and lead guitarist (I played rhythm guitar all 27 years).

We fired the original drummer because he played too loud and couldn't throttle back. The original lead guitarist moved away and had to be replaced. Finally, we had to fire the bass player because he refused to turn down his volume.

We had a great run from 1985 to 2012. Pretty amazing since we thought we would only be playing one gig together!


Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Apr 14th, 2016 10:24 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I’ve only been in two bands that really got off the ground; one in the late 70s that lasted about 2 years before imploding and the current band, which is in its 8th year, with 3 of 4 founding members still present.

In the first band, 3 of us lived in the same house, which was where we practiced and our friends hung out. We were trying to “make it” (never got close) and had either a job or a job length practice 6 nights a week. We also drank a lot, which wasn't a good combination with youthful ignorance. In the current band, things are more businesslike and expectations are lower. The party atmosphere of the first band was fun at the time but I think that less togetherness and inebriation, along with more realistic goals and maturity have much to do with the stability of the current band.

(This message was last edited by Rick Knight at 08:11 AM, Apr 20th, 2016)


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Apr 15th, 2016 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think that when you get guys who have played for the last 20 plus years and guys who put it down for a while and then came back, you have different expectations.
At 40 or 50, rehearsals are not going to be the same kind of hang out and have a couple of beer situations that they might have been when you were 19 or 20. Maybe you have family waiting at home or have to get up at 5:30 for the day gig.
I know guys who want to play every song 15 - 20 times, while some of us are "this is in A. Follow me."" okay. It'll tighten up on the gig."

Contributing Member

Delco, PA

"I'll take a simple C to G
Apr 16th, 2016 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My band is going on 27 years this summer. Back line positions have had the most turnover. The other guitar player has been with me for 25 years. Female vocalist is going on 15 years. Drummer and bassist have been around for 10 years.

We gig once a month, give or take, and rehearse another once or twice a month. While I'm the leader, everyone has a say and the primary purpose is to keep it fresh and fun. It's been a great release from the real life experience of working and raising a family.



Earn while you learn
Apr 17th, 2016 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm 57. I joined a band back in '81 that is still going. The band (that specializes in German music; polkas, yodeling, etc.) plays primarily at fall festivals (Octoberfests) within a fairly wide area (some gigs include hotel stays).

This was my main band back in the 80's to mid nineties as we played most weekends (spring, summer, fall festivals, ski areas in the winter) and did some touring, all the while having fun.

These days the band plays mostly during the fall festival season and is booked every weekend from September through The first weekend in November.

Yes, there have been personality issues, prima-donna issues, and all of the stuff that comes along with performers but we have managed to work things out as the band knows once it's over - it's over!

I like the fact that we can "put it away" in November and concentrate on other musical endeavors and then ramp it up in September...

We're already booked for a solid schedule of (annual) festivals for Sept/Oct 2016.

Mike M


Look at my hair ...

Apr 17th, 2016 08:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Two bands- 15 years with one and five years with the other. Wife plays bass in the latter and subs in the former.

Drive 'em 'til they drop ...

Roger Ball
Contributing Member


More Mel Bay...less eBay
Apr 17th, 2016 02:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The band I'm in started about 1985 and I joined in 1990. There have been a few changes over the years but we still have two original members and the same lineup since 2000 so no personality issues to deal with.

We're all pretty much on the same page as far as music and number of gigs per year. All in all, a good situation. I'm sure we'll go on as long as it's still fun and health permits.


Omaha, USA

Apr 18th, 2016 01:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The country band I co-founded in 1993 is still going with two originals remaining from the start. At least 10 people have been full-time members with other short-term guys along the way. Being in our mid-60's now, we have lost four people over the years who've passed on, due to accidents or health issues, to a bigger gig in the sky. Gotta keep playin' while we're still young. You just never know.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Band Mortality rate/member turn-over

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