This is a personal but true story of mine. A female vocalist recently asked me if my group was available to play and back her up for an upcoming wedding. This singer is primarily a “blues” artist with her own band, but the client holder (the groom) told her he did “not” want blues at his wedding reception. She needed a band (that she could sing with) that could play rock, soul and funk for this client (because that is the style of music he requested to hear). She brought the man out to hear us perform (without her singing onstage with us). He loved us and we even played a special request for him (the song was “Purple Rain” by Prince). Since she was the one handling negotiations, she and I decided to get together over the contract. One thing I remembered about this woman is that she had a history of “flaking out” on musicians. I remember seeing her on a couple of occasions cursing out her own band members during shows. Also, even though she was acting as though she was my friend I knew from other sources that she really didn’t like me at all. Several different people told me that. She was only acting friendly so she could get this money. So on the date we were supposed to get together to sign contracts she initially told me that she was already on her way. However, she didn’t get there until “4 hours later” and while I tried to play it off I was very disturbed about that. Then she went over small stuff about the contract and whether or not all of my guys were going to be available for sound check. I had already told her that I could not be there precisely at that time because I don’t get out of church until 2:00 pm on Sundays. She then withdrew the contract and said that we would talk later. Days went by and I heard nothing from her, so I called her. She had this very cold demeanor and simply said that she decided to go with another band (so in essence she fired us). That was fine with me, because my group was only willing to work with her for the money. None of my band members liked her. However, the story doesn’t end here. I decided to look up the name of the client on the contract online and I actually “found him” on one of those social sites. I messaged him to let him know that this lady was about to surprise him with another band. I informed him that if he was receptive to that then I would respect his wishes, but if he wasn’t then he needed to call me. Very soon afterwards my phone rang and it was the client. He told me that he wanted us to play for his reception and he didn’t know that the singer was planning to switch us with another band. I told him to simply talk to her to find out for himself. He did, and he found out that everything I said was true. To make a long story short, he fired her and hired me. Not long after that I got a call from the singer and she was livid. She said that I “went behind her back” to steal the gig from her. I told her that once she fired us there were no longer any business ties to her and that we were free to contact anyone we desired. I told her that what she did was wrong and she was going to lie to him about our availability, thus tarnishing my own reputation. I even informed her that she terminated me without even letting me know. She then responded by saying “Since I fired you there was no longer any reason for me to talk to you.” I then told her that “Since there was no need to call me anymore then you didn’t need to call me now, because I just fired you from your own gig.” Of course she got very loud and belligerent and eventually hung up. At first I wondered whether I should have contacted the client, but he said that I saved his wedding reception because he did not want any substitute band. He wanted us. He said that he knew her as a vocalist but he only dealt with her because she said she could get a good band. He did NOT necessarily need her to sing. So was I wrong for what I did? I actually thought it over many times (and talked to several different people about it) and everyone said that I was justified with my actions. Was this proper vindication? Several people seemed to think so. She also lied to me about the money aspect of it. She would have sung just a handful of tunes and would have made just as much money as my entire band for it. She got exposed in many ways. I honestly hate to mess with anyone’s livelihood but in this circumstance she had no problem at all messing with mine. She was more than willing to throw me under the bus, and now the tables turned on her. The guys in my band congratulated me for doing so. I wish it could have been handled in a different way, but I do believe the responsibility was hers and she caused her own downfall. I wanted to share my story with you today, so I hope you don’t mind. Well, that is my long story for today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Chubby Checker (“The Twist”) and Brett Jolly