Trading Up

I’ve been thinking about bands who make it famous with less than spectacular musicians. I don’t mean that in a bad way as in bad bands. I just mean it in the way of… was Chris Novaselic really an awesome bassist? Or did he just get lucky when he became friends with Kurt Cobain? You know what I mean?

Does anyone think Vinie Paul (Pantera) is the best drummer ever? But we all thought Dimebag Darrell was an awesome guitar player, right? Is John Frusciante the best guitarist of all time? Do you even know who that is? But you all know Flea, right? Because he’s one of the most amazing bassist on the planet.

I’m not ragging on Vinnie or Chris or John, they did/do their jobs and that’s to hold their own and support their bandmates. What I’m trying to say is Kurt Cobain didn’t send Chris packing when Nirvana got famous. He didn’t say “you know what, I can find a better bassist now, go back home to your over controlling wife.” And equally after a string of guitar players the RHCP didn’t say “Hey John, we’ve been through lots of guitar players and we can find some more who are better at it than you. Go back to your heroin needles.”


What makes a great band isn’t a group where every single member is a musical prodigy. When these guys are starting out trying to find any single musician that can play with them and get along it’s not just about the talent. Obviously there has to be talent, I just think that someone starting a band will take the B+ drummer who makes it to practice and shows up to gigs over the A+ drummer who vomits all over himself half way through the set cause he’s so drunk all the time.

So then if these group of guys do make it famous should they go ahead and trade up and audtion to replace their B+ drummer for an A+ one now that they’ll have more options? Hmmm…

That’s not just about bands I suppose. Trading Up is a term I’ve always heard applied to spouses. Like if I was married and then I hit it big and then got divorced so I could trade up in the husband field. “Sorry husband, I’m rich and famous now so I can’t be seen with non-famous non-rich you, we’re getting divorced so I can have an affair with Shia Lebouf before settling down with Ed Norton.”

Wait, nevermind, that sounds fun.

Fine. All you bands can do what you want. Who gives a shit about loyalty anyway?*

*Disclaimer: (that was sarcasm)

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