About a decade ago, I had the idea to start a cover band and do songs that folks around here never heard before. I didn't know how to start a band, or sell band's act to club owners. I didn't know how to be a "front man" for a band. All I knew were a handful of chords and rough experience from college. When I left college and started working with Caroline Majure, I learned a lot from old musicians in the area. They proved to me I didn't know much. I needed more experience. And so, I learned. Unfortunately, our relationship didn't end well. Caroline brought on a new drummer when Del moved to Tampa, and this guy gave us the, "My way or the highway" talk, told us he was going to change the name of the band, and do all kinds of other things. It was the beginning of the end. And so, I quit.
When I told Caroline I was leaving the band to do my own thing, she got angry and held back my earnings to teach me a lesson. The lesson I was supposed to learn was Caroline determined my value.
In the end, I decided it was better just to fire her. I don't need cheap, dramatic people in my life. While she reached out to me, through our bass player, Terry, to help her with gigs from time to time I rejected the offers. Eventually, she stopped calling. I set out to prove that even if I wasn't as good as a musician, or singer, I was going to do my own thing and succeed.
Starting my own band and doing things with like minded people has been my mission ever since.
Life lesson #1. Stick to your mission. Trying to create a band that did something different in a club circuit isn't easy. Customers like to stick with what they know. But if given the choice between blowing people away with entertainment value rather than doing what's popular, I'd rather be blown away.
Our band, Regular JOE, did a lot of classic cover songs. It was fun, but the chemistry wasn't right. People were conflicted about alcohol intake, and the songs. It was a mess. It was a mess because I didn't fire people who weren't on the same mission. Sometimes, it's hard to do what's right for the group when you just want to hold things together. In music, you have to be an adult and fire people. Stick to the mission. This is why we started regular JOE 2.0.
Life lesson #2: Leadership is getting the most out of your team. If you don't get the most out of them, fire them!