The drama, or more accurately "the trauma", continues.
We rehearse every other Saturday. Steve (lead guitar) is currently paying the rent driving an 18-wheeler and is on the road 11 days out of 14, so he's only home every other weekend. JT (drums) runs a restaurant and owns two other businesses and Saturday mornings are just about the only time he can manage. Our new bassist, Tony, works various odd jobs as he can get them and his schedule can be unpredictable. The stage is set.
After three pretty good rehearsals in a row, each covering four songs, we had 12 songs -- one set -- and the next rehearsal was to nail them down. Finally getting a song right after working on it for half an hour or 45 minutes is fine, but if you can't come back to it two weeks later, or four or six, and get through it, you didn't really have the song nailed down.
It turns out that John (guitar, leader, and owner of the basement in which we practice) is going to be out of town, doing college visits with his son. They've tried, but there's no other date that works. Can we do Friday night, or Sunday afternoon? We settle on Friday night. I pack all my stuff into my car before heading to work, since I'll be driving out there right after work. During the day, I get an email. JT's grill cook's grandmother has died suddenly, the cook has called out, and JT has to cover. Sunday afternoon doesn't work, and by Monday, Steve is back on the road. So no rehearsal.
Two weeks later, Tony has to be somewhere by Noon for a job, so we move practice time up from 10 AM to 9 AM, so we can be done by 11 and Tony can go make some money. I get there about 8:30, since I have to set up my keyboards, amp, and sax, so I'm first one there. I get to the basement and meet Dave, John's friend, who is filling in on bass. What? Tony's start time got moved up to 11, and rather than move the rehearsal time yet another hour earlier (and on very short notice), John called a friend of his who plays bass, just so we can get through the rehearsal.
Rehearsal is not great. At this point, it's been four, six, or eight weeks since playing the songs, plus we don't have our regular bass player, so I'm not even sure what the point was of practicing, but at the very least, it helped the rest of us to run through the 12 songs, scrape off some rust.
Two weeks later, Tony has to miss another rehearsal, as he has something going on and they need him all day Saturday. He also mentions that now the baseball season is starting, he'll be busy on weekends. He plays on a minor league team. What the fuck? You join a band, knowing that you won't be available on weekends?
John sends an email expressing his frustration. Anne (singer) has another band, and they suck, but they're out there playing. Steve has another band, and they're finishing their third set. Why are we still in the basement with only a dozen songs? (Answer: because we keep changing personnel, taking "breaks", and cancelling rehearsals when we do have a full band.) He questions the commitment of people. He (rightfully, mostly) complains that you shouldn't commit to a band if you can't even learn your parts and show up for rehearsals.
I sent him a reply, him only, saying that we're all busy as hell, but Saturday mornings worked for us for over a year. Tony is the new guy, and he's a great player and also has an ear for harmonies and background vocals, but if he's the reason we keep cancelling rehearsals, then he's gotta go, and really, he shouldn't have taken the gig if he knew this.
Tony sends a reply to everyone, voluntarily dropping out of the band. He knows the score. So okay, this was probably the least painful way it could have happened, we didn't have to fire him or anything, but shit. Time to find a new bass player.