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You're Out of the Band - Part 2

John PrineThe subject of being in or out of the band, and the dynamics that can create this situation can be very sensitive, to say the least. I even know from my own experience that when I have been the recipient of this kind of bad news, especially when young, it can really hurt.

There was the time when I was on a really grueling tour with the John Prine Band, and all of a sudden, without warning, in the middle of somewhere in Idaho, on out tour bus, all the other members of the band ganged up on me and said they wanted me out. They used terms like, “you’re not one of us” to explain their decision, and man, I certainly WASN’T one of them, because in my opinion, they were marginal musicians at best, and they couldn’t have been a worse group of musicians for Prine, whereas I was really totally the correct kind of roots-oriented player he needed! They were just a bunch of awful fusion and funk-style players, who had never played Country of Folk before, and who never even really player true Rock before either!

In any event, the manager, who was also on the bus with us, took a meeting with us all, and soon got to the root of their issue, which was really, plain and simply, jealousy! The fact was, that at that time, while we were on the bus for long hours, I was busy writing my third book, entitled Nashville Guitar, a book that has become a Country classic over the years! But there I was, all of 22 years old, proudly working on my book, which I guess made them feel jealous because I actually “had something to do” with my life, besides sitting on a bus and acting like a bunch of jerks, which was what they were doing!

In the end, everything worked out, and I stayed in the band, but the “heart” was taken out of it for me, and the band itself never really lasted much longer after that…. Maybe 2 or 3 months, tops. In fact, even though that was the year 1975, John Prine has never had a band at all since then! Guess it was a bad choice in his mind no matter what!

Arlen Roth


Posted: 3/6/2009 9:21:36 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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