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Advice Crush: Dear Boogie

June 30, 2010

Dearest Boogie,
What’s the best way to let a band know you don’t want to go steady with them without hurting their feelings? I’m already in a couple bands so this shouldn’t be a shock to anyone, but you know how it is with sensitive artist types. I told them my bottom line up front, but
now things are getting almost as sticky as the floor at the Rat…
-I’m Not A Player, I Just (Band) Crush A Lot


Excellent psuedonym. Top notch work. No wonder everyone wants to be in a band with you.

As seems to be a growing theme in this column, I’m guessing being an adult and actually breaking up with the bands is out of the question for you? Because really, where’s the fun in that? An honest, short conversation expressing your needs in a respectful way? Boooo-riiiiiing. Let’s create way more drama in the long run by avoiding confrontation in the short run. Whooooo!

Breaking up is hard to do, be it with a band or a lovah. I’ve always contended that its much better to be the dumpee than the dumper. People think I’m crazy, but I would SO rather be fired than quit. Because if you quit, there’s all that regret, second-guessing, “did I do the right thing?” “What have I done with my life?” “I’ll never find a Wendy’s franchise with a shift manager that cool about lateness/potsmoking again” etc. If you’re fired, it’s like “Oh well, nothing I can do about that. Where’s the next nearest Wendy’s franchise so I can drown my sorrows in sweet and spicy Asian chicken nuggets and maybe wash it down with a tasty Frostee?” (Note — In an effort to help raise revenue for Dear Boogie, this paragraph is proudly brought to you by Wendy’s).

But here’s the rub, INAPIJBCAL: what if you want out but don’t actually want to pull the trigger yourself? It’s time for the local band version of “suicide by cop.” It’s time for you to become absolutely impossible with which to work. Get band members to rearrange their schedules around yours and then no-show rehearsals. Stop playing in the middle of songs to answer “really funny” texts or check your fantasy baseball stats. Demand 12 guest list spots for each show. Turn your volume up when they say turn down. Sleep with everyone in the band’s girlfriend or boyfriend or both. Take pictures of it. Send pictures to me at Link to me when I inevitably publish them. Be the worst band member evaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Chances are, after 6-8 months of this behavior, the band MIGHT be fed up with you enough to kick you out. Actually, it might take more like a year. The bar for poor band member behavior has been set pretty low around these parts. But you’ll probably only have to destroy your reputation on the scene for about a decade or so. People have short memories. I never hear ANYTHING bad about other musicians on the scene. Ever. It’ll totally be worth it.

Or you could write an email saying “I’m sorry, but the show on X date will be my last show because I don’t have time to do the band anymore. Let me know if I can help you find someone else.” You know — whatever’s easier.

Soundtrack for your misery: The Organ Beats “Time to Go”

In case you couldn’t tell, Brendan was being sarcastic. Want him to give you condescending advice while simultaneously making you feel like he actually gives a shit? Send an email to

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