Breaking Up the Band
I would love to meet the person (people?) responsible for selecting and purchasing books for my local library. The diversity of the selection completely mystifies me – something that seems fairly standard and popular isn’t available in a downloadable form (here’s looking at you, Malcolm Gladwell) while books that seem relatively obscure and of a limited appeal (an account of stealing a moon rock) seem to populate my options. Along with a seemingly endless supply of bodice-rippers. Really, do we need that many bodices?
But sometimes, I happen to fall into the demographic that does have an interest in a particular topic and I’m surprised and delighted by a book’s inclusion in my selections. Most recently, this happened with Dave Mustaine’s (the intelligent and often aggressive frontman of the heavy metal band, Megadeth) autobiography.
The book served as a welcome diversion on a snow day and provided some background information on one of my favorite bands.
Like most bands that spread multiple decades, Megadeth has had its share of personnel changes. And as I was reading about the dismissal of various band members over years, I realized something –
Bands break up for the same reasons marriages do.
Sometimes the members have to consider the needs of the group over their own desires. Some people struggle with this.
Disagreements flare over how money is earned and how it is shared. To some people, it’s everything and to others, it’s a means to an end.
Drugs, alcohol or some other activity dominate a member’s world and impede their ability to function as a cohesive and contributing part of the whole.
One person may want to take on the world while another is content to enjoy life on the small stage.
Attentions are diverted from the group to a side project. Conflict and hard feelings ensue.
One person plays fast and the other, slow. One plays in the established grooves of the past while another strives to make his or her own road.
Session musicians are in it for the short term while the songwriter feels a strong devotion to the group.
People from outside the group have too much say over what happens within the group.
I guess people are people, whether they are a married suburban couple with 2.5 kids or a tattooed and long-haired thrash metal band.
And for the record, there were no bodices ripped in the making of this post.