Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why I Hate the "Strolling Scones" (org. published Aug 2006)

As this evil band is one of the headliners at the festival I just mentioned, I felt the need to re-publish this blog from my myspace of a year ago:

Why I hate the "Strolling Scones"
Current mood: nauseated

I can't stand it anymore. I've talked around and around this issue without naming names (mostly in my other blog), and I can't stand it anymore. I may become the town pariah--like I have any friends anyway. People who think I belong to the so-called "artistic" community will certainly have to re-evaluate. But my disgust has grown to the point that it is stronger than my fear.

In Paonia, where I live, there are a lot of people who muddle around with music. I won't say musicians, because I think probably 75% of the people I'm talking about aren't actually musicians and calling them musicians is an insult to the 25% who actually are. And by being an actual musician, I mean not a person who plays any particular genre, but a person who has a particular respect for and relationship to music, and one who is willing to address issues and dysfunction and put the self aside for that relationship. Not just a person who gets off on the performance aspect, or someone who grooves to the bongos while stoned on Friday nights. Or someone who can muddle through a fakebook but who never practices. Or someone who plays when s/he gets paid for it but otherwise won't participate.

Well, anyway. Where I live there are a whole lot of dilettantes who get off on strutting around calling themselves artists while not ever really doing the work of acquiring consistent technique. I was in a band with one of these people for a number of years. She was hostile, manipulative and disruptive; she was not honest about what she wanted or what she was willing to do, she refused to learn or practice, she would not allow any kind of criticism or her abilities or performance, she alienated the audiences, threw fits when she wasn't the center of attention, expected the rest of the band to read her mind and resented it when we did or would not, and expected the rest of the band, and me in particular, to cover up her lack of preparation while she swanned around playing the rock star.

this person, who I still balk at mentioning by name, once said, "I'd play the triangle if it meant I could be in a headline band." To which I would have said, "Great, since there's no place for a triangle in this band you can leave and we'll find someone else who can really play the instrument you pretend to play."

This person, when my husband and bandmate told her that "he never really felt like he had a chance to get to be her friend," looked at him with a superior air and replied, "Oh, is that important to you?" as if she had scored some kind of point.

Well, the upshot is that after several years of trying to make things work out--and yes, I really should have wised up sooner, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa--I left the band, which promptly fell apart. (I heard later from various sources that this person went around telling people this was my fault because I was so controlling and wouldn't let people do what they wanted to do--a blatant lie.)

Anyway. Some time later, another band in town--one whose members, incidentally, I count among the real musicians--put together a 60s revival act for a New Year's eve party. They called this group "the Strolling Scones." Cute. I had no problem with this UNTIL the original 4-piece line-up added two more members, one of whom was my former bandmate. I could have dealt if the New Year's eve gig had been a one-shot deal, but the Strolling Scones (and I think this was a cute name for a one-shot deal but just too precious for an ongoing venture) have been playing ever since. They've even made a CD.

It makes me literally sick at my stomach that a person who was pretty much solely responsible for destroying my band is now getting strokes for being a prominent performer (although, as an acquaintence recently said, "she's still a really unpleasant person"), while I came out of the whole band debacle so emotionally damaged that the very thought of playing music where anyone can see me plummets me into an anxiety attack.

It makes me doubly sick, as well as angry, that I've heard that this person has actually become a pretty good performer. I suppose that's petty of me. I try really hard to be happy that she's got something out of her new situation that she didn't get in our band. But I'm not. Because I think that only will allow her to continue to blame me for our band not being the band she wanted it to be, when it was really her lack of honesty and participation. And also, I'm totally pissed off that she would make an effort in this situation that she refused to make before. But maybe the Strolling Scones environment is less demanding of personal responsibility than I was.

And it makes me just ill to see a comment on the Scones' myspace page that reads "if (this person) is involved, it must be good..." when I have first hand experience of her morbid toxicity, over-inflated opinion of herself and just plain lack of talent.

So, I HATE THE STROLLING SCONES. I hate them without ever having heard them and with no intention of ever hearing them. I hate them because this person is involved. Rick, Helen, Carol, I'm sorry. You guys are great--Rick is one of the best bandleaders I've seen in action--and sweet. But I can't respect anyone who associates with the other female member of your band. I simply can't imagine anyone with an ounce of sense putting up with her in any kind of creative endeavour for any length of time. And if you haven't noticed the problems...well, it makes me wonder.

So sue me.

I also used to go get my hair cut by one of the members of this band but I find I just can't bring myself to be in her presence ay longer. I'm really sorry about that because she was a really good stylist. But seeing "Scones" memorabilia all over the studio makes my stomch churn.

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