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Poster Retirement

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Joined: Jan 24, 2005
No. 1 Posted on Feb 18, 2013 9:27 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I've been contemplating my retirement from my band for quite some time, but I finally got the courage to pull the trigger this weekend, when I announced that I would be retiring at the end of the year. This is very bittersweet for me, and one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I've been playing in working bands off and on since 1990, but my current band beats my record with any other group by a large margin. At the end of the year, it will have been 12 1/2 years with the same band. I helped co-found the group in the summer of 2001, and I've been managing it since about 2003. It's the most talented band I've ever been a part of, and also the most commercially successful.

It's also been the most work. We put a ridiculous amount of customization and attention to detail into each performance, and we have an absurdly elaborate sound system for a local band. Our setup is laborious, and our client support is very time-consuming. About 80% of our work is high-dollar wedding receptions, and I've always considered them to require more responsibility and preparation than corporate events and concerts, which account for the other 20% of our work. As the manager, this pressure has always fallen on my shoulders. Fortunately, we've never dropped a ball and have never had an event that didn't go smoothly as a result of something we did wrong, but 12 years later, it still makes me nervous that something will slip through the cracks. I won't miss that part of it.

I will miss playing, though, especially with these good friends of many years. I know that I'll never again be part of something that operates at this level. Though I'll hopefully be in a smaller, simpler jazz group at some point in the future, I know that my best days are now behind me. That makes me sad.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to devoting more time to my family, my career, and my other hobbies. No more gigs interfering with my water skiing after this summer.

Has anyone ever dealt with a formal retirement from music? How did you ensure a smooth transition for those you left behind? How did you deal with the loss associated with giving up one of your passions?


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No. 2 Posted on Feb 18, 2013 9:53 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I took up banding to keep me sane after retiring from work, so it's different. Maybe the water skiing will do the same for you. I'd love to reach the level that you describe, but it's unlikely.

Happy retirement!


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Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Rockford, MI
No. 3 Posted on Feb 18, 2013 5:57 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I know how you feel. I was into gigging pretty heavy a number of years ago (1999-2002). It was a lot of work, but fun as well. My band actually FIRED me when I re-joined the Army Reserves just after 9-11. Best move I ever made.

More recently, I started getting involved with a band and soon it became a huge hassle as I became (once again) the only "adult" in the band babysitting a bunch of adults, making sure they brought everything for the gig, ensuring they got to practice on time, providing a practice place, handling conflicts, etc... After a while I just stopped caring. I stopped coordinating practices and gigs. Without the Chief Babysitter, the whole thing just fell apart. Every once in a while one of the guys call me to get back together, but I'm through with those guys as none of them want to do any WORK. All they want to do is play and expect me to do all the unpleasant stuff. Screw that.

I packed away all my drums this Summer and haven't touched them since. I'll play again eventually, but will wait till Summer. Because in the Summer I will retire from the Army Reserves and will suddenly have lots of time on my hands, so I may just jump into it with a different set of guys. No more managing for me. I've been doing that my whole adult life and for fun, I'll be the best band member in the world, but I won't manage. Let somebody else be the babysitter.

It sounds like you were in a similar situation. Playing in a band is fun but managing one is not. If you could strictly be in a supporting role, it probably wouldn't be so bad. In the meantime, however, I recommend you stick to your guns and do something else with your time.



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Location: Peoria, AZ
No. 4 Posted on Feb 19, 2013 1:15 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Happy retirement, Mark Smile

I don't think there's a smooth transition, per se.

If the rest choose to do so, they will have to fall and pick themselves up until they regain their balance.

Congratulations on a remarkable run, though ... hat's off to you.

Mapex Saturn * Paiste
Terry Bozzio Single-Ply Coated


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Joined: Jan 17, 2005
Location: Orygun - The Beaver State - USA
No. 5 Posted on Feb 19, 2013 9:03 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Wow! Bittersweet for sure. But then's time for a break, especially if you have family that can now enjoy being with you on weekends.

It's gonna be tough after a bit though not having sticks in your hands and creating music. I bet you won't really miss the managing part much. Music can now be pleasure and not business.

Enjoy having a life...good luck....have fun skiing!

Kick me...beat me....hit me with sticks....

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Joined: Aug 11, 2012
Location: Illinois, USA
No. 6 Posted on Feb 19, 2013 3:20 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Maybe the occasional school clinic could give you something to do. If it's the right group of personalities, it's a blast helping and giving advice. I can actually speak from a small bit of experience, as I helped out the rookie fifth graders in the percussion section back at my old school. But take some time to relax, and go with the flow. You'll find something. Sounds like you've had a great music career. I hope a youngster like me can become as successful as you, one day!

"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
-Charles Mingus

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Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Buda, Texas
No. 7 Posted on Feb 22, 2013 8:25 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Yes, I remember you talking about this before and I knew it was coming. I wish you the best in the future and Iím not talking about music. You have to do whatís best for you and your family and those decisions are not always the easy ones to make. You made some close friends within your world of music and that makes it harder to break away. Whatever you do, donít let that friendship slip away. Make sure they always know you are thinking about them.

I remember your water skiing was also a major part of your life. I donít know how you managed to keep up with both. It takes a dedicated individual to really keep up with so much, plus keeping up with a family.

For some reason when an individual musician happens to fall into a band of crazies (musicians) and things seen to click, then before you realize it, the group becomes a family. I played in a Big Band for 25 plus years. When that group decided to go their own ways it was really hard for me to walk away but then on the other hand it was easy because I was tired and we did a lot, a lot of driving. Thatís when I messed up. We all live in different towns, without realizing it I turned my back on some of my closest friends. It all happened so fast, almost instantly I was playing music with old friends and that evolved in to playing with four bands now only three and playing almost nightly. Those friends have become my new family. I donít want that to happen again and I have to get off my ____ and contact the old family to let them know I still care. We are all getting up in age and time is not on my side in this case. Especially with my band leader, we were so close and I let that slip away. sherm

K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System

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Joined: Jan 24, 2005
No. 8 Posted on Feb 23, 2013 9:39 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Thanks for the advice and words of encouragement, guys. It will be a difficult thing at the end of the year, but knowing that it's coming inspires me to enjoy every minute on stage between now and then.

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