I should have figured it out back then:

Typical scenario ca. 1990s:

For various reasons, I was basically stranded, living in my Mom’s basement.

After “dad” split (1989/90) and my “mother” allowed my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother to move back in, the first thing he did was “accidentally” destroy a significant amount of amateur radio gear, by kicking/throwing hte boxes own the stairs.  My ‘stupid shit” was in his way, and the drug-addled  subanimal was incapable of any other response.

At any rate: around that time was when I met Tom, Dan and Dale.

I’m not going to get into their back-story, but suffice to say: Tom and Dan both lived in Palmyra (to the west of where I lived at the time).  Dale lived in Lebanon (to the East).  I don’t drive.  I hate to admit it (especially in light of his later antics), but having dale pick me up on his way over to Tom’s place actually made some (limited) kind of sense — until 1995, when Cleason (who ALSO lived East of me) joined the group.

If I’m honest, Dale was ALWAYS the weakest link:

  1. He has no sense of timing whatsoever
  2. He was chronically late to both rehearsals and gigs
  3. He would “forget” to wear the correct outfit to gigs
  4. Often, when he bothered to show up at all, he was drunk (both to rehearsals and gigs)
  5. He explicitly attempted to “pick up” on women at gigs (many of which took place in churches)
  6. The incessant “sibling rivalry” between him and Dan (his brother) tended to erupt at weird intervals, to the point where he would frequently storm out of rehearsals.
  7. Often, his first activity (if he actually showed up before the start of the gig) would be to frantically rifle through the book, re-working the “set list” that Tom and Dan had worked out at the previous rehearsal.

Nonetheless, he was never asked to:

  1. Quit the group
  2. Actually come to gigs/rehearsals in a timely fashion
  3. Not bring his bar-slut du jour to rehearsals/gigs
  4. Not blow us off (unanounced) to go deer-hunting

On some level I can understand why the other guys in the group didn’t really give a shit:

Tom (the rythmn guitarist) was actually pretty well-set financially what with his Marine corps. pension, and the fact that he was involved with computers at a local college (to the point of even teaching courses, for several years).

Dan was a shift-supervisor with Union pay.  The bottom line on that is: when he and his wife stopped by a few years ago, he was bitching and whining because he “only” had just over 1 million dollars in savings (not counting the hefty retirement package the company had given him as an incentive to retire, or whatever Social security income both he and his wife were going to get.)

For his part, Cleason wasn’t confrontational, and (as he later admitted) could have gladly quit the group in a heartbeat, if anything more interesting came along.

Realistically, the other 3 members never regarded the group (or the various albums we produced and locally-distributed) as anything other than something “fun” to do on the weekends.

If they had, they would have held Dale to some sort of meaningful standard with regard to such things as: attendance, punctuality, not randomly re-working the set-list, etc.

But they didn’t.

As I said: I should have realized their priorities back then — but I didn’t.

This is one reason (among many) I have no interest whatsoever of EVER joining/starting another group.

I refuse to allow myself to be defined exclusively by what I have now recognized as a particularly shitty defense mechanism left over from a lonely/friendless youth.




One thought on “I should have figured it out back then:

  1. Awe. Groups are a pain aren’t they? I assume you mean the musical kind but I think it applies to all. There is always the tardy type with no respect for time. Then there is the me me its all about me person. And someone is the boss. It gets pretty tedious pretty quickly. Especially when we age and the demands on out time increase.

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