[Dixielandjazz] Mental Health test for Musicians

Steve surveyme1 at optonline.net
Thu Nov 29 14:20:28 PST 2007

Here's a fun test for everyone and any similarity with famous bandleaders dead or living is purely intentional.

For sidemen:

How to tell if your leader is in need of

1. Does he throw heavy objects around on a regular basis? (Usally this would be
band equipment such as stands, speakers and tympani drums and the most common occurrence would be before and after the gig).

2. Is he prone to extreme mood swings in very short time periods? This usually is accompanied by the inability of the leader to listen to anyone but himself and total impatience with everyone around him.

3. Does he fire sidemen on a regular basis for no apparent reason or if someone else plays a better solo than the leader? 

4. Does he tend to blame dead people for things that go wrong during band practice? This usually applies to famous musicians who are not to the leader's liking, especially Billie Holiday.

5. Does he treat members of band like used toilet tissue at will and without explanation?

6. Does he stop talking to one or more sidemen without explanation and for long periods of time, usually brought on by someone else's being able to enjoy themselves on a gig?

7. Does laughter or smiles create pained expressions on the leader's face, especially when it comes from those around him?

8. Is he an egomaniac?

Chances are that he suffers from Rage-a-holism. This is almost impossible to prevent except through the introduction of massive doses of sedatives or by having the leader stand in front of a moving subway train.

If there are no subways available, the nearest passenger or freight train will suffice. Be sure that no human beings are nearby or they will be hurt or killed.

The good news is that this condition is limited to very few individuals and is not contagious.

The bad news is that there is no cure.

The best thing for sidemen to do when working for this type of leader is to pretend to be fascinated by everything the leader says and does and say as little as possible.

Be careful out there.

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