" Whatever can go wrong will go wrong(in all likelihood)"
This is definitely an important life lesson. I've experienced it as a musician but it would of course to apply to productions of any kind, any time you have to plan events and kinda need 'em to go somewhat your way: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Plan on it. It may, perchance, NOT go wrong, but you'll at least be somewhat prepared for whatever doesn't work out.
Case in point: my very first studio-type recording session. Back in 1992 or so, done out at Lincolnland Community College's bandroom. We had about 4 hours to work with, and got started late. Then the bass player told me he had to leave an hour early. And then the drummer realized he'd left his cymbals at home, and headed off to go get them--easily a half-hour's drive. As it turned out, his car stalled about 10 minutes from the school, so one of us(probably me)had to go get him and bring him back to the school, where he just played on the school's funky set- with its funky-ass cymbals...I was pretty perturbed at the time, and remember commenting in the midst of this sea of inconvenience(and probably through clenched teeth), "I am NOT
a happy camper!"--and most likely en route to pick up the drummer and drive him back to the school, but we still got it done. And I learned a good lesson: whatever can go wrong will(likely)go wrong.
On another recording session, I had to replace the drummer 2 months into it,because he was being a total testa da cazzo
and wouldn't make any of the rehearsals. Drummer no.2, not as technically advanced as drummer no.1 but still a decent player- and much
easier to work with, made the rehearsals(and actually contributed quite a bit to the record as far as ideas), but the project had to go back on hiatus because his wife had developed complications with her pregnancy. To further complicate things, she was all the way across the country.
So we had to wait for his son to be born before we could pick things back up. And as I remember, after we finally got in the studio, once again the bass player had to leave an hour earlier than anticipated. Ahh, one more hassle for the road. A nice little cherry on top..
Well once again, it got done despite the many setbacks. We produced a nice CD, and drummer no.2 has a happy, healthy young son-whom he can tell, in a few years, that he was born in the middle of a recording project.
But it happens every time out. Something gets stuck in the carpet. Something gets snagged. Problems, setbacks. Projects like this are themselves like having a kid, in that the real fun parts are the conception and when it's delivered. But you get used to those 'grotty' middle steps.One last example here, this a particular exemplification of Murphy's Law(perhaps a whole Chapter in itself):
In this situation, I was a sideman playing guitar for a singer/songwriter doing his original songs. We rehearsed at his place one night a week for some months. After about 6 weeks he fired the drummer, so we had to start over with a different player. So we get a couple more weeks into it, and he quits his job. The project goes on hiatus while he gets a new job and then goes to train for it.
We resume after a 3-or-4 week break, and get in the studio. 2 days, 13 hours in all. Due to feedback problems with the guitar I have to sit in a weird position and wear some kinda contraption on the guitar, plus he's not there for most of the session due to the constraints of this new job. The supervision of the session was given(in a sort of Yoko fashion)to his girlfriend.
After 13 hours in the studio, he tells me he isn't pleased and wants to do some things over, which I offer to do(not too pleased myself, but still willing).About a week later, I'm told they're not using any of the stuff I recorded for them. So, like that first drummer, I get cut myself.
At least on my projects I still get my playing in there, still land on my feet. With this one I landed on my ass
. And with that, thought, for the CD someplace( the CD I'm not going to be on as it turns out), a picture of me, butt facing the camera and holding a bottle of Vaseline with the inscription, "thanks a lot, Sam!"
Well, anyway, that's Murphy's Law in its nastiest manifestation. Usually it's a more benevolent pain in the ass. I'm currently finishing up a recording project, the steps of which actually-miraculously- went smoothly until right near the end, when we hit a minor snag, to do with the CD inserts. A bit frustrating, but having had some damn thing happen every other time I've recorded, I was almost relieved. You get so used to the snags and hassles that if they don't happen, you're kind of waiting for that other shoe to drop. As I said before, I'd expect nothing less. Or in this case, nothing more.