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Oct 29, 2017 - 7:08 AM
12998 posts
Joined Dec 2, 2005

Surprised nobody has posted this yet... apparently, John McEuen is done with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Story from the Sarasota Herald Tribune  suggests the departure wasn't entirely amicable.

Oct 29, 2017 - 8:14:15 AM

chuckv97

Canada

28851 posts
Joined Oct 5, 2013

I read that a few days ago. After 50 years he’s had a good run, even though business BS has now gotten in the way. He was in Calgary last week for a show. Local luthier and banjo player Brad Lindberg took this pic of him at afternoon sound check.


 

Edited by - chuckv97 on 10/29/2017 08:15:42

Oct 29, 2017 - 8:24:33 AM

3925 posts
Joined Oct 13, 2007

" As a catalyst to my decision, in December 2015, I received confirmation from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Inc. that I was an ‘employee’ — no longer a member of the corporation that I helped to build.”

Wow. that is tough to swallow.

ken

Oct 29, 2017 - 8:37:45 AM
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3925 posts
Joined Oct 13, 2007

Here is from his facebook page;
Dear Facebook Friends:
For many reasons, it is time for me to bid adieu to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band stage.
From artistic to business to personal, for 50 years I gave it my best.

It has been a great privilege, challenge, frustrating and rewarding overall. It comes down to differences of opinion, basically, on mostly everything. Yet, more experience than you can shake a pick at. WE made history - together.

When informed two years ago they’d long ago voted me out of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, INC., and I became ‘an employee’, I was no longer 'part' of this band. I was told “we think it’s better this way”. No longer a part of the corporation of which I was one of the founders, that was a bad day. But, because of the fans, for upcoming 50th year anniversary tour, I went ahead doing the shows while further developing my solo endeavors.

I’m excited about my upcoming touring with my Deering Banjos see tour schedule at johnmceuen.com. A lot of beautiful Performing Arts Centers and festivals are already booked! Many concerts will be multi-media shows - music and stories with historic footage from Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Joining me will be Les Thompson (an original founding NGDB member, John Cable (NGDB alumnus from the ‘70’s), and the incredible Matt Cartsonis. We feature some of the music from my new highly acclaimed Made in Brooklyn album (Stereophile Magazine Record of the Month!) –
It is different every night. Some nights we will have special guests sitting in.

Thank you all for your years of support and I’ll see you down the road. I gotta get ready for #Plymouth, NH! @silver center for the Arts (603-535-2600 ), the FIRST post NGDB show, Nov. 3. Also, the first time in that city! Now that is really unusual and energizing. Spread the news…

John McEuen
Late October..
p.s.
I know what I can be for Halloween! I think I’ll go as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band! I have the clothes already.

Oct 29, 2017 - 5:33:11 PM
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BTuno

USA

827 posts
Joined Mar 3, 2007

John will always be THE founder and BEST member of NGDB. Too bad about the circumstances and bad on the other members for letting this happen. Best of luck to John in his future endeavors!

Oct 29, 2017 - 6:38:19 PM

1767 posts
Joined Oct 9, 2004

John's rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever" on the "String Wizards" cd is still an integral part of our home fireworks on every 4th of July (and our displays border on commercial grade ).

Happy trails to all and best of luck to John,
Randy in Germantown, TN

Oct 30, 2017 - 9:03:33 AM

230 posts
Joined Apr 1, 2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by BTuno

John will always be THE founder and BEST member of NGDB. Too bad about the circumstances and bad on the other members for letting this happen. Best of luck to John in his future endeavors!


My thoughts exactly, best of luck to the best of the band.

Oct 30, 2017 - 9:12:29 AM

7178 posts
Joined Feb 22, 2007

I caught their 50th anniversary show at the Ryman, magical night. They can hang it up now, without John it's a tribute band. But hey, 50 years should be enough for anybody, and is much more than most bands, (or marriages!), can survive. They have a huge musical legacy that will survive their squabbles.

Oct 30, 2017 - 9:17:28 AM

raharris Players Union Member (Moderator)

USA

3441 posts
Joined Jan 11, 2009

There can't be a NGDB without McEuen. It's like the Lester Scruggs band without Lester, or Peter Paul and Mary without Peter and Mary, etc.

And I don't understand "the corporation." I thought a band was a bunch of people playing music, not an incorporated entity . . .

Oct 30, 2017 - 9:29:08 AM

12998 posts
Joined Dec 2, 2005

quote:
Originally posted by raharris


And I don't understand "the corporation." I thought a band was a bunch of people playing music, not an incorporated entity . . .


Well, bands tend to start that way, but working bands usually have some form of a corporate structure - and, frankly, need one. Some bands are owned outright by an individual - no personal knowledge but I suspect you'd find bands like Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in that category; band members are essentially employees of the company. Special Consensus, Lonesome River band and probably others likely the same.

Others are partnerships, with some or all of the members sharing an ownership interest (percentages of which likely vary due to differring factors).

Remember, it's not just about playing the music. With successful bands there is brand equity in the name; there is percentages of royalties, performance fees, etc. And bands have expenses - including transportation, lodging, accounting, payroll, recording expenses, etc.

This is probably more dramatic in rock and roll world. Consider the history of Pink Floyd, and the poopshow that followed once Roger Waters quit the band and declared it over. David Gilmore and Nick Mason thought otherwise. Or look at Yes, which has had so many members come and go so many times nobody can keep it straight. But the rights to the name are currently owned by Steve Howe and Alan White (unless they've given other players an equity stake).

Oct 30, 2017 - 9:45:22 AM

761 posts
Joined Sep 12, 2016

I have a few of their recordings.One of their first rare junk is a kind of forgetful jug band foray,their next my favorite by far is the Uncle Charlie album.I read that it was John's brother that rode herd on this one,It was anything from a very old wire recording to phase shifted guitar and banjo.solo mandolin crescendo ,bach on banjo,killer scruggs style, An excellent mix of ancient to modern gentres.The circle albums were nice .Then they showed up as the ''dirt band'' with the nashville sound,yuk.Nothing even close to the true homestead and garage band feeling of the uncle charlie album.I dare say miles away from the music John had to offer.Maybe John can recapture some of his best.my 2 cents,not that anyone has to agree

 

A link about John's brother.I read that he once told John the beatles did not use banjos,as an advice.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0568530/

Edited by - Tractor1 on 10/30/2017 09:50:28

Oct 30, 2017 - 12:25:59 PM

230 posts
Joined Apr 1, 2013
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland
quote:
Originally posted by raharris


And I don't understand "the corporation." I thought a band was a bunch of people playing music, not an incorporated entity . . .


Well, bands tend to start that way, but working bands usually have some form of a corporate structure - and, frankly, need one. Some bands are owned outright by an individual - no personal knowledge but I suspect you'd find bands like Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in that category; band members are essentially employees of the company. Special Consensus, Lonesome River band and probably others likely the same.

Others are partnerships, with some or all of the members sharing an ownership interest (percentages of which likely vary due to differring factors).

Remember, it's not just about playing the music. With successful bands there is brand equity in the name; there is percentages of royalties, performance fees, etc. And bands have expenses - including transportation, lodging, accounting, payroll, recording expenses, etc.

This is probably more dramatic in rock and roll world. Consider the history of Pink Floyd, and the poopshow that followed once Roger Waters quit the band and declared it over. David Gilmore and Nick Mason thought otherwise. Or look at Yes, which has had so many members come and go so many times nobody can keep it straight. But the rights to the name are currently owned by Steve Howe and Alan White (unless they've given other players an equity stake).


I agree it is more the rule than the exception.. that is why I always had a great deal of respect for Bob Seger's way of doing things.. despite the fact he was the name in the band Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, he split all the earnings of tours / CDs / LPs with the band members. He basically said these guys were with me through the rough years, they deserve the rewards as much as I do now that times are good. Pretty rare though.

Oct 30, 2017 - 12:49:42 PM

Craig_B Players Union Member

USA

806 posts
Joined Nov 22, 2009

They were groundbreaking in many ways, and I'm sad to see this happen, but frankly, with a few isolated flashes of brilliance, the latter part of the band's career has, IMO, seen them trending toward sound-alike, watered-down country rock, largely interchangable with late-period Pure Prairie League and Ozark Mountain Daredevils. All three started out with unique voices, and all three eventually veered off toward middle of the road pablum. Again, IMO.

Oct 30, 2017 - 3:38:13 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

20688 posts
Joined Jun 25, 2005

Most bands, for the most part, have one member (maybe two) who is "the musician in the bunch."  For the Dirt Band, that was McEuen.  His previous extended absence, and now his leaving, left us, and leave us again, with a musical entity that may have the legal title to the name, but without that same musical essence.  I had a chance to spend an hour or so with John in a radio studio years ago.  Soft-spoken, complete lack of arrogance and a hell of a player.

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