>The first cruise has gone by like a lamb. We are on our 8th drummer and this one is only staying until the middle of this cruise. The count is: 2 drummers (and one bass) fired, 1 that would have been if he wasn’t so short term, and 2 guys who can only come out for 2 weeks at a time, and 1 guy who was fine but drank a lot.
I have a formula down now, and I think our last drummer proves my theory that the longer a guy is available for, the worse he is. The last guy was staying for 5 months, I was skeptical. He lasted a cruise. I don’t even think they let him play for most of it. They made him sit in the wings until they could send him and the equally competent bass player home.
The new trombone player shows up. He is available for 4 months. This scares me. He is overly clean and fastidious and I get a very creepy feeling. I wonder how he passed the background check. The last trombone player could only stay for two cruises, she was awesome, and we didn’t have one before that.. the guy before that was a self-confessed murderer (you can imagine THAT conversation going down well with me in the crew bar trying to slowly finish my drink and creep away..) “How’s your murderous band today?,” my friend would cheerfully ask me. The trombone before that had a tendency to flip out at everyone around him and was fired from his previous ship under very embarrassing circumstances involving nudity. The guy before that, we all remember S, who liked hookers and stitching, well, he ran off to join the monks never to return.
It seems now that my band is all old guys. 2 new old guys joined us in Miami. I introduced them to the other old guys making up the band. “Old guy – meet old guy! You must have a lot to catch up on…”
Our poor steady trumpeter finally got fired for, well, drunkenness and he will be sorely missed. We have a brand new one, the Airline Pilot, and this is his vacation. He plays really well. I didn’t even mention the sax player a week we got when our regular guy was on vacation. I think we got 3 new sax players in a month. An insane chick, a guy with an awesomely funny name, and a schoolteacher.
Yeah. It’s not good days for the drunken band and I have stopped having criteria like “don’t send me anyone who was fired from another cruise line.” Gone are the days when I said, send him out for a month only and we’ll see if his personality fits. We are just taking warm bodies now. You can apply.
But this cruise is going well so far, with the Airline Pilot, the regular Sax Player, the Dubious Trombone and the rhythm section: the self-dubbed “Jews Who Play The Blues”
It’s soon to be only one Jew playing the blues. Somebody throw me a life ring..
Here’s the map for this cruise, “Grand Panama”