NJ Acoustic Music in the Park Message Board › My fill of phil

My fill of phil

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user 9319678
Piscataway, NJ
Post #: 75
Phil, I didn't know you became a mind reader in my absence. Joe B's comment might have
directed at me. Maybe it was, but then again maybe it wasn't. If Joe has a problem with me,
he'll pick up the phone or take me aside and we'll discuss like a couple of grown men, not
like some sophomoric, pathetic dweeb who's been hiding in academia his whole life. You could
learn a lot from Joe as to what it means to be a stand up guy, a true man. We may not agree
all the time but I know where I stand with him, and I respect him for that.

I think it's funny how you and your clique call my suggestions complaining. You just can't
take the fact that I don't agree with the way you are running this group. I don't worship
the ground you walk on or think you defecate ice cream. The fact of the matter is that you
have taken over this group and like any other petty dictator, it's your way or the highway.
This mindset may be fine for you and your worshipers but it's not what the total
membership agrees with. I tend to be more vocal then most and speak my mind. If you or
anyone else doesn't like it, well that's just too friggin bad. Get over yourselves!

I mentioned a petty dictator. Let me explain that so you can understand it. First off you
take a song that is traditionally in one key but you take it and transpose it in to another
key that's more ukelele friendly. Regardless of how it changes the song or how hard it is now
to play on the guitar. You take songs that people have posted and change them without their
consent or knowledge. Is it just because you like seeing "posted by Phil" all over the
files page?

You also managed to weasel your way in to the leadership of the Princeton Area Pickers. Due
to my schedule I wasn't always able to drive the thirty five miles to get there. When I was
finally able to make one I was excited at the prospect of dusting off all those old
Bluegrass and Old Timey tunes I used to play so long ago. Imagine my disappointment to find
that you had them all playing Wagon Wheel and a bunch of other tunes from NJAMP's semi
permanent set list. You’re like a one trick pony. They are hardly Bluegrass tunes are they?
But you were now an "organizer" and bent everyone else to the will of Phil. I received an email from Andrew yesterday morning regarding the future of the Princeton
Area Pickers. Funny how after you became and organizer with that group, they stopped
playing Bluegrass and Old Timey tunes and started playing your lame tunes instead. I am enclosing his message which I'm sure you got as well being a member of the group.

"Dear Friends -

I was sorry to miss the last meetup in December due to a family emergency, but glad to hear
that the session went well.

I also regret that I was unable to schedule a meetup in January. This brings up a larger
issue: Is Princeton Area Pickers sustainable? I had hoped that the group would mature into
more of a self-sustaining model but, so far, that has not happened. In addition, I sense a
divergence in musical interests: whereas I am most interested in traditional bluegrass, old
time, and country music, others are more interested in folk while still others are
interested in acoustic rock. All of which is fine but makes it hard for the group to gel.

So, I must ask all of you: Should we keep PAP going? If so, what are your suggestions for
making it a better experience for all?



All anyone has to do is go back through PAP's recent meetup list and see that it
has become nothing more than a practice session for Off The Grid. I did try and warn
Andrew about allowing you into the leadership, correctly prophesying your coup of his group.
I feel bad for him at the hands of your treachery. It's far easier for you to make a whole group of people bend to your will than it is for you to try and fit in to what's already been established. You've got some set of balls doing that to Andrew.

And as long as I am on the subject of songs being posted, why are they all uploaded to your
Dropbox account and not the groups file section? That's a rhetorical question. I know the
answer to that and I'm going to let the whole membership in on your dirty little secret.
The fact of the matter is you're a control freak and you want to limit access to it. Case
in point, after our last little go around, you deleted my access to it even though I have
contributed songs to it as well as everyone else.

Nobody asked you to do do that but you took it upon yourself to do it and screw everyone
who didn't like it. Hmmm pretty much like you not wanting to start a Facebook page as Phil
V had suggested a while back. Maybe it was because it wasn't your idea or you were jealous
that someone else had come up with a good idea. I didn't see any reason not to have one so
I did it. LOL Boy did I catch some crap over that one from the Phil followers. But others
thought it was a good idea But I stand by my decision to do it and if it pissed you
off, so much the better.

David brought up some valid points that I have been making ever since you wormed your way
in to the leadership. But because he's only been to four meetups you and the rest of your
crew slammed him down. If the value you put on someone's comments or observations is
dictated by how long you've been a member of this group, then none of you have anything to
say as far as I'm concerned. I've been a member from the third meetup in the park we had.
In case you can't do the math Phil, I was member of this group before even you came around.

Tommy's name was brought up and how he started another splinter group. If you care to go back about
a year and a half ago in the discussion about the bad boys you'll see I was speaking my
mind then and offered to run the bad boys group. I wasn't offered it because there's no
love lost between you and me. It lasted for a little while and then fell by the wayside
because of Sun Tavern and your lack of concern to find another venue.

When I posted a discussion about us not having any meetups in the park any more, you listed
a litany of excuses why you couldn't do it. I wasn't alone in my concern about not going to
the park to play once the weather broke. If you want to be an organizer, then the scope of
your duties is not just limited to barking out the next song, or rudely interrupting people
playing a tune because they're tired of waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass
to call the next song.

Tommy is another stand up guy and a good friend. Tommy has a heart as big as the great
outdoors. He is the first to arrive and the last to leave. He'll bend over backwards to
help anyone regardless of if there's anything in it for him or not. When you started off
the grid I know he felt slighted that he wasn't included despite all he has done for the
group as a whole. I applaud his efforts and dedication to the group. Tommy unlike you Phil
is always open to suggestions. He, unlike you doesn't take it personally or as someone
trying to usurp his authority. His group has grown and has morphed into something really

user 9319678
Piscataway, NJ
Post #: 76
part 2

You are correct that I haven't been able to make a lot of his meetups. Unlike you I have a
life outside of meetup. Any of my true friends know that I have been dealing with some
health issues, the death of my sister and also the death of three very close friends. One
who just passed away last night after a long illness. Also you know that I am involved with
curling and that takes a majority of my time in the winter.. But go ahead and try and slam me
as well like you did to David. The crowds and Mannion's sub-par food and service aside, the
main reason I haven't been to Mannion's meetups is you Phil. I despise you and everything
you stand for. And I for one feel that your fifteen minutes are up and it's time for you to
step down. This group needs better direction then what you have been doing.

If you really had the groups best interests at heart you'd do more to help the beginners
and novices. When the group was a smaller, more manageable size I was able to help out some
members with chord changes and some basic theory. I found that very gratifying and I hope I
was some small help to them. But the way the group has grown without limits that's not
possible any longer. I've learned to play by the graciousness of other musicians better than
myself. They took it upon themselves to share with me, what others have shared with them.
Funny but the last few times I was at Mannion's I didn't see you trying to help anyone out.

One of the last times I was at Mannion's Ange wanted to do "Comes a Time" by Neil Young. A
great tune that I've been playing ever since that album came out. As the group was playing
it, the tempo was all over the place, the chord changes were very sloppy and the singing was terrible. But yet you all applauded yourselves when you finished. I looked around and there were a few people just as puzzled as myself as to why you would applaud at best a dismal attempt at a song. But that's you Phil, Lord of Mediocrity.

The simple fact of the matter Phil is you're a big fish in a very small pond. You've
wrested control of this group away from the original organizers and anyone who doesn't
kowtow to you is branded a complainer and a trouble maker. Did you ever ask yourself why a
lot of members come for a few meetups and then never return? Let me clue you in. It's
because of what I have been saying for the past year and a half. Mannion's is too crowded,
the food and service are terrible. There are too many people trying to play obscure songs
they've never heard of before. We need group limits and also limit the number of people
playing and singing at one time. But that will never happen while you are in control of it. Is the reason you don't do it because it's easier for you to hide in a group of that size?
Do everyone a favor and step down. This group has stagnated under your stewardship. This
group needs someone who has the groups best interests at heart and not their own. We need
to help and encourage the beginners and novices. Not just hand them a perfectly formatted
song sheet and say "here ya go, have at it". We need to limit the number of attendees or
find a larger venue. I have often thought about why you didn't do that and I think that
maybe you might be getting a kick back from Mannions for all the money we spend in there. I can't see any other reason why you would want to jam so many people into such a small room.

We have 277 members in this meetup group but not even 10 percent come to the meetups most of the time. Out of that 10 percent, half of them are in off the grid. (Seems more like a band practice to me than anything else.) That also tells me that for every one person who thinks you're doing a good job, there are ten more who don't care for the way things are run.

Well there it is. Someone had to say it.

A former member
Post #: 8

I have very little interest in the interpersonal drama of meetup groups, but I have to say that Fil has been very helpful to me over the past two years (as have a great many people in the group). I'm not a professional musician, I don't have a lot of time to practice, and a large part of why I enjoy playing with this group as opposed to people my own age is that this group is non-judgmental, and just plays.

I don't care if you don't like Fil.
I can't be bothered with the politics of other music meetups.
Mostly, I absolutely don't want my email being cluttered with angry rants about the one thing in my life that is simple and drama-free.

I understand that you have a vision for what this group could be. For all I know, it could be better than the status quo. The thing is, this is not the way to do it. I'm not sure if we've met before, but this is no way to win me over. Publicly berating a guy who is volunteering his time is not a good way to win hearts and minds.

Lastly, and I truly hope you don't take this the wrong way, but this posting does not meet with the standards that you set for Fil in the first paragraph.

"If Joe has a problem with me, he'll pick up the phone or take me aside and we'll discuss like a couple of grown men, not like some sophomoric, pathetic dweeb who's been hiding in academia his whole life. You could
learn a lot from Joe as to what it means to be a stand up guy, a true man. We may not agree
all the time but I know where I stand with him, and I respect him for that."

This disagreement was not a public one. It should have been dealt with over a beer. Not in my inbox.
A former member
Post #: 23
I haven't been to a meetup with this group in awhile, and really have no clue or care about any inner conflicts. I'm not sure if we met either, but I don't think this was the way to go about an issue with someone. Really, it could have been kept to email, or like you suggested in an early part of your post, by telephone. Just a little constructive criticism.
user 9319678
Piscataway, NJ
Post #: 77
David, if you go back to last Thursdays meetup page, you'll see that I wasn't the one who started the attacks or made them public. Nor am I trying to win hearts and minds. But I'll be goddamned if I'm going to sit by and watch someone get slammed for voicing his or her own opinion.

The other David didn't deserve it and when I came to his defense, I was attacked as well. Those people involved chose to make it public not me. Maybe you should go back and read what was posted. And no I didn't take it the wrong way.

This just a suggestion and I hope you don't take it the wrong way, but with all the emails from all the groups I belong to, I turned off my email notifications. My inbox is a lot less crowed.
Dave G.
user 13814197
High Bridge, NJ
Post #: 6
Just so you know, Dusty, there is a bluegrass-old Timey jam at Mannions on Tuesday nights and on Thursday nights at a place called the Coffee Coop in Belvedere,NJ. I've been to the Coffee Coop jam and it is cool - different folks every week and it's usually a small group. Check it out if you really wanna play some old Timey or bluegrass music.
Also, I am in an old Timey bNd that is looking for a banjo player if you are interested.

user 11393383
Newcastle, ME
Post #: 45
Bob, you and I have had our differences but I think we've always been pretty straight with each other.
You know that I understand you have been going through a really, really rough time, but your diatribe in a public forum about FiL, or anybody else is inappropriate. The issues you have with FiL are self inflicted manifestations of an over active imagination. Bob... you sound paranoid, man.
I'm in OTG and proud of it, and we are very cognizant of the fact that we don't ever want to make the Thursday meet ups into an OTG rehearsal session.
There is a keen understanding that the meetup is a place for folks of varying guitar playing skill levels to come together and play,sing and have a good time.
So what if it doesn't sound perfect and the group compliments itself? There are plenty of times when FiL, me or other Meetup members can be critical as well. I'm sure you've been there and heard stuff like, "We sped up", or "too slow", " Who's out of tune?", "that was painful".
I know of several regular members who always remind me that they are relatively new to guitar and are proud of themselves to have been able to play through an entire song and then hear a compliment.
People don't need to come to the meet ups to get crapped on by other members who think their playing is not up to someones level of perfection.
You mention Tommy a number of times. Yes, Tommy and Autumn have performed OUTSTANDING work on the open mic nights at Rolf's, and they have been rightfully applauded for an incredible job in making their events super successful. I have attended and performed at each one and had a great time!
So it seems to me, Tommy (who no one disputes would give you the shirt off his back) has taken his energy and positioned it in an overwhelmingly positive direction. In addition to Tommy's open mic events, he also instituted his Wednesday workshops for those Meet up members who enjoy a smaller more personal group. No one ever tried to stop him...as a matter of fact Tom was encouraged, even if he wasn't, he would go ahead with his plans anyway, and why not?
Everyone that knows you realizes you have a "full plate"...self-employed, your Curling team, your musical pursuits and god knows what else, we all have our own sh/t, but as one respondent already stated you could have emailed fil privately, your concerns could have been handled differently.
If my opinion matters for anything you're wasting too much time and energy on all this, and I would apologize to FiL.
Alan Z
user 9374016
Group Organizer
Bridgewater, NJ
Post #: 141

This public forum is no place to attack one of our members. If you have a problem with the way something in the meetup works you can message me directly and we can discuss. I am the one who decides where and when the meetups are scheduled.

Jim and I invited FiL to be an organizer and highly value his significant contributions to this meetup group. I know that the vast majority of our member are very supportive of the way the meetup has been run and this is evidenced by our huge success and high degree of participation.

I have always been open to considering any suggestions our members have. This is what has led to our series of Workshop meetups hosted by Tommy at Rolf's.

I am however not open to personal attacks on any of our members and this must stop to allow our group to continue to remain the fun friendly place it has been up until now.
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