Behind the Music: Bryan Dondero | Solid State

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Behind the Music: Bryan Dondero

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 11:38 AM

So, remember a couple of months ago when Grace Potter & the Nocturnals bassist — and occasional Solid State contributor — Bryan Dondero left the band? To refresh your memory, when the news broke Bryan and I sat down for an interview, an abridged version of which appeared in the paper and which was printed in its entirety on this very blog. Though guarded in moments and obviously still struggling to make complete sense of the matter, he was generally candid throughout that interview and gave what seemed to be a fairly telling glimpse of life in GPN.

Um, yeah. About that …

In a post published on his blog today entitled "The Truth of Why I Left Grace Potter & the Nocturnals," Dondero unburdens himself, dishing a no-holds barred — and potentially libelous — account of his side of the story. To borrow a phrase, hold on to your fucking hat.

Among the highlights, Dondero dishes on the predicably sticky legal complications of extricating himself from the group (royalties, severence, etc), Grace's attempt to go solo and — *donning my best Perez Hilton outfit* — a blow-by-blow account of the conversation that ultimately led to his decision to leave the group. A snippet:

When I talked to Grace today, I said that I was leaving the band and“that I need to be explicitly clear about my reasons for leaving. I amnot leaving because I have lost faith in our music, I am not leavingbecause I have lost faith in our business decisions, I am not leavingbecause of the direction we have decided to go with our music or thebusiness. I am leaving because of what you (Grace) said to me lastnight. The things you said to me have wounded me beyond repair and Ican not recover from something like that. If you (Grace) really feeland believe the things you said to me last night, and you really arethat kind of person, then I can not play music with you.”

Grace: I feel like the things you do go against the grain of the rest of us.

Me [Dondero]: Like what? Give me an example.

Grace: This may sound vain, but the things you wear on stage… I thinksome of the things you do like putting your foot on the monitor or jumpon the riser are at really inappropriate moments.

Grace: I feel closer to Chuck and Bobby than I do you. (our tourmanager and front of house crew that was on the road for severalmonths, compared to the 6 years that I have known Grace)

Grace: You have incredible integrity, and I feel like I don’t, and your integrity really scares me.

Grace: I don’t think you will ever be happy in this band.

And that's just the first bit. It goes on for quite a while and gets much, much stickier. When you've got a spare thirty minutes or so, I heartily suggest reading Dondero's retelling in its entirety. Guess he finally decided to eat that peach.

No response yet from the GPN camp, though an email was sent to GPN's Cado Burr earlier this morning. I'll keep you posted …

In other Potter news news, there is a midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie tonight at the Sunset Drive-In.

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About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox... more

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