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Proper etiquette for backlining gearWhat’s the proper etiquette for backlining gear?

The Roots’ drummer Questlove announced via Instagram that the band has pulled out of a pair of upcoming, high-profile David Bowie tribute shows at Carnegie Hall this week, apparently — and the details are hazy — because some other artist on the bill wouldn’t share their gear with The Roots.

First, the request to backline in this situation seems totally understandable. It limits the changeover time for each of the fifteen acts slated to play. Plus, The Roots probably would’ve had to rush over to the gig after taping The Tonight Show (as they do every day) at Rockefeller Center. Easier to just show up and play the backlined kit, right?

Anyway, someone wasn’t so keen on the idea and the band bailed out, feeling they’d been disrespected.

So, here’s my question: under what circumstances would you NOT let another artist use your gear? Don’t you feel like backlining is standard practice at a tribute show or fundraiser concert? What’s the proper etiquette for borrowing other peoples’ instruments, amps, drums, etc.?

Let me know your thoughts below.

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