After writing all this and rereading it, I realize it's more of a vent than anytihing. Fair warning. Was asked to join a tribute band a little over a year ago. I already knew most of the material, and made clear with the guy that I'd be down if it were a minimal rehearsal, get out and make money situation. He assured me that they hated rehearsing, and that the gigs always pay upwards of $100 per man. First gig we played was 1 set with a backline, and I made $80. It was packed, fun, and worth it. 2nd gig, paid $500 per person. Sweet. Played about a dozen gigs since then, and if I made a total (all gigs combined) of $200, that would be a lot. Considering travel and rehearsal costs, I'm actually down a couple of hundred. We've been playing little to no pay shows and it's all due to a very articulate BL who simply loves to play, and comes up with arguments that are very convincing to the other band members. a few of the deets: Of course we immediately jumped into rehearsing once a week. Something in retrospect I should have never agreed to, but they wanted to cover a lot of material, and everyone agreed, so I figured I'd be a team player. I was enjoying hanging with the guys too. They have a rental rehearsal space that they store their stuff in, and do other projects. Band leader a couple of months into it asked if we'd be down for kicking a little in for the studio. No problem. I said I'd throw $15 per rehearsal. Then it was decided that this bi-monthy gig we play that was only paying $150 + tips would pay for the our share for the studio. OK, still.... but now we're only rehearsing 2X a month, and we're pulling in a few hundred in tips. And band leader is happy, his studio bill is being paid for, and I had agreed to it. Yes, I told him things had changed and wanted to go back to the $15 deal. He agreed, but unwillingly, and at the price of a new found tension between us. I'll try to keep this short. The shows we're playing are pretty prestigous venues, and if not they're venues that draw a lot of people. The gigs are fun, I have a big time and money investment in this now, and the BL is convinced that this is the way to go. That we're building a following, which we are, and then the big paying gigs will come. I disagree. I believe we've become part of a self fullfilling prophecy, and I'm not very faithful about it changing. We accept gigs for $0 to $200, and therefore believe that that's what we're worth. As long as that's acceptable, then a $300 gig becomes BIG bucks. This is freaking ridiculous. I'm almost embarrassed to write about it. I've played in bands that sucked, and made way more money. This band kicks ass. We play great venues, but we need to bust out of this rut. So... we just got another gig. At a venue that the world knows the name of. And we're playing for free. I didn't know about the "free" part until this morning. Was asked last week if I were available for a date at this prestigious place and immediately said, "absolutely". Feel like I was duped. I've expressed myself fully to the band. Everyone seems to agree except the BL who has an incredibly strong personality. Tension is growing between us, as we're beginning to butt heads on many issues. I love this band. I've invested a lot and don't want to throw that investment out the window. Yet I want to move forward and am now at a loss as to how to confront this situation anymore. I've expressed myself thoroughly and everyone agreed, we were taking no more no paying gigs, and then bam... it happens again the very next week. Along with 2 more of those "tip" gigs, because everyone really does have fun at them, and BL argues that they're really fun paid rehearsals. Which they are. I am doing all I can to get this band booked from someone other than the BL, including myself. I suck at doing bookings though. Vent over. I'm braced for the responses I know I'm going to hear. A tribute band gigging for no $$$? Dude you're nuts. Maybe I should have titled this thread "How does an excellent band, get excellent paying gigs?" Your turn.