So, I finally have a "we got screwed" story to share. It's Friday, at a beloved local venue that is like a picnic ground with a liquor license. The adult lifestyle group is there (they don't like to be called swingers, but they are), in force. They love us, and request that we be the band, when they do meet & [DEL]mate[/DEL], ERRR, greets. It was the middle night of 3 nights in a row, for us, at 3 different venues. Musically, we were on top of our game, and the friends and fans made it even better. We were even aware of personnel from other bands being there, to check us out. You know that means something, especially in light of the following. The trouble is that the venue was charging a $5 cover; an abnormal instance. No biggie, it would seem, but our regular fans are not used to having to pay a cover, to catch us. Moreover, they were told, upon being asked to pay the cover charge, that it was "because of the band." We didn't see a dime of it. In fact, the bar had taken away the $50 tab that they had been allowing us, so we were asking to be paid the difference, instead. We can buy our own drinks. Not much fallout, that night, but, during the post-gig, Saturday, when we were patting each other on the back for 3 well-played gigs, a member of the band who works in law-enforcement, when told of the prior night's cover charge situation, was ready for blood. He indicated that the venue was committing fraud at the state and federal level, and possibly libel, as well. He has pledged to furnish the statute numbers, and we're gonna see what we can do about avoiding getting the shaft, for future gigs. We are back there, in a week, and will be watching closely. I do not feel that we should be asking for more money for that gig, but I do feel, moving forward, that we need to present our information to management, and indicate a willingness to go to war. My legal-eagle bandmate is talking about a $100K lawsuit, and we have at least a dozen friends/fans who would testify to being told about the cover charge being for the band. The reality is that, financially, it amounts to a small claims case, but from a criminal law standpoint, it does look like the opportunity to make a stand for ourselves, and every other band that is under-paid. If we are the draw, then we should get a piece of the door. It's no different from a cover charge situation for a pay-per-view event; the venue has to make up the expense. In our case, we had well over 200 folks there, but, for the sake of easiness, I will call it 200, at $5 a head. That's $1000. They have to pay someone running the door, and I will generously allow $100 for that. Cover was charged, beginning at 7:30, and through the end of the evening, with the music stopping at midnight (it is an outdoor venue, after all), so the $100 allowance for labor cost is very generous. That still leaves $900 of pure profit that the band deserves a piece of, especially we are being cited as the justification for the charge. To say that the band is the reason, without paying us, is untrue, and inherently libelous, not to mention running afoul of truth-in-advertising laws. When it comes to getting the gigs, and paying us, I have no qualms about our band leader, but I sense that he is weak-kneed, when it comes to asserting our position, with this venue. I'm not sure that he executes contracts for gigs, either, but that does not take away the criminality (it just means that we have to seek punitive, rather than compensatory damages, via the legal process, if it goes there; I suspect that there would be some sort of out-of-court accord reached, and want to present to the venue, with that in mind, so that it is still a win-win). That said, I don't want this to be one of the seemingly weekly Craig's List rants about the scene sucking, and venues abusing bands, so I am airing it, here, first. If it is deemed beneficial to our cause, I can always air it on CL, in the future. I thus welcome everyone's take on this.