Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, May 6, 2002.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just got done with another Derby season, and got another case of the dreaded DERBY DARKNESS in the process. Most of us have experienced our own version of this phenomenon: you find yourself in a really busy season of the year trying to juggle too much work, and then you get all of these calls for silly/stupid gigs that pay a lot. You need the money, so you take the gigs, but then you get that sinking feeling as soon as the gig starts: you're making great bread, but you know that NO POSITIVE MUSICAL ENERGY IS GONNA RESULT FROM THIS GIG, because either:

    a) The crowd is a bunch of drunken idiots who see the band as a musical "caterer" to their whims, or:

    b) The other musicians on the bandstand are all kind of burned out and just after the paycheck, or alternately, never really gave 2 cents about making music in the first place, or;

    c) Both.

    I know I should learn to take these situations with a grain of salt and just take the "well, I'm getting paid to sit here with a DB in my hands and practice intonation and time" attitude, but sometimes it all seems so stupid that I can't get past it. I made a vow when I first got into this business that I never wanted to become one of those tired old ****ers who just don't give a rat's *ss about making music as long as they're getting a paycheck, and I try to stand by that, but every once in awhile I find myself in one of those situations where there is just no way to win. And those nights are LONG, as many of you know.

    I'm not really looking for advice here...I mean, the answer is pretty simple, right? I either stop taking those gigs and earn the bread somewhere else or I get over how stupid the gig is and just do the best I can....but at this time it might be nice if anyone wanted to share stories of stupid "where's the razor blades?" gigs you've played, or how you deal with finding yourself in stupid musical situations without completely losing it or turning into an automaton. Anyone?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    After having tried, unsuccessfully, to quit playing, then having almost lost the ability to play to tendinitis, and spending a few years working in a cube farm, the worst day of music is better than the best day at a day gig.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Three words; "NO CRUISE SHIPS". Don't ask me how I know.
  4. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Ed's comment brings to mind a mind-game that has helped in some less-than-ideal (or downright terrible) conditions:

    I play as if someone is listening. Not just anyone, but some particular person who REALLY KNOWS. Jim Hall would do just fine! My dad. Michael Moore. Ed Fuqua.

    It's a poor substitute for genuine multi-party musical interaction with skilled, sober players, but at least it keeps me on my own musical toes.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Perhaps, there is a certain purity associated with the bass that I have yet to come to appreciate, but I have been in your boat 100s of times with slab gigs.

    I have baked under the lights for 2 hours plenty of times and walked away wondering why they bothered to spend $2-3K for background noise.

    I sometimes got frustrated, but more often than not I could entertain myself.

    I have found that if you scope out the crowd, 99 times out of 100 you can find at least one person who is enjoying what you are trying to do. I just focus on them, or spend a little more time enjoying listening to the others in the band.

  6. Hi Chris,
    the situation is familiar ;-)
    Recently made 600US at a gig like that
    and was smiling all the way to the bank !

  7. Chas,
    2-3k for you alone ?
    Maybe I should move to the US
    and kick some ass ?

  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If that were the case, I wouldn't have a day job.

    The last secular band I played in (six piece), our fee was $1800-2100 plus travel if beyond 75 miles and the contractor was responsible for sound reinforcement. That could easily get you close to $3K.

  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Ed - nice avatar! Kinda like Escher meets Ray Brown. Er, may that Ray WHITE....


    Would you mind dropping by some time and cleaning all of the coffee off of my computer screen? "Inadvertent Microtonalist", I should put that on my business cards. :D