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Do these guys have any money?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Skel, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Some of the bass players (and other musicians) that a lot of us grew up listening to - if they didn't write any of the music, do they have any money? Do they earn anything at all, even though they were well known or famous at one time? I think you guys get what I mean - if they aren't still working as musicians, or doing nastalgia type stuff - do they earn any money from hit songs they played on, but didn't write? If this ends up a "where are they now" thread -I'd sure be interested.

  2. I think the great story here is the ones that are still touring, recording and making wonderful music. The Stones, Who, Allman Bros. come immediately to mind. I saw the Allmans in just about every incarnation including with Duane. Last August they blew my socks off at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans after thirty five years. Oh yeah, Joe Cocker is still goin' strong too!!
  3. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hey Smash - No, it didn't burst my bubble at all - this is totally interesting stuff to me! I'll get that book you recommended. I would probably be shocked if I knew how broke some of these famous people are (and how rich the behind the scenes lawyers, managers, etc. are).

    Thanks for the great post.

  4. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yea - I totally love to see these guys out there still doin it. And hopefully it's because they love it, and not for just the money.

  5. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Wow. I never realized these books were out there. I will definitely get these - they sound fascinating. I do need to read about "Lemmy", because I know *nothing* about Motorhead, and had no idea this guy wrote lyrics for Ozzy or anybody else for that matter.

    Thanks for the great info.

  6. seventhson

    seventhson Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I've heard stories that big name bands receive hundreds of demos for songs that they can cherry pick from and buy outright for, say $30,000, (i have no idea what the market price is) from the songwriter.

    Once purchased, all the public knows is that the music/lyrics are by Jagger/Richards (e.g.).
  7. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The Allman Bros have turned themselves around,[one of my favorite bands] but Lamar Williams died pennyless, and was only getting a grand a week at the peak of their popularity in the 70's. Jamerson died broke too! The music business is a harsh mistress.
  8. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    But one thing we have to realize...
    These guys were very poor businessmen. Didn't save ****, thought their funds would last forever. The music industry is a shady cesspool of smart criminal-minded business men. Unfortunately, most artists don't spend enough time and won't concentrate enough on their finances. Too high, too drunk, too busy partying.
    Almost all of the groups/bands listed above were known for their ridiculous antics and substance abuse. If the average man were to do that, they would be broke, TOO.

    From all the touring and records sold, you know that they could've saved their money and easily been affluent, probably millionaires.

    A lot of jazz musicians are smarter than the average bear and they sign with smaller labels or start labels themselves and actually are probably a model by which other high profile musicians should follow.
  9. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Robert Trujillo made 1 million dollars his first ten minutes in Metallia.
  10. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    i wonder what he did with it :D
  11. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    One of the smartest business decisions I've ever heard of in music is what Dream Theater does. All of their "band profits" such as mechanical royalties, tour and merchandising sales, and anything else that is gained by the group as a whole goes into a common fund, to which each member draws a weekly salary. This eliminates lulls in their schedules such as recording and "off" time. Most of their individual "big ticket" money comes from endorsements and side-projects, but it seems to me to be a great way to ensure a steady income.

    That's absolutely one thing I would institute should I ever be in the position of a band with any type of mainstream success. The second would be to invent in/build a pro-level studio to record in, thus saving the enormous fees that labels tack onto bands and often are the cause of great financial losses.
  12. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I think that it's a bit of a stretch to infer that formerly famous musicians are lacking in funds because they were serially inebriated, crazy, or otherwise lacking in intelligence. While those are certainly traits you'll find among musicians, it should be noted that the industry and those who run it make it next to impossible to earn a decent living playing music unless you get in on a somewhat indie label or routinely crank out albums which sell millions.

    +1 on the Dream Theater thing.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    They made it pretty clear in the movie that the million bucks was just "up front money", like a loan. I'm sure Robert is doing well, but it's not like Metallica made him a full partner or anything.
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Leonard Cohen's manager ripped him off of all his retirement savings so now, in his 70's, he has to go out on the road again, make new albums etc. The thing is he is such a humble, noble man he takes it all in stride and is thankful for what he has and what he has experienced.
  15. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    They actually have give him a stake in "Metallica, Inc." the business based on his interview with BP (IIRC). Granted it's not a full 25%, but he seems fine with it as he realizes he's a new member/hasn't been around for the history of the band. I also believe that they drew up a contract that released him from any debts the band might incur before he joined, specifically the "Some Kind Of Monster" documentary that they funded and didn't know whether it would be a money maker or loser at the time.

    I believe this goes back to learning from the mistakes made in Jason's treatment, not specifically financially, but in the general area of "treating with respect".
  16. There are some bands out there too (U2, Coldplay) who credit the entire band with the writing even if not everyone has contributed the same amount.

    This goes a long way to securing a financial future for all members, and also eliminates some of the sort of hostilities that grew between the Beatles.
  17. well, here's someone who WROTE a bunch of stuff and then...
    (I know he's not a bassist but this is interesting)
    David Lee Roth recently got a gig as a radio personality. Before that, he was working as an EMT?!

    Can you imagine having a heart attack and having David Lee Roth come to save you????:meh:
  18. I thought DL Roth was doing the EMT for some kinda reality thing, like Tommy going back to college.

    hahaha DLR shows up, and does his flying kick outta the ambulance, gets in your face like his close up in the Panama video...