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Fee for performing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Steve S, May 6, 2002.


  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I had a long talk this weekend with a bandmate and need your collective thoughts regarding this issue....

    I play in a four piece band playing rockabilly and classic rock. The band has been together for 10 years and the lead guitar player and I on the bass joined last summer. We've had fun playing at the gigs and want to play more. The ages of the players go from 48 - 53...all of us have day jobs so none of us are dependent on the music for extra income. There is a possibility that we can play at three gigs next month....

    The lead singer (Dick) and the drummer (Slim) have tension between them at rehearsal and at the gigs. Nothing big but something that is always present. I guess this has been going on since the band has been together. Dick wants to do the gigs, he's always said that he's into this for fun and not the money. I feel the same way. Slim does not want to play if he doesn't get the kind of money that he expects...not sure the amount but probably around $100 each. Dick suggested that we pay Slim more than the rest of us so that he will play. I told Dick that I wouldn't do that and if anyone gets more money, it should be him because he sings 90% of the songs, plays rhythym and lead guitar and does most of the tasks for the band....contacting the clubs...set up the rehearsals....chart the songs...etc., etc. Slim just plays the drums. I suggested finding another drummer to play at the gigs that Slim refuses to do. Dick then said that he wouldn't take any cut and just divide the money three ways. I didn't think much of that idea either. I told Dick that this would eventually wreck the harmony in the band.

    Any feedback from you guys will be appreciated...
     
  2. Is there some kind of federal law that says that all rockabilly bands must have at least one member named "Slim?" :p

    I have a regular gig with a saxophone player who has a successful dental practice. To get good players (such as me, naturally) and to get more gigs, he lowballs the club owner and doesn't pay himself or his wife, who is a VSO (Vocalist-Shaped-Object).

    I have to admit that it is kind of a weird arrangement. Other band leaders in the area don't like it much, because the dentist can charge the venue peanuts for a quintet, taking gigs away from bands whose leader want to pay all members well and equitably (including themselves).

    On the other hand, the dentist is having a great time and obviously doesn't need the bread. But I feel like he holds it over our heads a little, reminds us when he pays us that he isn't getting any bread. I feel a little bit under his thumb.


    Uh, does this help?
     
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Ed,
    You da man. BTW, check out my website. I think you would find it familiar.
     
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Ed,
    I don't really live in Augusta. But I'm not that far away. I live in Woodside Plantation (Aiken).
    No, we don't do the "alterna-thang", it's more straight kinda 70's-ish rock. We do our own thing, with our own songs. We call it "old school alternative". Kinda an alternative to the "alterna-thang".
    You and I are the same age, so it seems strange that we never bumped into each other, but I guess I was hanging with the rock guys (being one of the rock guys). It does surprise me that Keith Gregory is not familiar to you; but, then I don't know how long you've been away. The readers of "Augusta Magazine" have voted Keith "favorite male vocalist" five years in a row. He is very well known around the CSRA and surrounding areas.
    If or when you come back to Bum#$% ;), shoot me a PM, maybe we can hook-up and have a beer or something.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    JEEVES,

    This is actually more common than you think. I play with Jamey Aebersold a couple of times a month - once at a coffeehouse here in town, and once at a little restaurant/club. At the coffeehouse you play for the door and can charge what you want; at the club, there's money for a trio but no more. Jamey always likes to play with at least a Quartet, so he always hires who he wants and then just deals with getting everybody paid. I know for a fact that he's playing for free and giving everyone in the band a little extra money. No one has a problem with this.

    I've also hired groups where everyone doesn't get paid the same. Like Ed says, if someone calls you for a gig and they say it pays $____, what difference does it make if someone else in the band is making more than that? Sometimes in the past (in my previous life as a pianist) when the camps were in town I'd offer more money on a gig to one of the heavier guys like John Adams or Lynn Seaton just to get them interested in playing the gig. I don't see anything wrong with it. The important thing is to play the gig and make as much music and have as much fun as possible. FWIW.


    WORKING DURRL
     
  6. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Hey Durrl,

    I'm going to Lynn's camp next month. One week studying with that guy, I should make some improvements.

    BTW, Lynn was a long-haired rock and roll bassist at OU when the trumpeter/ drummer that I play with, Stephen Fulton, took him in for jazz lessons so he could have a bassist around. He really took off from there.

    Monte
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    My input on the pay thing is that if you are happy with the pay, take it and go for it. I never worry about what the other guy makes. I know many times I've been paid more than some of the others, and sometimes I've been paid less. When I book the Earl Enterline Quartet for weddings, I take a hefty leader fee because I know I have to deal with the brides' million little suggestions. I then pay the guitarist extra beacause he owns the PA. On a club gig that pays less, we all get the same. The main group I play with, the leader keeps the tips but pays us all the same.

    The dentist playing for free I have a problem with. One thing nobody has mentioned yet is that when you price yourself low, you risk becoming seen as not valuable. The first rule of sales is to always make the other guy feel like he got a deal, and they will be happier about paying you. I always start negotiating at more than I think I'll get, and often end up getting my asking price.

    Monte
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    All of your comments are interesting because I didn't realize that different pay rates between the musicians were that common. If it is a group and the members don't use other players, would this still be the norm? I can understand if different players are hired for different gigs and, depending on their skills and qualifications, don't all receive the same pay but how about if it's the same guys? Do a lot of you guys play in bands where people are paid differently?
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Wow, that's an understatement! The long hair part doesn't surprise me - he had a kind of hippie vibe going when I first met him. I bet he was a great Rocker - he's sure as hell got the attitude! Have fun.