Had fun, but not worth it...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by hrodbert696, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    So the cover band just played a private party last night, for a motorcycle club our drummer is in. A week or so ago, I asked via email what the pay was going to be (since no one ever thought to mention it...) and found out it would be "pass the hat." Oh great. But I've heard of some of these events where there's lots of people present and they're really generous to the entertainment, so here's hoping...

    For the past couple weeks everyone's been preoccupied with the weather, our big heat wave, and word is that it would break - guess when? - yesterday evening, with popup thunderstorms as the cold front passes through. Get to the house and we're playing outside on a deck, no cover of any kind. The singer says "pray it doesn't rain," and apparently it's only a 40% chance any given place will get one.

    So we set up, still dry ... start playing a song for sound check and the drops start coming down... and then coming down HARD. Everybody grabs gear and starts ripping out cords and hauling it into the house, we all get soaked. It passes pretty quickly and the sun comes out, so we wipe everything dry and start setting up again.

    Everything's pretty good once we start playing - a little rough, considering all the distraction, but folks seem to enjoy us, there are some girls dancing, not too bad.

    The place is an hour from home. Setup was supposed to around 4 and 5, start playing around 6, since we normally go 3 hours I figured we'd wind up and strike about 9 and I'd be home between 10 and 11. Between the weather, chitchat between songs, and taking some requests, I don't leave the party till midnight, home at 1 am. Wifey no happy... :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    And the bottom line - not a big bash with hundreds of people, this was a little event with maybe 30 guests. Tips bucket goes around and our total take is.... Eighty bucks. To split five ways. I get home with $16.00 in my pocket.

    Time for a talk with the band...
  2. Slade N

    Slade N Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    yeah thats a detail to get before commitment

    ...atleast you paid for your gas...coulda been worse/less
  3. Some of my most favorite 'gigs' have been at private parties. Not much cash if any, but fun, no pressure situations with an appreciative audience.

    That plus free beer and plenty of good food can make it pay off better than some of the purely paying gigs I have been on.

    If you don't like doing these types of fun gigs you may be in the wrong band.
  4. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    Yeah but how many boobies did ya get to ogle? :eek::eek:
  5. jason weatherby

    jason weatherby

    Aug 30, 2012
    hour ride....
    "...atleast you paid for your gas..."
    Not unless he was making the round-trip on a moped........
  6. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    pass the hat only works with yoga sessions at community centers, sorry man
  7. Hi,

    Yes, I've had a ton of fun at some of my non-paying gigs. But yours doesn't sound like one of them. Tough break.

    It sounds like you got some good "exposure". Of course, people can die from too much exposure. ;)

    If you were able to pass out any cards or flyers perhaps some other gigs can come out of this one. But you have to be careful about playing for nothing because people will think that you'll do it all the time. Take care.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Yes and no here. It's like this; if I had been asked up front, Can we play for the drummer's friends for free on x date, I would have said sure, we'll do it for him and that's cool. But what I was asked was if I was available for a gig opportunity on x date, and only told after what it was. If I had been told this was not a paying thing before committing, then 16 bucks would have been a bonus.

    You're definitely right that (thankfully) it was indeed low pressure and an appreciative audience. So that was good. In and of itself, it wasn't a bad time. But I don't eat or drink very much, and unfortunately having plenty of free alcohol available to the guitarist doesn't go down in my book as a plus.

    But the time away from the family also counts. It doesn't play real well to say I'm going to go take off and party with some folks while leaving her on her own with the four kids and come back with no pay.

    Yeah. We may have won a few new fans, and we gave out some t-shirts. But it wasn't a big crowd for exposure, and being undersold is an issue in this group. I posted a thread last fall about the BL booking a party for $300 while he was on the opposite coast and then asking the band to help cover his airfare home... :rollno:

    I hired my own band to play my daughter's graduation party a few weeks ago, and made a point of paying everyone rather than asking them to do it as a favor. If we say we're a real working band, then we should treat ourselves that way. Feeling like the message didn't get across...
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Not telling...:ninja:
  10. Mike11121


    Sep 17, 2007
    Not necessarily, MPDD. There is a club near my home that has a jam night on Tuesday's (traditionally muso's night off in these parts) that attracts all sorts of pro players, but basically the same core band each Tuesday (they are all from different pro bands, so don't usually get the chance to play together otherwise). The deal is tips only, and has been for years I think.

    It's interesting that this Tuesday gig has become VERY popular with punters in the know (it's not really advertised) and other musicians looking for a night out with cheap beer and a good band. What these guys pull in tips on a typical night is maybe 3 to 4 times what they would make on a normal night with their regular band.

    I would have bet money that this wouldn't work, but there ya go. Strange.
  11. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    that's good that it can work out sometimes
  12. Mike11121


    Sep 17, 2007
    Yes - but it's the first time I've seen it. Usually I would have been in your camp on this one.
  13. Good points - and they should have been up front about it being a free gig. Good luck.