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How's Your Music Scene: The Answer

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BrotherEarl, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Came across this on my FaceBook news feed. Since the issue is still unresolved I've gone and blurred the names.

    Having been screwed by venues before it's refreshing to see folks willing to take action. New England is a place here contracts don't really happen at most places so the venues always have the upper hand when things go South.

    2017-12-20 17_34_54-(1) Facebook. 2017-12-20 17_36_56-(2) Facebook.
  2. kartiste


    May 5, 2008
    This is odd. I saw something on FB about a venue in my area - far, far away from New England - that had different details but the same tone, namely, "don't trust these guys, they are out to screw you", with refutations and apologies from the venue owner. Maybe a coincidence ...
  3. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    As much as I empathize with the OP that set it all up with low pay, not a lot of good comes from broadcasting grievances like that -- from a business perspective.

    Now he's got an assault threat from the owner of the place. That owner might talk to other owners, besmirching the OP's name. Other clients may see his facebook and decide the OP's too risky to deal with as a band leader when things go awry.

    I have had many set backs as a BL -- from musicians, to clients, to competing bands -- my response is to to ramp it up and do something extraordinary to make up for the lost work. That is where the OP should be investing energy.

    But at the same time, I don't want to appear unempathetic toward his plight. I know how much work it is to put together a residency, as he calls it -- coordinating schedules, etcetera, particularly for low pay. I have one owner who is quick to tell me my event is a flop, but then doesn't give me complements on those nights we pack the place. Like he thinks being negative will motivate me. The effect is to encourage me just to get together with some musicians at home for a fun practice of vanity tunes rather than knock myself out with marketing his venue for a pittance.

    Now that the post has been made, and the damage done, so to speak, I would consider reporting the threat to the police if you think the guy is serious. There is a silver lining -- the owner *might* learn something about the consequences of his behavior if the police show up at the door. He may also learn to be a little more careful with the other bands he performs with. I would also take down the FB post.

    But after reporting the matter to the police, I would then be looking for positive, proactive ways of filling up my gigging schedule again.

    And one of the best teachers of other musicians toward this renegade club owner is experience at the club like yours. I had a situation similar to this, and I backed away when the owner was clearly a psychopath. I referred the gig to another band leader with a warning about the owner's psychopathic behavior. The BL took the gig, and about 6 weeks later reached the same conclusion I did, and left the venue. The more bands that go through his venue, the more the owner will evangalize his bad behavior and destroy his reputation among musicians.

    The other issue I have with the post above is that it throws cold water on other bands. I rely on other musicians to refer me work when they are overbooked. So, try to make friends with the competition. The right competition. Dissing them on social media will likely only isolate you. Also, going out to see other musicians is a kind of audition for when you need to retool/restaff your own band. If you create ill will toward them, they may not want to come and work for you....something else to think about.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  4. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    We had a restaurant in CT that would short their performers on a regular basis. There was a firestorm of criticism on Craigslist from those who had been cheated that went on for months. I know a guy who does a solo thing there weekly, and he's never complained, but for all i know he might be playing for the tip jar. As far as the OP, I don't know that I'd call a guy out on FB, but I'd sure bad-mouth him in private conversations with other performers. Many venue owner are simply clueless as to what it takes to put a band on the stage, and resent paying for something that, in their minds, has little value. It's up to us to put a value on our work (whether it be promoting or performing) in monetary terms that are agreeable to US, and to refuse work that doesn't pay.
  5. Let's see.....having a ding on the reputation or coming home to find someone on your porch with a bat that's willing to leave you in a pool of your own blood.

    I know we love to do what we do. But should we really be willing to sacrifice our health and safety in order to play music in bars and clubs?

    Would the bar owner or manager speak the same way to an alcohol distributor, food vendor or anyone else?

    No. Never. That would never, ever, fly.
    PauFerro likes this.
  6. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Well, the alcohol distributor would call on "some friends" to make sure the bar owner saw the situation in the most healthy way. Same for a food vendor of any significant size. I think you can all figure out what I mean by "some friends".

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