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Just found out my band was...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Alik, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Alik


    Apr 13, 2013
    El Paso, TX
    You're curious.
    Okay, I didn't want to make a long string in the tittle so here it is: Just found out my band was formed to play for free!
    Yes, you read it right. Probably I didn't go to that early rehearsal but the BL claimed that they talked about it and everybody agreed to that. I know I wouldn't accept it. We had a gig (non paying big event) this Sunday for a friend of BL. Probably he was being paid behind our back, I'm not sure, but he was giving us too much pressure to give an excellent show, we had to learn new songs in a short time, etc. Even if we were given a good amount, we were asked for too much. I asked if we were being paid and how much and he got like crazy, Are you serious?!!! YOU NEED TO BE 100% READY FOR THE SHOW!!! (which I was)
    He said we were not that good so we couldn't charge nothing, so we had to play pro bono. I responded we were good, and we had to get paid for our work, $1 or $1000, etc, amount doesn't matter. Got into a big argument. It ended up with me quitting the band, just 4 days before the event. Oh, he had some other events lined up for us. Funny how those were for his friends birthdays, business friends, relatives, etc.
    The music in the 4 sets we worked on the last 6 months was very good. I liked it. But no interest for playing in bars, events, etc with a monetary retribution. I mean, I didn't want to get rich playing in bars, I guess nobody does, but that was a weird band. Any similar experiences to anyone out there?
  2. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    That's a crock. Glad you're out of that.
    TinIndian, Kubicki Fan, Alik and 7 others like this.
  3. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Wow, good for you to have made the move. Is he a guru or something? Was is last name Jones or something like that?
    Alik and jaysbass2002 like this.
  4. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Well if you had a good band that was worth getting paid why didn’t you book some gigs? At least the pro bono gigs for friends and family would have got you all playing. Being the “bandleader” of a startup bar band is a thankless job that is more a labour of love.

    Edit: reading back on it, my post was harsh and wrong. :banghead: My apologies. Parties yes, play for free, it’s a party. Business associates, no way. Getting crazy about a free “show”? That’s just being an asshat to manipulate you.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Alik, pcake, FunkyD and 3 others like this.
  5. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Nobody needs this, not even in a paying band.

    Were the other band members involved in this discussion? Have you spoken to any of them since?

    So you knew that this was mostly a band to provide entertainment for the BL's family and friends.

    So in the 6 months you were involved with this band the talk of paying gigs never came up?

    I can imagine the BL was not very happy when you quit the band. How did that go over with him?
    Alik and 3Liter like this.
  6. I’m with you. No one else has the right to commit you to free work without your consent.
    Kubicki Fan, Alik, TinIndian and 3 others like this.
  7. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Absolutely yes, I'm with him too just curious how this played out.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Alik likes this.
  8. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    you were right to get out. the BL sounds like a douche
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  9. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    A nyone who says they will always play for free doesn't understand business.

    Anyone who says they will never play for free doesn't understand business.
    TinIndian, mohrds, Lbsterner and 14 others like this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you aren't good enough to charge, you shouldn't be playing in public, other than a friend's cookout party.
  11. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    It sounds like you should have taken the opportunity to go out band book some paying gigs for the band.
    murphy likes this.
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I've never been one to speak against playing without monetary compensation - as long as there is something in it.
    I've played gigs for free out of friendship. I've played gigs for exposure that worked (and a few years back, I played gigs for exposure that were essentially a rip off) and I've played gigs for a good cause. Hell, I've even headlined a local festival with 1500+ people for free (well, the gig brought us half a dozen bookings).

    However, I've never played in a band that had an agenda of generally playing for free and I've never played with a band where someone booked the gig for less than the usual sum without consulting the entire band beforehand.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    no. really. no.
  14. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    I made a mistake of joining a band once and not getting the details on gig payments and how the money was split. It was 100% my fault for not asking, and when I found out I almost quit on the spot but it was 2 hours before the first gig and while I didn't care about screwing the band, I did care about screwing the people that had hired the band.

    It turned out that the BL kept ALL the money from the gig...payment for the band was a meal in a restaurant prior to the gig. He used all the gig money he made to outfit the rehearsal space in his basement. Multiple thousands in gear, 80% of which was unnecessary.

    The gig was out of town but just 10 minutes from my home. I had already driven 45 minutes in the other direction to the BL's house prior to the gig to help load all the gear (massive PA, power conditioner, several boxes of cables, tons of other useless stuff), and then driven 55 minutes to the gig. After the gig, I was expected to help with load out (which I always do in every band I'm in) and then drive another 55 minutes to help load out at the BL's house, and then drive another 45 minutes home. That's over 3 hours of driving and 2/3 of a tank of gas for a gig where only the BL gets paid. Screw that...I had just found out prior to the gig that you're not paying me, so I'm not using my gas and my time to move your gear for nothing.

    So...immediately after the gig, I loaded my amp and bass in my vehicle and quit the band on the spot. Unfortunately for the band, they had to load out a ton of gear and they no longer had my truck. I know for a fact that they couldn't fit all the gear in their cars, but that was no longer my problem. I later found out that they crammed about half the gear in their vehicles and had to make a trip back the next day for the rest of the gear.
  15. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    You guys weren't getting paid, but he absolutely was, and I'll bet it was substantial too... Good on you for sticking him. I'd have waited until 4 hours before the show. Douchebag....
    Alik likes this.
  16. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    I'd gig for free. Money is just a bonus :laugh:

    I still charge though.
    LowEndWooly, Alik and Spidey2112 like this.
  17. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Honestly, in the music business it's the polar opposite. Many bands play clubs for cheap so they can drum up private party business.... which usually pays a LOT more than clubs. So, honestly, I'll never play a (non charity) free show. But I would NEVER play a private party for free.
  18. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    I have a solid day job and don't play music for the money....however, outside of an occasional charity event, i expect to get paid and wont play for free. If for no other reason than to not low ball/screw other local working musicians out of gigs. This sounds like a con/scam...run like your hairs on fire, this is a bridge you want to burn:)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

  19. I was in a band that had 4 hour rehearsals. It was a prog rock group, similar to Kansas, Rush, etc., so we needed to rehearse quite a bit. I could count on 1 hand how many gigs I did with that band, and I was in the band for 5 YEARS!!! They were just a bunch of old guys trying to relive their youth. I was the youngest member and, as a result, I got the least amount of respect. I can't believe how I put up with that for that long but I'm now in a touring band and get paid for every gig I do.
  20. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Seems the main issue with the OPs band is not the band but the BL.
    that's an easy fix, especially if the BL just happens to be the drummer

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