Musicians Against Mad Mothers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lennyonbass, Mar 26, 2004.

Has MADD killed the bar scene...

Poll closed Apr 25, 2004.
  1. Dead as a doornail...

    9 vote(s)
  2. Alive and hoppin'!

    1 vote(s)
  3. No change...

    6 vote(s)
  4. Quit yer bellyachin' and work on your song list!

    7 vote(s)
  1. I am interested to hear from other working musicians around the country/world on this issue.
    Over, what I would guess to be, the last 15 years, I have seen a steady drop in show attendance and bar patronage. I attribute this almost entirely to the fine folks at MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). I am not advocating DWI or DUI and running over some innocent, but it seems, that through their lobbying on Capitol Hill, they have succeeded in crippling the entertainment/service industry in Ohio.
    Am I right?
    What's it like in your area, any change?
  2. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    We don't have lobby groups over here like you guys do but we have had quite a few inner-city venues close down over the last few years because of people complaining about the noise. The overwhelming trend of these complaints, though, was that they were coming from people who had recently moved into the area against venues that were well-established there.
    The thing is, I'm sure that at least part of the attraction for these people moving to these areas in the first place was the vibrant, inner-city type lifestyle. Then they turn around and get a large part of that atmosphere shut down. Makes me mad. :mad:
  3. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I hear more people talking about not going out cause of the smoke, or staying in more to watch a dvd or play a video game...but maybe my friends would not say...hey, I'm not gonna get drunk this weekend like I always used maybe I don't know...maybe the club scene people grew up and had kids and the younger crowd does not do the live band mom complains that the younger crowd does not play bridge...but no group made that go away...there is more competition for our entertainment dollar now, I know that.

  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, they are called DJ's and Kareoke. :D

    Seriously though, I know a number of local clubs that have seen a decline in patrons due to increased police patrol. I too, don't condone DUI, but perfectly sober people have been stopped for just leaving a club. That's the least of our problems in Pennsylvainia though; we have a liquor control board that enforces asinine laws ranging from db levels in clubs to selling merchandise at shows. They've actually been out to clubs with db measuring equipment, AND I LIVE IN BFE!!!! Enforcing noise ordiances is understandable, but the problem is that you have sourpuss neighbors with a vendetta against the club, calling up the PLCB in attempt to sock it to the bar. Since Pa is a commonwealthy, not a true state, there are loopholes that allow certain things like this to persist. A few of us have tried writing senators/representatives/congressmen, but we usually just recieve a letter that says, "I'll look into that. Vote for me next election!"
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Poor music is killing music.
  6. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK

    As much as I hate to agree it is sort off good point, I go to local bars were local bands play some of my buddies bands etc and they are really good... But so many people I know don't. because they figure that since there is no good music on radio or TV then music is dead and there is no use of going to local shows or listing to new music:/

    No offense to people who like linkin park, but c’mon I can’t tell one song wrong another... I know that people will say "well there is some good music out there" yes, agree few new bands I kind of like but most of things you hear today is very commercial and with out any soul or though put into it.
    BTW I have nothing against commercialism in music, Nirvana considered themselves commercial too, but I think problem with that music is very well described the problem when several times Cartman started band to make 10 million dollars (Christian rock ROCKS:p). I think when you focus 99% on money it becomes not what it would be if money was you know 80% of focus:p

    The band of my buddies bud should make it big though:p they rock... there is still hope and maybe once we going to see good bands getting more into main streem there be more room for smaller bands to grow because people will have hope and will to go out there:]

    Agree or disagree, I respect your opinion but I am always right and all who thinks I am wrong you will suffer!!!! :]]]]

    :bag: (dont kill me:} )

    BTW: < funny as hell:p
  7. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I've thought a lot about this subject over the last few years and I blame a large part of it on the MADD Mothers. Stiffer DUI laws have certainly done major damage to the club scene. Some other thoughts I've had:

    When I first started playing in bars (the early 80's), it was a thriving scene, much more so than now. There were more bands, not necessarily better, but more. This was because there was more work available. You could also get the club owners to pay you fairly well. Now, you've got a bunch of silly kids who are so eager to play that they will work for peanuts.

    Also, I think people are becoming more and more agoraphobic, for fear of crime and of being hassled by our increasingly paternalistic authorities.

    Regionally speaking, here in "the south" its always been a little harder to party because we are plagued by this famine called "Baptists", who believe that dancing and having a couple of drinks will put you on the fast train to hell. Combine all that with the other stuff mentioned here and there you have it, the death of the band business.

    Larry, a recovering Baptist :D :D
  8. Wouldn't you effin know it!? I just got home from a job and I got pulled over on the way out of the club parking lot. Why? Because my "license plate light" had burned out. This then prompted the fine officials to search my van. Of course, they asked. What was I gonna do, say 'No!'? "Alright Lou, put this guy in the back of the car and I'll call for the dogs..."
    They found nothing, but come on...seriously! :spit:

  9. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Honestly, this isn't worth complaining least not for the reasons given. To elaborate on my earlier post, midless electronic music is dominating the charts. Therefore, DJ's pretty much a stronghold on the market, like it or not. The market for live music is nowhere what it was in the 80's, due to the crap on air.

    I'm not trying to say there is zero market for live bands anymore, but it is slim pickens. If you want to be a sucessful live club band, you better be prepared to play some stuff you don't like. People want to dance, gotta give them what they want. A happy crowd is a busy bar, a busy bar is a happy bar. IMO, it is equally important to be entertaining to your demographic, as it is to be a polished musician. You can always go for the more upscale dinner crowd, but those gigs seem even harder to find. My current band does both.

    Another thing that hurts, is the percentage of good bands to horrible ones isn't good. In this area anyway, I could find you 20 bands that are absolutely horrible, to every one band I can actually say is good. Bad bands leave a bad taste in everyones mouth. It only takes a couple bad bands for an owner to just say screw it, and hire a DJ like everyone else seems to be doing. I would rather listen to a DJ play electronic crap, then hear a typical local band butcher "fly me courageous", and I am not alone.

    I think you're pointing fingers in the wrong direction. Drunk driving kills people, innocent ones usually, and I applaud the steps being taken to stop it. I won't miss them on the roads, or at the gigs. If they can't responsibly have a good time, they are best to stay home anyway.
  10. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    music related my friend.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, if your surmission is true (which I doubt), it was worth it if it saved one life. Perhaps people are just realizing that alcohol places a huge drain on society and have found more productive outlets for their spare time and money.
  12. This was not really meant to be a complaint, although I am obviously torqued about it. The poll was meant to give me some meter on the live music environment.

    Yes, I agree that there is 'crap' on the air. But I don't think that the 'DJ's hold on the market is because of it. Doesn't it seem reasonable that because of the 'nazi-esque' methods for determining who is driving drunk, i.e., pulling people over at random til you find that golden wino, people aren't willing to risk coming out to a club. As a result the club can no longer justify paying a multipiece band. So they pay a guy to come out and play CDs at half the price. This is the same reason that solo-acts are getting booked with increasing regularity. "it's still live music, but I only gotta pay the guy 50 bucks..."

    Thank you.

    I agree wholeheartedly. But that isn't the point I was making. I have done my share of 'All-Occasion' gigs. Even the people who like to dance aren't willing to come out as much.

    That's a solid point.

    "Guilty 'til proven Innocent"

    PS: Thanks for humoring me. I don't get a chance to rant very often. ;)
  13. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    I've been playing clubs since the mid 60's. I've seen two factors that have been detrimental to the live music scene.

    MADD. I agree if one life is saved, that stiffer DUI laws have done their job. But sometimes it can swing too far in the other direction. .1 used to be the standard that they judged you impaired by. Then it was changed to .08. For a 230lb person that means 1 to 1.5 beers an hour. Now they want to make it .05?? *** if you wave a drink under your nose you might not pass that one. If you see a patrolman parked across the street from a club would you be as inclined to go in and have a couple? So, my answer to this question is yes, Madd has affected the bar biz.

    ASCAP/BMI licenses. I know I will get a lot of feedback from this observation. Since the unions/record companies rammed this through the Supreme Court. The fees that the Bar owners now have to pay to have live music have become another cost/consideration on whether to have live music or not. I actually had a bar owner tell me I could only play ASCAP music because he didn't have the BMI license. :confused: I know that supposedly the song writer is receiving a royalty from this, but if someone hears a cover band play one of their favorite songs and inspires that person to run down to the store to buy the CD, won't there be a better chance of them really receiving a royalty on the CD sale?
  14. So you're saying you haven't seen any decline? Or you have seen a decline? Just asking...
  15. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Tell them no. The police are counting on the fact that you won't know your rights. Every lawyer I've ever heard or talked to will tell you to never consent to a search.

    Given the way some (not all) cops behave and the fact that most people just let the cops run over them, am I willing to wait while they go get a search warrant, just to prove a point? Damn right. But that's just me.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I haven't been paying attention. My band plays more gigs than I want to. I know there are a lot more bands out there now than there were when I started 25 years ago. A lot of them play un-danceable head-banging music, which isn't going to attract the adult crowds. We play all covers from '60s to current, and the club owners like what we do. We have something for everybody (except rap), and people of all ages get their asses up on the floor and dance. Every private party we do generates one or two new gigs.

    I think some of the problem lies in the inability of some bands to decide whether they want to get gigs and make money (i.e., do covers) or "stay true to their artistic direction." I sure don't want to go down and pay money to listen to some mediocre band's originals. I would, however dance to a mediocre cover band's dance tunes.

    I don't think the MADD thing holds water. Back in the '70s, the Sheriff used to sit across the street from the bar just like he does now. I want him there, even if he's going to stop me and ask a few questions. Big deal. The only negative part of my bar gigs is the drive home at 2:30 a.m., knowing that just about everyone else on the road is loaded. I don't care if they lower the blood alcohol limit to .01. It's just going to make things safer for me. I'm with MADD on this one.

    While I'm at it, smoking. Say what you want about California, the best thing about it is that it's a no-smoking state. That's right, you can't smoke in California. After four hours in the bar, my eyes don't burn, my throat doesn't sting, and my clothes don't reek. Praise god, whatever you perceive it to be.
  17. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    The biggest difference that I have noticed is that many patrons will leave the club during the break between the second and third sets (around 12:30a). At first it seemed to me that we weren't good enough to keep them until closing time, but I've seen many of the same faces return to other shows at different venues.

    People seem to believe that the fuzz turn on the DWI (DUI) radar at last call.
  18. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.

    I'll have to agree with that one. Last summer the wife and I went out with some other couples to a club that had what would be technically, a mediocre band. The vocalist strained to reach the high notes, the bass player was a root banger, and the guitarist was certainly no Hendrix. Nevertheless, they had the place packed to the rafters by 10PM, you couldn't move on the dance floor from all the people trying to dance. Their sets included anything from Kool and the Gang's Celebrate, to Mustang Sally, to Shout, to Billy Jean, to Achy Brakey Heart and all kinds of disco era hits. It was a total party atmosphere and the cash was flowing over the bar. When we left, there was a line in the parking lot of people from 25-65 waiting to get in.

    On the other end of the spectrum, an old girlfriend of mine is the lead singer for a band that does about 95% originals. They have cultivated a tiny following over the past 5 years, but still work too hard just to get gigs at coffee shops and carnivals. While it may be creative and artistic, their music is not familiar, not danceable and doesn't get you tapping your toes. Most people still mainly go to a club to shake their booty. Cuttin the rug is still one of the best ways to break the ice with a member of the opposite sex.
  19. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    What's it like in your area, any change?

    Business in the clubs is way, way down over the last ten years. Here, a lot of that reflects the change in gas prices, since we are in a resort area. The sport that drove the boom here 15 years ago (windsurfing) is in general decline worldwide too, so we don't get the thousands of foreign visitors we used to. Lots of my baby boomer friends have kids to deal with, hence no time for the clubs.

    As far as MADD, I know many people who got one or two DUIs, and are out of the mix permanently. I've been hassled by the cops *walking* home after a gig I was mixing; I think they're frustrated that I don't drive home after my gigs. Harassment is a given around here, with many incidents that border on the unbelievable. If I go across the river, I get to run a gauntlet of seven police jurisdictions, for a 5 mile drive. I still go over there once in a while, but the clubs sure don't make any money on beer sales to me. The one an hour rule is too liberal now, so it's more like two a night now. That's fine by me, but not too good for the club. BTW, around here they DO turn on the radar after 1AM in a big way. My drummer only wants to play early time slots, and he's a teetotaler. We both love the fact that smoke's out of the mix though.

    As far as the music end of the scene, I've seen it go in all sorts of directions over the years. Covers have never worked well at all here, unlike many other places I've lived. Personally, I'm fine with sharing the night with a DJ, but DJs make a lot more than many bands around here, so co-oping with a good one is somewhat tough to swing. I don't dislike the current musical climate at all, in fact I prefer it to say the 80's raWk scene. I dig jamming with kids 30 years younger than me, and they seem to enjoy what I play. I don't do dance music for its own sake, nor do I need or want to, but suddenly some folks are calling my stuff hip-hop...LOL. It's all about finding a niche and a following, for me. So, the glass is about half full from my perspective.
  20. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Hey Lenny, sorry to go so far off topic, and the original point. I was just trying to elaborate on my original post, and what I feel is killing live music on a local level.

    You're only 1.5- 2 hours from me, so I would say we probably have close to the same market, except you are near a big city, which probably helps.

    There are good gigs out there, my band just scored one. It's a house gig we will play 2-3 weekends a month, at a cool lakefront resort type club in MI. Paid well, comped dinners, drinks, and free room and board. We will need it, since it is 2 hours away. Locally (within 30 miles), there is only one club I can book and get paid at, and they only do one nighters. The scene just sucks around here, bad bands killed it.