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No Covers??

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by thatbasskid597, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. So I just recently started a new group with some friends consisting of a vocalist, two guitars, myself on bass, and drums. We do somewhat indie/alternative rock stuff. Anyways, we go to play our first show at an open mic at this new coffee shop in our town. We're all totally pumped, then as it is about to start, the dude in charge comes on the mic and says that "playing cover songs will not be allowed, unless you want to pay the bands who wrote them" blah blah blah. The thing is, that 3 of our 4 songs we had planned on playing were covers. So we just ended up playing the songs anyways and nothing was said. Then acts after us played covers as well. I've been gigging regularly in a different band for a few years and have never encountered a nut case like that guy. Was he just speaking nonsense? Or is there actually some truth to what he said? Just wondering. It was a fun time though otherwise :)
  2. Mr L

    Mr L

    Jul 22, 2012
    Vancouver BC
    I think he was living in some alternate universe where only people who wrote the song can play it.

    Pretty much every band in history has played a cover at least once.

    Stupid is as stupid does.
  3. Exactly what I was thinking ^^. That's why it was so random to me.
  4. pineapplerobot


    Jul 23, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    He could have been joking.
  5. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    At least in the US venues are supposed to pay annual licenses to ASCAP and BMI for the rights to perform the songs administered through them. The coffee shop might not have paid those, so, yeah... technically that could be for real.
  6. 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
    Bingo. They probably got dinged for allowing covers without paying the ASCAP/BMI fees.
  7. If that's the case they are going to get dinged again for paying lip service.
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I remember when I first started gigging many years ago some venues (mainly public sector funded ones) used to ask bands to complete a form saying what tunes they were including in the set so that royalties could be allocated to particular artistes from the PRS fees.
  9. Mr L

    Mr L

    Jul 22, 2012
    Vancouver BC
    That could be the case but if they didn't inform the bands before hand then how can they expect them to be able to comply with the rule?
  10. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    What is the deal with ASCAP and BMI fees? Do most venues pay them? I have a friend who owned a coffee house/ cabaret and he was hassled. His place was a center for punks,freaks, etc., and he was hassled (health inspector, building inspector) way more than most "bars" in town, though.
  11. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Yeah, you can't, though it would be funny if any of the bands tried to comply by packing up and going home. I also bet this "rule" would be no defense at all if one of the bands wanted to snitch.
  12. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Bar owners go to ridiculous lengths to avoid taking out those licenses, which is pretty sad considering they're usually a few hundred bucks a year.
  13. NML1986


    Feb 25, 2012
    Lincoln UK
    The owner of a venue in my town was adamant that no covers were to be played because royalties had to be paid if they were.

    No other places I've played has ever taken that seriously.

    When I think about, I wish I got royalties for work that I did in the past (non music related work that is). ;)
  14. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    He's just trying a little too hard to be 'alternative'.

    Years ago I was in an original band who threw in an obscure Floyd and Bowie cover here and there. I suggested a Primus song (The Pressman) and they told me it was too 'commerical'. They were 'alternative' type guys too.
  15. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Bingo twice.
    It may be that the guy in charge was just covering himself.
    As long as he informs the groups he has done his part and doesn't really care beyond that.
  16. IIRC if they play any kind of copyrighted music, recorded or live, they have to pay licensing fees. I could be wrong.
  17. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    Bingo for the 3rd time.
    That's exactly what it was, I'm sure.
  18. Sometimes it leads to good things.

    Hilly Kristal's son claims CBGB's "originals only" policy was meant to help the club avoid paying ASCAP royalties.

    But, yeah, it's only a couple hundred a year. I was on a juggling group's board of directors and we had to pay those fees for the copyrighted music used during juggling performances at our yearly festival.

    As you can imagine, a group of jugglers isn't exactly flush with cash. I can't remember the exact amount, but the fee's didn't hurt us at all
  19. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    ASCAP/BMI doesn't care if they are covers or originals - if the songs are registered with them they collect even if it is the original artist playing them. Venue owners are so clueless about this - but so are most musicians LOL .
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    You don't see many cuneiform tablets anymore these days do you Bill???? :bag:

    You guys really had contracts written in stone back then didn't you????


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