1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Not to happy about a booking FUBAR right now

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Just need to vent about a situation here.

    Our singer is the one who books shows in the band. That's his job outside of performing. He has a business mentality, many of his past day jobs have been in sales/marketing, and he's really good at it. He had negotiated some dates at a club for the rest of the year. Our price there was $500 flat, about an average night's pay. We're playing some venues for more cash, but we're starting to build a strong following in the area and I'm sure re-negotiations for next year's bookings were already on our singer's mind.

    For some reason, our drummer goes into the club after our last performance, which was about two months ago. The owner casually mentions what the bar made at the door (it was like $400 or something), and says that if we ever wanted to play for $250 plus the door, we could that. For some reason our drummer says okay. Right there, we went from taking no risk (all of our pay guaranteed) to a rather large risk (most of our pay is contingent on the door). Anyone here who's ever played for the door knows that 9 times our of 10 that you're going to get screwed, whether it's the door guy letting people in for free or the club skimming money before they pay you. We never play for the door: It's as simple as that. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but we're becoming a valuable commodity, and playing for the door around here is something that garage-band level groups do.

    Fast forward to last weekend and we're gigging again at the club. Our singer goes up to get paid without knowing that a new deal had been made. The bar tender tries to hand him $300. Luckily our singer doesn't accept it and plays hardball. We have production costs to pay and gas isn't cheap right now. It would have been pointless to accept the new deal because that would have been the pay for the rest of the gigs we did there. We already negotiated down; it would have been impossible to negotiate back to the original price.

    Our light tech walks in on Monday to pick up his equipment and is informed that the rest of our gigs are cancelled (I saw this one coming). I still don't understand what was going through our drummer's head. YOU NEVER NEGOTIATE FOR A LOWER PRICE!!! It's alright that he doens't have a business mentality. I don't have a hight amount of spatial-intelligence, so I'm not going to go to try to start a career as an architect. He needs to quit talking to club owners. This FUBAR has really put us behind in that area since we were getting a lot of fans and making a buzz. I just hope this club owner doesn't talk to badly about us to other owners.

    Well, I'm done ranting.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Looks like someone saw a weakness in the drummer and ran with it. Bummer. Big, big, bummer. Sorry Dude. :(
  3. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Damage Control is in order.

    I would send in the singer alone and make the following points.

    1) The band is sorry there has been a misunderstanding, we
    as business people want to be sure everyone is clear on our arrangements.

    2) I ( the singer) am solely responsible for contracts and
    bookings as the band's agent, no one else is authorized
    to confirm dates, rates, bookings, changes to terms except
    for myself. The band has explicitly agreed I am the sole
    agent. Not the drummer, janitor or sound guy.

    3) We feel we have been a good draw and value your
    employment. We feel we have created good value for our
    work, and would be pleased to work on a mutually
    satisfactory arrangement to that end. The draw that we
    provide does not only enhance the door take, but also
    the liquor sales, and since we cannot be responsible for
    the accounting of either, we prefer to work on a fixed
    fee as previously agreed.

    4) We apologize again for any misunderstanding.

    5) Let's move on, we would like to continue to play
    at your venue, and you like us too, or you wouldn't have
    wanted to book us in the first place, right? ( Be sure
    you have phrased that as a CLOSING Question). Great.
    Can we start a week from Saturday? CLOSE ...

    If you get an objection, ask why, deal with it and close again.
    We're booked that Saturday. Ok, when is the first Sat
    available.? Sept xth. Great, what time do you want us
    to go on? (Assuming the CLOSE)

    An apology for the misunderstanding will go far to assuage
    the initial defensiveness, and set the tone for a business-like
    discussion. Once the defensiveness is overcome, and the
    parameters are covered, the closing process can start.

    OTOH if the damage is irretrievable, you will find out pretty
    fast, and move on without wondering if it can be fixed.

    Apply duct tape liberally around drummers lower head.

    Good luck.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yeah, that's pretty much what happened. Business is very Darwinist and only those who know what they are doing should be involved. It goes back to my architect analogy: I don't have high spatial-intelligence, so I'm not going to try and be an architect.

    All good suggestions. I haven't talked to our singer since Monday night, but I'm sure he's tried to contact the club. If I don't talk to him today or tomorrow, I'll see him at our gig this Saturday. This is definatley an issue that is worthy of a Band Meeting. :scowl:
  5. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    BTW, liquid, you have my respect for trying to get the best wages you can get - there are alot of people that undercut us that drives ALL wages down.
  6. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I guess Whataburger had a price increase, eh?

    :p :ninja:
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Amen to that. I always hate to hear when a band cuts their own throat to play a gig, because they're cutting my throat in the process!!!

    It's simple economics: When you accept a lower price for your supply, you're driving down the whole equilibrium price of your product.

    That's why clubs in LA can put the screws to bands. Everyone's willing to cut their own throats just so they can maybe get "discovered" by a record exec.
  8. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    The important thing is that YOUR OWN BAND MEMBERS swear seven thousand times over that THEY COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND that the singer is "solely responsible for contracts and bookings as the band's agent, no one else is authorized to confirm dates, rates, bookings, changes to terms except for" the singer.

    I know, because we just had a similar thing happen in my band!

    Musicians can be very talented, yet, sometimes, possess absolutely no common sense!
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002

    That would piss me off to no end. I'm in the same boat as you, I WILL NOT play anywhere for a cut of the door. It is a guaranteed amount or the band doesn't play. I've been in other bands prior that have had deals like that and walked home with $30 for my trouble. That doesn't happen any more.

    The only thing that pisses me off more are less "established" bands that follow you around, find out what you are making, then approach club owners and say they'll play for less.
  10. When you play for the door you always get the knob.

    I've also had clubs try to get us to play for a cut of the bar receipts, also a ruse.
    I completely agree about bands playing for next to nothing. It devalues the product. I just turned down two weekends as the club only wants to shell out $300 a night for a 5 piece, hardly worth the gas. $100.00 a man minimum, no less. Should be a standard at cover band bars. When will they realize you get what you pay for?
    Oh wait reality check, they don't really care how good the band is as long as it brings in bodies. So it really comes down to how many friends and hanger on's you have -sigh- :crying:
  11. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    That's what you get for leaving a drummer alone...I'm surprized he didn't bite a small child or something...keep those things on a leesh.
  12. Hahahaha!
  13. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    Hope it works out...We will play for $350 for a first night and will not play for under $450 for the next one. It works out because if it's a good club and the crowd likes us we get more money the next time. If the place is lame and we don't care to play there again, we still get our guaranee and say..."Keep us in mind" and not ask for another job.