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on the recent 'what is prepared', etc, thread - THIS GUY is prepared!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sleeplessknight, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Earlier today, while looking for good examples of stage plots to, er, liberate for my own purposes, I came across a band's website. While the design is straight out of 2002, what struck me was just how utterly PREPARED this dude was for just about every situation. Check it out:

    Right up front, the band has video samples, the contact information is blindingly obvious to whoever wants it, etc. All good stuff. But the real gold, IMHO, is under the "band tech" section:

    Every song the band does, with MP3 downloads/YouTube links, specific performance notes, etc. Brethren (and sistren)... THIS IS THE PROMISED LAND! Just THINK about how easy it would be to sub for this guy - he calls you up, tells you when and where, gives you the website link, and you don't even have to talk to him again until the rehearsal or performance. I try to do a similar thing with my band and Dropbox, but there's always someone with technology issues, etc.

    Another aspect about this band that I'm on the fence about being mightily frightened or deeply impressed about is his "Operations Manual" - a 25 page document that goes into EXCRUCIATING detail about how the band operates, what the expectations of an incoming musician are, the fining structure, clothing choice, learning the setlist... it goes on and on in impressive (if sometimes OCD...) detail.

    Personally, I'd give valuable parts of my personal anatomy to gig with this guy. Even on some of his more OCD "clauses and subclauses", it's obvious the dude has his sh*t locked down tight. As a bandleader myself who has to deal with his fair share of 'chronically underprepared' bandmates on occasion (and who doesn't have the gigging frequency - yet - to be anything other than 'diplomatically disappointed' about calling them on it), I absolutely love "Clause 8"! I don't think I have the testicular fortitude to run my band the way this guy runs his, but I have to respect his no-nonsense tone and clear attention to detail when laying it all out.

    So, out of curiosity, any California-based TB'ers ever heard of or played with this guy? Just for my own personal amusement, I'd love to know if all this extra prep-work has led to him becoming super-chill, or if he's just a big ol' wad of stress.
  2. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    The "Operations Manual" is something you hardly ever see. I agree with most of what is in it..in fact in many ways it is a codification of "best practices" that you see advanced here on this forum (for coverbands, at least).

    The pay was the only thing that kind of struck me. The $400 per day MAXIMUM seemed pretty restrictive. Heck, even my part time, hack coverband does two gigs in a day once in a while that gets each guy a total of well over 400..

    Also the MINIMUM is $50? I'm sorry, but if I am playing for a professional outfit like that one appears to be, and have to adhere to all the rules etc., you can believe I'm making at least twice if not three times that minimum for a single gig (not a day of gigs). I wonder how often they play gigs at the "minimum" level?

    But that is minor criticism...overall, I like the approach and thoroughness of this guy.....
  3. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    That's a lot of chest thumping for a "band" that had three gigs last quarter, with none on the books... :rolleyes:

    However some of the clauses were dead-on and funny-- "Double Kick: No." :p
  4. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    True, they've got very few gigs posted from the past and none posted for the future. Websites for a wedding band are really just one big commercial. And from someone who's worked in the commercial industry for decades, this commercial is buttoned up and well executed.

    However... not having actually needed to look for a wedding band to hire, I'm not sure what folks needing that service would find attractive. At the end of the day, although this site is very full featured and well executed... I'm not sure it sends the branding "message and feel" that it's "typical" cliental are wanting.
  5. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Good point, I can't believe I did not pick up on that when I went through the site. For all this guy's attention to detail, judging by that amount of gigs, it isn't exactly paying off. And even though I love structure and well thought out rules, the only way I'm working for a guy like that is if it PAYS to do so, not just for a night or two every month but the total amount at the end of the year...........
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Wow. Looks like it came from some corporate HQ. If I was handed that I'd just smile, and walk away. The last thing I need is another JOB. I put all that behind me almost four years ago. :bassist:
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  8. From the manual :eek: are added,

    :eek: There are two general levels of gigs that Dear Jon
    performs: upscale and downscale (aka toilet pubs). :eek:

    I wonder how the client feels about being considered a toilet :eyebrow:
  9. The "build it and they will come" theory has worked before.

    At least he's got: a plan, a website, a history of gigs, and the desire and (maybe) the ability to herd cats.

    Sleepless has a point. It would be super easy to sub in for this guy, he's got it all laid out for you. Beats getting a fuzzy phone photo/text of a set list. That whole setlist with charts was super buttoned up. No searching for tunes, buying stuff from itunes, learning it by ear, sketching your own charts... He's done all that for you.

    Has he really got something going on, or just delusions of grandeur? Who knows? He's not just sitting around waiting for a call.

    I'd be willing to give it some consideration just based on his effort and organization. The policies thing reflects the reality of herding cats.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Why walk away? This shows that someone has anticipated every issue and spelled out how it is to be. There will be no assumptions, misunderstandings or arguments. No "I thought you said". Admirable. IMHO.

    One of the first office jobs I had was for an electronics company run by an ex-military guy. He had a notebook in the office that spelled out the procedures for everything in the office - how Invoices, bills and checks were to be handled, orders placed, etc. etc. It was GREAT - there was no learning curve - you just looked it up.
  11. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012
    I would have a deep rooted fear of playing with someone at that level who has written out such a detailed manual. Not that people don't do stupid things much, its just that a person who has to refer to the "operations manual" you end up wondering if their communication skills are well built for a band dynamic.

    Entertainment is ALL people skills.

    With wedding gigs though, this might work out fine. Who knows. Maybe I should check his schedule regularly to see how well it works over the long haul.

    His referring to himself...uhh, the corporation in 3rd person is particularly scary.
  12. Bassed in NZ

    Bassed in NZ ...in search of the impeccable groove... Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Auckland, New Zealand
    From the manual:
    This made me laugh!

    Is it acceptable to laugh at the "no fun" clause??
  13. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Do not laugh at the "no fun" clause, and do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

    Beatings will continue until morale improves! :D
  14. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    For all his "prep" the band is still mediocre. I'd rather have an under-prepared band of great musicians than a super prepared band of lousy ones.
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic

    We're not nearly as "buttoned up" but I think we sound great and we work a lot.

    I don't buy the "he's got a lot of great content" argument. In fact, I think his content is way too focused on his musicians and himself. IMO you're better off giving prospects more sausage and less sausage-making. That rule book should be in a non-public section of the website.

    Also, (while I'm ripping the guy :p) I was unimpressed with the YouTube links to the original artists playing the covered songs. If I were a prospective client, I would be put off by that... I would be expecting to see this band doing those songs. Oh, they're great for band members to learn the songs, but again, put it in a private area......
  16. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    I do agree with them on how to end Funky Music- always end it with the bass riff the same as them.

    The bass part they wrote for werewolves of London seems wrong to me. should be D-C- G- Unless I am on crack again.
  17. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Too bad the guy wasn't half as anal about his PA as he is with everything else. Maybe he could get some gigs. All I saw in the videos were cheap Peavey and no subs.
  18. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I like the MP3s, and chord charts. Great idea. We do the same thing.

    But the rest of it is overkill. Playing with that guy seems about as much fun as jury duty.
  19. He needs this stuff private, yes like sausage making this is too much information for a client :eyebrow:
  20. Excellent.

    ... and chord charts. Also excellent.

    This is too weird for me. I don't want to be micro-managed like that. Sure, let me know what to wear, but otherwsie if you don't trust me to act professionally, hire someone else.