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Refused Payment...?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by NightOwl71, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. NightOwl71


    Nov 30, 2012
    Hi all, I've been lurking here for quite some time but something happened the other night that I just had to get some opinions on.

    Long story short: I'm currently playing in a cover band that has become the de facto house band in a local bar. We all have day jobs and are just doing it for fun and maybe a little extra cash.

    Last night we played a full set, and when the bar's owner tried to pay us, our bandleader unilaterally refused the money. :confused:

    It's not like we're getting paid massive amounts of cash for the gig, but it's not pennies either. The reasons the BL gave are "we had sound difficulties, we weren't tight on a couple songs, and there weren't as many people". I'm honestly a little dumbfounded.

    We had feedback for about 10 seconds until I got it sorted out, and our guitarist broke 2 of his strings at different times during the night. But I thought we handled it well and kept moving.

    We always split everything evenly, and I am considering pushing the BL to pay me what I would have made. I think if he wanted to refuse payment, he should give back his share. On the other hand, this could be a good diplomatic move with the owner for the band.

    What do you think? Should I make a fuss about it or just let it go?
  2. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    He owes all the band members, including you.
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Pretty simple. The BL was a dick.

    I would have tendered my resignation on the spot, and would refuse to work with that clown ever again.

    If it was good enough for the owner, should have been good enough for the BL. No idea what he was thinking. Was he drunk or high out of his mind at the time?
  4. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Quit now!
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    It might have been a good move to keep the bands reputation in tact but he should have consulted everyone before he did it.
  6. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Have you spoke to the rest of the band about this?
    What are their feelings?
    If they feel the same, it is time for a band meeting and the BL needs to pay up.
    If they agree with him, you are SOL and time to walk.
  7. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I have to ask. Did YOU witness him refusing payment, or did he just tell you all about it? Sounds fishy to me.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Wouldn't surprise me if the BL went back later, got the full pay and was planning to keep it all for himself. A convenient way to avoid paying the band for a night.

    I don't put anything past anyone anymore.
  9. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If the owner had said something negative to say about the band's performance, you may have a point about the "diplomacy" of such a move. But when the guy is standing there with cash in hand, he's satisfied.

    Again with the BAND LEADER thing. Why do these small time bands all have LEADERS? I just don't get it! It drives me NUTS to read all these stories (at least five a week) of these Hitler like little bastards who get some sort of ego trip out of being the "leader" of a local cover band. Oy. Go start a band with some EQUALS rather than being the EMPLOYEE of someone with a Napoleon complex! Sorry for the rant. I just don't understand why there's a "my band leader did something stupid last night" story every twenty minutes here. It's not your fault. I just have no frame of reference for working "under" some idiot who wants to RUN something so badly that he starts a band.
  10. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

    +10000 I don't play in a band and I don't understand it? why does one person always have the final say?
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I can appreciate the BL not wanting to get paid for a sub-par performance. In fact, I admire him for it. Most people would just take the money and run. The decision should not have been made without consulting the band. However, how do you know for a fact that HE didn't get paid. Maybe the club owner paid him what the band was due and he didn't pay you. I have seen this happen which is why I am asking. If the BL didn't get paid anything, I admire his philosophy about not wanting to take money if the band didn't live up to expectations but he still should have discussed it with the band.
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards

    I have been in touring bands that didn't have a BL. If someone isn't good enough to have input into band decisions, they are not good enough to play with. If a BL wants to be a dictator find another band.
  13. Hah! That was funny!

    Usually, if there's not one person designated as the leader, nothing gets done, no shows get booked, the website doesn't get updated, etc. BL usually act as middle-management just to make sure things move along. The few times I've been in bands without a clear leader, things fizzled fast.

    That's probably the exception more then the rule, IMHO.
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Except that the band DID meet expectations, as seen by the fact the owner was ready to pay up. The so-called bandleader has no leg to stand on here. Absolutely no call for anyone to have received anything less than their full pay in this situation.
  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I had a similar situation once but. My guitarist Brian just gave them $100 back. That was his cut and we were right there. We had to just about force him to take 1/4th of what was left. That's what ypur BL should have done. The money was not his refuse. I would ask for my cut and get paid up front next time. Nobody else works for free why should you.
  16. Big Brother

    Big Brother

    Feb 13, 2011
    San Diego
    Roving sub-demon
    Some folks are very altruistic with other peoples time and money while giving themselves all the credit for the charity act. Never realizing that they are screwing others over to do it.

    These are the guys who pause at a green light to wave a jaywalker across the street. Then pat themselves on the back for a good deed after taking 5 minutes away from the lives of the 40 people behind him who had to miss the stoplight for his act of benevolence...
  17. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I think it's to late for that last gig to get your money.

    It's time to have a meeting with your BL to make sure your on the same page regarding money. He made the decision that you thought you did not want to be paid.

    It might not be the right band for you, you could suggest that if he doesn't want the money he can give his share to the rest of the band.

    He really pulled a fast one on you guys, you might talk to your band members about cutting him lose.

  18. That's very weird. Talk to your bandmates.

    If the show was SO bad that the band didn't deserve to get paid, then you would have known it... audience heckling, leaving in droves, etc.

    For the BL to refuse to accept payment in a local bar sort of venue over 10 seconds of feedback, a broken string, a thin crowd, a subpar performance on a couple of songs (whether or not that happened in his head alone), or even all of the above combined... it's just not an appropriate response.

    If the BL isn't normally an Alien or a Nazi, then there must be some reason for his behavior. Maybe he had an argument with the owner and/or the owner insulted him or something? Ask him in a friendly but firm way "What happened? Why did you do that? What were you thinking?" In any case, I wouldn't just let it drop.

    If the BL can't give you a good answer, I'd seek greener pastures. I'd also leave if it turns out he's an Alien or a Nazi.

  19. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Good point.

    There are some BLs out there that think they are the only member of the band that has earned or deserves pay.

  20. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yup. I've never been docked but if a BL was gonna dock me I would expect to at least be told that it's happening, and why.

    I'd still walk, but at least I'd respect the BL afterwards.