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So about getting paid for gigs.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tnavis, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. To quote Henry from "Goodfellas": "*&#% you, pay me."

    105 vote(s)
  2. Gas money

    15 vote(s)
  3. Hotel accomodations

    7 vote(s)
  4. Carrots? Is that still a thing? Are we still doing carrots?

    8 vote(s)
  5. Exposure

    5 vote(s)
  6. Smile and nod, and make the best of hanging out with old friends.

    49 vote(s)
  1. Tnavis


    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hi Talkbassers.

    I've got a curious situation I have been tangentially involved in, and now have been asked to be part of. Long story short (and names and situation changed to protect the innocent), a group of friends are "getting the band back together" to play at an anniversary party for a college friend. They're doing it for free, primarily as a gift, but also because it's been a number of years since they've played together. So, it's really all for fun. Except....

    They're taking the time to practice on their own, and have done a few all day rehearsals to prepare for the show (some of the members have had to drive 200+ miles for rehearsal). They're providing all of the gear, of course. They aren't getting fed, no free drinks, and aren't getting provided with lodging for the event.

    So i've been involved in a group chat about this, and have been keeping my opinions to myself about this, as I know they're doing a solid for a friend. Which is cool, and a fine thing to do.

    ... and now i've been asked to sub in for the gig.

    Two sets of material, no rehearsals. It's an hour drive for me to the gig. I am rough acquaintances with the anniversary couple, but the guys in the band are some of my best friends, going back years.

    So.... what are your thoughts on this situation? Do I take the gig, or do I respectfully bow out?
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    You're a sub. You have no part of the 'playing for free' deal. At least gas money and a meal.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Simplest thing if you're unsure is to say you're not available. To try and squeeze them for what they don't have, for me, wouldn't be worth it. I'd only do the gig if I REALLY wanted to, I wouldn't expect any compensation, I'd ask for expenses, but... eh...

    Ya know what, I'd just pass, to be honest.
  4. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    They're playing a party but will not be fed or given drinks? Will there be food and drink at the party? Will the guests at the party who aren't providing free entertainment be fed and given drinks?
  5. Leo Smith

    Leo Smith

    Oct 21, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Do the gig ONLY IF you really REALLY want to play with the other guys who are your friends.

    If you're not into that, then say "sorry guys, I can't make that work.....", then give the number of an apprentice musician who is looking for any chance to play.
  6. Sounds like a nightmare. Hard pass.
  7. saabfender

    saabfender Banned SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    Promises to be an awesome party: no food, no booze, everyone sitting on their wallet. "Sorry, man. I'm already booked for a party that isn't going to suck."
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Are you also a friend of the anniversary couple? Were you going to the party anyway? Do you already know the music? Have you played with this group before and are they fun to play with? Would it be more fun to hang out at the party jamming than to be there listening to someone else do it?

    If the answers to all of those questions is yes, I think it would make sense to play it. If any of them are a no, then I would probably beg off.
    Mr_Moo, pcake, mikewalker and 4 others like this.
  9. Although , for the most part I'm in the Pay me or pound sand group , for this situation I say go ahead and do it. Old musical friends , low pressure situation and people you know getting celebrating an anniversary? What's not to like?
    Mr_Moo, Uncle K, gitfiddl and 3 others like this.
  10. moogieotter

    moogieotter Custom Title

    Jun 16, 2009
    Duluth, GA
    Not enough information: will there be any hot chicks there?
  11. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    What kind of odd dynamic is at play where the bands performance will be considered a gift, yet the recipients of said gift won’t be providing basic food and drink to a band that is essentially working for free? With friends like that, who needs enemies?
    Mr_Moo, design, pcake and 14 others like this.
  12. nolezmaj


    Sep 22, 2011
    You know what they say: the hang, the music, the money - three reasons to play.
    If at least two are great (i.e. the hang and music), go for it. Otherwise, pass.
    design, JC Nelson and Joe Nerve like this.
  13. RobTheRiot


    Aug 31, 2016
    las Vegas, nv
    Totally agree with this.

    I, too, generally would say get paid or tell them to bugger off.
    However, this situation isn’t typical, because of all the relationships involved.

    I’d say if you think it’ll be fun, and relatively low stress, do it. If you’re at all worried about it, or can be doing something either more profitable or more enjoyable, pass.

    I am also confused with how there will be no food & beverage provided at a large party. I can understand no lodging, but are the hosts really that cheap, that Altho your bandmates are friends of the guests of honor, they’re to be unpaid labor, and that’s it? Seems strange.

    All comes down to you - if you’re content & will be happy just playing for fun, or if you think there may be any longer term benefits from going, go for it. If not, well, don’t do it.

    Let us know what you decide.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Is it one of those things where the host is so worried about the drummer spiking the punch and running off with one of their daughters that the band is basically quarantined like rabid hamsters? What is the punishement for sneaking a couple scoops of potato salad in a Dixie cup? For some perspective, here are two prisoners in a chain gang:


    Even these guys got fed!
    Mr_Moo, Pulverizor, 3Liter and 4 others like this.
  15. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Your call. If your heart isn't in it, pass.

    I've worked with a few all original bands, and generally speaking you put way more time in than you ever get compensated for. It's generally done for the love of music. I know going in its not much of a paying gig at the lower tiers getting things rolling.

    If you aren't into the celebration of friends and the music, then it would be a miserable evening for you. General rule, if you weren't planning on attending in the first place, I'd pass.
    Mr_Moo and Joe Nerve like this.
  16. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    I do stuff like this to help out friends once in a while.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Since you are even asking here, you must not think just playing with old friends is enough. I'd bow out if I were you.

    And seriously, what kind of hosts can't give the old friends in the band, playing for FREE, a plate of food and couple drinks?
    Mr_Moo, zoonose, petrus61 and 2 others like this.
  18. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I agree with Joe. It's a favor they're doing for a friend. They're into it for the feel good factor, and they're not going to be squeezing anyone for compensation, so won't have anything to give you without digging into their own pockets. Instant resentment if you ask them to do that. They should understand if you can't make it, and hopefully they will have time to find someone else.
    Mr_Moo, mrcbass and Allan Allan like this.
  19. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Not even food, a few drinks and a bit of gas money? Unless you are good friends with the honorees, it sounds kind of insulting, IMO. Even if you are good friends, I would certainly offer that as a bare minimum to MY friends!
  20. How busy are you subbing for other bands? I mean if you aren’t gigging on a regular basis I’d say take it just to knock the dust/rust off so to speak. But if you are staying busy and this is onterfereing with other opportunities I can see that.
    Rabidhamster and mrcbass like this.

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