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VERY difficult/rude club owner...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sleeplessknight, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Alright guys, I need help makin' a decision here. AFAIK, my band is scheduled to gig at this local restaurant on May 6th, from 9pm to 1am. However, when I booked the gig three weeks ago, the club owner told me "hey, call me Monday cuz I'm kinda busy right now, and we can discuss the price then." I haven't been able to get ahold of the club owner for love nor money. I've called her several times, at low-traffic times of the day, only to be told that "she's busy talking with customers" or "she'll call/email you later". I've even gone down there before they opened to try to talk with her, to find her gabbing away on the phone, at which point sends a lackey out to talk with me who says "sorry, she's wicked busy right now, leave your card and she'll email you". At that point I said, politely, "I can wait until she's off the phone, it's kind of important". I waited for about 20 minutes, and the lackey comes back out and says "She says she's really sorry, she really just can't talk with you today. Leave your card please and she'll email you". So, my question to you is, what should I do if May 6th rolls around, and I STILL haven't settled on a price? Should we show up, play, and demand payment/negotions then? Should I tell her "look, if May 1st comes around and you still haven't been able to clear up 5 minutes to talk with me, we're not showing up on the 6th.", or should we just not show up at all? Are there other options available? How can I diplomatically deal with this club owner?
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I would leave a message stating clearly that you need to settle the price issue prior to the gig, and give times and numbers where you can be reached. That is professional, it gives her the benefit of the doubt and places the ball in her court with regards to how to continue. While it sounds like she is giving you a run around in hopes of getting a free gig, it does you no good to get angry at her. If she can't get the time to finish arrangements for the performance, fine. Someone that busy will surely appreciate how your time is too valuable to waste playing a gig for someone who can't even tell how much she's willing to pay up front.
  3. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I only deal with managers/owners in person. Don't do business over the phone if at all possible.
  4. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    run for your life , if it smells like ***, it most likely is.
  5. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I'm torn between saying "What Tash said" and saying "What fraublugher said". I'd at least start looking for a backup gig.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm with the run for you life gang. Don't like the sound of her one bit. If she's treating you like this now, my guess it it's not going to miraculously change once you're playing. We stopped dealing with people who don't respect us and an amazing thing started happening, we started working only with people who respect us.
  7. Nobody is that busy with someone sitting there waiting for them. Her voicemail could've handled a five minute break. Sounds like caca. Watch her butt if ya'll are giggin for the door. She'll bluster on how they need to check id's etc. Great! Her guy can check all the d's & someone you trust can handle the cash. Something smells wrong here.
  8. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Too many red flags up for me, I'd plan on not gigging. But since I hate offending people too much, I'd follow Tash's advice if I were you. A reputation for being a flake or a hothead isn't good.
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I would get a price, in writing. I would tell her, via email, lackey and phone msg. that no price, in writing, = no gig.
  10. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I would write/type a letter/note stating that until the financial arrangements are worked out, your band does not have an aggreement to play there. Then, go there again, and if she will not talk to you face to face, hand the "lacky" the letter and plan on not playing there. At least this way you don't come off as a flaky band that didn't show up for the gig.

    If you are able to talk to her, find out when you will be paid, as well as how much. With someone as evasive as this person seems to be, I would demand to be paid right after set up, and before you play a note of music.

    Overall, it seems like you should plan on not doing the gig...
  11. I would try to get out of it, but attempt to maintain integrity and courtesy. Tell the lackey guy that you have until a certain date, and after that you're pulling out. Be respectful even in the face of rudeness and disrespect.
  12. Do you have any more than a verbal arrangement to play the gig in the first place?

    Are you guys a band that doesn't have too much trouble finding shows? If so and you don't have any sort of legal agreement in writing or via email that could leave you responsible, I'd leave her high and dry on the night of the show. You've made more than enough effort to get this thing resolved, it'll be her own fault if she ends up with no band on that night and you guys will be laughing it up playing at a different venue and not worrying about getting paid. My guess is this isn't a show you want to put the effort into preparing for.

    If you're just breaking into the scene this probably isn't the best route to follow as it obviously isn't the most professional - but if you aren't hurting for gigs it might leave her realizing that she'd better treat you guys with respect if she wants you to play there.
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you're not being taken seriously now, you won't be the day of the gig. As was said earlier why would things magically change the day of the gig?
  14. A very wsie man once said:

    " A verbal contract is not worth the paper it isn't written on". ;)

    Run for your life I say. If she is treating you like an idiot prior to the gig, she is likely to do exactly the same on the night IMHO :rollno: :rollno:
  15. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'd tell her to find another band. If she's this much trouble to get in touch with to set a price, imagine how much trouble she'll be to find when you are expecting to be PAID.

    If there are other places to play in your area, I'd focus on them. If she is so rude as to leave you hanging in the bar when she is in the office, then she isn't worth doing business with, IMNSHO. If I had waited for 20 minutes in person and had her blow me off, I would have sent one last message with her lackey for her:

    "Go **** yourself."
  16. Let her know either verbally or in writing that you do not have a commitment to do the gig until all the details are sorted out.

    I'd also appreciate a PM naming the establishment and who is doing the booking so I can avoid this place if necessary.

  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    First of all, don't forget to talk with your band about it before making your decision. Having said that, it sounds dodgy to me. I'd go with getting the booking in writing (including what you'll be paid and when) well in advance.

    Why not drop by with a written request for a signed letter explaining the terms and conditions and the date you'll pop by to collect it? If it's not ready, definitely don't do the gig!

  18. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I would say don't go to the show. She's not taking the time to satisfy you, don't satisfy her.
  19. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Once a club owner has decided that s/he want to hire you AND decided on a date, you've past the sales process and entered negotiations. Let the games begin!

    It's always a good idea to let the other party make an offer first. This has never worked for me as a musician but I try!

    Gig negotiation is pretty quick and simple as I'll start of by stating I charge $400 (for a local gig). I will go down to $300 (typically for a first performance at a club.)

    Once we have an agreement, I send and email confirming this (with "read receipt" selected"), I also fax a copy of this email and mail it in the same envelope with promotional posters. (If I'm close by I'll drop it off.)

    Two days before the gig, I'll call to ostensibly confirm the start time. If the club manger has screwed up, I'd rather know before I arrive with gear at his door. (For future bookings with a club owner who makes such a mistake, I use registered mail for correspondence.)

    In regards to your situation, I find it beyond suspicious that the club owner decided to book you, decided on a date and had no time for negotiation. I would suspect the motif is to get you to do the gig first and "negotiate" after the fact...when you have no power.

    I would send a registered letter to her with an “offer of performance” stating that you will play the venue on such and such a place at such and such times for your standard amount. Be sure to say this offer expires after a certain date. If she ignores this then the venue is not worth pursuing.
  20. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'll join in with the mob that says don't do the gig. If you have to resort to legalistic things in order to get your due, then the place isn't a place that you should be working for. Sort of like taking a gun to a business dealing. If you need a gun, then it's not someplace you want to be. Be polite and professional and simply refuse. Tell em that you have another booking, and that because they couldn't confirm the fee for the gig, you couldn't confirm that there was a gig. Do it with enough lead time so that they can't claim that you screwed them.

    It doesn't take much time for an venue to set a price for a gig. They usually have set range of fees that they pay to all bands, and if they can't get you one then it's BS. It takes them about 5 minutes to do. If they have a problem with it, it's likely because they know you aren't going to like the outcome. Or they may be waiting on another band, and when the other band confirms, they'll cancel you.

    With places like these, there is nothing to gain. If they can't be up front with the details of the gig, what makes you think they are going to go out of they way to help your band?They're already be underhanded as is. On the flip side, if you do them wrong they'll probably tell everyone they know who will listen.

    This sounds like a no win situation, and the best thing to do is to find a different gig.