What's the cheapest you've ever played for ?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Stu, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. I've just been reading a new book about Cream, and came across a section where Ginger Baker said that they were playing for £45 a night ( 1966 ) and I remembered I once played for £20.00 ( between five of us ) in 1985 at a night when the bar owner had just opened and we were his main attraction - the guy had promised us £500.00 - but told us to bugger off at the end of the night.. Anyone else got a story like that ?

  2. Free. We played last night and gave all of the money to the two other bands, since one was on tour, and the other came from Chapel Hill. I had to drive ten miles.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Yeah, FREE is going to be the winning response by too many of us.
  4. funkastorious


    May 26, 2000
    Mpls, MN.
    Back in college, I got a last minute gig, but my bass was in the shop (only had one back then). Plus, my amp was locked in the music room from jazz rehearsal that day.

    So, I rented a Stringray and and a SVT for $250 that night.

    Plus, I didn't get paid.....although I got something that rhymed with that along with free beer.

    net result - totally worth it.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, if we can agree to rule out "free/drinks," I think it was $5US apiece for a party a classmate had in 8th grade. That was the 60's with a detuned Silvertone g****r, lead guitarist had a mother-of-toilet-seat Dwight, drummer had only a snare and one cymbal and a high-hat, and the rhythm g******st had a Kay with a "massive" 12" Kay amp with the exciting new effect, tremelo!
  6. fisk


    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    That makes it all worthwhile.......[​IMG]

  7. BassistJ


    Mar 20, 2001
    Hemet, CA USA
    I'm suppoing ya'll hear of Pay-To-Play, right? Well, after one gig where a trio I was in drew 4 people, we all ended up shelling out $55 A PEICE to settle the contract. That's when I decided I was'nt going to play LA anymore.
  8. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    free, but more amusingly, a case of natural light. (absolute piss).
  9. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Unfortunately the modern version of that question is, "How much have you paid to play?"
  10. Negative HK$450. :D:p
    Actually, I didn't really think about it back then, and...I still don't. It was fun, even if we WERE asked to leave the stage because the rest of my classmates wanted...well, basically a mini-rave at a formal dinner. We decided to play Zombie one more time, because it's just such a fun, energetic song to play, even though it's just a couple notes, and none of us knew the lyrics. :p
  11. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I'm sure others have done this...

    You pay cover then the band asks you to sit in...This always makes me cringe!

  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    Been there,done that.We didnt draw enough at the door to cover sound,so we each(five of us) had to shell out something like $10 a piece to make up the difference.Was one of those last minute gigs,the owner called us the day before and asked us to do the show cause he didnt have anyone else.I was pi$$ed that he wouldnt at least cover the sound,since we had no time to advertise that we were playing there,etc.......Havent played there since.
  13. well, I believe I have the winning hit! (if you take away free and minus)...

    my band once got a bag of smints (with 2 smints in it) each for playing...

    try to beat that! hah! ;)

    and I´ve also played for free several times...
  14. I can't beat that, but did you enjoy the smints ?
  15. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Sunday I played for Chicken chips(fries) and a can of Lilt (totally tropically taste).

    I reguarly play at church for a cup of tea.
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Yup, have to go with free too, although the gig was an embarrassment. How can you explain to a guitar player that Heavy metal distortion doesn't cut it on "Pretty Woman"? (Yes, Orbison)

    Will C.:cool:
  17. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Actually, I played for free a couple of times. The one that I really remember, though, was when a club owner sued us for breach of contract - we lost, and payment came in the form of a full week-end without compensation. This, when we were a full-time band. Man, that one hurt.
  18. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    You guys get paid for gigs? Wait until I tell the band about this!
  19. Laker


    Mar 23, 2000
    Our band plays for free for benefits and charity, but the lowest paying gigs were back in '60 when I started playing for pay. Our standard takehome was $10 a night and sometimes $5 for a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. Any Musicians Trust Fund gigs (I was a member of AF of M at the time) were for $10, but after they took out taxes etc, I think I ended up with $7.56.