Two sides to every story

Problems, how to get them, favorite songs to play, groupies, funky bar owners, etc. NO names of clubs, please.

Two sides to every story

Postby dcblues » Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:12 pm

Reading this thread on another blues bbs, I keep on thinking of the James Harman song, "Two Sides To Every Story."

I don't think I want to play at that club.
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Postby bosco » Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:21 pm

Wow, That's one big mess.

As a performing musician with several hundred gigs under his belt, I have a couple initial thoughts-

1. I have ZERO use for "Agents". These guys add a third party to the mix which helps cause misunderstandings. The club needs to learn how to and take charge of hiring their own bands, not push the duty off on someone else. That way there are no unrealistic expections by either side. This guy claims to be doing this "To help the club out" but admitted it was a great way to network and that he gets a cut. Now, as an agent, he is forced to defend the club when this all becomes public. All of the worst stories I have heard about performing mixups and or nightmares have involved agents. To top that off, he is a musician himself and has his own ideas about playing/getting paid. I'll bet his "love of the music" would diminsh in a hell of a hurry if he always had to play for free!

2. If a club asks "How many people can you bring", a red flag goes up immediately. This usually signifies that they have no crowd of their own and probably don't advertise. Bringing a "crowd" is for 20-something alt/rock bands. People that follow blues tend to be older and just don't go out like they did when they were other words you can't depend on them. I send out an email calendar to over 100 addresses for every gig our band plays. Sometimes 50 people show up, sometimes only 2, depending on the weather, the time of year, location, etc. Sometimes all of the band wives go, sometimes none of them go. Plain and simple, if the club is depending on you to bring your own crowd, you're in trouble from the start.

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Postby stumblin » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:09 pm

This sounds a bit familiar.
Bosco, you're right on the money with rule #2.
Here's a brief example from this neck of the woods:
One of our local venues recently booked us in for a string of appointments following a very successful evening. The guy said he liked us because we brought people into the bar. But, like Bosco says, you can't always rely on people showing up - especially on a week-night. We've had a couple of dead nights in there.
The place is run by guys who wait until you've done a sound-check, then come along and fiddle with all the settings.
I can generally live with this as long as the balances aren't totally screwed-up. My comrade-in-arms is of a more perfectionist frame of mind, and is also quite an emotional guy. The messing with the PA stunt usually winds him up to a point of near-explosion.
The pay's crap and they play a hilarious game at the end of every gig, the rules of which are unclear, but it goes something like this:
The man behind the bar claims that the gig-diary is not in the building, his mate is bringing it along in a few minutes.
The mate arrives, claiming complete ignorance of the existence of the gig-diary, and can I come back tomorrow at 4PM?
I go back the next day at the appointed hour, meet the "other manager", who tells me (apparently being unfamiliar with the mechanics of play) that the gig-diary never leaves the building and is always kept in the back-room. He then wonders out loud about his colleague's possible motives for lying about it to us.
Finally, I get to book some gigs, wondering why I bother.
I know it's not just us that have been messed about by these guys.
It's definitely time to start looking for a better gig.
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Postby allanlummox » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:19 pm

Yea, I'm very down on places that ask how many people I can bring in - and those are always the worst paying places, and the biggest runaround.
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