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Ripping off musicians - blogs

Will Fly 24 Sep 10 - 03:38 AM
Howard Jones 24 Sep 10 - 04:06 AM
Will Fly 24 Sep 10 - 04:26 AM
Howard Jones 24 Sep 10 - 04:59 AM
Old Vermin 24 Sep 10 - 05:16 AM
MikeL2 24 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 24 Sep 10 - 05:40 AM
Leadfingers 24 Sep 10 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,MC Fat (at work) 24 Sep 10 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Sep 10 - 10:55 AM
Arthur_itus 24 Sep 10 - 11:02 AM
Leadfingers 24 Sep 10 - 11:39 AM
Howard Jones 24 Sep 10 - 11:49 AM
Will Fly 24 Sep 10 - 02:04 PM
Arthur_itus 24 Sep 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Sep 10 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,999 24 Sep 10 - 05:03 PM
Rumncoke 24 Sep 10 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 24 Sep 10 - 06:36 PM
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Subject: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 03:38 AM

This (UK) open Facebook page has been set up to try and tackle the eternal problem of some promoters ripping off musicians ruthlessly. I don't get the sense that this is a problem in the folk world - I haven't experienced it myself - but it always has been in other music areas.

Any personal horror stories?


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 04:06 AM

I've only once not been paid, and that was a pub gig. One of the band members drank in there and had set it up with the landlord. Whether it was a misunderstanding or a rip-off, I'm not sure. We didn't have a written contract - lesson learned.

I once played for a wedding when everyone disappeared afterwards and we had to hunt around the hotel to find someone to pay us. Eventually the best man appeared, a large rugger-bugger type and rather the worse for wear. He was quite aggressive and gave us some abuse before flinging the money down on the floor in front of us. So we did get paid, but it was looking quite tense for a while!

Reading the Facebook page, I wondered why the guy had accepted the gig on those terms in the first place. Perhaps he wanted performing experience, to build up an audience, or just the ego boost of getting a paid gig.

In the folk world, we gain experience and exposure by doing floor spots. Many folk clubs rely on unpaid performers to fill much, or even all, the evening - are they being exploitative? It doesn't feel like it, but that's because it's part of the folk club culture. I wonder how it would look to an outsider?


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 04:26 AM

Apparently the blogger is called 'Nasher', i.e. Brian Nash - who used to play with "Frankie Goes To Hollywood". Draw your own conclusions. Other very professional groups seem to have been ripped off by the same venue - the Water Rat in London.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 04:59 AM

I'm even more puzzled why he took the gig on those terms. It's clearly unfair to the performer, and also very unclear - how do you determine which paying patrons are "directly attributable to the performer"? But is that a 'rip-off', when the terms are freely entered into by the performer?

Not getting paid even the miserable amount he was due under this arrangement is a different matter, but he already has a remedy under existing law for breach of contract.

I don't think he's got the faintest chance of getting the law he's asking for. If he did, I'm not sure that we in the folk world should support it - such a law would kill off folk clubs, if they were required to pay floor singers or residents supporting the main performer. Bearing in mind the experience with Licensing Act, I'd be very doubtful if we could get an exemption for folk clubs. But it's not going to happen - can't see any government, least of all a Tory-dominated one, interfering in freely entered into contracts unless there's an over-riding public interest.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Old Vermin
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 05:16 AM

Did hear John Connolly relate his tales including going round Irish music-shops, checking books on sale for Fiddlers Green being printed and attributed as trad or anon.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: MikeL2
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM

hi Will

I never found any real problems in getting paid in the folk world. Occaisionally we had to re-negotiate terms on the night but we always managed to sort it out mutually. Sometimes we did accept less to try to help the clubs out. But this was rare. On very rare occaisions we acctually were paid more than we had agreed. So it works both ways.

When I was playing in a jazz group we were booked to play at a large hall. We were told that we were to be the supporting act for a then well-known band.

We negotiated a fee and agreed to do two half hour spots at an agreed fee.

When we arrived the owner said that the other band were going to be late so could we do a forty minute slot to give them time to get there.
We did but no sign of the other act.

He then said that he had received a call telling him that they couldn't make it. He asked us then if we would do the rest of the night. We said we would as long as the fee was OK. We agreed a figure and duly performed.

When we tried to get paid he just gave us our previously agreed fee and wouldn't pay us for the extra.

I told him that we were members of the Musicians Union and if he didn't pay us the agreed rate we would report him. He reluctantly paid us, making us wait while " he got the cash together".

We were all in a large van and when we got to it in the car park we found that all our tyres had been slashed.

The guy and his doormen stood by grinning.

We never played there again.....oh and I told a "porkie" about us being in the union....but we all then joined.!!!

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM

Venues rip off aspiring rock musicians all the time with the pretext that they musos are paid for the number of people coming to see them.

They also deduct the cost of bouncers, and a ridiculous charge for clapped out PA rigs (use of) that are obligatory to use, etc, etc.

Some venues even want the bands to pay the bouncers and for the rig if there are not enough punters.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 05:40 AM

Did a gig once in Ireland once. The band included a genial whistle playing story tellng Irishman who lived locally!
(You work out who!)
After the gig the rest of us were packing up the car, and were hanging around the car park, whilst our leader was inside getting the dosh! It took about an hour. When he appeared we obviously asked why had he taken so long.....A pause, and then he said...
"Ah, he was being a bit difficult about the fee. I just pointed out that I knew people in the area.....and all I'd have to do would be to make a couple of phone calls in the morning!, and suddenly the safe opened, and everything was fine!"
I just couldn't believe it!!!


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 07:05 AM

Being in the Musicians Union or Equity is a serious must if you are doing serious paid work , even on a part time basis !
We have only had to involve the union once (Equity) and they dealt with the County Court and all the legal stuff at NO cost to us - AND wse did get paid in the end !


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,MC Fat (at work)
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 07:13 AM

There's a famous (or infamous) 'promoter' who booked Amazing Blondel at a boozer in Sheffield. The night apparantly wasn't fantastically well attended he (the promoter) put them on for the 2nd spot and promptly did a runner. At the end of the gig the band approached the landlord to ask where 'the promoter' was and he couldn't be found. As the 'promoter' had also hired the room, I guess the landlord was out of pocket for the room hire too.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 10:55 AM

Howard Jones, above, had a story about a wedding.

Here's a tip. I have a friend who plays harp for weddings. She tells the family, "Once I have my check, I will start playing."


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 11:02 AM

"Once I have my check, I will start playing."

Hmmmm. I wouldn't take that too kindly. Not a good idea IMHO.


Not everybody in this world is dishonest. In fact I would go so far as to say that this thread is dealing with a very small minority situation.

One thing I would say about the folk world, is that I have never met such an honest group of people in my life.

This thread is running down and in a way making it seem that organisers are not to be trusted. Shameful.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 11:39 AM

SOME Pub Landlords are real sharks = We did a Pub in Sheerness for Paddy's night and had a row with the landlord who tried to say the signature on the Contract wasnt his ! A mate had exactly the same thing in the same pub a couple of years later . One of the locals told my mate the the Landlord did it ALL the time , even when cintracts were exchanged , and apparently got away with it often enough esprcially with Non Written agreements .


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Howard Jones
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 11:49 AM

Usually we get offered the money, without prompting, early in the evening. The two examples I quoted above are the only times I've ever experienced difficulties in nearly 40 years of performing.

It's because it's so exceptional that we've got stories to tell. Most organisers in the folk world are trustworthy, and keen to ensure that performers get paid, to the extent of sometimes dipping into their own pockets. Nevertheless, it does no harm to remember that there are a very few exceptions - and they can make good stories.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 02:04 PM

As I said above, I've never encountered any of this in the folk world. People who book and pay are honest and straightforward. But - in a few previous incarnations not in the folk world - I have encountered some difficult times.

I recall playing at a private party - just playing guitar as a stand-in in a rock'n roll band - in an outfit run by a very tough bass player. The gig ended and there came the familiar words about a 'cheque in the post' (when we'd been promised COD). The bassist said calmly, "If you don't pay us now, I'm driving my Land Rover into your conservatory." The cash was duly paid - and the bassist drove his Land Rover into the conservatory anyway - just to teach him a lesson...


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 02:14 PM

LOL


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 04:57 PM

Will, Thank you for the thread!!

I've been 'chomping at the bit', to post my latest musical score online, BUT, as of present, there is a MAJOR film company considering it. I played it LIVE, (46 minutes long)here at a Bistro/restaurant, that has entertainment, and in the audience was the county commissioner, and her husband, who's best friend is V.P. for yet another very major film company. Because the piece is very innovative, and has several very beautiful melodic movements(which EVERY time I've performed it LIVE, either in public, or here at the home studio), somebody bursts out in tears, including the County commissioner. She told us(my spouse and I), that she hadn't felt those emotions in 25-30 years!

It's not a piece that is suited for clubs(bars), but rather concert halls, or auditoriums. It's just not a piece that someone who came in to drink, and feel sorry for themselves, because there's 'no love in the world, anymore', would want to hear!...and, its certainly NOT background music, for people telling lies to each other, to get laid, for the night!!!!

Because of that, meaning the melody lines, I can't post it, yet..HOWEVER, as soon as I can, or negotiations would allow, 'Mudcat' will be the first to be alerted, and hear it online!!!!

If I play a club, it most likely would be guitar!

The reason I haven't posted it, yet, is for the very same reason you mentioned earlier on!!!


Regards and Respectfully,

Guest from Sanity


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,999
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 05:03 PM

Let us know when and where we can hear it, GfS. I`m very much looking forward to that.


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: Rumncoke
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 06:13 PM

I did a suposedly paying party with a trio. I knew the guy who played the 12 string, but not the couple.

I took my guitar and a bag for the recorders, big tamboreen with ribbons and other stuff.

As soon as they restarted after the break they made snide remarks and laughed, and after half an hour they called me on and vanished into the side room.

All except for the mandolin I'd put into my bag and dragged 'on stage' with me.

I supose it was the adrenalin, but I went down a storm until the landlord chucked us out.

The trio had grabbed everything from the sideroom, collected the money and left long before - which was what I half expected when I put the mandolin in the bag.
   
It is still on top of the wardrobe. I don't know what it was worth then, or could be sold for now - it's just a pity I couldn't fit their dulcimer in as easily. I can play a dulcimer.

They shouldn't have laughed.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Ripping off musicians - blogs
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 06:36 PM

Oh, 999, the piece is on keyboards, not guitar. Just thought I'd tell you.

GfS


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