[Dixielandjazz] Unwritten rules??/
Thu, 12 Sep 2002 05:57:16 +0000
Henry Stinson, while agreeing basically with me on the "unwritten rules"
business reads Jim K's post and backs off a bit. He says:
>While basically I agree with Bill Gunter, reading Jim K's words
>causes me to realize that the manager who was handed the card
>sees this as an act that is not only sneaky but shows disrespect
>by one of the band members for its leader. Thus, it throws a sordid
>light on both, but especially on the sideman
I beg to differ! No "sordid light" is thrown on anyone.
There is no way of knowing exactly what the manager 'sees' when handed a
card. For all we know we may conclude the manager is grateful for an
individual who expands the manager's options. Frankly that seems more
reasonable to me.
Where do people get the notion that because a person says "here's an option
for you to consider" he's really saying "This current band is no good!"
Be logical. There is absolutely no reason to forbid anyone from handing out
a business card at any time. I can think of NO RULE OF ETHICS preventing
people from exercising such an option.
I'll tell you what is unethical . . . that's anyone's assumption that I may
be denied my right at any time to speak positively about what I do.
If a band leader were to tell me that I chouldn't give my card to anyone I
choose during a gig I would immediately engage him/her in debate and
question the motives for such an assertion. Personally I feel such motives
would be the result of selfish, exclusionary attitudes which are shoddy and
On what basis can anyone question my right to say what I wish to anyone I
wish at any time I wish?
Several DJMLers have suggested that it would be more proper to wait until
the next day. WHY? What is so sacred about right now as opposed to tomorrow
at this time? Further, If it's ok tomorrow then how about right after the
band has packed up and is heading out the door. If the gig is over at 6
p.m., at what time is handing out your card not a breach of "ethics" - 7
p.m., 8 p.m. what? At what time does it become more acceptable? How about
BEFORE the gig starts? How many hours and minutes must one be forced to wait
before it's proper to pass out one's business card?
This is all utter rubbish.
HERE IS THE TRUTH! -
A musician may hand out his card to a potential agent whenever he wants and
nobody - NOBODY - has any right to deny him that.
Of course, if the band leader chooses to fire a sideman because of this
behavior he may do so. But to me, firing a sideman on the basis of this
behavior is far more "unethical" than anything the sideman did!
Come on leaders . . . get a grip - You have no right to control anybody's
right to speak.
The excuse "Well, it's just NOT done . . ." is absurd. Who says so? There's
NOTHING in any code of ethics specifically forbiding the right of an
individual to speak!
A sideman is hired to do a specific job at the time of the hiring. Basically
the speficic job entails (a) showing up on time (b) wearing the proper
attire (c) playing the gig competently (d) staying until the contracted time
expires and (d) remuneration of a specified amount agreed upon prior to the
gig. The sideman does NOT sell his soul to the leader. The sideman does not
give up any other rights unless he agrees to them AHEAD OF TIME.
If a leader says to me "You may not pass out your business card to the
management during the gig." I have a choice of either not accepting the gig
or abiding by the terms set forth by the leader. But in the absence of such
an agreement (ahead of time) no leader can arbitrarily impose such standards
of behavior on anybody.
Bill "I Won't Give Up My Rights" Gunter
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