[Dixielandjazz] Unwritten rules??/

paolo d'amore flicorno@tiscali.it
Fri, 13 Sep 2002 13:13:07 +0200

hi all,
my .02

in the mountain region i come from people say (i hope translation works):
"Thieves, be careful! musicians are coming!"

i'm a tuba player, (so) i'm a sideman. IMHO sidemen shouldn't have
absolutely any contact with the rest of the world (managers, pub owners,
etc.) without playing the instrument.
perfect sidemen arrive in time, dressed as the bandleader wants (you know
those *wonderful" things like straw hat, striped trousers, red
suspenders...), put the instrument case in the right place (keeping safe the
leader's instrument case), play their instrument at their best, politely
says hello to everybody looks at him, take their money as late as possible.
we are paid by the bandleader to play, and during the whole period we are
paid for, we can't influence the audience, the managers and so on with other
means than the instrument. sometimes i don't like musicians offering drinks
to girls (yes, i'm married), can you imagine if i like a sideman offering a
perfect bandleader must be able to have sidemen in time, well dressed ...
and without cards, or without chance  to speak with managers during the gig.
old (and rich) bandleaders here will not give you any chance to attempt to
what-they-call THEIR job.
this is the market system. some of us must pay wife's luxuryous perfumes
with the OKOM, so rules start become "flexible", some sidemen become leaders
without the capabilities i think they must have, so some leaders become
some years ago i played in a band that didn't like to play well-paid gigs.
if somebody came to ask for a card, the *main* members said "oh, you have
not to ask me, ask him", "no, i'm not responsible for this, ask someone
else", until the guy realizes nobody really cares the band. now the band is
dead. and some places here around are without OKOM.
there's a band leader here that has become famous (not rich) to offer his
band for 50$ less than the one has played the night before. his band works
more than mine (i mean the one where i'm a sideman).
i'm an amateur player (even if i'd like to play tuba only and not to discuss
everyday with my office boss), so i prefer to play as much as possible, as
near as possible to my house, paid as much as possible (in this order). and
i will never become a bandleader, nor a professional.
musos should be considered only as musicians, not for their politeness,
drinking attitudes, manager capabilities etc.
so they should avoid, almost during a gig, to externate their others

respectfully submitted
paolo "boycott double bass" d'amore

p.s.: what about my bandleader booking a *swing* gig during a gig i was
p.p.s.: a *swing* gig is the one with the same group playing except me,
replaced by a double bass.