[Dixielandjazz] Now New Years Eve Fees.

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sun Dec 14 14:54:14 PST 2003

In a message dated 12/14/03 10:58:51 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
jseiger at rochester.rr.com writes:

> In general...musicians are underpaid (or at least consider ourselves 
> underpaid:) 364 days of the year. And I have heard many musicians say that.... "new 
> years eve is the one night a year that we actually get paid what we deserve."
> Looking at it that way, it is not so much chargin three times as much on new 
> years eve as it is not giving them a 2/3 discount on that one night :)
> Keep Swingin,
> Jon :)
Hi Jon:

Not all musicians are underpaid, and on the contrary many of them are over 
paid for the work that they do, just like Baseball and football star players are 
over paid if you look at the situation based upon hourly wages.

Once a group moves up into the ticket selling draw power league and is 
perceived as being a top draw that can command higher pay because they are 
attracting more customers who will pay to see and hear them.  The game changes and they 
can't be viewed any longer as just musicians, so it gets a bit muddy when we 
speak about musicians in a general sense and try to equate what they make as a 
standard for an industry.

When a group makes large amounts of money and are contributing substantially 
to the profits of the employer according to reasonable business standards in a 
Capitalistic society, they can leverage their share upwards for as long as 
they can sustain the draw power and produce the income.  Should they fall in 
popularity however, they are often quickly forced upon a downward trend and could 
end up back where they started from working for average musicians wages 
again, constantly seeking that next big gig.

A few retire while on top, and or change their business strategy to work less 
and invest and hold onto their money, unfortunately many do not, this is a 
very difficult business with tremendous odds against success, not to mention far 
too many competitors in the marketplace.  Therefore if you want to make 
really good money as a musician in today's world you had better be better than 
average and have a marketable show, not to mention going out and marketing it, 
which will be your day gig at which you will put in far more hours than you do on 
a stage on any given performance.

I have always said, if you want to know how much your band is worth, simply 
organize your own show charge what you think it is worth to yourself, and then 
try and sell enough tickets to pay your self that money, plus your advertising 
money back, the venue rental, costs of the food and or beverages sold and the 
labor to serve them, taxes, licenses, permits etc. and see how much you have 
left, It all has to come out of the customers pocket.

Some musicians who are not paid what they are worth should not complain about 
it,   :)

I k now plenty of them who fall into that category, actually went out and saw 
some of them last night, walked into a club sat down ordered a drink and 
waited forty-five minutes for the band to come back from their break after the 
first set, If they had been working for me they would have been fired on the 
spot.  This was in a club with no cover charge, so it depends solely upon the bar 
sales to cover the overhead and pay the band.  If they do not sell enough 
drinks then there will be no band.  During the forty-five minute break I saw at 
least 1/2 of the customers leave and go around the corner to another club, and 
they did not return.  The club did not take in enough money to pay the bands 
salary last night and that was on a Saturday night.  The band had also run up an 
$80.00 bar tab and did not want to pay it off from their salary either.


Tom Wiggins

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