[Dixielandjazz] New year's Eve:

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Mon Dec 15 01:41:48 PST 2003

In a message dated 12/14/03 5:27:39 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> Doctors, Dentists, Plumbers and most other highly paid folks do not
> normally work on Saturday, Sunday or Holidays such as New Year's Eve. So
> comparisons are invalid. I suspect if they were forced to do so they
> would find a way to charge more. (We know plumbers, electricians etc.,
> do just that)

That's because they are so highly compensated every other day of the week, so 
they don't have to work on weekends most of the time.

They do however have the luxury of being able to keep a full calendar of 
clients five days a week, unlike musicians who have been relegated to working 
mostly weekends when every one else is off from their jobs and can go out and 
celebrate a bit or relax and have dinner and listen to some music.

Whether we like it or not folks we are Holiday and Weekend employees for the 
most part, those of you who work five or six nights a week steady are 
fortunate and you are definitely in the minority of musicians.

I do however remember the days back in the 60s when I worked six and seven 
nights a week, and around the clock on weekends when we had after hours clubs.  
Folks went out and partied all weekend and many other folks went out every 
other night of the week to hear good music and have a few drinks.  However times 
have changed, with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and the State Troopers doing 
Television and radio commercials telling folks they will be arrested and 
taken to jail if they have alcohol on their breath, and such the nightclub 
business has indeed died off or at best been severely curbed at least for the older 
adults who have enough sense not to challenge the cops.

Young folks still go out and drink and do drugs and party all night and show 
up for work the next day, how I don't know, but I do remember that I did it 
when I was younger, and was one of the fortunate ones who survived it.  Many did 
not, maybe that's where we lost a lot of our audience?

Club owners, Restaurant owners, and promoters all raise their prices for
New Year's Eve. That same meal costs twice as much because you get a
glass of cheap Champagne and . . . Entertainment.

Yes, but the same entertainment or worse that you got for free the night 
before, is my contention, the difference is the entertainment wants three times as 
much money to do basically the same job.  Of course the restaurant and night 
club is going to raise the price, how else can they justify paying the 
musicians three times as much money with absolutely no guarantee that they will have 
any more customers than normal and may not even get the normal because of the 
inflated prices.

What makes it a problem is that every hotel and restaurant and nightclub 
suddenly wants to be a promoter on New Year's Eve because they too fall for the 
HYPE that everyone goes out and spends lots of money this one night a year.   

The number of flop parties every year shows that it is not true, EVERYONE 
does not go out and go crazy on New Year's Eve, hence many of these Johnny come 
lately's lose their shirts trying to cash in on the Hype of New Year's Eve. 

My contention is that if every one just went along as usual more folks would 
actually go out and drop a few bucks to have dinner and a few drinks maybe 
dance a bit and buy a bottle of cheap champagne anyway.  Price it out of reach 
for the working class and they will stay home, everybody loses and next year all 
those that lost will not try it again, hence fewer gigs for all musicians to 
fight over for that big premium night.

As I said before, you all can have mine, I'm takin' the night off, unless of 
course somebody just makes me an offer I just can't refuse, so far I have 
refused them for twenty odd years.


Tom Wiggins

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