[Dixielandjazz] TIPS

John Farrell stridepiano at tesco.net
Fri Mar 7 08:26:12 PST 2003

In reply to my post Steve Barbone said :

" In any event glad to know
 that I needn't offer to buy the band or a fellow player a drink because it
 would be insulting. Now that would be gauche, to insult a fellow musician
 might be playing for next to nothing."

My post did not say, suggest or imply that by tipping a band in England you
insult the band members, I simply said that it was not done. In view of the
tone of Steve's comment I must have misunderstood what he means by
"tipping", which in this context I have always taken to mean one person
giving money, not beer, to another. For instance, how would Jerry Brown's
New York waitress have reacted if he had offered her a pint of Guinness as a
tip instead of cash?

Many times during intervals in jazz clubs people have said to me, "I'm
really enjoying the music and would like to buy you a beer". If I accept
their kind offer I do not regard it as being a tip but as a gesture of
friendliness. Here in the UK buying drinks for fellow musicians and bands is
quite common, it is certainly not construed as being a tip of any kind but
as an expression of the pleasure at being in the company of others who share
a common interest and skill.

There is a world of difference between "I really enjoyed that, have a beer"
and "If you play such-and-such a tune I will buy you a beer". On many
occasions I have pretended not to know the tune just to get rid of the more
persistent requesters.

"Glad also to hear that British musos are altruists. Actually, probably all
 musos play for love of the music. The money is merely a way of keeping
 Most that I know feel that that they should be well compensated for what

For some mysterious reason Steve frequently posts messages which emphasise
the size of his pay packet, it gives the impression that he is in the
business for that reason alone and that the music takes second place to it.
If that is indeed the case it is where our philosophies part company - if I
am offered a large amount of money to play a gig I know I will not enjoy
then I would turn it down flat, most of the British musicians I know would
do the same thing. I do not regard that attitude as altruism, but as the
avoidance of an unpleasant experience.

"I have found during my life, that generally, you get what you pay for. That
 includes the quality of the music. Admittedly, as a choke . .  businessman
 . . choke , , American jazz musician. . I may be jaded, but that is my

There is some truth in the old adage that you get what you pay for, however
booking a band for a generous fee is no guarantee that they are capable of
playing quality music. "The more you pay, the better the music gets" defies

John Farrell
stridepiano at tesco.net

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