[Dixielandjazz] because they love their music

Randy Fendrick jfendrick at bak.rr.com
Sat Mar 8 22:15:57 PST 2003

I got in late of this discussion, which ain't unusual for me but, 
welcome to the world of music.  Gene Bolen calls bands that do that 
kind of stuff "Tee Shirt Bands"  In other words, they sell tee shirts 
to raise the money to play their music.  Which is all BS!  In 
California, and I would imagine other places too, rock musicians, and I 
use that term loosely, pay to work. In LA, for instance, they rent a 
well known venue, sell their own tickets and the club takes the bar.  
That's a good deal!  Then they get to play their music in hopes of 
being discovered.  Big deal!
In Southern California many of the jazz clubs will not come up with any 
bread at all.  In fact, it is almost an insult as to the amount of 
bread they offer.  My guys say no more pro bono stuff.  At $2.10 a 
gallon for gas, you can't drive 200 miles to make a gig and justify it 
to yourself or your wife.  I don't care how much you love to play.
I love to play, and I don't care if I play in the Symphony, which I do, 
or do a show, as I am doing for the next 6 weeks, or play in a wind 
ensemble, which I do every summer, or  play in a street band at the 
fair, which I do each September, or I play jazz which I do at the least 
monthly, and daily at the best, but I need to be paid for my services.  
Just like the Lawyer, the Doctor, the Teacher, the Druggist, the Liquor 
store owner, the clerk, the baker, you got the picture.  So the friend, 
the independent farmer, and the leader of the group is in reality 
taking bread out of all of our pockets, but you already knew that.
It's unfortunate that others don't recognize what is happening but 
within a short period of time there ain't  gonna be any work for 
anyone, not because the audience that we are playing for have died out 
which they are, but because the idea of a professional, that is one who 
is paid to do, wont be paid to do.
By the way, Jim, I'll bet there is another income in there somewhere,

Randy Fendrick,
> Case in point: I have been working for several years with a name big 
> band that is run by someone who can be cheap past intelligence. With 
> this guy, money can and does win out over musical quality. In the past 
> year, there's been this drummer in our genre who is also a farmer in a 
> state hundreds of miles from our area. This guy makes good money with 
> his farm and also can afford to be away from it for periods of time.
> He took a cruise from me that I should have played because he bribed 
> his way onto the gig by helping to sell several cabins for the cruise 
> . . . then played for zippo. Just took another cruise from me because 
> he offered to drive halfway across the US to the five day gig for 
> free. Then he took 2 nights last weekend from me here in Wisconsin, 
> because he offered to drive up from Nebraska for free as a "vacation".
> Meanwhile, I've got two young girls I'm trying to keep in private 
> school and pay two mortgages, etc. etc.
>    Bill...was this last line a joke?  You can't be paying for private 
> shools and two mortgages as a musician.
>    Jim Beebe_______________________________________________
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