[Dixielandjazz] Another 2 Cents on freebies

Rob McCallum rakmccallum at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 10 13:17:19 PST 2003

Hello all,

I certainly agree that playing for little or no money in "for profit"
establishments like bars or restaurants or movie productions, or even
non-profit events that have a budget, means that the players are probably
getting swindled and that it hampers the ability of professional musicians
to receive reasonable pay.  I also agree that there are certain ethical
considerations, especially in cases like the one Bill Sargent described in
which real musical work is usurped by people who play for nothing.  I once
heard someone remark that if you're playing just to play for fun (i.e. a
hobby) do so in your basement and invite your friends over.  This kind of
begs the question, is music a job or is it art, and the problem is that it's
both.  I wouldn't try to take away anyone's right to play music in whatever
situation they choose (including subway stations!), and each musician and
band is playing under a unique set of circumstances (venue, economic market,
ability level etc.), though players that play for nothing in a paid band are
tacky at best and deserving of a sound beating in the alley on the set

All the best,
Rob McCallum

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