[Dixielandjazz] Whores and Big Bands

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Sat Dec 4 12:12:24 PST 2004

In a message dated 12/4/04 9:31:49 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

> Tom Wiggins wrote: (snip out of context)
> >We are all considered WHORES in this business and often forced to be just
> >that,
> Hey, wait a minute, stop disrespecting whores. They work for a living,
> supply a much needed service and charge a proper amount of money for it.

Not at all intended to be disrespectful to the OLDEST Profession in the 
World, if it were not for them music probably would have died a long time ago, 
given how many of those fine ladies supported and fed struggling musicians over 
the years, and many still do.  :))

> Not all bands are so inclined.
There is a balancing act as to how an emerging band can manage to play.
Simply stated, play anywhere you can, for any price you want, AS LONG AS IT

Case in point:

A few years ago a local OKOM band here wanted to play in a very famous
"Modern Jazz Night Club". So the Band leader took the gig, once a month, 3
months, 7 piece band, 3 hours for $400. (The club's maximum total rate
because of small size) In order to hire 7 musicians, he subsidized the gig
by putting in his own money to pay the going rate, even managing to bring in
high profile out of town players. It cost him a bundle, but he was happy.

I have to agree with this as well, it falls under the legitimate area of 
promotion, marketing and audience development, however the bandleader would in my 
opinion be far more successful taking the same band out and performing at a 
Wine and Art Festival or similar activity in the market that will have a built 
in large audience.   They can play to hundreds or even thousands of people, get 
much broader publicity and exposure and if they are good they will no doubt 
book paid gigs from doing so, and if they are smart they are keeping financial 
books on their band and the FREE performance they just provided to the 
(usually) nonprofit organization sponsoring the event is a legitimate advertising and 
promotion deduction expense on their tax returns as donated services at the 
normal pay rate or fee of the band.   Now sell 50 to 200 CDs at retail and book 
a few weddings, and other gigs and ask yourself Who played for Free here?

We bandleaders have all had sidemen who insist on getting paid for every 
situation and establish their minimum price,  There of course is nothing wrong 
with this, however there are many other ways of compensation for musicians 
available than the simple cash payment.  Most sidemen do not put any effort into 
marketing, or promoting the band, usually do not invest in the CD manufacturing 
or recording costs but are quick to hold out heir hand and expect a piece of 
the profits if there are any when the bandleader starts to reap the rewards of 
his hard work to go get the good gigs, make and sell CDs and promote each and 
every sideman and his name on the CD and on all the publicity materials, etc., 

Even departing sidemen almost always list on their resume that they used to 
play with that band or bandleader and whore his name and hard earned reputation 
to attempt to further their own cause.  These are the same kind of sidemen 
who like to pass out their own cards at the bandleaders gigs and book the repeat 
gigs for themselves usually calling everyone else in the band except the 
leader for the new gig.  It is another bad Ethics problem that most of us have 
faced far too many times.   

So many musicians have for years been trying to stay underground and get paid 
every gig in cash if possible to try and avoid IRS reporting of their mad 
money from gigs.

This folks is stupid, you should claim every penny of your income because if 
you do it correctly the write offs for expenses usually far outweigh the 
income and reduce your taxable income from other sources.

So does the production of a CD and the manufacturing costs, advertising and 
promotion etc.  You can actually let the government pay for your promotion and 
marketing of your band while you grow it into a financially successful 
operation.  But you have to work at it and do it correctly.

To do it the way most musicians do it is simple out and out TAX evasion which 
can get you into Big trouble, Tax avoidance is perfectly legal and the smart 
bandleaders have learned to be legitimate and deal with these issues.

Anybody out there in the USA market that wish to learn more about how to do 
this can contact me off list about it.  I am not cheap but I can be had (TAX 
WHORE Extraordinaire) Since I am not an expert or even a novice in tax laws or 
procedures outside the USA I can't help you other guys much.  Here in the USA 
you can often make more money by not making any money and pay less or no income 
taxes because you will not OWE any.

I can show you how to make more and keep more if not all of it legitimately.


Tom Wiggins

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