[Dixielandjazz] Re: insurance

Robert S. Ringwald robert at ringwald.com
Mon Jul 12 00:43:18 PDT 2004

Wow, when I see/read all of the scams that Tom Wiggins writes about, below,
I think to myself, why didn't I think of doing that?

 Actually, even if I had thought of doing them, I wouldn't have.  But I
always marvel at the creative ways that people come up with to beat the
system, or beat other honest folks out of a buck.

In my case, when I was performing regularly in night clubs, I never saw one
musician file a claim, or do any of the things that Tom lists below.

I am not disagreeing with Tom, I am just saying that in 30 years of playing
6 to 7 nights a week in clubs, I never saw any of that happen.

What I did see was the clubs eventually wanting to pay me as an individual
contractor to save money.  They didn't want to pay things such as Worker's
Comp & matching Social Security.

Geeze every time I think about going back to playing 6 nights a week, I get
cold chills.  Been there, done that, no think you.

robert at ringwald.com
Placerville, CA USA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <TCASHWIGG at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2004 11:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Re: insurance

> In a message dated 7/11/04 11:28:37 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> robert at ringwald.com writes:
> >
> > Remember, often in fact most of the time now, musicians are hired as
> > independent contractors.  As such, the club or venue is not necessarily
> > obligated to cover independent contractors in their insurance.
> >
> > --BR
> >
> >
> Yep and that is primarily because the players for many years have been
> to dodge the IRS and not report or pay taxes on their musical income,  we
> started it.
> It also came about because of some less than ethical sidemen taking a
> booking from a band leader for a one or two nighter on the weekend and
> walking into the unemployment office on Monday and filing a claim against
> leader and or the venue listing them as their last employer.
> Thus the independent contractor game came into play, the leaders did not
> to be held responsible to deduct and pay payroll and workers compensation
> taxes and matching employers social security taxes on each sideman they
> on a part  time basis, therefore they just got the sidemen to take
> contractor status and legally passed the buck on down to them and made
> responsible for their own reporting and payment of taxes.
> These costs and the accounting that insued quickly ate up any leaders fees
> that they may or may not have gotten paid for the gigs, not to mention the
> fees they often faced in defending themselves from unscrupulous sidemen of
> which there were never a shortage of.
> I have also seen musicians purposefully trip and fall off the stage, or
> their mouthpiece into their rotting teeth and then file a claim against
> bandleader for an injury on the stage and go get his teeth fixed and sue
> bandleader for it.
> I have also witnessed musicians stealing or arranging for the theft of
> axes from gigs and then suing the venue for lack of security and the
> bandleader as well.  It just goes on and on and on.
> I know many of them right now who are collecting SSI benefits and playing
> four to five nights a week for cash under the table, supposed to be
> disabled and unable to work.
> It is indeed a Rats nest.  And most musicians cannot get Health care
> insurance except for a very high premium because of the reputations as
drunks and drug
> addicts, which is why the smart ones have a legitimate day gig so they can
> get insurance coverage for themselves and their families, and you can bet
> do not mention to the insurance company that they are musicians.
> Everybody is trying to beat the system.  Many of them actually do.
> Cheers,
> Tom Wiggins
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