[Dixielandjazz] Re: Insurance

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 15 21:05:07 PDT 2004

Richard is right on. There is the bottom line: DO YOU MAKE MONEY FOR THE
VENUE? If you do, you will keep busy. If not, you won't.

Most of our club gigs are concerts with only limited dancing. We do about 110
gigs a year from Tuesday through Thursday nights, without a steady residency.
We prefer that because the non steady venues pay better. Perhaps a difference
in the marketplace, Oz vs. the USA? It seems not too many old folks dance
here, much less go out at night.

When we appear in smaller clubs, like Sydney's Jazz Cafe in Rehoboth Beach DE
they have a music charge for us of $7 on weekdays and $10 on Saturdays,
basically because it is a small club and we get more money than any other band
that gigs there during the year. There is also dancing BECAUSE it is a YOUNG

But, if I asked Ms. Sydney what her bar take was, or how many dinners she sold
that night, she would tell me to get stuffed. :-) And she would be right. It
is none of my business. The sound techie and the bartender there are superb
sources of information about how we do compared to others. And if Sydney is
running around helping out, that's another plus. And when she pays me on the
final night of a two day run, if it is all, mostly all in cash, I know she did

Like it or not, bands are in the entertainment business. And that business is
very different in different parts of the world. However, what ever the venue,
you must make more net profit for them, then they would make in your absence.
Otherwise, you will be absent. Key words, NET PROFIT.

Young Artie Shaw believed that a musician and/or band's primary job was to
make interesting and original music. He awoke about the "music business" with
his first band booking. Following is from his autobiography:

Club owner/manager to Shaw: "You listen to me! My problem is to get the dough
to pay you and your goddam band and all the rest of the expenses I got to pay
to run this joint. Your problem is to get people in here. And if you want to
take your pants down on that goddam bandstand every night and take a crap up
there, and people'll pay to come in here and see you do it, I'll pay you to
take a crap up there every night. That's how much I give a good goddam about
what kind of music you're playing, you here me?"

So do whatever it takes without bending over, literally or artistically. You
can be lucky, like Richard says he is below, or you can work, at it and create
your own luck.

Steve Barbone

Richard Stevens wrote:

> Hi All,
> Regards this matter, The club owners and venue operators (The Food &
> Beverage Manager usually hires the band) will look for any excuse to fire a
> band which is not making them MONEY. Our own regular weekly residencies are
> not in place because of different insurance policies, younger audiences,
> throwing beads, clever musicians, or any of the other whines about venues,
> unions, lawyers and shills from copywrite organisations. We keep those gigs
> through our good luck in filling the venues with diners, dancers and
> drinkers on quiet nights, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
> This makes a lot of MONEY for the venues. That's how they pay their
> insurance!
> Just for interest sake how many listmates have regular weeknight
> residencies? That’s when venues need a band!
> Do you know how many meals were served at your gigs? What was the bar take
> last night? Does your venue charge admission?

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