[Dixielandjazz] The Phat Band - School Gigs & Young Fans

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Fri Mar 11 11:33:07 PST 2005

In a message dated 3/11/05 10:37:54 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
sign.guy at charter.net writes:

> In my area, sometimes these are subsidized on a matching funds or some
> percentage basis with the Musicians Union.  Some bands make a career out of
> playing green sheet gigs.  I rarely do them for two reasons.  First is that
> it only pays scale which isn't much here and some leaders have the market
> tied up.  After having said that which might not be fair because some
> leaders pursue these gigs and I really don't.

That is a very valid point Larry, unfortunately many of these bandleaders 
have learned how to get those kind of low paid gigs and still have no idea about 
how to market their bands to a real paying audience or convert those folks to 
become customers in the real world of music and live entertainment outside the 

It has also been my experience to see most of those kind of bandleaders 
leading NON swinging bands made up of non swinging cats, many of whom could not get 
a real gig in the real world anyway.  Not All of course, just being in the 
Union does not make you a good or bad player there are of course adequate 
numbers of each in any given local membership.

> I would suggest that you contact your local AF of M.  If you and your band
> aren't members you might investigate joining. 

 Unfortunately in St. Louis > almost all of the better musicians in town are 
> NOT in the union so I am forced to have a mixed band if I want to play or 
> book gigs.
> Larry Walton

The biggest problem with this is that the Union once again wants to restrict 
and control their own members by telling them they can't work with NON 
members, and will actually levy fines against them for doing so.  Once again 
repressing the growth and expansion of live music rather than preserving and expanding 
the opportunities, and yet most of them have no idea why their membership has 
deserted them in droves.

Good non union musicians by the thousands have always made more money than 
union scale and often they made more money by not being a union member and 
working those kind of low paying welfare gigs.

Been there played those kind of gigs, many many years ago.  They go no where 
if you don't use them correctly and promote yourself to bigger and better 
things and then learn to use them as paid rehearsals in front of a live audience 
that is not drunk at best.

Just being a member of the AFof M does not make you a Professional Musician 
no matter what they tell you.  Making a living playing music makes you a 
Professional Musician, making a living Teaching someone else how to play music and 
getting paid for it, makes you a Professional Music Teacher not a Professional 

The problem in the Live music world today is we have far too many TEACHERS 
and too few Professional Playing Musicians.  Many musicians supplement their 
income by teaching private lessons and teaching in schools.  That makes them 
Professional Supplementalists not Professional Musicians.


Tom Wiggins

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