[Dixielandjazz] Weddings & parties

Jim Kashishian jim at kashprod.com
Sun Oct 9 02:49:10 PDT 2005

I've got a funny story about wedding gigs.  If any of you have been around
on DJML for awhile, you might have heard it already!  (I repeat some of my
stories, according to my colleagues, from time to time!)   :>
Years & years ago, our drummer approached the band during a club gig.  "They
are some aquaintances of mine (not friends!) here that are getting married
soon, and they would love to have us play at their wedding", says he.  Well,
we had a long standing rule not to lower our price for these things even if
it was your mother getting married.  However, the rest of the band went a
bit soft with this couple for some reason...."ah, they're gonna pay for the
band themselves, just young people, etc".  I said the price should stay as
always, but was out voted on it.
Well, we quoted half the normal price.  When we arrived at the wedding we
found it was a rented castle in the countryside.  Then, we found there were
500 sitting dinner guests!  Then, we stood out in front of the castle &
watched as the private guards guided in the top of the range Mercedes, the
Ferraris, big touring busses, etc.  Then, we found out the groom was part of
the family that basically governs all of the Catalan area of Spain
Needless to say, the guys now listen to me.  Guide:  don't mention price
until you know the name of the people involved, the venue, the amount of
people at the gathering (cocktails, standing or sitting meal, etc.).  Then
is when the price gets trotted out & presented!  
Unfair, you might say?  Why should the rich pay more, you might say?  Why
should a large company pay more, you might say?  My answer is "because they
have a budget for these things".  Besides, the band is nothing compared to
the general costs.
I always try to listen first, then speak.  Not always possible, but I do try
to get as much info as possible before quoting a price.
As a p.s. to my story, we only played a few tunes as there were other bands
& dj's, and we were treated like royalty by the couple, with our own table &
the same meal as the guests.  It was fun, but a lesson had been learned.
Off to a private lunch party in the countryside on this sunny Sunday now.  A
gentleman who follows the band a lot.  It's his birthday party at his home.
We gave him a good price!   And, we're invited to lunch!     :>  
This, in the middle of a 10 night club date.

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