[Dixielandjazz] The Wife

Russ Guarino russg at redshift.com
Wed Jun 7 14:51:06 PDT 2006

My wife helps me to bring in the equipment & set up, and break down and haul
away. During the gig she will read or do cross word puzzles or leave the area
and do some grocery shopping, etc.

She sometimes helps with balancing the audio or fetching some water or getting a
piece of equipment I've neglected to bring on stage.  Also, she handles the
money for me by passing out the pay envelopes to the musicians as we pack up.

When I bid the job I will tell customers of her "Roadie" work and arrange for
her to eat with the musicians.

She's a big help to me.

I've seen other guys with a gimpy leg or whatever, use their girl friends/wives
with equipment set up, etc., particularly drummers or keyboard guys bringing in
electronic equipment.

My experience has been all positive.

Russ Guarino
Clarinet Maven

"Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis" wrote:

> Richard:
> All the reasons you listed are of course valid reasons to bring your wife.
> You forgot the best reason of all is to schlep equipment.
> Also don't misunderstand that I am equating how well a person plays with
> professionalism or that a gig that might be the exception.
> Many bands do this and the wives have sort of a club and troop around with
> the band.  Those bands simply operate under a different set of rules.  They
> are more social clubs and don't exactly fall into the professional musician
> class even though some of the players are very good.  One of my friends
> played with the Stan Kenton band and is one of the best sax players around
> but he is more or less retired and only plays for his own reasons and money
> isn't one of them.  Even he doesn't bring his wife to most things.
> My point was that bringing a wife or girl friend just to have her there is
> an unprofessional thing and can be really bad.
> I play with a lot of different bands and there are differences and one of
> those differences has to do with wives and girl friends.
> Since I don't do it, I really don't discuss it with clients but I have had
> quite a few write across the contract NO WIVES OR GUESTS!  These are people
> who, it seems, have had bad experiences with band members inviting people
> in.  They don't want to feed them, give them drinks or let them in free.  I
> have played a lot of $60-$100 a plate weddings and parties.  They don't even
> let the band eat or have a table at that rate.
> Some time ago a trumpet player that I had played with in the AF band called
> me for a gig.  I hadn't seen him for 20 years so I thought it would be fun.
> It was for a more or less public dance at a KC hall in the next state.  He
> had just gotten married and was really taken with the fact that his wife had
> been a stripper in the 50's.  By the way she was way over the hill.  During
> the evening she proceeded to get rip roaring drunk.  To be fair what did she
> have to do but drink and sit there.  She didn't know anyone at the dance and
> none of the other wives came.
> I still think that it's a poor idea to bring wives or girl friends to the
> average gig.  Now if it's something special, by invitation, public or there
> is a definite reason as you listed several then that's another matter.
> I am working with  the best big band in the area tonight at a public park
> concert.  The leader brings his wife to many of the things that we do but
> never to a private party such as a wedding.  It's unlikely that any of the
> wives will be there.  Another thing, while I don't know about the other
> members of this group, I only socialize occasionally with the leader and
> even though I know the other members very well our relationship is musical
> not social.  I mentioned the rules being different.  My association with
> this band will only last as long as I can play the parts and do a good job.
> When that goes it makes no difference that I am friends with the leader.
> This leader has a sextet and I don't play with that simply because one of
> the guys plays better than I do and not that we are friends.  I play in two
> bands like that.  There is also a difference in sideman pay.  Both of those
> bands pay three times as much as the "Social" bands.  There is another
> difference too.  The social band members and leaders tell me what a great
> job I did or some solo or another was really good.  They are very free with
> the pats on the back, while nice, the non social bands and leaders almost
> never do that except with featured soloists.  They expect good performance
> and professionalism as the norm and they pay for it.
> Larry
> St. Louis
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Stevens" <richard at thejazzfactory.net>
> To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 2:32 AM
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] The Wife
> > Hi All,
> > I followed this thread with interest and someone suggested that it only
> > "amateur"
> > Bands had their partners attending gigs. The venue manager for a dinner
> > concert we are doing on Sunday in fact has invited The Wife as his guest
> > to
> > dine with him. Very professional of him as he understands just what her
> > contribution is.
> >
> > The wife can sell CD's
> > The wife can entertain celebrities
> > The wife can do a sound check from the room
> > The wife can take a booking enquiry
> > The wife can tell you if you are boring
> > The wife is not a spare part but an integral part of the show, often
> > organising the audience to a venue.
> > That's among the professional things she does.......
> >
> > MY wife will also buy a drink and bring it over to the stage
> > MY wife actually loves jazz and is a regular contributor, that's 2 of the
> > reasons I married her!
> >
> > regards,
> > Richard Stevens
> > www.thejazzfactory.net
> >
> >
> >
> > --
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> >
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