[Dixielandjazz] Something for nothing - what Larry said

David Dustin postmaster at fountainsquareramblers.org
Mon Jun 4 16:45:14 PDT 2007

Larry wrote -- 

A couple of weeks ago I tried to book a 4 piece strolling Dixie band for
$300 for one hour.  That translates into about 3 1/2 hours to do the job
plus gas getting there and hassling for parking.

By Larry¹s standards we have a hobby band too, but I concur with the opinion
of many here, like Larry, who contend that musicians deserve to be
remunerated for their time, and I make sure that most of our gigs pay
reasonably well.  I am of the opinion that the shifting economics of
transportation in the USA, in the vast rural areas lacking public
transportation, is going to change the ³free music² pricing strategies of a
lot of bands that are just grateful for the gig and don¹t care how much they
have to expend to play it.  If you figure the price of gas in the US at
about $3.50 per gallon, soon to be $6 or $7 a gallon like in Europe (bet
your axe on it), and a vehicle that gets maybe 18 mpg on average, getting to
and from a gig within a 60-100 mile radius quickly adds up to a substantial
investment in transportation alone. Now that sort of distance range is quite
common for rural bands in North America, and even insignificant for bands in
the Midwest or on the West Coast.  Either the gigs will have to start paying
enough to cover a musician¹s logistical expenses, or the music will just dry
up and blow away.  I know some larger bands around here that pretty much
cover New England for not much more money ‹ and sometimes less -- than I can
get in a 3-county market. I don¹t know how they can keep all their players
whole, after expenses, for the meager shares that they can dole out.

Economics, the ³dismal science.²  To paraphrase Tolstoy on the subject of
war: ³You may not be interested in Economics but Economics is interested in

David Dustin

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list