[Dixielandjazz] The union question and weddings

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Wed Nov 7 09:30:31 PST 2007

Few bands have the flexibility and repertoire to please such a diverse
group.  Today's weddings often require everything from rap and hip-hop to
big band.
You hit the nail on the head.  It's almost impossible to do all that.  I 
work for a band on Sat nights that comes close and is a pretty good band but 
it requires rehearsals and three singers.  The whole thing costs and arm and 
a leg and because the pay isn't whole lots per man, no one wants to rehearse 
anything new.  That's a sure death scenario.  I used to have a band that 
would rehearse one night a week and we would work on what ever was hot that 
week.  We did a passable job on it but we couldn't match all the electronics 
or the sound that someone could come up with in a studio so no matter what 
we did we couldn't be the same.

Another problem is that people listen to a wide variety of styles and they 
want what they hear.  Three weeks ago we followed a string quartet.

I no longer and haven't tried for a long time to sell a wedding that 
features the top tunes.  Instead I sell a traditional wedding band and make 
no representation that they will get top 40.  I don't book many but when I 
do people like what they get especially since I don't charge what the other 
band does.  I tell them if they have special music I will DJ it for them.
St. Louis
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rob Wright" <rwright at siatucson.com>
To: "Larry Walton" <larrys.bands at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 3:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] The union question and weddings

> I joined the union in Tucson in 1977.  I never got a thing out of it.  I
> joined Local 7 around 1979 in anticipation of working at Disneyland.  It
> never happened, although I did work at the Hotel one summer.  The 
> musicians
> union helped me get one gig, The New Christy Minstrels.  I finally dropped
> out because it was a waste of money and I made more than scale anyway.  I
> think the unions became out dated when rock & roll took over from bands
> (horns to guitars).  Reading charts became less important and the T.V.
> reduced the value of live entertainment.  It is more an issue of demand 
> than
> politics or anything else.
> I have to say, in most cases a DJ is a better choice for a wedding than a
> band.  Few bands have the flexibility and repertoir to please such a 
> diverse
> group.  Today's weddings often require everything from rap and hip-hop to
> big band.  Personally, I don't like to do weddings because unhappy brides
> are no fun.
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