[Dixielandjazz] Show bands was live vs. recorded music

Steve Heist steveheist at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 17 06:50:50 PDT 2009

Larry wrote:
(snip) The guys that are trying to make a living here are really taking it 
in the
neck and if it weren't for private students most of them would be flipping
burgers. (snip)

Larry and all musicians who want to work...,

Hi all,
What is required here is a rethink!  The days of playing 5-6 nights a week 
in a bar are OVER!  Most bars nowadays are owned, not by individuals who 
KNOW the bar business, backward and forward, but corporations (who are the 
first to cut live music from their budgets) and/or "entrepeneurs" who know 
absolutly NOTHING about the bar business, they've just got extra money and 
want to open a bar, and are usually flying blind.

Here's the question to ask yourselves:  Is it better to go for a weekly gig 
(now usually only 2 nights a week) OR go for the "private party" jobs, which 
usually pay MUCH better?

Up here in Montreal, I work right now with 1) a caterer who has GREAT 
contacts and lots of work for me and 2) the owners of a ski resort bed and 
breakfast that love my music and also keep me busy...

I have one great advantage with my location, Quebec...  It seems people up 
here, when they have an event, like the music to last the whole party.  My 
caterer called last week and told me (and this is NOT unusual up here) that 
one of his clients wanted the music this Saturday to go from 5:00 in the 
late afternoon until 1:00 AM!  8 HOURS!!!  I quoted him my usual price of 
$100 an hour... (That would be $800 for the night...)  He called back two 
days later and told me the client said the price was fine and asked if I 
could start at 4:00PM!!!  Pardon me, but with money like that, who needs the 
fricking bar/restaurant owners???  I probably will NEVER again play in a 
restaurant/bar again!  My only problem now is schlepping all my equipment 
back and forth, but I've solved that in a way.  If I can continue like this 
and expand my single gigs, I'll just hire some kid - pay him $50 a night to 
be my roadie - all he has to do is carry in and out the equipment...  then 
all I have to do is connect the wires!!!

By the way, I haven't flipped a burger in 45 years!!!  (except in my own 
backyard :-)

ALL the Very Best,

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