Open Letter to the Bar Owner Who Wrote the Open Letter to Musicians on Craigslist
Let's get to the crux of it, shall we? When I started playing in the '80s as a teen, the going rate for a gig was $50-$150 per band member depending on the size of the gig, the venue, the patrons, etc. Care to take a guess at what it is today?
If you guess $50-$150 per band member, you would understand my pain. That was 30 years ago, and the pay has not changed. You expect miracles for pocket change. Don't be surprised when you get exactly what you pay for.
Failing better pay, don't try to stiff me at 3 a.m.
Years ago, I was doing a gig with a popular local band who absolutely packed the venue we were in. The deal was we either got paid $500 or 80 percent of the door, whichever was more. We easily brought in 200 people at $10 per person, which by my math is more than $500.
Yet, when our singer went to collect the money, the bar owner tried to tell us we didn't make more than $500 at the door. After a few verbal threats were exchanged and the cash register was yanked off the bar, the bar owner wisely paid us our money. Be smart and, more importantly, don't be a crook.
Doing what we do is as much hard work as what you do. Some of us even do it for a living. We do everything we can to have a good time, make money for ourselves and the bar all while trying not to get stiffed on pay or get punched by some drunk asshole who thought we looked at his girlfriend funny.
This is in addition to the countless hours we spend rehearsing the same songs over and over just so people will be entertained and we will sound good. So, don't be a dismissive schmuck. Try to have some appreciation for the difficult job we have too, and maybe then you'll get our best effort and our respect.