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Thread: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

  1. #1
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Last night, the band had a gig, and the club manager waited until we'd already set up to tell us that he couldn't pay us but $30 each. People had already started pouring in, and we went ahead and played like champions. We were pretty pissed off about it and won't play there again. It turned out to be a fun gig, and we did our jobs. Should we have torn down after he told us that? I don't know. We're all old pros, but it's a new band, and we're still trying to establish our name.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    Last night, the band had a gig, and the club manager waited until we'd already set up to tell us that he couldn't pay us but $30 each. People had already started pouring in, and we went ahead and played like champions. We were pretty pissed off about it and won't play there again. It turned out to be a fun gig, and we did our jobs. Should we have torn down after he told us that? I don't know. We're all old pros, but it's a new band, and we're still trying to establish our name.

    My experience is that if you start tearing down in front of the crowd the money magically appears.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    Last night, the band had a gig, and the club manager waited until we'd already set up to tell us that he couldn't pay us but $30 each. People had already started pouring in, and we went ahead and played like champions. We were pretty pissed off about it and won't play there again. It turned out to be a fun gig, and we did our jobs. Should we have torn down after he told us that? I don't know. We're all old pros, but it's a new band, and we're still trying to establish our name.

    My experience is that if you start tearing down in front of the crowd the money magically appears.

    Your mistake was not having a contract. We never play without one unless it's a venue we know and trust.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    You're right, Chuck.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    That's cool dude. Put a case of Jack Daniels, a case of 12 year old scotch, and a case of Crystal Skull Vodka in the van plus the cash and we'll call it good or we walk. Sell the booze to your favorite bar for 75%.

  6. #6
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Of all the gall--I just found out the guy asked to book us for next month. Guy's got cojones... Of course we said nooooooo.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    Last night, the band had a gig, and the club manager waited until we'd already set up to tell us that he couldn't pay us but $30 each. People had already started pouring in, and we went ahead and played like champions. We were pretty pissed off about it and won't play there again. It turned out to be a fun gig, and we did our jobs. Should we have torn down after he told us that? I don't know. We're all old pros, but it's a new band, and we're still trying to establish our name.
    I would have.

    I have somewhat infrequently taken contracts over the years and one thing's always certain; if you cross the asshole threshold wrt money I will take my ball and leave and never give you another chance.

    I have done in-kind work (aka free) but by and large I charge what I think the work is worth and I am fortunate enough to be able to say no when I want. And I have, granted (and thankfully) only one occasion, destroyed originals to prove a point. I told the guy he had 15 days to pay me the other half after signing off, after day 30 of not getting paid I told him he had 24 hours. He asked for *another* extension, which meant I wasn't going to get paid, so I disposed of the originals.

    He was quite upset.

    I never heard from him again.

    Oh well, I wasn't gonna get paid anyway.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    Last night, the band had a gig, and the club manager waited until we'd already set up to tell us that he couldn't pay us but $30 each. People had already started pouring in, and we went ahead and played like champions. We were pretty pissed off about it and won't play there again. It turned out to be a fun gig, and we did our jobs. Should we have torn down after he told us that? I don't know. We're all old pros, but it's a new band, and we're still trying to establish our name.
    That's awful.

    In my point of view, though, you guys did the right thing and people saw the band play. If it's a new band, you need exposure, and the more you play out there, the more you'll get new gig contracts.

    BTW what's the name of your new band?

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    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
    That's cool dude. Put a case of Jack Daniels, a case of 12 year old scotch, and a case of Crystal Skull Vodka in the van plus the cash and we'll call it good or we walk. Sell the booze to your favorite bar for 75%.

    That would be cool too.

    My band had a similar situation, the club owner said he wouldn't pay what we had in mind, and we demanded free booze and water for everyone, including our ladies and a roadie.

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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Exposure? People die from exposure. Tearing down would have been the strategic move, imo

  11. #11
    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogs View Post
    Exposure? People die from exposure. Tearing down would have been the strategic move, imo
    I agree.

    If you want exposure, post a youtube clip. IMO.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    I don't know how that works where you guys live. Here? Well social media helps, but posting videos won't get you going, you gotta be seen live. So you gotta adapt to eventual bitchin' at first.

    After you're well known, then you can do pretty much whatever you want and you'll get gigs just the same...

    The situation I mentioned happened when we were beginning. Nowadayswe wouldn't take that crap...

  13. #13
    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    I don't know how that works where you guys live. Here? Well social media helps, but posting videos won't get you going, you gotta be seen live. So you gotta adapt to eventual bitchin' at first.

    After you're well known, then you can do pretty much whatever you want and you'll get gigs just the same...

    The situation I mentioned happened when we were beginning. Nowadayswe wouldn't take that crap...
    I live in a place where I saw people do 3 unpaid internships in a row just to see their bootlicking not get rewarded.

    People who work for free never seem to make it out with a paying gig.

    I live by a simple philosophy I once heard on youtube; "**** you, pay me".

    I never paid my dues and I find that a self-destructive mentality. I have never thought about earning it, deserving it, etc. Just how much work is worth and that's what I charge. It is a philosophy that has served me well both in my creative contracts [fewer] and my professional ones [more-er] and one I recommend to everyone.

  14. #14
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Our guitarist has said that working for free or for little hurts other bands as well. Yes, we should have torn down and gotten the hell out of there. Live and learn.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

  15. #15

    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Similar thing happened to us a few weeks ago.

    Why bother having bands if you don't want to pay or have quality bands there?

    The bar owner could not be there that night, but previously agreed on $400 plus 20% of the bar's take. At the end of the night one of the bartenders gave us $300 and when questioned said of course "That is what I was told to give you. You need to talk to Eddie...".

    When called he claims he only offered $300 plus 20%.

    Soooooo, then where is the 20% from the bar's take? There were three bartenders and at least 60-70 patrons there that we brought. What an f'n scam.

    Then the band member that booked us called him to clarify "He said, no way I would offer you $400. You are a $300 band at best". LOL!!! When questioned about the missing 20% he said "The place was dead, one of the bartenders went home early". They were all there when I left.

    Again, why bother even having bands?

    My neighbor plays in a very popular party band, one of the only ones in the area who get paid well. Definitely the only one in CT making more than $4k a show. They started as a drinking party band 20 years ago playing 70s, 80s and some 90s pop tunes, build a following and to this day still pack them in all around New England.

    Are they good? Yes, for sure. But they get paid for the crowd. Plain and simple.

    Your band can suck, but if there are 500 people who want to go to your show......

    I filled in for someone a few weeks ago for a band out of NY playing here in CT. At the end of the night someone in the band offered to give me $100 an apologized that it was so little. It turns out the bar burned them too and they only received $260 "from the door". I would only accept an equal portion and took $40.

    They claimed only 25 people paid the cover charge and that wasn't enough to hit the break even point. They were guaranteed "$500 plus the door" but had to bring in over 100 people to meet the guarantee, so they were expecting more like $1k.

    Sad huh?
    Fuzz is proof God love us and wants us to be happy. - Franklin
    http://www.frankdenigris.com

  16. #16
    Forum Member Sugarcane's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Franklin View Post
    "He said, no way I would offer you $400. You are a $300 band at best". LOL!!! When questioned about the missing 20% he said "The place was dead, one of the bartenders went home early".


    Now, that's another story. Refusing to pay the arranged price AFTER the gig? And insulting the band? Knowing my guys, I'd say Eddie there would end the night short of a couple of teeth

  17. #17

    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sérgio View Post
    Now, that's another story. Refusing to pay the arranged price AFTER the gig? And insulting the band? Knowing my guys, I'd say Eddie there would end the night short of a couple of teeth
    Eddie wasn't there that night, so this was a phone call. But I'm thinking he would not have been so brave in person!

    It's a sad situation all around and a similar story for many bands -at least here in CT and maybe many places in the states.
    Fuzz is proof God love us and wants us to be happy. - Franklin
    http://www.frankdenigris.com

  18. #18

    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    You should have torn down and been prepared to walk.

    I know what your thinking .. we got some experience under our belt and got some playing time in front of people to get our name outthere.
    Been there... Now days I would have walked with no "are you sure you don't have the money?

    My 30+ yrs of gigging I've seen that time and time again.

    Two factors are going on

    A) The Bar owner doesn't know you guys. He doesn't want to pay for something that won't generate revenue. Usually he will ask for a CD or your web site Usually I work out a solid verbal agreement. I always state up front, no cash before we play, no music, no exceptions.... and state very clearly that is firm.

    If he agreed to pay you to play, he should have honored that agreement. (which lends me to belive he's the category below)

    B) Bar owner has pulled that scam multiple times. Considers live music not very important to his establishment and bar bands a "dime a dozen" If you play... you play, if you don't my patrons don't care. And if by chance you have a following and bring in a lot revenue that night "hey Bonus I just score huge for that night!!"

  19. #19
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Oh, yeah, I can't pay you what we agreed on.

    Its all about getting it in writing. If the owner won't sign on the dotted line you then ask them "why not?"

    We'll often do pay-to-play jobs for the door. I like playing for the door for larger venues on a weekend. Pay-to-play can be a great deal. Most larger venues will be pay-to-play but they usually have good sound and lighting. You'd be paying for sound and lights anyway, so you usually get a be better deal with PTP.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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