Musicians beware - is this wrong?

Man of Honour
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Talking to a workmate today about his son who is a talented drummer/percussionist who starts a music degree later this year at Cardiff.
I asked what he was doing now and the conversation went like this -

Me - "Hows he doing?"
Dave - "Great, but he's left This Is Seb Clarke"
Me - "I remember you saying something last time, what is it"
Dave - "Its a 12 piece band with sax, trumpets etc but they were messing him about"
Me - "How so?"
Dave - "Well on saturday he found out they played with another drummer behind his back but its OK he got his £60 back"
Me - "What £60?"
Dave - "There are only two real members in the band and the rest of the musicians pay them £15 a week to be in the band" :eek:
Me - "Are you sure?"
Dave - "Positive, I'm his Dad and I was there when the arrangements were made"
Me - "So it looks like they get £150 a week of those ten musicians but there could be loads more on the sidelines paying £15?"
Dave - "Thats why he stopped and asked for his money back"
Me - "I'm in the wrong job"

Basically all bands who perform their own songs pay to play until they get a fanbase, charge on the door and hopefully it pays for the PA etc but this is taking the proverbial.
 
Associate
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Why would you pay to be in a band? If you're talented enough you'll make it with a "free of charge" band who arent idiots and take your money off of you!
Fair enough you have to pay for session musicians and they get quite abit, but shouldnt it be the other way round?
Unless ofcourse this band are amazing, and playing with them could be your break....still i wouldnt do it! Wouldnt want to rely on the success of someone else to get me big!
 
Man of Honour
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I'm not a musician so forgive the ignorance but was the £15/week supposed to be going on something? If it was on studio time or was getting them gigs then maybe it isn't such a bad deal after all, if it was just for the privilege of playing with the guys charging the money then it is a bit stupid to be paying it.
 
Soldato
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Glasgow, Rock City.
If it's a band, each memeber should chip in with any expenses and they should also be able to cover each others backs if another can't afford it at a certain time. However, paying to just be in a band, which is the impression that I got from the OP, is pretty wrong. Maybe it's because I have a very punk rock style attitudes towards bands etc, but even you didn't, I can't ever see how it justifible to pay to be in a band. That's like paying someone for the pleasure of their company, in my eyes,
 
Associate
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At the Ice rink
We were offered to play the Brook in Southampton and would have had to pay £200 quid deposit that would not have been refunded unless there were 100 people.

I have a friend in a band and they have the same issue, most venues will only agree to put new bands on if they bring x amount of people with them. The problem with that is if you have three bands playing, he first one finishes decides to leave and takes all their people with them. (sucks)
 
Man of Honour
OP
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I'm going to step back a bit here and look at it from a different angle.
I've been lucky to play in covers bands/acts since 1970 so I've always had money put in my hand.
Obviously, when you take the cost of equipment out of that then you're not left with much.
When I was 18 the covers band I was in had a transit van and a PA on the knock so I never saw money in my pocket.
I joined a futurist band around 1980 for 3 months and this was the first time I actually pulled money out of my pocket to play in nightclubs - sod that.
Anyway, since about 1982 I've earned a second living and tax man has had a good share of it too.
Now if we look at young bands who play their own music and want to get their music out to the public then its going to cost.
If all it costs to join the band in the OP is £15 and that covers rehearsals, PA and playing a club then its actually a bargain.
The only problem is that even though its an original music band its only the music of one man and so therefore you're paying £15 to play music which isn't yours or what you've contributed to.
 
Man of Honour
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ElvisFan said:
Sod that malarky. I'll stick to my backing tracks and pocket £150 everytime I go out.

The only problem was that I did that for many years and I earned a fortune but around 1998 I'd had enough and wanted a real band behind me and my money reduced considerably.
 
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