Author Topic: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!  (Read 1574 times)

RichR

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We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« on: August 03, 2015, 03:40:36 PM »
We (The Laura Lisbeth Band), played a gig in Dighton, KS Friday night.  Laura is originally from Ness City, KS, which is 20-30 miles east of Dighton.  Many of these towns put on reunions every 5 years.  Kind of all-year high school reunions, and just general town reunions.  Many people in these small towns move away after high school.  These reunions are a big deal in these towns.  A lot of the 'wayward' folks come home for them.

The place that hired us, is called The Location.   It is a former American Legion hall.  So, it is configured as a bar/grill in the front, then it opens up into a large hall, with a stage, where we played.  We played 9pm - 2am.  Kind of quiet when we started, a few old couples (one from the class of '52, I think.)  About 10pm people started pouring in. 

In Laura's band, we usually do shows that are mostly her original material (up to about 2 hours).  Whenever we do gigs that are more like 3-4 hours, we include covers.  And I front whatever covers I can contribute.  We probably still did nearly 80% original material.  A cover band, with a lot of country, might have been a more appropriate fit.  But Laura, being from the next town over, and making waves in 'the big city', played well there.

About a 5-1/2 drive each way.  They paid us very well($2k), fed us, and put us up in a nice hotel, in the next larger town, Scott City.  And heaped on a $500 tip.   We meandered through a bunch of back highways and small towns on the way home, including a , the Monument Rocks formation in the flint hills, Buffalo Bill museum, and Oz museum.

With a stream of these gigs, a guy could make a living.  And I guess I could do that if I played disco/pop music for weddings and corporate events.  Nevermind.

KenBJammen

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 06:43:45 PM »
That is cool.  Nice when you can get a proper payday.

Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

DannyDV8

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 04:40:50 PM »
I got an offer from a Disco, cheesy pop band right after Linda passed away.  I desperately needed the money to keep my Camaro from being repossessed, and the wolf was at the door, big time.  The only way I could imagine going on stage with them was in disguise, like one of the robot guys from "Def Punk"..........I don't miss the Camaro that much, and I don't have to play wearing a red slit skirt and black mesh nylons....Once upon a time when I played with Dewey Martin in what he was calling "Buffalo Springfield" (Dewey was the only original member) I could bring down in two hours what I'd usually make in a busy month. I dubbed it "The Do You Realize Who We Think We are?" tour.  Dewey had been Patsy Cline's drummer, and then Roy Orbison's drummer after that   He could spin some yarns, the only problem was, he never stopped spinning them, and worked them in to every conversation.  "You're chewing bubble gum?  I remember I chewed bubble gum once.  It was back in 1964 and I was in the studio with Roy Orbison......".  He smoked the worst smelling cigars non-stop.  It was so bad we had to travel in two Limos when we left the airport.  I rode in the other one, and a couple of the guys rode with him and sat at his feet and listened to him tell tales.  A tale of my own: We were doing morning sound check at a place called "Whiskey Jacques's" in Ketcham Idaho in Sun Valley.  The place was supposed to be closed, but two of the richest guys in town had been let in, and were being served ringside while we did our sound check.  One  drunk guy says to the other, "Are those the original guys?"  The other one says, "I don't know, let me hear them play and I'll be able to tell ya..."  At the time I didn't play any banjo, so when we did "Bluebird" I had substituted a harmonica part for the banjo part at the end.  We blew off 4 or 5 songs and finished with "Bluebird".  The one guy says "That's them alright!  That big sumbitch playing the harmonica?  That's Norton Buffalo!  That old man playing the drums?  DUSTY SPRINGFIELD!!!"  I ask again, do you realize who we think we are?  4 or 5 years ago Dewey passed away alone in his apartment in his easy chair in Gardena, I think, and wasn't found for several days.  Sad, really.  I was playing at a joint called "The Office"  a few days ago, and someone asked me if I'd ever heard of him, and I got to spin some tales of my own.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 04:43:08 PM by DannyDV8 »
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RichR

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 07:14:16 PM »
I got an offer from a Disco, cheesy pop band right after Linda passed away.  I desperately needed the money to keep my Camaro from being repossessed, and the wolf was at the door, big time.  The only way I could imagine going on stage with them was in disguise, like one of the robot guys from "Def Punk"..........I don't miss the Camaro that much, and I don't have to play wearing a red slit skirt and black mesh nylons....Once upon a time when I played with Dewey Martin in what he was calling "Buffalo Springfield" (Dewey was the only original member) I could bring down in two hours what I'd usually make in a busy month. I dubbed it "The Do You Realize Who We Think We are?" tour.  Dewey had been Patsy Cline's drummer, and then Roy Orbison's drummer after that   He could spin some yarns, the only problem was, he never stopped spinning them, and worked them in to every conversation.  "You're chewing bubble gum?  I remember I chewed bubble gum once.  It was back in 1964 and I was in the studio with Roy Orbison......".  He smoked the worst smelling cigars non-stop.  It was so bad we had to travel in two Limos when we left the airport.  I rode in the other one, and a couple of the guys rode with him and sat at his feet and listened to him tell tales.  A tale of my own: We were doing morning sound check at a place called "Whiskey Jacques's" in Ketcham Idaho in Sun Valley.  The place was supposed to be closed, but two of the richest guys in town had been let in, and were being served ringside while we did our sound check.  One  drunk guy says to the other, "Are those the original guys?"  The other one says, "I don't know, let me hear them play and I'll be able to tell ya..."  At the time I didn't play any banjo, so when we did "Bluebird" I had substituted a harmonica part for the banjo part at the end.  We blew off 4 or 5 songs and finished with "Bluebird".  The one guy says "That's them alright!  That big sumbitch playing the harmonica?  That's Norton Buffalo!  That old man playing the drums?  DUSTY SPRINGFIELD!!!"  I ask again, do you realize who we think we are?  4 or 5 years ago Dewey passed away alone in his apartment in his easy chair in Gardena, I think, and wasn't found for several days.  Sad, really.  I was playing at a joint called "The Office"  a few days ago, and someone asked me if I'd ever heard of him, and I got to spin some tales of my own.

Great story!  Norton Buffalo and Dusty Springfield.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

Yep, the only people I know making those big paydays are doing mostly weddings, casinos, and corp gigs.  All pop covers.  Gotta have a female singer that looks good in a slinky black dress.  No gagging when someone requests Brick House, I Will Survive, Celebration, or some Sister Sludge.  ( I think I threw up a little.)

I guess some other guys I know are doing OK with some tribute bands: ZZ Top, Police, Fleetwood Mac.  They don't work that much, but the money is decent when they do.

My rock/blues band, Raildog has 2 gigs on the books in August.  I'm letting it wind down after that.  I had totally stopped hustling gigs.  These last two are things that just rolled to me.  Too many personnel conflicts, music conflicts, etc.  And the gig situation has become pretty bad.  Live music bars are struggling and closing.  The best game in the bar scene seems to be hosting a couple of jams every week.  (I am doing one, with my keyboard player).  Between gigging with the Laura band, and the organ trio, I just don't need the drama of maintaining my own band.  I just feel like its run its course.

I'm also looking seriously at retirement from my day job.  Possibly at the end of October. I may build a band, or join a band a little later on.   But a break from bandleader responsibilities sounds pretty good.

DannyDV8

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 08:49:44 PM »
It may sound good, but the other side of the coin is that no one is going to take care of business like you.  Take it from the voice of experience, that's a fact.
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

RichR

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 02:58:14 PM »

It may sound good, but the other side of the coin is that no one is going to take care of business like you.  Take it from the voice of experience, that's a fact.

Yeah, I know what you mean.  When I originally joined what became 'Raildog', it was called JJ's Blues Band.  John Jurado, the bass player, provided PA, and a place to practice.  As a musician, he was pretty much illiterate and clueless.  He said JJ stood for John Jurado and John Ross, but he was just saying that.  He thought of himself as bandleader.  But without musical knowledge, and a bunch of goofy ideas, no one took him seriously.  And the few times he tried to assert himself as leader, I made it clear that if being in this band, means following his clueless direction, then I'm outta here.  So, we functioned kind of as democracy, with me and the other guitarist, John Ross, kind of co-leading the band.  After awhile we needed to change the name of the band because A) we weren't "JJ's" band; and B) we were more rock band than blues band. 

The rest of the story is that the band, itself, has been on life-support for the last year or so.  It has been as struggle since John, our second guitar player left.  John and I did a pretty good job of co-leading the band.  I'm not real crazy about the fact that every problem becomes my problem, now.

The start of the band was about 7 years ago.  But the band kind of lost its soul when John left.   We have dropped many songs that we worked hard to make good; the stuff that made is kind of unique.  Still a competent enough group of players, but more like a pick-up group than a band.  And without a steady stream of gigs or rehearsals, we are just going through the same old safe material.

The combination of our bass player and key player has become toxic.  Charlie calls out Greg for his failings.  Greg gets pouty and passive aggressive.  And I get to referee.   Replacing the bass player and gutting the repertoire would be an option.  But Greg is a fixture in the Laura band, and I'd like to continue there.  I can see no way of replacing him in this band, without poisoning my place in the Laura band.

The other thing kind of eating at me:  The gig situation just seems to be getting worse.  Small and shrinking set of venues that match up to what we are doing.  Bar owners that can't be bothered to return a phone call, unless their tit is in the ringer.  Double bookings, cancellations, clubs closing or quitting live music.  Coordination of rehearsals and gigs between 3 groups is no cakewalk either. 

I would like to take a fresh look at what gigs I would like to snag, and kind of group and repertoire would be appropriate for that.  I have lots of unfinished original material.   I'm thinking that retiring out of my day job might give me the time to work up a body of original material.  If I can come with something I feel good about, I could make a go of an original-oriented band; self-produced CD; etc.  There are some different venues/gigs for bands that do mostly original stuff.

Mostly it just feels like time to lead dead Raildogs lie.  I feel like a break and a fresh start are in order.  I won't rule out being leader again; but I also wouldn't rule out joining up with another forming or existing group, either.  I make a much better second-in-command, than leader.

DannyDV8

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 04:39:05 PM »
Every band runs it's course. I was in a band once with all my best friends.  We ran hot and heavy for about 4 years, and as a group decided that we had done just that, run our course, and decided to finish out the calender, and let it go.  There were 5 of us, and we were so in tune with each other, if one of us would go to one of the guy's houses, the other three would show up within 20 minutes!  People kept asking us to play one more week here, or another weekend there, and we kept saying yes.  We'd finish those and people would beg us to come back one more time, and of course we did those too!  We started billing ourselves as "The Band That Wouldn't Go Away".  The the drummer, Tom Diamond, got in a horrific automobile accident, and wound up with a Volkswagen on top of him after he had been thrown THROUGH the passenger door, and broke it off at the hinges!  It was like with one of us gone, the band could never be the same again.  Boonie, our bassist had moved up North by the time Tom could play again, at which point I had a right arm that was broken in 5 places.  I was in a cast up to my shoulder, so I couldn't play guitar, so I cut the cast at the knuckles and I could play bass.  We wound up in the same band with the exception that I was on bass, and we added a monster violinist/guitarist.  We worked that one into the ground, and then while my ex was pregnant with Danielle, she got into a fight with some tweaker bar maid at a gig in some dumpy biker bar.  I decided that I had had enough and retired.  About three years later, my soon to be brother in law, David, offered me a pristine 1971 sunburst Les Paul Custom if I'd come out of retirement, so I said "M'kay, M'kay?"  Anyway, back to the original story, the "High Risk" band went on for almost 4 years after we broke up.  We weren't breaking up because of internal struggles, however, we just all wanted to try other things.  I guess it's kind of like marriage in as much as it's your friendship that keeps you together more than anything else.  If your guys are fighting among themselves and you're having to be the moderator, it probably is time to cut it loose.  One perk about being the leader:  They can all quit if they want to, but you can't fire the BOSS!!!
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

RichR

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Re: We got a tip, bigger than a lot of gig paydays!
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 05:21:07 PM »
Every band runs it's course. I was in a band once with all my best friends.  We ran hot and heavy for about 4 years, and as a group decided that we had done just that, run our course, and decided to finish out the calender, and let it go.  There were 5 of us, and we were so in tune with each other, if one of us would go to one of the guy's houses, the other three would show up within 20 minutes!  People kept asking us to play one more week here, or another weekend there, and we kept saying yes.  We'd finish those and people would beg us to come back one more time, and of course we did those too!  We started billing ourselves as "The Band That Wouldn't Go Away".  The the drummer, Tom Diamond, got in a horrific automobile accident, and wound up with a Volkswagen on top of him after he had been thrown THROUGH the passenger door, and broke it off at the hinges!  It was like with one of us gone, the band could never be the same again.  Boonie, our bassist had moved up North by the time Tom could play again, at which point I had a right arm that was broken in 5 places.  I was in a cast up to my shoulder, so I couldn't play guitar, so I cut the cast at the knuckles and I could play bass.  We wound up in the same band with the exception that I was on bass, and we added a monster violinist/guitarist.  We worked that one into the ground, and then while my ex was pregnant with Danielle, she got into a fight with some tweaker bar maid at a gig in some dumpy biker bar.  I decided that I had had enough and retired.  About three years later, my soon to be brother in law, David, offered me a pristine 1971 sunburst Les Paul Custom if I'd come out of retirement, so I said "M'kay, M'kay?"  Anyway, back to the original story, the "High Risk" band went on for almost 4 years after we broke up.  We weren't breaking up because of internal struggles, however, we just all wanted to try other things.  I guess it's kind of like marriage in as much as it's your friendship that keeps you together more than anything else.  If your guys are fighting among themselves and you're having to be the moderator, it probably is time to cut it loose.  One perk about being the leader:  They can all quit if they want to, but you can't fire the BOSS!!!

Yesterday, I turned away a gig for Oct. 24.  This guy said the same thing "can't you just do this one".  It was a "fund raiser", so I'm sure he was looking for cheap.  That much easier to say 'no'.  I quit actively seeking gigs for the band 6-8 months ago.  I thought that would get me to an empty schedule, and I would then pronounce the band dead.  But gigs started coming in by themselves.

The band started out as a friendship thing.  Started getting together once/twice a week.  None of us had been in a band or gigged in years.   Built up a repertoire and started gigging.  Whenever we didn't have gigs, we got together and rehearsed/worked up new material.  It took brute force rote learning to keep our (original) bass player up to speed.   Those other 3 guys have long since cycled out of the band in different ways, leaving just me.  I thought about changing the name of the band, and trying to really put it out as a different band.  Never came up with a name, or the motivation to follow through.  So, kept the name and most of the same material.  And we have kind of ambled along for a couple years like that.

As far as firing the boss...   The bass player that originally formed the band, did get put out.  Musically weak.  I sometimes had to point out that he was a half-step off.  Or would tell him what note to play, and he would be guessing 'this one?, this one?'  The worst thing was that he frequently would get drunk on gigs, and make more mistakes than usual, and say slurred stupid shit over the mic.  Sometimes would get ungodly loud, and be pissy about turning down.  Embarrassed to be on stage with him at times.  Something had to give.  Then, he feuded with the drummer and said, "either he goes, or I go."  John Ross and I both said, "Hmmm, why don't YOU go."  Kind of when he realized he wasn't really the boss.  He tried to play the "this is my band" card.  But the rest of us said 'whatever'.  The name wasn't his,  I built up the PA and light gear I had,  so the rest of us kept on going with a different bass player.