I’ve been a professional musician for mumble mumble years, so I thought it would be fun to write a post or two on music. Some will be about actual music, some about performance, some about my personal experiences in the business, most will be sarcastic and jaded. If you are a musician, enjoy. If you know a musician, send them over. If you’re not a musician, maybe you’ll gain a bit of insight into the business that is music.
This post is titled: The Guys in the Band vs. The Bar Owners.
I can’t say this enough. Be loyal to your musician friends–ALWAYS.
I’ve played in clubs for years, and all the clubs I’ve played in are now gone. Clubs have a shelf-life of 8-ish years. Bars come and go, bar owners come and go, bar managers come and go, but guess what? I’m still working with the same fabulous musicians I started my career with decades ago. If a club owner offers to bring you back to the club as a solo, because he doesn’t like your band, tell him to go fly a kite. DON’T DO IT! In a few years his bar will be closed, and you will be out of work and will not get any other gigs because you screwed your comrades. Be loyal to your band members. Be loyal to your musician friends. The music business is tighter and gossipier (newly created word) than any other business. If you do something unscrupulous, word will travel faster than triplets in 4/4 time at 300 bpm. (I’ll explain that to non-musicians at a later date, but trust me, it’s really, really fast.)
It’s difficult if not impossible in the small music community to rebuild your reputation. The music business is all about who you know and what you’ve done in the past–good or bad. It’s all about picking up the phone and finding a gig for the second week of June. Bar owners are not going to help you do that. The bass player you used to work with four years ago will be the one who hooks you up. Play good. Play nice.
Loyalty is as important as talent.