My anarchist friend turned down a possible double bill with me because he didn’t want to sell his talents at the rate we could have expected to make that night. I was really proud of him for knowing his worth to the bar scene of his city despite wanting to do a show with me.
This is juxtaposed to the way I’ve been criticized by radicals a few times over the years when I stopped doing all their free shows for them. They said ‘we can’t pay you, but you’ll get exposure’ so I replied back ‘I’m dying from exposure.’
I found until I demanded a bottom line price I didn’t get respect from promoters, the kinds of opportunities I got never seemed to improve and I wasn’t being taken seriously enough. It was depressing because I was busy as hell but going nowhere while I got to hear people say I was selling out. They are wrong, in order to sell out you have to have success and I’ve never even been offered a chance to be on a record label of any kind. I didn’t sell out, I just refused to sell cheap anymore. I just got tired of getting poorer to keep playing music while knowing I put on a professional show.
To quote Brandon Isaak:
Calling all musicians for equal rights revolution. Stand up and fight ! We can not play for less than $100.00 per person. If we all stand together and stop delivering music to these cheap f*#K$ we might even be able to do this for a living. I have been honing my craft for more than 25 years. I’m still practising 2 to 3 hours a day. I have a family to feed and bills to pay. I demand better treatment and higher pay scale for these folks who work as hard as doctors and lawyers. If you call a plumber, what will you pay him an hour? NO MORE CHEEP ASS GIGS FOLKS, PLEASE ! If you will join this new revolution click the LIKE button to confirm your pledge of no less than a $100.00 for your musical services, otherwise, walk. I have not played for that little money in a long time, so you can count on me.
My only fear is that if we stand up for ourselves we will be replaced by IPods everywhere. I say, turn off your computer, put on your boots, spend a few dollars to get into a show and keep good live bands playing! Support your local songwriters!!