Can I become a millionaire being a drummer?

Skitch

Pioneer Member
The main thing you have to remember when you talk about these bands is that they were all treated FAIRLY.
Or they knew the business enough to demand to be treated in a fair manner, yet not demanding in a two fisted manner. Really, the more you know about the business side of your profession, the more likely you are to be treated fairly. Another book, Everything You Need to Know about the Music Business (Passman) is a good resource.



Mike

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dale w miller

Silver Member
Yes thanks for pointing out the ONLY drummer there that I wasn't too sure about...Bill Ward Replace him with Tommy Lee or someone. I know that The Ozbournes (particularly Sharon) are pretty ruthless.
Sorry for the confusion but I wasn't pointing him out to make you look bad. In fact, I didn't even really read your list in that much detail and Ward has nothing to do with my example. I was just stating a story simply to have a conversation with you, not to challenge you per se.

That said, I think this goes to show that if you are not a song-writer you are at the mercy of the song-writers in your band and whether or not they want to be "fair" with you. Let us just hope they all don't act like Ozzy did. We will all be even more poor than we already are.

Or they knew the business enough to demand to be treated in a fair manner, yet not demanding in a two fisted manner. Really, the more you know about the business side of your profession, the more likely you are to be treated fairly. Another book, Everything You Need to Know about the Music Business (Passman) is a good resource.
Good point and I personally know that book very well. Again, it depends on what you can negotiate. Where is the power? How much do they need you compared do you needing them?
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
There are tons of millionaire drummers. Name a big band and the chances are their drummer is/was a millionaire too..

Beatles - Ringo
Rolling Stones - Watts
Led Zep - Bonham
The who - Moon
Metallica - Ulrich
Iron Maiden - McBrain
Black Sabbath - Ward
Foo Fighters - Grohl/Hawkins
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Smith
Def Leppard - Allen
AC/DC - Rudd
Bon Jovi - Toris
U2 - Mullen
Coldplay -Champoin
Kiss - Criss
Tool - Carey
Pink Floyd - Mason
Genesis - Collins

I could go on and on and on.... but the key theme here is that they are/where all in BIG successful bands.
Keep in mind:
Many of these guys sing, write, or do (did) more than just play drums in their respective bands, which is a big part of their earnings. A few of those names that don't are lucky enough to be in legendary bands.

Moon spent his money as fast as he could earn it. It's questionable if he would still be a millionaire to this day if he hadn't died. John Entwistle struggled with financial problems until his death, despite the enormous success of The Who.

And either way, that is not "a ton" of millionaire drummers. It's a small list compared to all the drummers out there.
 

Stoney

Senior Member
And either way, that is not "a ton" of millionaire drummers. It's a small list compared to all the drummers out there.
ok maybe "a ton" of milionaire drummers was a slight exaggeration. But there are lots. Peharps what I should've said is "give up now why you've still got the chance in life"! .... I was just trying to spread a bit of hope out there mate....
 

cnw60

Senior Member
you probably have a better chance of becoming a millionaire by: throwing, hitting, catching, kicking, or shooting a: baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis or golf ball.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Honestly I don't believe that guys like Benny Greb, Thomas Lang or Steve Smith are unselfish and commercially disinterested people. I think they are the people with a good commercial sense and it's not a disgrace to a drummer to have it.
Steve Smith played in an obscure band calling themselves Journey who had a few very obscure songs........

When Steve was fired by the band, he either still had the songwriting credits or they had to buy him out. However it played out, Steve took a bad situation and squeezed into lemonade, given what he has done since then. It seemed, for a time around 1986, it was "Kick the crap out of Steve Smith" week as apparently he was supposed to play on more than one song on the Bryan Adams album, Reckless. Steve, as it turned out, was only on the ballad, Heaven - still a hit song.


Steve could have quit right there and faded into obscurity. Instead, he refused to quit and became one of the best drummers to ever walk the planet. Glad he didn't - he has been very influential to me!

How about Steve Gadd - he isn't part of a band. He seems to be well off. Or Vinnie Colauita - I think he did pretty well while playing for Sting.

Or guitar player Warren Cuccurullo, who played in Zappa's band along with Vinnie. Warren made a great living playing in bands like Missing Persons and Duran Duran, which made his smoking CD, Thanks To Frank, possible.

It is all in what you are willing to do and the limits of your imagination.



Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
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BrewBillfold

Silver Member
Another thing we're overlooking is that being a millionaire isn't such a big deal any longer. If you budget your money well and live in a thrifty way, you can easily become a millionaire by simply working in a white collar job--you don't have to be top management or anything, just above mid-level. You can also do it by being a contractor in a blue collar job, through just about any "professional" job, etc. If you're clearing even 130k per year after taxes, you can easily live on 30k per year and save the other 100. Then, in 10 years, you're a millionaire.

I know it's more difficult to make that kind of money in some areas, but in any of the big cities in the US, it's not difficult.

We shouldn't have a difficult time imagining "name" musicians clearing 130k per year after taxes, whether they have publishing royalties or not.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Steve Smith played in an obscure band calling themselves Journey who had a few very obscure songs........

When Steve was fired by the band, he either still had the songwriting credits or they had to buy him out. However it played out, Steve took a bad situation and squeezed into lemonade, given what he has done since then. It seemed, for a time around 1986, it was "Kick the crap out of Steve Smith" week as apparently he was supposed to play on more than one song on the Bryan Adams album, Reckless. Steve, as it turned out, was only on the ballad, Heaven - still a hit song.


Steve could have quit right there and faded into obscurity. Instead, he refused to quit and became one of the best drummers to ever walk the planet. Glad he didn't - he has been very influential to me!
Steve Smith only had song writing credits for one song in his time Journey.
But when he was fired, he was only fired from playing, but was still paid as part of the band for the next album & tour. There in an interview with former Journey manager Herby Herbert where he talks about pay Steve even though he was out of the band.

In an interview a few years back in MD, Smith said some of the gigs he does pay well, some don't, but it balances out in the end. But no doubt royalties from the various Best of Journey releases keep him afloat.

He is certainly a guy who didn't fade. It's pretty clear he worked on getting better over the years.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Steve Smith played in an obscure band calling themselves Journey who had a few very obscure songs........

When Steve was fired by the band, he either still had the songwriting credits or they had to buy him out. However it played out, Steve took a bad situation and squeezed into lemonade, given what he has done since then. It seemed, for a time around 1986, it was "Kick the crap out of Steve Smith" week as apparently he was supposed to play on more than one song on the Bryan Adams album, Reckless. Steve, as it turned out, was only on the ballad, Heaven - still a hit song.
I think you are getting your stories mixed up. Reckless came out in 1984 well before Raised on Radio and his problems with Journey.

I heard he was hired just to play Heaven because he was known as the Ballad Guy because of Faithfully and Open Arms.
 
W

wy yung

Guest
There's a lot of ex millionaire drummers who wasted all the money back in the day and now whose records sell very few today. Many of these guys can be seen on the geriatric rock band circuit. :)
 

toddy

Platinum Member
there is no reason you can't make money from drumming. but i don't think that should be your main incentive. money won't buy you happiness (apparently).
 

Average

Senior Member
Almost stupid of me to reply at this late date. Go ahead and bash me for reply, I deserve it.

With changes in the music industry lately, the people who are left are passionate about what they do. It requires dedication, love of your instrument and love of performing to be a musician. Whether there is money in it is no longer an issue, or is less of an issue than in the past. Do it because you love it, but don't do it unless you are happy with a meal and some place to sleep at night. The whole downloading thing is a purification by fire. Big huge hairsprayed hairdos tend to go up when there is fire in the room. If you're left after all this mess, it isn't for the money. Its because you love it, live it, are it.
 

Average

Senior Member
Forgive me for this post.

We got to the place in music where the super-talented were driving Lamborghinis painted like their guitars. At some point, we have to realize what we are there for. I don't care if I ever drive a Lambo, I don't care if I'm a superstar and can get into any club without waiting. Its about the MUSIC. I'm a travelling musical bard, nothing more, nothing less. Many of you are far better drummers than me. Really what matters? Can we play and touch our audiences? Will they get something worthy out of our performances? I took a day job in order to keep my passion free of concerns for money. I play when I want to, with whom I want to, and where I want to. Thank God for downloading.
 
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