Hired Gun

beatdat

Senior Member
There was some talk of being under contract, and making money even when not playing, but those were few and far between. I think that was the guitar player playing for Hillary Duff, when they decided she would no longer sing and just act.
Ah, the "retainer". Seems like the ultimate set up. I'm assuming it allows the person on retainer to pursue other gigs when not needed, but have always wonder how often conflicts arise in this type of situation.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I loved this movie, and a number of my friends all took part in it. This is a "pre-reck" film for anyone who would ever want to be in a relationship with me, lol.

"Yes, we can go out on a date, but first, watch this documentary so you know what you're signing up for."

I'm a hired gun for 100% of the groups I work for. Many of them "look" like I'm in the band. I do all the press, am featured in photos, social media posts, music videos, albums, live, whatever.... BUT behind the scenes it's a different story.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Ah, the "retainer". Seems like the ultimate set up. I'm assuming it allows the person on retainer to pursue other gigs when not needed, but have always wonder how often conflicts arise in this type of situation.
The point of paying a retainer is the person on retainer has to make the person paying priority #1.

So there is no conflict.

My understanding retainers were common in the 70's and 80's, but not as common afterward.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
The point of paying a retainer is the person on retainer has to make the person paying priority #1.

So there is no conflict.
Yeah, "conflict" was a poor word choice on my part. I should have said "disappointed", as in:

x (the "retainor") to y (the "retainer"): "hey man, we're taking the next month off"

z to y: "can you play a gig with us next weekend?"

y to z: "sure, but I'm on retainer with x"

x to y: "hey man, turns out we need you next weekend for a promo shoot"

y to z: "sorry man, I can't make the gig next weekend"

z to y: "I'm disappointed, but I understand"
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I also didn't know that Liberty did a fair amount of work with other prominent artists (e.g Meat Loaf and Karen Carpenter). Still, his portrayal in Hired Gun belied the notion that he actually was one (I really got the impression that he was - and thought of himself as - a band member).
As I said, I think that the point; the false sense of "band" and "security" when it in fact, doesn't exist.

And Liberty is certainly not the only one who's been in that position.

Back to the rest of the movie:

There are two sides fo every story.

In was interesting to hear Alice Copper's take on his band. Though I've heard many other stories over the years.

His comments on Eric Singer don't quite line up because Eric was in and out of the band 3 different times; there were plenty of tours Eric didn't play on. And the story goes about his last stint, Singer was replaced at the request of producer Bob Ezrin.

Also missing from the film were the times Eric Singer was let go from Kiss and said he would never go back, only to change his mind.

Yes, Eric has been very successful bouncing between Alice and Kiss, but it's not always been as smooth as the film made it out to be.

The interviews with Rudy Sarzo and Brad Gillis were interesting, but it would have nice if they had interviewed Tommy Aldridge too.

Though so many people have been in and out of Ozzy's band, you could make a movie of that alone.

I didn't quite get why Jason Newstead was featured so prominently, given his story really isn't of a hired hand.

I'd be curious if they'll ever be a directors cut or longer version. Lots of the people in the movie were interviewed extensively just to only have a few short clips of them end up in the film.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I'm currently a hired gun in one of my bands, where I'm sure to all eyes I'm a full on band member. But the true act is the namesake of the band, singer/songwriter. He can (and has) replaced me for a few projects, and I was even out of the band for three years.

I help with writing, booking gigs, website, graphic design, and band management. So in that sense I'm more of a "permanent" hired gun now, as Bermuda puts it. But in my mind, I am simply there to do what he pays me to do, and support the act's success.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I'm a hired gun for 100% of the groups I work for. Many of them "look" like I'm in the band. I do all the press, am featured in photos, social media posts, music videos, albums, live, whatever.... BUT behind the scenes it's a different story.
Just curious, how many groups are you in? You must have scheduling conflicts come up?
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Honestly, sometimes I think going in to a situation knowing and accepting you are a hired gun can be a bit freeing.... though sometimes you do end up being treated like junk because you are just the hired guy.

That being said, I have never been a hired gun for any act that is well known at all, so this next bit is just conjecture. I think where some of the issues arise is when you are a hired gun for a fairly large named act, and you don't get the benefits of a band member from it. Or in some cases of the documentary it seems, when you think you are a band member when reality you are just a hired gun.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Just curious, how many groups are you in? You must have scheduling conflicts come up?
The number of active bands/artists I work with fluctuates all the time. There are a few that are regulars, and I work with them maybe once or twice a week. Others are far more infrequent and although I have been the no. 1 guy for many years, I only hear from them a hand full of times a year, be it a recording session, a couple one-off local gigs, or a tour.

So far in 2019 I've only performed with 3 different groups. But we are only two months into the year. Last year I worked with 12 different groups in one capacity or another.

I actually don't have as many scheduling conflicts as you would think. I make it known from day one to any new artists that this is my full time job, and my schedule is first come, first serve.
If I do run into an issue than the artist hires a substitute. If they don't already have a backup in place, I will hire one for them that I trust. I'll film videos from behind the drums of me plaything through a whole set to send to the sub as well, so they can see exactly what I'm doing, and how it's done in a live setting, as it can sometimes be slightly different from the recorded work.
 
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