Taking back your gigs

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I've seen this situation pop up a few times. Once, a bass player friend I had was moving to Seattle and was looking for a bassist to replace him. I auditioned and got the slot, but 3 months later he moved back and called wondering if he could have his job back. That was a weird situation, with him being a friend and all. At the same time the guitarist was thinking about retiring and moving on, so the old bassist moved to guitar, and the problem worked itself out. That was still a pretty odd move for somebody to do, though.

The most recent one was with our conga player going on tour and leaving us with about 4 gigs to find subs for. We have a sub lined up who is able to do the gigs, so we were set. When he got to Australia, they wouldn't allow him into the country (I still don't know why) so he flew home for 2 weeks, during which time he asked for his gigs back. We told him to ask his sub, so he did, and his sub said, "no." It was short notice, same situation here, but with no intent to offer a traded gig.

As a hired gun on this one, I would accept the offer to swap out a gig. While it creates a knot in my gut from the unprofessionalism of it all, I think you should roll with this one, sucky as it is...
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Hey gents, todays update!

So the guy is having his gigs back, like everyone said there's not really anything I can do other than try and explain how unprofessional it is...i did in as nice a way as possible.

I have those gigs in July and he pulled another gig from me but I've managed to fill that with something else with some good players and guys I want to get in with so win win!

Anyway he messaged me today apologising but saying he appreciates the work i have done so far and so does the band leader. I think he has spoken to the band leader and he has said don't piss off your dep!

I will speak to the band leader and let him know my feelings (again in a nice way!) and discuss how we go forward. Gigs are either confirmed or provisional and if they are provisional then I will take anything else that comes in that is confirmed!

Anyways thanks again for all your advice and onwards and upwards!

Dave
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Hey gents, todays update!

So the guy is having his gigs back, like everyone said there's not really anything I can do other than try and explain how unprofessional it is...i did in as nice a way as possible.

I have those gigs in July and he pulled another gig from me but I've managed to fill that with something else with some good players and guys I want to get in with so win win!

Anyway he messaged me today apologising but saying he appreciates the work i have done so far and so does the band leader. I think he has spoken to the band leader and he has said don't piss off your dep!

I will speak to the band leader and let him know my feelings (again in a nice way!) and discuss how we go forward. Gigs are either confirmed or provisional and if they are provisional then I will take anything else that comes in that is confirmed!

Anyways thanks again for all your advice and onwards and upwards!

Dave
I had a very short basic contract drawn up by my lawyer that I use on a very rare occasion where I may not know or trust those I am about to work for .

like I said ... I very rarely use it ... and when I do after I explain why I am asking whoever is signing the check to sign it they fully understand and do so with no questions asked.... it protects them as well as me so most actually feel really good about it .
when they don't know me as much as I don't know or trust them it covers everyones ass by tying me to fulfill my duties and them to furnish payment upon completion.

you may want to think about something like that if you are to be doing lots of work like this ... and include a clause that says if a gig is reneged within a certain period of time that you still receive said wages

glad it all worked out brother
you did the right thing and will be rewarded indirectly .... I believe that
 

mikel

Platinum Member
They should also look at it from your perspective. You dep for them, on a regular basis, so thye know and trust you on a professional and a playing level. If they want and need you to remain a reliable dep they should stick to the agreement.

It works both ways, If they want you to trust them when they agree work with you then they have to stick to the agreement. If this were to put a doubt in your head as to there reliability and you may look for work elsewhere and not trust them next time the call comes. Then they would have to start again with a drummer they dont know.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
I had a very short basic contract drawn up by my lawyer that I use on a very rare occasion where I may not know or trust those I am about to work for .

like I said ... I very rarely use it ... and when I do after I explain why I am asking whoever is signing the check to sign it they fully understand and do so with no questions asked.... it protects them as well as me so most actually feel really good about it .
when they don't know me as much as I don't know or trust them it covers everyones ass by tying me to fulfill my duties and them to furnish payment upon completion.

you may want to think about something like that if you are to be doing lots of work like this ... and include a clause that says if a gig is reneged within a certain period of time that you still receive said wages

glad it all worked out brother
you did the right thing and will be rewarded indirectly .... I believe that

Cheers man. I'm a member of the Musicians Union here in the UK and they have contracts for all these things. I have done the same thing as you if someone i am not sure on or a total out of the blue gig with no connections to check. And it helped me get paid as the guy was not honouring the agreement and the Union got involved and chased him for me and I got my money.

Stuff will work itself out. Hello Karma!!


They should also look at it from your perspective. You dep for them, on a regular basis, so thye know and trust you on a professional and a playing level. If they want and need you to remain a reliable dep they should stick to the agreement.

It works both ways, If they want you to trust them when they agree work with you then they have to stick to the agreement. If this were to put a doubt in your head as to there reliability and you may look for work elsewhere and not trust them next time the call comes. Then they would have to start again with a drummer they dont know.
That is exactly my position and it is i belive the position of the guitarist and the band leader. Just the drummer. The next time I gig with them -11th july - i'll be clear to say that I need to either treat the gigs as definite's and then they can't change them with 5 days notice or i treat them all as possibles and if something else comes in then I take that.

I have to run my business just as they have to run theirs and if we are all cool and honest with each other then we will all be happy.

Dave
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I'll be clear to say that I need to either treat the gigs as definite's and then they can't change them with 5 days notice or i treat them all as possibles and if something else comes in then I take that.

I have to run my business just as they have to run theirs and if we are all cool and honest with each other then we will all be happy.
FIVE DAYS?!?!? Man, I would say 2 weeks! I don't know about what your situation is, but it would be hard for me to come up with a replacement gig 5 days in advance.

You don't HAVE to run your business like theirs. In fact, I would discourage you from doing so. Maybe set up boundaries/contracts with this group from now on, but definitely don't start doing your business with other people like their drummer does--it appears bullyish from my perspective, and where I'm from, you're hired for gigs as much for your personality and likeability as you are your professionalism and musical skills. Being "grabby" for gigs might just stack the cards against you with other bands/people.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Totally agree caddy, i meant thet 5 days is nowhere near enough time. 2 weeks minimum and a month even better.


The band is almost separate from the drummer in their perspective and views and think they side with me on this.

anyway guys being a douche. He can have the gigs I'll watch the world cup.

:)
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Also meant that I need to run a business and so do they. It's the music business and the same principles apply that do in other businesses

D
 

Otto

Platinum Member
What does the WRITTEN/SIGNED contract say?

No written/signed contract?...what matters is the direction of the person who contracted the $ exchange.

Always get gigs in a written/signed boilerplate approved by your lawyer for the region you are working in.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
Beings he has already given you loads of work...And you want to continue to keep getting more from him, in a way, he's an employer of yours. If you stand your ground you may win the battle but lose the war.
I think it totally depends on the amount of notice given. If he gave you less than a weeks notice, I would not readily acquiesce to his request. Regardless of how much work he has given, decency dictates that there should be a minimum notification prior to taking back a gig that has been given. Let him know you have already turned down other work for this weekend and that he should pay you for the gig he wants back. Either way manning up for yourself may cost you future work for this band.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I'm confused. I would have thought the decision would rest with the band and/or bandleader. You'd imagine they'd prefer to play with their regular drummer but I haven't depped for decades. It's an awkward situation that requires careful words.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
I suppose the answer would lie in how much you want to work this band again in the future. There are many ways to handle this, but that is the real question. There have been bands that I have worked with in the past that I simply refuse to work with ever again because the band leader or the drummer that I was or would be subbing for was just too much of a liar and could not be trusted to keep his word. In some instances, a couple of the bands had stolen some intellectual property and were using it without consent.

When you were offered the gig, it sounds as though you were not really offered the gig – you were simply “on standby in case this other drummer’s other thing didn’t work out.” No one can operate in that manner. I don’t do “standby”; I’m in a business and if they need me on a standby basis, then they need to pay me a retainer so that I will be available if they need me. Otherwise, they don't get to tie up my time without my being compensated.

This business is a business of relationships and trust, as Zoro once told me, and that is true. I don’t know that you can get anyone to sign a contract (around here the scene is way too casual) which has been suggested.

If you’re willing to risk it, you may choose to be unavailable the next time they need you as you’re in demand as a substitute. Yes, they may suspect but can’t prove anything. You just simply say that you can’t do it because you are unavailable. They will then have to make do with whomever they can find – good or bad. If you have experience already with the band, they will most likely not enjoy having to chase down another drummer, rehearse and put up with breaking someone in for a couple of gigs a you are already a known, reliable commodity.

This does work and not just with drummers. One bandleader I work with canceled on one bar to go play another bar. When it came time for our next gig at the jilted bar, there was another band setting up when we arrived. The irony of it is, was that I told him not to cancel that gig, that the other bar had plenty of open dates for us to play. Again, it is about not violating that established relationship.

I might recommend dealing with the bandleader directly. However, there are many bandleaders who enjoy pitting one drummer against another – it gives them a real ego trip to manipulate people (prevalent in the Dallas music scene as there are many drummers desperate to play there). One bandleader enjoys telling other drummers how his drummer (a long-time friend) is lazy and is “being a titty-baby” just because his long-time buddy won’t do what the bandleader wants. Yeah, he’s a real slimeball so be leery when a bandleader of musician starts berating their steady drummer to you.

So my 2 cents is to not be available the next time the drummer needs you, for any amount of money. Because your word and your integrity is worth more than all of the money in the world.

I have many other real world stories regarding this business that I would love to share some time. Many of them are really outrageous (and funny). Some are creative solutions to problems in this business.



Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
http://www.skillpages.com/mike.mccraw
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
I suppose the answer would lie in how much you want to work this band again in the future. There are many ways to handle this, but that is the real question. There have been bands that I have worked with in the past that I simply refuse to work with ever again because the band leader or the drummer that I was or would be subbing for was just too much of a liar and could not be trusted to keep his word. In some instances, a couple of the bands had stolen some intellectual property and were using it without consent.

When you were offered the gig, it sounds as though you were not really offered the gig – you were simply “on standby in case this other drummer’s other thing didn’t work out.” No one can operate in that manner. I don’t do “standby”; I’m in a business and if they need me on a standby basis, then they need to pay me a retainer so that I will be available if they need me. Otherwise, they don't get to tie up my time without my being compensated.

This business is a business of relationships and trust, as Zoro once told me, and that is true. I don’t know that you can get anyone to sign a contract (around here the scene is way too casual) which has been suggested.

If you’re willing to risk it, you may choose to be unavailable the next time they need you as you’re in demand as a substitute. Yes, they may suspect but can’t prove anything. You just simply say that you can’t do it because you are unavailable. They will then have to make do with whomever they can find – good or bad. If you have experience already with the band, they will most likely not enjoy having to chase down another drummer, rehearse and put up with breaking someone in for a couple of gigs a you are already a known, reliable commodity.

This does work and not just with drummers. One bandleader I work with canceled on one bar to go play another bar. When it came time for our next gig at the jilted bar, there was another band setting up when we arrived. The irony of it is, was that I told him not to cancel that gig, that the other bar had plenty of open dates for us to play. Again, it is about not violating that established relationship.

I might recommend dealing with the bandleader directly. However, there are many bandleaders who enjoy pitting one drummer against another – it gives them a real ego trip to manipulate people (prevalent in the Dallas music scene as there are many drummers desperate to play there). One bandleader enjoys telling other drummers how his drummer (a long-time friend) is lazy and is “being a titty-baby” just because his long-time buddy won’t do what the bandleader wants. Yeah, he’s a real slimeball so be leery when a bandleader of musician starts berating their steady drummer to you.

So my 2 cents is to not be available the next time the drummer needs you, for any amount of money. Because your word and your integrity is worth more than all of the money in the world.

I have many other real world stories regarding this business that I would love to share some time. Many of them are really outrageous (and funny). Some are creative solutions to problems in this business.



Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.patentcoachmike.com
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
http://www.skillpages.com/mike.mccraw
Hi Mike, thanks for pitching in.

Always great to hear from really experienced players and I'm perversely glad this isn't an uncommon thing to happen.

The deed is done now and I've managed to scrape some cash together to get through this month.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that I'm either booked, on retainer or I can find other gigs. It is a wedding band and I'm sure they won't pay me retainer so its only option A or C.

At the next gig I will discuss this with the band leader. He doesn't want the headache of having to find other drummers so wants to keep me happy as I pride myself on being reliable which I know he appreciates.

Shall see if Karma prevailes and I end up being booked for this weekend or next somewhere else.

D
 
seems everyone has answered, and you made your move.
Another option for the future would be something like
"sure, no problem, if you could please pay me 25% of the scheduled rate for the gig, and I will gladly fullfill the rest of the gigs I have booked with you."

gets you some of your money without being greedy, shows you're not a pushover, and makes them think twice about screwing you over on another one.

-chris
 

STXBob

Gold Member
I think it totally depends on the amount of notice given. If he gave you less than a weeks notice, I would not readily acquiesce to his request. Regardless of how much work he has given, decency dictates that there should be a minimum notification prior to taking back a gig that has been given. Let him know you have already turned down other work for this weekend and that he should pay you for the gig he wants back. Either way manning up for yourself may cost you future work for this band.
I'm with you. From the start, I thought the drummer Dave was depping for is being a tool. First, because he had an existing deal which he appears totally fine with reneging on. Second, over and above the tool-ish reneging, doing so on such short notice.

I'd be very angry. That's why I've been following this thread so closely. It's good to have negotiating techniques in your stick bag. ;-) After some thought, I'd like to describe how I'd approach this.

Note: I am not a professional making a living at his instrument. So the following advice probably stinks.

I'd ask the guy what his concept of "an agreement" is. We have a deal. Breaking that deal is a d!ck move. That's true regardless of my financial situation (i.e., needing the money the gig brings). Breaking an existing agreement without a pretty impressive exigent circumstance is a d!ck move. Just "Oh, hi, I'm back and I no longer need you" is a MASSIVE d!ck move. Whether it's tomorrow night or a month from now, I've cleared my schedule, done my homework, and committed to the deal.

I'll certainly never work for him again. And I'll tell him exactly why.

But like I said, that's easy for me. I can afford to tell arseholes "bollocks".

I hope everything works out, Mr Major. You've got a real sticky wicket to deal with and no mistake.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
I'm with you. From the start, I thought the drummer Dave was depping for is being a tool. First, because he had an existing deal which he appears totally fine with reneging on. Second, over and above the tool-ish reneging, doing so on such short notice.

I'd be very angry. That's why I've been following this thread so closely. It's good to have negotiating techniques in your stick bag. ;-) After some thought, I'd like to describe how I'd approach this.

Note: I am not a professional making a living at his instrument. So the following advice probably stinks.

I'd ask the guy what his concept of "an agreement" is. We have a deal. Breaking that deal is a d!ck move. That's true regardless of my financial situation (i.e., needing the money the gig brings). Breaking an existing agreement without a pretty impressive exigent circumstance is a d!ck move. Just "Oh, hi, I'm back and I no longer need you" is a MASSIVE d!ck move. Whether it's tomorrow night or a month from now, I've cleared my schedule, done my homework, and committed to the deal.

I'll certainly never work for him again. And I'll tell him exactly why.

But like I said, that's easy for me. I can afford to tell arseholes "bollocks".

I hope everything works out, Mr Major. You've got a real sticky wicket to deal with and no mistake.
Hey Bob.

Straight up he is being a big d!ck. I think that's universally the opinion here.

The thing is I have 12 other gigs with them up to August (nothing after that) and I can't run the risk of losing those gigs this close to the date. If I had 4 then I would be giving him a massive earful and let him know exactly what I feel (professionally of course!!)

Just the decision i needed to make at the time (gigs were last weekend) and just deal with it.

It takes a lifetime to build up a reputation and a second to destroy it so I'd rather keep as many people happy as possible and bide my time.

But oh how I would like to give him a massive kick in the danglies!!

D
 
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