This was a topic of discussion the other day

Skitch

Pioneer Member
This conversation occurred the other day as I was getting my haircut, with both of the other parties knowing that I am a drummer, with chicky-baby stating that the drummers are usually the person in the band who gets paid the least, you don't really see the drummer; just a bunch of misconceptions regarding drummers and it stated as matter of fact by someone who has never played a musical instrument outside of a car stereo.

It really kind of shocked me and I did attempt to dispel all of this as bunk as it really depends on the situation as to who gets paid how much and for what. My examples were Tommy Lee, who has always been a full member of Motley Crue and most likely gets paid the same as the other three guys. We may call it band but they know it as a partnership similar to a law firm's senior partners.

Then Vinnie Colaiuta probably negotiates a figure as a sideman because, well he's a sideman and not an actual member of the band in legal terms. He's hired by an artist who does get paid more but I doubt that Vinnie gets paid less just because he's a drummer!?

Ringo Starr probably had songwriting credits so that figures in as well.

In country music, the artist hires a band who make considerably less than the artist.

Then only bands in which I have ever heard of the drummer getting paid less is in latin bands in NYC because in those bands, every member plays percussion.


So it really does make a difference as to the specific situation.

I did use some other examples, which I won't divulge here, who are managed by a management company. My statement was that if "the rock band" plays a show for a fee of $100,000, the five members don't split it up into $20,000 each and go their own way. The money is sent to a management company, who takes their percentage out (say 15%), then the booking agent gets a percentage (say 10%). So before the band even sees their net, 25% is already deducted and let's not forget the income taxes as well. All this to say each band member get's paid a set salary by the management company who disburses these salaries and it is most likely not $20,000 each because this is a production and there are other expenses such as the transportation coast for both band and equipment as well as stage setting and the like as well as the instrument techs who set up, maintain and break down the instruments.

The members of "the rock band" are in a partnership and the company they are a partner in has to have operating capital as well.

ANYWAY, I digress..........

Have any of you ever been involved in such a conversation? How did you handle it? Maybe I'm making too much of it but this kind of thinking really upsets me because, if left unchecked, this kind of thinking becomes "common knowledge".


I probably should have used Neil Peart as an example since he pretty much wrote no music but wrote 99% of the lyrics Geddy Lee sang.

Your thoughts--------


Mike

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

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Being a unionized Disney musician, I've never been paid less than anyone else because of the instrument I play. The union states different rates for what you're doing and whether or not you're the leader, or you're doubling or tripling on different instruments. But I think other than that kind of "rate card", I'm not sure you could really "lay it out" as to how it works with anyone working in famous bands or acts. I think it would just be too different depending on who you're talking about and what act it is.

So I could only explain a union situation, but would always stop there and say who knows what the specifics of playing guitar in Lenny Kravitz' band or for Neil Diamond would be unless you could talk to one of those guys and have them divulge their deals? I met a background singer for James Taylor once who boasted he just got off the road with James and took home $35,000. He couldn't get credit to buy a home computer! I would say things are not always how they seem.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Thoughts...

1. The last time I worried about what someone said about me, or my value as a drummer, was my sophomore year in high school....I think?

2. Man that was a lot of paragraphs...

Lol
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I've dealt with some prima donna singers that in bands where they thought they should be paid for being in front which is silly.

In the freelance world you're sort of paid for status and the crowd you draw though, so when I play behind big names at a one off gig they sometimes get paid like 10 times more. Is it fair? Not rally, but their name is a brand, I'm just at a gig gettiing scale.

Viinie is also a brand name. He's on first name basis with the whole business. He probably gets paid very fairly when out with Herbie, Beck or Gordon. He's also probably reasonable enough to not expect those top gig dollars when working with lesser known people. I think it's a different negotiation every time and if it's a fun project where he'd really like his name on the cover or for a friend it might not be much at all if they just don't have that kind of money.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
...with chicky-baby stating that the drummers are usually the person in the band who gets paid the least, you don't really see the drummer...
Your thoughts--------
From a womens POV, In one certain sense, I'd say that women judge men by their earning power, because historically, this is what they want for themselves, men who earn a lot. Also, she mentions that the drummer isn't seen. This is important to her too obviously. From the sounds of it, she wouldn't want to be with a drummer because (in her mind anyway)

A. Drummers don't earn as much (she could do better)
B. You can't see the drummer (Status, her's and the drummer's)

So she doesn't sound like my type of gal lol. Very surface, I'm questioning her substance. And her need for status.

We won't even mention the positives of being a drummer, because the negatives outweigh them.

Except they don't.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Well, she's a gold digger and obviously not a bass player.

Doesn't sound much like my type of girl either.

I imagine I look for much of the same qualities in a companion as she looks for. Being a teacher isn't very high status, but it teaches you a thing or two about parenting. Being surrounded by a bunch of kids that like and trust you and being visible in public like that all the time tends have some effect.

Besides, playing all the band instruments I can adapt to any type of groupie preference.
 
When Mike Joyce (and originally Andy Rourke) sued Morrissey and Johnny Marr over missing money after The Smiths broke up, the argument was based on the fact that as the drummer for the band he deserved an equal share as the guitarist or singer—25% for each of them, rather than the 10% he'd actually been paid (apart from songwriter proceeds).

So I don't think your point of view is unusual: I'd say, having read the biographies and autobiographies of various artists and bands over the years, it's pretty spot on.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Isn't there an old biblical? saying: "don't cast your pearls on swine".
There's a lot of ignorance in the world, and its difficult to change in the course of a hair appointment. My main thought is not to get your haircut there anymore.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Being a unionized Disney musician, I've never been paid less than anyone else because of the instrument I play. The union states different rates for what you're doing and whether or not you're the leader, or you're doubling or tripling on different instruments. But I think other than that kind of "rate card", I'm not sure you could really "lay it out" as to how it works with anyone working in famous bands or acts. I think it would just be too different depending on who you're talking about and what act it is.

So I could only explain a union situation, but would always stop there and say who knows what the specifics of playing guitar in Lenny Kravitz' band or for Neil Diamond would be unless you could talk to one of those guys and have them divulge their deals? I met a background singer for James Taylor once who boasted he just got off the road with James and took home $35,000. He couldn't get credit to buy a home computer! I would say things are not always how they seem.

Exactly my point; to say that a person doesn't make as much because he plays the drums, well that's a matter of stupidity really because it depends on the situation and the legal agreements within the musical act.

In your situation, Bo, the more involved beyond drumming, such as a being the contractor, band leader, session leader, et al means more in the terms of compensation.

Your last sentence is probably the best reply, "Things are not always how they seem."

This being stated as a fact by someone who doesn't know Blues from Country music, it just really kind of put me in the tailspin at the time not to mention on the defensive, kind of like the statement "all drummers are stupid".

Mike

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

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Isn't there an old biblical? saying: "don't cast your pearls on swine".
There's a lot of ignorance in the world, and its difficult to change in the course of a hair appointment. My main thought is not to get your haircut there anymore.
Thumbs up on this.


Mike

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

Ghostin one

Senior Member
That's what I was thinking, too. I actually set foot in a barber shop last week, for the first time in 30+ years. The band wanted me to trim my beard :(>

I remember hearing oldtimers in L.A. say that they were paid double the union rate if they had to bring drums.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Exactly my point; to say that a person doesn't make as much because he plays the drums, well that's a matter of stupidity really because it depends on the situation and the legal agreements within the musical act.

In your situation, Bo, the more involved beyond drumming, such as a being the contractor, band leader, session leader, et al means more in the terms of compensation.

Your last sentence is probably the best reply, "Things are not always how they seem."

This being stated as a fact by someone who doesn't know Blues from Country music, it just really kind of put me in the tailspin at the time not to mention on the defensive, kind of like the statement "all drummers are stupid".

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com
http://www.drumcavedave.com
http://www.facebook.com/mike.mccraw
http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemccraw
http://twitter.com/mikemccraw
http://www.skillpages.com/mike.mccraw
It’s ok. I don’t think we’re all stupid. And usually a red flag goes up for me when someone makes a blanket statement about anything because there are always exceptions or just flat out other ways of doing things. I would pay them no mind and move on.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I usually divulge a little information; however, it usually ends with me saying, "You know, you're probably right" pretty early on in the conversation.

This is less stressful and less time-consuming. People are going to think what they are going to think.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I usually divulge a little information; however, it usually ends with me saying, "You know, you're probably right" pretty early on in the conversation.

This is less stressful and less time-consuming. People are going to think what they are going to think.
I think this kind of mind frame comes with age/experience.

Arguing for arguments sake I now leave to others.

To me, a different pay grade policy for different instrument players in a band defies the logic of unity needed to be successful and is a sure way to create insatisfaction and instability, especially if done covertly.

Hired guns on the other hand know what they are getting into and are usually free to accept or decline the terms and conditions of employment.
 
Last edited:

Frosticles

Silver Member
I usually divulge a little information; however, it usually ends with me saying, "You know, you're probably right" pretty early on in the conversation.

This is less stressful and less time-consuming. People are going to think what they are going to think.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
I would've said,'Yeah, but drummers are great with their hands!'





And that's when she would've said, 'See, that's what I'm talking about,' before calling me a dick. And then I'd be thinking, 'Stupid! STUPID! Why did you even say that?'
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It occurs to me that maybe chicky baby likes you Mike. Maybe she wanted to push your buttons to see if and how well you defended yourself.

Girls definitely test guys without letting on.
 
Top