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GRUNTERSDAD 11-17-2009 08:42 PM

Contracts for The Pros
 
Maybe Bermuda or one of the other better known pros can answer a question that came up at work about the splitting of the pie. In general, Would Wierd Al, Ringo, Bon Jovi other bands that have a leader as opposed to Kiss, Motley Crue et.al get a bigger share of monies made that the other members of the band. Excluding studio musicians, but actual performing stage types that have been in a band forever, or do they split the pie evenly? thanks to those that really can answer this.

caddywumpus 11-17-2009 08:58 PM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
The arrangements in bands I've been involved with have split the pie evenly for performing. However, extra cuts can be had if you do extra work, like bring the PA or book the gig. When playing with big-name acts that come through town, I typically get paid union scale, which seems piddly when you're playing for a 12,000 seat venue that people paid upwards of $60 a ticket to go see. You just know that somebody who merely booked the gig is making some serious cabbage!

I'm interested to hear from the "big wigs" on this one as well...

Eric 11-17-2009 09:18 PM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Well, if it's a leader/sideman relationship, the leader gets the WHOLE share, and sidemen get a pre-determined fee. I, too, have cringed thinking about how miniscule our pay is when playing for a large crowd paying high ticket prices, but the same person who keeps it all is the one who takes the risk, and in business, risk is rewarded.

This of course just applies to live/studio work. It's often a point of contention how to divide the pie among an entire band. I believe live work is often split evenly, but publishing needs to be negotiated, since usually one or two do most of the writing and want a bigger share. Many huge groups, like KISS, give the appearance of being a group, but business-wise, it's Gene and Paul plus two sidemen.

bermuda 11-17-2009 10:03 PM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Typically, a name 'artist' will get more than their individual backing musicians, and I don't know of anyone who's been presumptuous enough to argue that arrangement (and remain employed.)

With a band situation, the split is assumed to be even, but I'm sure there are some special arangements in situations where there are unoriginal members, non-writing members, etc.

Anyone who thinks it's unfair can take it up with the band's HR department.





HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

HR... I kill me!

Bermuda

beatsMcGee 11-17-2009 11:45 PM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
stuff like this has always interested me a lot. I often think how much money is this band that I'm seeing tonight, that is playing to a crowd of 20,000, making?

I know this is getting a little personal but could anyone that is pro offer some numbers?

for example I saw blink 182 a few weeks back and they brought a crowd of around 20,000 people to the Charlotte NC, Arena. lets just say for simplicity's sake that each ticket was a cool $20. (20,000 people X $20 ticket price) = $400,000. Now i know some tickets will be like $60+ for VIP and pit seats, but how much of that assumed $400,000 would Blink 182 take home?

I also know there is some merchandise profits made at shows by the band. Do any pro drummer have examples of how much their band made at a particular show just on merch?

Thanks to all!

DamoSyzygy 11-18-2009 01:12 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Seems like these shows are massively profitable, and some can be, but you must also consider the COST of putting on shows, from venue hire, to paying the soundguys, roadies, security, licensing fees (if any), plus the additional (and significant) cost of travel, accomodation and promotion of the event.

It can REALLY add up!

bermuda 11-18-2009 01:51 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DamoSyzygy (Post 633128)
Seems like these shows are massively profitable, and some can be, but you must also consider the COST of putting on shows, from venue hire, to paying the soundguys, roadies, security, licensing fees (if any), plus the additional (and significant) cost of travel, accomodation and promotion of the event.

It can REALLY add up!

Exactly. I'm always amused by people who observe that in a 4-pc band grossing $1m at a particular show, the drummer must make $250,000. Sheesh.

There are a huge amount of expenses, fees, and simple costs of doing business that turn gross amounts into much smaller net profits, which are further eaten away by taxes.

To expand on the items listed above, there are:

Management percentages
Promoter fees/percentages (which may include venue costs, catering, and adverstising)
Booking agent percentages
Merchandise cost, shipping, and a percentage of sales to the 'house'
Salaries for musicians and crew
Daily expenses such as hotels, coach and truck rentals, diesel fuel, and per diem for musicians and crew
Rental of lighting and sound equipment
Misc consumables 'tour expenses' such as new heads, strings, gaff tape, fog juice, as well as ongoing costs like wardrobe cleaning and unforeseen repairs (new road cases, etc.)
Not mention flights to and from key cities, and crew salaries, per diems and hotels, equipment rentals and rehearsal space rental during pre-production before the tour (when there's no income to offset those costs!)

Yep... it's VERY expensive to put on shows and tour.

Bermuda

Pocket-full-of-gold 11-18-2009 01:58 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bermuda (Post 633139)
Exactly. I'm always amused by people who observe that in a 4-pc band grossing $1m at a particular show, the drummer must make $250,000. Sheesh.

There are a huge amount of expenses, fees, and simple costs of doing business that turn gross amounts into much smaller net profits, which are further eaten away by taxes.

Yep... it's VERY expensive to put on shows and tour.

Bermuda

I've read several accounts of bands actually loosing money as the result of touring or at least from sections of the tour. From memory, The Stones and G'n'R may have fallen victim to this....so it can happen to big acts too.

Clearly it ain't always beer and skittles.

GRUNTERSDAD 11-18-2009 02:01 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Jon thanks for your input. Thanks everyone.

bermuda 11-18-2009 02:14 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold (Post 633142)
I've read several accounts of bands actually loosing money as the result of touring or at least from sections of the tour. From memory, The Stones and G'n'R may have fallen victim to this....so it can happen to big acts too.

Clearly it ain't always beer and skittles.

It's possible to lose money at any level, just as it's possible to make profits at any level.

Labels often financed tours in the name of promoting the artist's album, but those advances were always recupable and artists and the bandmembers were sometimes lucky to keep their salaries. Whether they still do that for any of the signed acts is a good question, and it's a safe bet that the upcoming bands who revile labels are going to have an interesting time when it comes to things like making music videos, and getting meaningful radio play.

But, that's another discussion.

Bermuda

DrumEatDrum 11-18-2009 02:18 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold (Post 633142)
I've read several accounts of bands actually loosing money as the result of touring or at least from sections of the tour. From memory, The Stones and G'n'R may have fallen victim to this....so it can happen to big acts too.

Clearly it ain't always beer and skittles.

Rodger Waters is well known for spending so much on special effects for his shows that he actually has gone on tour knowing he wouldn't turn a profit.

DrumEatDrum 11-18-2009 02:26 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD (Post 633012)
Maybe Bermuda or one of the other better known pros can answer a question that came up at work about the splitting of the pie. In general, Would Wierd Al, Ringo, Bon Jovi other bands that have a leader as opposed to Kiss, Motley Crue et.al get a bigger share of monies made that the other members of the band. Excluding studio musicians, but actual performing stage types that have been in a band forever, or do they split the pie evenly? thanks to those that really can answer this.

Kiss is actually not an even split.

Paul and Gene own the band, and everyone is considered a hired gun.
Even when they went back the original line up, Paul and Gene "hired" them back at a reduced rate.

As for other bands, I'm sure it varies. I'd assume more bands where there are equal members split live money evenly. But you never know what's going to happen. Micheal Anthony was considered an equal member of Van Halen until Eddie decided that he wasn't.

mcbike 11-19-2009 12:58 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
I used to be a promoter, and the "artist" or "artist" representative actually takes home alot of money, what they do with it is another question.

Example:
1000 people come to the show and paid $15 to get in = $15000
Costs of the show:
Rent = $300 (including security)
Sound = $1000
Advertising = $300
Catering = $ 200
Promoter Profit (15% of expenses or $1800 in this example) = $270
Split point (total of all) = $2070
Amount to split ( total income $15000 total expenses $ 2070) = $12930
Band gets 80% after split = $10344
Promoter gets 20% after split $2586
Band Total = $10344
Promoter total ( promoter profit + 20% after split) = $2856


The most I ever paid a band was $15,000.

The promoter has a thing called promoter profit which is like a tax of 15% on everything you have to do so if you have to go get skittles, cigarettes, and alcohol the artist ends up paying 15% mark up on it because you went to go get it. I still don't understand why artists would put this stuff on their rider.

You are right about the risk and the reward though. I lost my ass on a show because the city was flooded and there was water leaking on the stage and the band cancelled and I had to pay the band and pay refunds. Luckily I was able to borrow money from the ticketing company (off of future shows ticket sales). after i payed off my debt I didn't stay in the promoter game much longer after that.

obviously bands at this club level had quite a sizeable staff. some of them toured in prevosts, and had a driver, manager, sound guy, light guy, 2 roadies, merch guy, and a booking agent.

So you take 15% to the manager, 15% to the booking agent, and are left with $7,000 and then you have to pay salaries for the rest of the crew, I would be surprised if each member was making $1,000 dollars at the end of it. Not bad for a nights work though. None of the bands I booked ever told me about a situation where one member was getting more than the rest. I'm sure it happens on the next level of arenas and things like that.


read steve albini's article about the problem with music. (some of this stuff is out of date, but still applies to bands on major labels)
http://www.negativland.com/albini.html

bermuda 11-19-2009 08:07 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mcbike (Post 633419)
I used to be a promoter, and the "artist" or "artist" representative actually takes home alot of money, what they do with it is another question.

Costs of the show:
Rent = $300 (including security)
Advertising = $300

You can spend only $300 on advertising and attract 1000 people into a $300 venue? Wow, you're good!

As for what the band does with what they net from a particular gig, assuming it's a touring band (and I don't know any local bands that bring in 1000 people on a neighborhood gig) there are the travel and salary expenses I described above. There's not always much leftover for the bandmates to split. The only way they really make money is volume... repeating the nightly net by playing 5-6 nights week for several weeks or months.

Bermuda

mcbike 11-19-2009 11:06 AM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bermuda (Post 633513)
You can spend only $300 on advertising and attract 1000 people into a $300 venue? Wow, you're good!

As for what the band does with what they net from a particular gig, assuming it's a touring band (and I don't know any local bands that bring in 1000 people on a neighborhood gig) there are the travel and salary expenses I described above. There's not always much leftover for the bandmates to split. The only way they really make money is volume... repeating the nightly net by playing 5-6 nights week for several weeks or months.

Bermuda

the venue is actually free rent, they keep all of the bar sales, you just have to hire security for $300 dollars and bring in 100% of the sound, they have no p.a. This venue still has the same deal right now. $300 advertising is easy if you do a few shows a week and can split the cost of advertising over a few shows (buying a weekly calendar spot in the local paper) alot of these shows did not need the advertising anyways. most of the ad budget went to making silkscreened posters for collectors.

I did say 1000 to try to make the math easier, but we did have sell out shows at 1000 capacity pretty often. We also did shows at a smaller venue with $100 rent including sound for a 300 capacity hall.

these are some of the bigger bands we booked, (granted this was 5 years ago some of these bands are bigger now) deathcab for cutie, ben kweller, fugazi, taking back sunday, coheed and cambria, rise against, take action tour, explosions in the sky, m.c. chris, etc.

wolfmoon 11-19-2009 08:47 PM

Re: Contracts for The Pros
 
According to Gene Simmons as far as KISS goes with their Reunion and Farewell Tours with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley .... there were given a salary or as he put " an offer of employment" it wasn't negotiable but they were guaranteed to make millions if they showed up and played. They would get a piece ... not an even split.This was in Gene's book. His words ...


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