Re: Why Music Venues Are Totally Lost: An Open Letter from a Professional Musician
"I went home that night bummed out and sent him an email. Telling him most of what you are reading here and how his business model and thinking is flawed. After a lot of swearing back and forth, because Iím guessing that musicians never talk to him as a business equal, he eventually admitted that what I was saying made sense. BUT, thatís not how LA clubs and restaurants work. And he has bands answering his craigslist ads willing to do whatever it takes to get the gig. Itís been a couple of years now since that conversation. I called his bar, and the number is disconnected."
The most poignant part of the story. I always talk to the managers as equals, or elevate myself slightly. I negotiate large (large) deals for my day job, so the hundred and fifty bucks I make at a gig is fun money, and I appreciate it, but arguing for much less than that is laughable. I'm not trying to make a living as a musician, but I hold myself to a high enough standard that I've made good money playing, and have no problem saying "no" or otherwise standing up for myself in a simple fee negotiation.
Club/venue owners, quite frankly, can shove it up their hind quarters. Those guys are mostly scumbag coke-heads in my experience (or worse). I'm much more concerned about the other musicians who think these a**holes are doing them a favor by "letting" them play in their club. This whole issue makes me frustrated. I hope those of you who are making a living doing this are doing it right. I wish you all the best!