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  #1  
Old 12-12-2017, 05:08 PM
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Default Hired Gun

Not sure if this was already posted? If you get a chance check out this documentary currently streaming on Netflix. It's worth a watch. Can be a real eye opener. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIf9qgJbIB0
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Yea I caught that the other day. Interesting, a little depressing.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Nice one, I've got six days of the free Netflix trial to go, I'd better get my skates on.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

I watched this the other night and it just affirmed my life decisions years ago to end the club circuit gigs and pursue a solid career behind a desk....and while I certainly don't enjoy selling my soul to a desk job, I look at these talented seasoned guys making $400-600/week on endless tours away from family and friends and I'm like "nope".

I realized I love to play.....I hated HAVING to play.

Did not cast Billy Joel in a great light......and I think Alice is just a solid dude, always have liked him.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

It's almost as if there's a small set of celebrity players who get glamorized while surrounded by top-notch, non-famous talented players, in an effort to sell more music gear to "hopefuls" who stand no chance at all, no matter how hard they try.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Yes River I agree, after traveling all over the states back in the 70's playing disco music so I could eat I decided to go back to school and became an I.T Specialist. No regrets. I still work some gigs sometimes with full time players and I don't know how they survive. Nothing to look forward to because lots of them don't pay into Social Security or have any pension or savings.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

I haven't seen it yet, but a bunch of my buddies are all in the movie.
I'll have to get around to watching it soon.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
It's almost as if there's a small set of celebrity players who get glamorized while surrounded by top-notch, non-famous talented players, in an effort to sell more music gear to "hopefuls" who stand no chance at all, no matter how hard they try.
Unless those dirty ****s get their way and dismantle net neutrality we're already starting to take back the creative territory. The old music industry is dying and DIY/inde/small label scene is getting better and better. This is because with the "free" internet now they don't have so much control as they used to for what media got through to us. It's not like radio or TV where the only choice we have is which channel of pre-determined BS to tune to, now we can control the whole process from production to distro and marketing.

Everyone who reads this needs to help fight against the corporate interests controlling media/information distribution again. Fight the destruction of net neutrality regulations.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Unless those dirty ****s get their way and dismantle net neutrality we're already starting to take back the creative territory. The old music industry is dying and DIY/inde/small label scene is getting better and better. This is because with the "free" internet now they don't have so much control as they used to for what media got through to us. It's not like radio or TV where the only choice we have is which channel of pre-determined BS to tune to, now we can control the whole process from production to distro and marketing.

Everyone who reads this needs to help fight against the corporate interests controlling media/information distribution again. Fight the destruction of net neutrality regulations.

While I don't disagree with the points you're making, I would like to offer another view on the subject. Just to play the role of the Devil here.

With the internet, anyone can go and buy top notch recording gear and produce an album of major label quality in their own home.
HOWEVER, because of this many people who have no business making music are doing so. It's harder and harder to find quality music because of over saturation.

The record labels used to be the buffer between what was deemed quality music vs. crap. This made finding something that really spoke to you from an artistic and personal level, outside of the confines of the big machine, more special.

When I was growing up I could tell you the names of artists, their albums, what the songs are. Now most young people can tell you what songs they like, but have no idea who it's by, or what other music they have.

Streaming services and the internet are double edged. They have become both the best and worst things for artists.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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While I don't disagree with the points you're making, I would like to offer another view on the subject. Just to play the role of the Devil here.
Always happy to dance with the devil.

Quote:
With the internet, anyone can go and buy top notch recording gear and produce an album of major label quality in their own home.
HOWEVER, because of this many people who have no business making music are doing so. It's harder and harder to find quality music because of over saturation.
I guess I'm not seeing that. The relational databases that run these searches we're doing to find music are helping me expand my listening way past the idiotic list of 40 songs that get played over and over on a radio station. My favorite local bands who would have been pandering to record companies so they could be heard at all are now able to create, promote, and distribute high quality stuff where the best I hoped for as a kid was a crappy tape someone made for me of the local punk band... Knowing they'd likely never get attention required for real distro.

Quote:
The record labels used to be the buffer between what was deemed quality music vs. crap. This made finding something that really spoke to you from an artistic and personal level, outside of the confines of the big machine, more special.
Man, I guess those record companies pushing mostly garbage "spoke" to you a lot more than they did me. I can't help but wonder how much great music didn't get any attention because some exec didn't think it would sell?

Quote:
When I was growing up I could tell you the names of artists, their albums, what the songs are. Now most young people can tell you what songs they like, but have no idea who it's by, or what other music they have.
Really? Your experience with music consumers is quite different to mine. Up here in the bay area everyone has their favorite bands "liked" on facetubespace and bookmarks the media to playlists on their phones. Might this be an extension of all the studies saying nobody memorizes things anymore because it's always available at their beck and call on a mobile device or computer?

Quote:
Streaming services and the internet are double edged. They have become both the best and worst things for artists.
I'd rather everyone have a voice than just a few large corporations deciding who's voices are best for everyone to hear. From where I'm standing my side of the edge is pretty dull compared to the sharp edge chopping at the other side.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Originally Posted by Living Dead Drummer View Post
With the internet, anyone can go and buy top notch recording gear and produce an album of major label quality in their own home.

HOWEVER, because of this many people who have no business making music are doing so.
The word I had heard in the 70s with regard to record labels, was that they'd have their flagship band, such as Pink Floyd. That band would bring the profits for them, and they'd use some of this to groom a handful of new bands, in the hopes that one of them is a hit with audiences.

These days, the record labels are too big to take risks, just like the movie studios. They all put out the same thing. They play it very safe and want a guaranteed hit, every single time.

There are studio musicians behind some of it, if there are ANY musicians at all. The "singer" gets pitch-corrected, because talent is not as important as whether or not they can achieve a level of popularity, and whether or not that translates into more units of soap being moved.

In some cases, it could be argued that those on the inside of the music business have no business making music. And in those cases, it could be debated whether or not what they're making can be called "music."
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Did not cast Billy Joel in a great light......
I'd sensed from this and some other interviews I've read that there is far more credit due to De Vito for his work with Billy Joel, even the songwriting.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Originally Posted by 2bsticks View Post
Yes River I agree, after traveling all over the states back in the 70's playing disco music so I could eat I decided to go back to school and became an I.T Specialist. No regrets. I still work some gigs sometimes with full time players and I don't know how they survive. Nothing to look forward to because lots of them don't pay into Social Security or have any pension or savings.
The ultimate irony is that when I needed new gear back in the day when it was actually making me money (not enough but still) I of course couldn't afford it. Now, the best gear is an easy purchase for me without thinking twice. That isn't meant to be a brag it is more a sad commentary on what we all know of working in the music trenches......lots of work and you better be doing it for the passion and art because you sure as shit aren't doing it for the money.

In retrospect the only gigs I regularly played that paid well was on the wedding circuit, but then you reach a point of how many Bridezillas you want to deal with while eating rubber chicken and playing YMCA all night......I called it a day when the father/daughter dance request was "Daddy's Hands"......creeped me the f$%k out....... but $500-800/player was a solid payday for a night.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Can we split the net neutrality piece off to a separate thread?

That's one of the issues w/ discussion forums. A topic can sometimes lead to side discussions and clouds the water a bit on the original thread topic. It's not a bad thing, but sometimes takes over the discussion and as such the thread topic title and first few posts end up being irrelevant.

I plan on watching Hired Gun tonight.
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  #15  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:53 PM
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Loved the movie so much I actually bought it. I suppose I count myself lucky since I never did that, yet played enough around town and with Disney to make some money and start a new career to where playing is fun. I stopped envying those guys out playing years ago. It is a business, but it’s a lot smaller than you think, as is evident every year when I go to the NAMM show. Talk about seeing more gear than will ever really be bought for professional use, eh?
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2017, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

There was a time when I felt that being a hired gun meant that you'd be missing out. I think of bassist Darryl "The Munch" Jones, who has been the side-man playing bass for The Rolling Stones for the past 23 years. He most definitely wants to achieve band member status, not just for the prestige of it all, but probably because being a band member means you're sharing in the risk, and also sharing in the reward.

On the other side of the hired gun coin is Richard Wright, keyboardist for Pink Floyd.

The band was falling apart when they were working on "The Wall." When tour time came up, Waters and Gilmour were fighting for control of the band, as well as the name. Mason sided with Gilmour. It seemed that Wright wanted nothing to do with claiming an allegiance to either side, so he left the band and then said the magic words when they wanted him back:

"Pay me."

The tour for "The Wall" lost money. The ONLY person to earn anything on that tour was Wright, to the tune of $700,000.

Later, Gilmour felt that having Wright involved would give a sense of legitimacy to his ownership of Pink Floyd. When he was working on "A Momentary Lapse of Reason," he paid Wright something along the line of $14,000 per week to sit on The Astoria while they were writing and recording. I don't think Wright contributed anything; at least, I can't hear it.

Seems there are ups and downs to both sides.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:58 AM
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Never understood why Kenny Aronoff was such a "go to" guy. One of the most generic sounding guys I can think of.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:02 AM
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Never understood why Kenny Aronoff was such a "go to" guy. One of the most generic sounding guys I can think of.
You actually hear stuff that stands out on the radio?
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Saw it this weekend, really enjoyed it. I do love music documentaries that don't skimp on the gory details. Alice Cooper was painted as a great guy and Billy Joel was framed as a monster. I wonder if he was approached to tell his side of the story...
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:30 AM
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You actually hear stuff that stands out on the radio?
BURN! Get that radio to the hospital!

Nothing "stands out" on the radio, except for maybe this.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:48 AM
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Saw it this weekend, really enjoyed it. I do love music documentaries that don't skimp on the gory details. Alice Cooper was painted as a great guy and Billy Joel was framed as a monster. I wonder if he was approached to tell his side of the story...
Perhaps - he was featured prominently in the film so he had to have been paid for that and gave a release to use his likeness and voice in the film. He knew how he would've been painted before the film even came out. Nothing is ever a surprise in the entertainment business.

I would've liked to have known his reaction to the death of Doug Stegmeyer - his long time bass player. I would wonder if he even disputes being the reason the guy committed suicide (according to Lib, Doug was depressed he lost his gig and had a hard time making ends meet after that).
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
BURN! Get that radio to the hospital!

Nothing "stands out" on the radio, except for maybe this.
I love that guy!


....................
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:05 AM
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Perhaps - [Billy Joel] was featured prominently in the film so he had to have been paid for that and gave a release to use his likeness and voice in the film. He knew how he would've been painted before the film even came out. Nothing is ever a surprise in the entertainment business.

I would've liked to have known his reaction to the death of Doug Stegmeyer - his long time bass player. I would wonder if he even disputes being the reason the guy committed suicide (according to Lib, Doug was depressed he lost his gig and had a hard time making ends meet after that).
Is that true, about signing a release? Given that the footage that was used was old archival interview footage, I would have thought that this would be covered by the fact that this is a documentary, and the footage is already out there. Wouldn't it only be necessary to get permission from the owners of the footage?

A quick Google indicates that if a subject agrees to an interview, then it is not necessary to also get a release (although it may be advisable).
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:30 AM
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Is that true, about signing a release? Given that the footage that was used was old archival interview footage, I would have thought that this would be covered by the fact that this is a documentary, and the footage is already out there. Wouldn't it only be necessary to get permission from the owners of the footage?

A quick Google indicates that if a subject agrees to an interview, then it is not necessary to also get a release (although it may be advisable).
Of course it's true. For every person I photograph and use to promote my photography business, I have to have a model release saying that it was OK that I use their likeness to promote my business (either they say "OK" or I pay them for it, but they sign a small contract stating the deal we've made). In the instance of a film, you better have releases of everybody in it or you could get sued, because you're making money off of people seeing it and purchasing it.

(Stewart Copeland complained about getting releases for his film about the Police, including music licenses of stuff Sting had written).

So yes, it's basic contract law.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Really? Your experience with music consumers is quite different to mine. Up here in the bay area everyone has their favorite bands "liked" on facetubespace and bookmarks the media to playlists on their phones. Might this be an extension of all the studies saying nobody memorizes things anymore because it's always available at their beck and call on a mobile device or computer?
Where this is coming from is my experience as a teacher.
I have 20 something students per week in the Los Angeles area. Most of the teens. The % of them that come in day one that can actually tell me what music they like, the bands their are into, or even the titles of songs they like is minimal.

I have fun educating them :)

To be honest, I love being a Hired Gun.
I am excluded from all the band drama. I'm guaranteed to come home with a pay check even if the band didn't make squat. And the music never gets stale because it's always something different.
The biz side of things is what tends to hurt people who are trying to go about doing it. It's a constant hustle.
ALWAYS having to chart and learn new songs.
ALWAYS having to spend time on the phone or behind the computer.
ALWAYS marketing and making sure people know you're for hire and available, even when you aren't.
NEVER knowing where the next gig is, or paycheck is coming from.

But I really don't mind. I like to keep busy, I like to work.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:02 AM
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You actually hear stuff that stands out on the radio?
No, not nowadays, but when I think of studio guys, I guess I would like to lull myself into the false assumption that you would be talking about guys like Jim Gordon and Jeff Porcaro. Guys who used to play on everything and who really brought something to a track.

I saw a YouTube clip of Jeff Porcaro giving a clinic and in between songs/demos he told the crowd how he took a bit of time off to be with his kids after he made some money on a Boz Scaggs record. He only took a couple of years off, but when he came back he was amazed at how badly the creativity and virtuosity in the studio world had nose-dived in just that short of a time. Maybe a by-product of the electronic influence in the 80's(?)

These days I could only guess that it might have to do with the insidious proliferation of Pro Tools being used to fix/finish virtually everything that ever gets recorded. I only made it through about a third of the doc, but pretty much every player featured on it that I saw struck me as a very generic/cliché sounding musician.

I played a few gigs with a rotating cast of those kind of players back in the day in Vancouver that a buddy of mine who played Hammond organ put together. Those guys had been playing only what was called of them for so long that music was like a 9 to 5 office job to them. The music we played on those gigs was so devoid of any kind of spark or emotional content that I felt like my soul had been sucked out of my ass. I needed the money though, so I kept playing them. Luckily, Lindsay Mitchell, the first guitar player in Prism, started showing up for those gigs and that guy jammed like a maniac with his hair on fire.

He wouldn't always play a ton of licks, even though he had them like a motherf@$&er. He would just show up with this cheap-ass Danelectro reissue and play so simply yet so interestingly and full of fire and passion. He would look over at me with this devilish look in his eyes, as if to say, "Oh yeah hotshot? Watch this!", and I would just know that the killer instinct HAD to come out. I would just key in on him the whole night and we had an absolute blast playing together. Playing with him really shaped my approach- after that I have always come at playing with this sort of comping approach, always listening and reacting subtly to what is going on. Those gigs were a real eye opener and master class in passion and urgency when playing an instrument. What ever happened to that?
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:26 AM
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So I watched it tonight and don't know why, but I went into it expecting a theme along the lines of "Decline of Western Civilization Part II." I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of that type of presentation and at the same time thought things in general were given a bit more of a better picture than from what's been shared w/ me by the people I've met.

The constants I've heard and were reiterated in the movie were: low pay, bare minimum lodging, unpredictability, and lack of input. Granted, if that's what's told you upfront, don't gripe about it on the back end.

I hope there's a follow up to this. I'd like to see more about the prep work contract players do in getting ready for a tour or sessions. I've heard the Kenny Aronoff stories before and there are a couple photos somewhere online of the file cabinet room of his charts.

All-in-all, it was an interesting piece and I thought they did a good job of showing the overlap in the industry and emphasizing the importance of being able to be a professional before actually being considered a professional.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

The part about Liberty Devitto was heart breaking. Cool Randy Rhoads footage.
I really enjoyed the movie.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

I cant believe nobody mentioned what an incredible d-bag the guy from Filter is. Dude wrote one decent song and he acts like he is Elvis or something. I understand that he learned it from Trent Reznor, but that dude took it to a new level
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:19 PM
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I cant believe nobody mentioned what an incredible d-bag the guy from Filter is. Dude wrote one decent song and he acts like he is Elvis or something. I understand that he learned it from Trent Reznor, but that dude took it to a new level
True. That was a prime example of situations to avoid. Good on the bass player who moved on to a whole ‘nother career.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:41 PM
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I cant believe nobody mentioned what an incredible d-bag the guy from Filter is. Dude wrote one decent song and he acts like he is Elvis or something. I understand that he learned it from Trent Reznor, but that dude took it to a new level
Just a stepping stone. At least he was candid about it all.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:50 PM
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I cant believe nobody mentioned what an incredible d-bag the guy from Filter is. Dude wrote one decent song and he acts like he is Elvis or something. I understand that he learned it from Trent Reznor, but that dude took it to a new level
While I'm glad he's no longer fronting STP, I really enjoyed the album he released with them when SW was in jail... Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a good STP album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Fa...E993B2DC65DA3D

Stone Temple Pilots with singer from Filter, released as "Talk Show" due to legal stuff.
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  #33  
Old 12-13-2017, 07:00 PM
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uhtrinity uhtrinity is offline
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Default Re: Hired Gun

I watched it last week and was surprised at how widespread the 'hired gun' concept is spread. I have read about artists like Ted Nugent and more recently the drama behind Ghost and thought, what d-bags. Having been in a few local bands were everyone has equal say and ownership the concept is foreign to me. Kind of shocked to see that it is pretty widespread and that you have the band leaders making bank while the hired guns are getting paid pennies on the dollar.

Glad I have my 'desk career' and only do the weekend warrior thing.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:26 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Originally Posted by uhtrinity View Post
I watched it last week and was surprised at how widespread the 'hired gun' concept is spread. I have read about artists like Ted Nugent and more recently the drama behind Ghost and thought, what d-bags. Having been in a few local bands were everyone has equal say and ownership the concept is foreign to me. Kind of shocked to see that it is pretty widespread and that you have the band leaders making bank while the hired guns are getting paid pennies on the dollar.

Glad I have my 'desk career' and only do the weekend warrior thing.
On the flip side....

Imagine choosing to "go for it" with a 4 piece. 5-year plan. You register a business, buy a used van, backline, frontline, insurance, keep books on expenses and assets, advertising, merch, etc... You have ~20K invested with returns over 5 years, playing 3 shows a week for $1000 and an expense overhead of ~$200/show (gas/depreciation/food/accomodations). That leaves ~$30k pre-tax a year if you split things evenly, and you're doing 75% of the work. 24K of you have a soundguy/roadie/sub. All with ZERO recoup on the investment. Now imagine that, since you are a business, you're required to provide health insurance....... F' me!

In this day and age, I believe that it's literally impossible to run a band legally.

I like Hum's approach. Work desk jobs and do a half dozen club gigs a year.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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...you have the band leaders making bank while the hired guns are getting paid pennies on the dollar.
It can be that way for band members, too. Had a friend who was in a big metal band in the 90s. He was probably making $80k per year. Meanwhile, the band leader bought his wife a horse that cost more than most people's homes.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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On the flip side....

Imagine choosing to "go for it" with a 4 piece. 5-year plan. You register a business, buy a used van, backline, frontline, insurance, keep books on expenses and assets, advertising, merch, etc... You have ~20K invested with returns over 5 years, playing 3 shows a week for $1000 and an expense overhead of ~$200/show (gas/depreciation/food/accomodations). That leaves ~$30k pre-tax a year if you split things evenly, and you're doing 75% of the work. 24K of you have a soundguy/roadie/sub. All with ZERO recoup on the investment. Now imagine that, since you are a business, you're required to provide health insurance....... F' me!

In this day and age, I believe that it's literally impossible to run a band legally.

I like Hum's approach. Work desk jobs and do a half dozen club gigs a year.
Sounds like a non viable business strategy, and maybe, just maybe they should scale back and move at a slower pace. I totally understand where you are coming from, but personally don't have much respect for the type.

Similar to having a CEO making millions while the lackies make minimum wage. In the case of music it is even worse as they all are performing pretty equally and in some cases creating equally while one person walks away with the largest portion.

All our members work part to full time, 2 of us (out of 4) have careers that we won't walk away from. We play out 2 - 4 times a month, mixed between openers and full nights at bars / clubs. We make money for a majority of our gigs, but that isn't our only reason for playing.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Never understood why Kenny Aronoff was such a "go to" guy. One of the most generic sounding guys I can think of.
Kinds of the point though.

Most people hiring out aren't looking for personality behind the kit, they're looking for the job to be filled, preferable in 1 take, with no rehearsals, and no drama.

Kenny shows up, gives you what you want, goes on to the next job.

Generic sells. White bread is a top seller. Vanilla ice cream is the most sold flavor of ice cream. Budweiser is the top selling beer in America.

But don't think for a moment what he does is easy.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:37 PM
Widowdrummer Widowdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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It can be that way for band members, too. Had a friend who was in a big metal band in the 90s. He was probably making $80k per year. Meanwhile, the band leader bought his wife a horse that cost more than most people's homes.
This ^^^^^It seems worse though if a player is replacing an original member. Bands seem to take advantage of the fact the hired gun wants in and pay them squat. The bass player in my band toured a long time with a well known southern rock band and was offered the bass position with a HUGE southern rock band...until he saw what they wanted to pay him. He stayed with the lower rung band. They paid him more because they valued him more.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:38 PM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Hired Gun

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Kinds of the point though.

Most people hiring out aren't looking for personality behind the kit, they're looking for the job to be filled, preferable in 1 take, with no rehearsals, and no drama.

Kenny shows up, gives you what you want, goes on to the next job.

Generic sells. White bread is a top seller. Vanilla ice cream is the most sold flavor of ice cream. Budweiser is the top selling beer in America.

But don't think for a moment what he does is easy.
You try making your own bread and beer? Not easy tasks, my friend ;)
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:22 PM
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Angus Macinnes Angus Macinnes is offline
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Default Re: Hired Gun

Watched this last night. It was entertaining.
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