Pay for a top star touring musician?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by braveheart, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Meister

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    I also have a friend that does that very thing, but not the same band. I have no idea what he earns, but he was teaching previously so I assume it's similar or better (but probably not that much better, based on his lifestyle :) )
     
  2. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh my. o_O

    What are the chances your extended family owns a large biz and you return to a nice position anytime you’re not on the road?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Knew the wife of a guy who toured as a backing musician with The Eagles back on the Hell Freezes Over tour. He bought a house for about $250K with his earnings. Not sure if he had to add money to get there or if it was all covered. I remember his wife saying that they figured it was the only time they'd be able to afford buying a house.
     
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  4. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    Ahh...that was 1983.

    Things, as in 'money', were a touch different than today's pricing.
     
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  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    The response attributed to Sexton could be seen as a tactful, non-committal deflection...
     
  6. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    I knew a drummer that was touring with a top pop/rap artist. He was making 10k $ a week for a six month tour, so about 40k a month. That was about 10 years ago, but the gig level WAS comparable to Beyonce, etc..
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  7. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I think there's money in session work in Nashville, back in the day. My thoughts go to Harold Bradley, man would I have liked to have been tutored by him.

    All in all no one but good songwriters are getting rich and living low mileage lives.
     
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I've known lead musicians who toured with national acts, recently. Its a badge of honor, but it must not pay much, like union wage plus some differential. Folks tour for six months, then come off the road looking for a job.

    I've also known singer writer musicians that toured as a group for a national act after having a CD financed - they played all three late night shows. It seemed really lucrative at first, but the touring costs add up, especially if you spend like you have money, lol, and CD sales don't net you much on the first successful CD. They had a great time, but had to find jobs after they came off the road.
     
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  9. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another story: For one of the Stones' tours, Mick invited the Staples Singers to open for them. He offered them $500.

    Pops Staples was insulted and turned it down.
     
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  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Still. That was a serious lowball, even in 1983. Stevie knew what he was worth, and it wasn't a lousy 250 a week.

    - D
     
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  11. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Meister

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    okay
     
  12. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    a friend of mine was in Don Henley's band during the 80's... he said he made 125K for the year... got paid on tour and was on a retainer too... he said it was a great situation and he loved it.... He did it for about 4 years and got to go everyone.
     
  13. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a friend who was in my dad band for awhile who tours with major artists from the '70s and '80s. From what I gleaned from him, the way artists pay and treat their side musicians is not necessarily commensurate with their level of success. He said James Taylor (whom he's never played for) treats his people very well.
     
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  14. FLHT

    FLHT Tele-Meister

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    I agree, but Stevie didn't pass on the gig because of money. He was led to believe he and Double Trouble would be opening some shows for Bowie on that tour. He was bummed when he found out Bowie wasn't going to honor the deal. Then, on top of that, he was told Bowie didn't want him playing with Double Trouble even on his days off. That was the final straw.
     
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  15. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    :lol::lol:
    It’s possible that he has those qualities. But he also can be a real a-hole.

    EJ used to come in to Tower every Wednesday to pick up the new releases. He had a standing order with a buyer at the store. This was early 1990s when you still had reason to go the record store. Anyway, playing my band’s CD over the Tower house system one week, and Elton (after asking what the music was) declared it was “hideous”. After that, we started including the review: “Hideous” -Elton John on our flyers and so forth.

    The same visit, I exchanged pleasantries with his bodyguard or driver or whoever he was. I asked how’s it going or something to his driver, and before the guy could even respond EJ interjected (I’ll never forget this!!!) “he’s had more d***s in his mouth than Johnny Mathis has hit records”. WTF??!?:lol::lol::lol:
     
  16. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    In 1985 I was making up to $100 cash bucks a night loading in and setting up for well known bands.
    I was just a unskilled kid. The pay rates seem way out of whack if guys in the band were making much less than that back then. I've heard that $500 bucks a show is a ballpark figure for a call to do one show with a known band. Long term tour would probably be less per show but still at least be a basic wage with extra perks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  17. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    The newest SRV doesn't mention that figure, and it suggests Stevie was pretty keen to do the tour, but SRV makes the claim that he bailed on it because Bowie or his people wouldn't let double trouble open the shows.

    The interesting stuff in that book is from Carlos Alomar, Bowie's long time guitar player and musical director at the time. His mentality is clear--he wants people who don't cause him trouble. He recognizes what's great about SRV, but from his point of view SRV maybe wasn't worth the trouble. Here he talks abut the first rehearsals:

    "I immediately realized the problems that I would have, cutting the first rehearsal short because Stevie Ray Vaughan does not read music and only knows basic blues chords. I can’t tell him to play a minor seven flat five or ask him to do scale-wise progressions. Holy smokes, I can’t even write him a dummy chart where you just get G, A, D. My job is just to make every guitarist sound great, and I got along with all of them. We’re all guns for hire, and I needed Stevie to understand that he would be comfortable working with me, that he’d be able to dig in deep and improvise. His comfort was important, and after we shedded, he was able to bring his thing to the rehearsals. I was happy, he was happy, and David was happy."

    Alomar makes it clear that he respected SRV but also he was a PITA to work with--his wife was a PITA too and kept intruding; he missed rehearsals because Muddy Waters died--and nobody was sorry when SRV dropped out. Alomar mentions substance abuse but says he doesn't care as long as you play well and don't cause problems:

    "He had all these last-minute negotiations. There are many different things you can discuss, but the unspoken law is simple: if you enter into an agreement, honor it. You certainly don’t hold everything up when everybody is downstairs getting ready to go to Brussels to do the first gig because you want to renegotiate your contract. That’s like cold blackmail, and it’s just bad management skills, but I never place things on management because the artist knows everything. So Bowie came to me and said, “I’m having problems.” My reply to that is always the same: never create a problem where there is no problem. You want another guitar player, Slicky [Earl Slick] already knows half of the material, and he certainly can play blues. Given that, it was like, “Sorry, Stevie Ray, you’re out.


    SRV of cource is not a sideman: he was the front guy. They were trying to feature him, but he also needed to be a professional, and Alomar makes the expectations for that clear.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  18. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    "You won't earn much, but you'll get more pu$$y than Frank Sinatra.

    Ronnie Hawkins
    to Robbie Robertson, trying to convince him to join the band.
     
  19. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Afflicted

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    Amen...:):)
     
  20. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    I suppose this is why everyone always tells kids to stay in school...
     
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