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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by braveheart, Dec 2, 2019.
I wasn't aware of a lot of that. Sorta changes my opinion. Thanks for posting.
Elton John is a multifaceted dude.
Did you work at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. or in Atlanta, where Elton also had or has a home? I worked at Tower Video on Sunset in the late '80s, and across the street in an office building next to Tower Records during the '90s. I often dropped into Tower to browse and occasionally I'd see Elton there in the morning.
I have no stories about first-person encounters with Elton, but the offices of the company I worked for were next to the offices of record exec Johnny Barbis, who was an independent promoter at the time. (Eventually, the office that had been his would be mine.) One time, he told a story of how Elton was pouting and refusing to show up for his guest spot in The Who's "Tommy" concert (I think), and telling people to call them up and tell them he couldn't do it. But when they told him, no, you can call up Roger Daltrey and explain it to him, he relented and did the show. I also recall something about ghastly stains on the carpet of his room at the Four Seasons. I recently finished Elton John's memoir "Me" and he cites Barbis as a close friend. I had no idea at the time.
I heard Alvin made Theodore and the rest of the 'monks work for peanuts.
All these post sound like touring musicians are making nothing but when you put into account that other than sound check your only playing an hour and a half -two hours a night for five nights a week the pay is probably not bad especially if you get food and boarding provided by the “star” works out real good if you’re a single person so you don’t have to pay for electric or cable/utilities for 6months to a year while your touring
Looking at it , it seems low but if you brake it down with payment for actual hourly work it’s probably pretty decent
Beats dingy ditches I’m sure
I did a bit of tech work for a guy who was the touring guitarist for a pop singer who was very big at the time (early 2000's). He said pretty much the same thing. He was getting a nice per diem, the work was easy, he got to party quite a bit, and was banging one of the dancers.
The funny thing was, the music he did on his own time was super aggressive speed metal.
The problem is that the hustle and bustle eventually gets old. Memories are special. But so is health insurance, stable relationships, and ability to save for retirement.
My housemate worked at the Atlanta store, and I would hang out there from time to time. Elton John had a penthouse home in the same neighborhood as Tower. I'm not sure if he lived there year round or not. Come to think of it I don't remember hearing of him being seen around town at events or anything like that.
That's true. Back in the day I'd pile into a van with the rest of the guys and hit the road for a week or two at a time, or play 6 nights in a week in the local scene around NYC without a problem.
I'm pretty certain it would kill me now. Touring is a young man's game unless you're working at a pretty high level.
It's a young, single man's game. Or maybe the game of someone with a spouse that has a stable professional job and health insurance, and is ok with their partner and/or co-parent being away for weeks on end, if not so young.
I remember seeing Bobby listed as playing in some pretty dive-y joints when not out with the Stones. Kind of gave me the (perhaps false) impression that he needed the work.
So many years later it is hard to get to the truth, everyone had and has an angle. I saw the show Bluesman and someone stated in there that the record label belatedly released and produced the album he had recorded a while beforehand and the label wanted him on tour promoting it. SRV purportedly bagged the Bowie tour and toured to promote his own music.
People in the business generally want to maximize the per diems based on the current schedule from the IRS on what the maximum tax exempt amount is. They can eat twice a day, sleep two to a room or on the bus, and skimp otherwise on spending and pocket some money that way.
Wes Montgomery and Tal Farlow had day jobs.
And there are 100 kids standing in line to play with a big name act for free .
Back in the 1964 a friend of mine's band toured the U.K. and the Stones opened for them. They toured together in a van and became close friends. When they were inducted into the RnR Hall, Keef was the presenter. I watched as my friend stood around reminiscing and giggling with him while another member of the band took her turn to speak. Hilarious!
We have a standing rule against not naming names.
Couldn't be the Valentinos, that was a boy band, right?
And Furry Lewis was a street sweeper. Clapton used to work construction between gigs.
I worked at a music school that used to sponsor clinics. We had a drummer of a famous country star doing a clinic that got sick with the flu. This drummer had no medical coverage. Don’t want to divulge too much info cause it would be easy to identify this person. So for the sake of privacy I’ll just leave it at that. It’s great to tour with some famous folks but it’s not a living. Some other perks may be sponsorships but that is still risky.
And in the biz we have a standing rule against dropping names, if you want to keep your cred. Sorry! I occasionally will speak of someone I've worked with if the credit accrues to that artist and doesn't seem to puff me up.