Pay for a top star touring musician?

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

  1. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    there is a documentary about bobby's life...it is both awesome and sad. drugs are bad.
     
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  2. tlsmith

    tlsmith TDPRI Member

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    A guitar player who played with Chet many times told me that the late Paul yandel (Chets side man for over twenty years) never made more than $10,000 a year for as long as he played with him. I guess that's the reason paul operated a tobacco farm in Kentucky during the summer.
     
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  3. SAguitar

    SAguitar Tele-Meister

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    I used to know a guy who retired as a musician in Vegas, moved out here to Oregon and bought a small farm. He was a union trombonist in a pit band for a large casino, and played behind whatever stars were coming through town at the time. I tried doing rock road bands for a couple of years, and while it was fun sometimes, it was pretty iffy too. I quit endeavor, settled down with a day job and played weekend gigs for a few decades after that.
     
  4. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ronson's wife said Bowie paid him squat if he paid him at all. This saddens me if true.

    I know someone who played with a big time rock act for 20+ years? The pay & abuse mentioned in this thread is accurate for him. He got a better gig with an equally known tiered band & is treated much better respectively. I'm happy for him. He looks like he's having fun again.
     
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  5. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    I
    If you were busy enough during those years and at the end of the year you could say that you earned a decent amount of income, it sounds like it was a pretty good gig and if you still enjoyed the job that it appears to have been a good experience. Being away from home a eating unhealthy food can be a bummer though. Everything come to an end eventually, so hopefully something else will come along that is even better.
     
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  6. GearHund

    GearHund Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    He would play around Lubbock sometimes. Pretty sure he's not making much at this gig. I've played the same place and only made $25-$50. Don't know if he needed the money though...

     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I somehow knew that about JT.
    Love the cat!
     
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  8. Bluesboy3

    Bluesboy3 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I'm not sure anyone really knows this story. There are many folklore tales about this situation and there are stories that favor both sides. I'm really not sure what to believe.
     
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  9. Bluesboy3

    Bluesboy3 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    My recollection of the SRV Biography I read had a very similar story. SRV for example had to be coaxed out of The Triple Threat Review to become a frontman because Stevie was very shy and didn't think he could sing. Stevie was enthusiastic about the Let's Dance tour, but had to be talked out of it to promote his own record, but the story get's twisted to somehow blame Bowie. All in all, I personally think it was good timing for Stevie, for those of "us" that know something about music. The average Joe has no idea that the guitar playing on the Let's Dance album is even Stevie at all.
     
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  10. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know a guy who is a hired gun right now. I don't know what he makes but I don't think it's a ton. He's not playing with tippy-top acts, but
    with second tier, I would say. People you've heard of but they fill smaller venues these days, not stadiums (anymore).

    He's married, has pets, and likes it when he's home. But he's a serious road warrior, always posting from all over Europe and the U.S. My impression from
    his posts is that he's living the dream, but he's also exhausted from jet lag and missing his family. I also get the impression that the traveling and living
    the dream is fun for now, but that it's getting old pretty fast, and this is just after a few years. It's fine to get a lot of money per hour for the few hours you're on stage,
    but if you add up all the hours that it takes away from being able to do something else (but you can't because you're on the road) then the real hourly rate ain't so good.
     
  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a common misconception....Alvin, being the frontman always got blamed for that kind of stuff. Really it was all the fault of the guy "behind the scenes"......David Seville. (what a jerk!)
     
  12. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I spent my career in airports, hotels, studios, and venues. It was magic, it was hard work, it was terrifying, and I am the luckiest fool in a land of geniuses.

    I was always treated well, with respect, and in a manner that confirmed that I had earned my right to be there.

    The gloss however, it wore off with the first load in. Getting yelled at by the road manager is a humbling experience.
     
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  13. knockeduptele

    knockeduptele Tele-Meister

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    then add in the 500/5000 miles a day travelling
     
  14. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I sense Vince Gill busts the curve when he goes out with the Eagles

    ;)
     
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  15. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Wellll....
    not counting rehearsals...which are a constant. And rightly so. There's also the "after action" reports...what went right, what didn't sort of thing. More valuable than one might initially think.

    But...
    A couple of interesting side notes:

    The most valuable support personnel were the instrument techs who had other talents...like golf or tennis.

    Outside of sound check, whatever promo crap the labels had forced, radio - tv - politicians, and the performance...life on tour is mind numbingly boring.

    Enter the instrument tech who has a killer backhand. Probably the highest paid people on the road.

    The other thing is the cottage industry that rides on the tails of a tour.

    Amusement stuff, educational stuff, lecturers. Anything to beat the boredom.

    I learned to juggle and became a far better tap dancer just to keep from going insane with sitting in a hotel room. Unless it was winter near a ski town. Then the road manager and I would argue about why I needed to bring my skis.
     
  16. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

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    This is a great picture!
    Check out all that Peavey gear

    I assume this picture was taken in the mid 80’s ?
     
  17. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    Here the life of a touring musician:

     
  18. HoodieMcFoodie

    HoodieMcFoodie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Ask Phil X...
     
  19. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    This makes a ton of sense. I've done thousands of small time local gigs but never toured with any band. A friend dated one of the guys in fountains of wayne, who she went to college with, and she went with them on a tour. She says the great revelation was how much dead time you have, and also that there's a certain kind of pleasure in having everything arranged; you just show up and do your thing. Sound check, gig, meet the bus. But otherwise that was her observation, hours of dead time
     
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  20. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I met a fellow on another forum. Car forum. He played with a “college rock” band you might have heard of so they have some name recognition. He was a hired gun. They band made enough it was their full time deal but he did sound for a mega church when not on tour.

    I guess to alleviate the boredom, he arranged to meet with all sorts of people along the tour route to fill his dead time. Take a ride in their cars.

    We got to attend the show and go back stage. That was epically cool.
     
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