|But where are people? You see people? Show me people. There are no people!|
There was a time when you could do a gig, even a jazz gig, at a club, and it was more common than not to get a guarantee of payment. Now, most jazz gigs, really most club gigs in the U.S., are door gigs. Perhaps college student musicians or unmarried twenty somethings will have the energy to play door gigs. I must say, it's pretty demoralizing to play a door gig at age 42. And I'll admit I have had mixed luck with getting people to come out to my gigs. I've sold out shows, but I've also played to plenty of empty rooms. I played a gig recently which was maybe one of the best musical experiences I've had, but I'm pretty sure I won't be playing this venue again due to the lack of people.
I understand the dynamic of "If you have a name, people will come to your gigs" or "you have to develop a following," or "get everyone in your extended family and everyone who you went to high school with to come to your gig!" In order to really have a name, you have to have a publicist and a label behind you. In order to develop a following, you need to have gigs, and then it gets into a which comes first, the chicken or the egg type deal.(In order to get a gig, you need a following. How can I develop a following if I don't have a gig?) And getting your friends and family to come? Well, ask my mother about that. She does her darndest, but not everyone might be available on June 26th for your one show.
Anyway, read the article. Musicians will understand. Club owners and bookers will probably have a litany of reasons to disagree. Mr. Goldberg says that:
I think we as musicians need to fight back. Sure you can get mad about it, but that won’t do anything.We could all agree not to play those for the door gigs, but you know that isn’t going to happen. But what we can do, is explain to the club owner that it’s not in their best interest to operate their business like this.There is too much at stake for them not to be truly invested in the music presented in their venue.
I've wondered this myself for years. It takes a lot of time, sacrifice, and commitment to play music well. All of a sudden, we have to be Public Relations Experts! And some people just suck it up and put in the EXTRA work it takes to get people to come to their gigs. Those people can end up being successful. They usually aren't married with children.
I used to play at Blues Alley in Washington D.C. in the early 90's. I played there with a lot of great musicians who did decent business. But I also played there with musicians or singers who weren't full time, who had day jobs in an office. They would play Blues Alley once or twice a year, and get everyone they ever met in life to come out to the gig. Most of the time, they were not that great as musicians. But they did good business. OK I'm being nice, oftentimes they were, um, not very good, in my humble opinion. But they would continue to get bookings. Clubs no longer care about the quality of the music, they just want bodies in the seats. And they don't want to take any responsibility for it. It's supposed to be OUR job to bring people. Period.
|Spent 18 hours a day on his mailing list.....|