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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,David Lindley When should you be paid for performing? (53* d) RE: When should you be paid for performing? 04 Aug 02

The idea that music should be free to the public has been around a long time. I used to stand around the Pasadena City College "pits" and play my 5-string banjo for the fun of it and also to see how many people would stand around and listen. That was a fun thing to do and good practice. But a man's gotta eat and in order to eat I had to go out and find places that would pay me to play. People would pay these places to come in and hear the wierdo musicians and the places would pay the wierdo musicians and we'd go and but peanut butter and bread and Campbell's soup and beer . . . mostly beer. It was a good system and one I still use today. I've played places where 100,000 people would pay money to come and sit down and listen. Ever look out onto an audience of 100,000 people? It scares the shit out of you! "Hey Lindley, screw this one up!" My inner voice sometimes says this just for fun. Looking into a camera that is connected to 11 million people can be intimidating to say the least. But whether the audience is a living room of eleven people or 100,000 the terror is just the same, in fact it's worse when you can see the expressions on people's faces change, especially when you screw up. So it's all the same . . . the only difference is the money. When I do benefits and play for free or pay to play as is often the case with benefits the music has a tendency to be better. Why? Because I feel free to take chances because I have no obligation to the audience. Why? Because I'm not getting paid. So how does that work? I ALWAYS play my best because it's a personal challenge to play the best I can, audience or no audience. But a man's gotta eat. Danny Thompson ( no relation ) said once that musicians don't get paid for playing, we get paid for all the other stuff, the travel, the airports, the rehearsal, the long hours of practice, the record company dealings and the little horrors the music business spawns. There is a strange concept that something that is fun to do is not work. Work must be something that is to be hated, drudgery, tedium, oppression, exploitation. If someone has fun working or the job "SEEMS" easy then it's not work. To a classical guitarist or violinist who practices 8 hours a day religiously the concept loses it's edge a bit. "If you're good at it, likely is that you had to work at it." Ihsani, the saz player who used to sit out in front of his house with a bowl in front of him and play for food is the best testimony to the idea that one should get paid. If you can see that someone is serious about their music and practices at it then they should get paid. As someone who has done both, I prefer to be paid for what I do because..............a man's gotta eat. No food, no rent. "Hey Lindley, go out and get a real job!" D.Lintfree

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