Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

General discussion about *music* in Western New York.

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Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby All Change is Good » March 3rd, 2015, 2:55pm

I recently had a discussion with a very working musician who told me the age old story about playing a complete gig and the bar owner refusing to pay the full amount. Do any local places really still do this?
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby Ida » March 3rd, 2015, 3:50pm

Yes. That said, I have, in the past, still demanded full pay for my band, knowing that the bar owner won't hire us again. Screw em. Don't need to work with people like that. Would you do that to some server/bartender on your payroll? No. So, we are hired as entertainment employees for that gig. Pay up!

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby All Change is Good » March 3rd, 2015, 3:52pm

I can't remember if I have posted this before, but I was once paid in counterfeit bills.
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby Ida » March 4th, 2015, 1:27pm

Wow! Did you file a police report? What happened?

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby All Change is Good » March 4th, 2015, 1:55pm

I called the Secret Service. I had to give a sworn written statement. They of course do not tell you about the outcome.
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby donkeypunch » March 4th, 2015, 3:04pm

We had a bar owner in lockport stiff us for the whole amount twice (yeah we suck)...Joe Kenzie. After the first time, he said it was a misunderstanding that he didnt leave the cash with the bartender...said he would pay us double on the next gig...did the same thing. We were an original band so it wasn't cover band money but it was still a joke. Also...the sound guy kept telling us to turn down all night.

The place closed down, Kenzie's , about six months later.
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby justme » March 4th, 2015, 6:28pm

bands shouldnt play in bars, bands should play in music venues, with a stage, PA and a soundman. obviously bar owners/bartenders dont care about bands! thats why paying a band is optional to them, if yer willing to play in bars be prepared to be double booked, told to go home early, told to turn down every other song, no room to set up and stiffed on yer pay. load in for bars are a complete hassle, the patrons want to eat their wings undisturbed, the staff wants to close the door your using to load in to keep out the cold so theres problems right away...bands should demand pay upfront from a bar or dont even bother. good bands should avoid bars.

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby sevenyearsdown » March 5th, 2015, 8:50am

justme wrote:bands shouldnt play in bars, bands should play in music venues, with a stage, PA and a soundman. obviously bar owners/bartenders dont care about bands! thats why paying a band is optional to them, if yer willing to play in bars be prepared to be double booked, told to go home early, told to turn down every other song, no room to set up and stiffed on yer pay. load in for bars are a complete hassle, the patrons want to eat their wings undisturbed, the staff wants to close the door your using to load in to keep out the cold so theres problems right away...bands should demand pay upfront from a bar or dont even bother. good bands should avoid bars.


This is true of some bars. I've booked places that make you wait until 10 minutes before your start time to move tables and all that because people are eating or whatever. When this happens, I don't bother going back. If you're being shuffled aside by fish fries and hamburgers, then yeah - the place doesn't value live music.

However we play many bars that are more than accommodating with space, load in, and are reasonable with the money. There are plenty of places around here that treat you respectfully and have an interest in live music even though their money maker is serving dinner.

It's been my experience that the places that are shitty to deal with, are shitty to deal with upfront long before you actually get there to load in. If it's a complete hassle to even book a place, I just pass on them (unless it's some real big deal place - which there aren't many in Buffalo). There are enough places that will treat you with respect as long as you do the same.

Some of the funnest places I play don't have stages, PA's, or a sound guy.

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby donkeypunch » March 5th, 2015, 1:40pm

The amount of venues that have stages, house PA and a sound guy are probably in the single digits for all of WNY. I love the bar guys who act like you're doing them a favor by hauling in your PA when it's 5 degrees out and and you furnish the entire crowd.

We played a popular place in Lockport twice last year....each time on a saturday, if you took away the people that we brought in to see us...it would have been the bartender and one old drunk guy with a lazy eye drinking Genny in the can. Both times squabbled about the price, when we were playing for hundreds less than others bands that play there and we have six members. We refuse to play there any more. (also both times...we couldn't sound check until the Sabres game ended).

Seven is right though...some places are nice and "get it"....maybe that should be a thread in itself....the good, bad,ugly and over rated venues/bars.
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby yellow ed » March 5th, 2015, 1:59pm

donkeypunch wrote:one old drunk guy with a lazy eye drinking Genny in the can.


Wouldn't they let him drink at the bar?
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby All Change is Good » March 5th, 2015, 2:00pm

Ha! Syntax is everything.
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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby donkeypunch » March 5th, 2015, 2:08pm

I once had a St. Paulie Girl in the can. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be.

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby sevenyearsdown » March 5th, 2015, 2:13pm

yellow ed wrote:
donkeypunch wrote:one old drunk guy with a lazy eye drinking Genny in the can.


Wouldn't they let him drink at the bar?


This is why we need a like button.

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby Rumourz band » March 5th, 2015, 4:48pm

sevenyearsdown wrote:
justme wrote:bands shouldnt play in bars, bands should play in music venues, with a stage, PA and a soundman. obviously bar owners/bartenders dont care about bands! thats why paying a band is optional to them, if yer willing to play in bars be prepared to be double booked, told to go home early, told to turn down every other song, no room to set up and stiffed on yer pay. load in for bars are a complete hassle, the patrons want to eat their wings undisturbed, the staff wants to close the door your using to load in to keep out the cold so theres problems right away...bands should demand pay upfront from a bar or dont even bother. good bands should avoid bars.


This is true of some bars. I've booked places that make you wait until 10 minutes before your start time to move tables and all that because people are eating or whatever. When this happens, I don't bother going back. If you're being shuffled aside by fish fries and hamburgers, then yeah - the place doesn't value live music.

However we play many bars that are more than accommodating with space, load in, and are reasonable with the money. There are plenty of places around here that treat you respectfully and have an interest in live music even though their money maker is serving dinner.

It's been my experience that the places that are shitty to deal with, are shitty to deal with upfront long before you actually get there to load in. If it's a complete hassle to even book a place, I just pass on them (unless it's some real big deal place - which there aren't many in Buffalo). There are enough places that will treat you with respect as long as you do the same.

Some of the funnest places I play don't have stages, PA's, or a sound guy.


You just have to find the right places to play. Although I have never had that happen, I try to look for venues to play that I have a good rapport with, both parties willing to work together to put on a good show. Those places are becoming harder and harder to find though. It also doesn't help that some bands will offer to play for far too low of an amount and that the owners tend to jump on that opportunity. That is why some owners feel that it's perfectly alright to undercut a band and not think twice. That hurts the scene all around regardless if you are an original, cover or tribute band.

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Re: Bar Owners that Stiff Musicians

Postby All Change is Good » March 5th, 2015, 4:52pm

Musicians should form a union!





Oh, right, they already have....
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