Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Though Shalt Comment More!

Here are some more reader comments on "Though Shalt Not..."

J writes:
I for one, was outraged: I am usually one of the better attired and groomed musicians I play with, but I am also the most ardent believers in being fed/eating/stealing food at gigs. The rest of the stuff I do my best with just as a courteous person, I hope.
H Maryles writes:
As an LA band leader, I have to say that while a bit extreme, there's not much in there that should be taken out. A couple of points:

- There are all kinds of gigs. Here in LA we get some very "upper-class" gigs where a crooked (or missing) bow-tie could be a problem, and a musician wandering across the wide-open, empty dance floor during a speech could make a hostess angry. So having a list of "expectations" which precludes problems is probably a good idea, especially when you hire musicians who are more accustomed to "casual" casuals.

- I have worked with musicians who tend to imbibe too much, so I know why that's on the list.
I've also worked with musicians who don't understand the difference between "blending in" with a crowd of guests while scooping some cashew-beef, and sauntering in to a still-empty smorgasbord room and taking a large first scoop of the chopped liver that was designed by an artist to look like the bar-mitzvah boy. So I can empathize with the rule about eating with the guests. Usually, however, the members of the band are "mentchen" and there's no need for enforcement of such strict rules.

- Expecting musicians to be early enough for adequate set-up and sound-check is reasonable, as anyone who has waited for a late drummer to arrive knows (it's hard to set up the rest of the band without him since he's usually the back-center position). Demanding they be early in case they need to start early is not right without getting paid for the time (regardless of an early start), since musicians' time is more the issue than the time they actually play (if there were a 15 minute break, wouldn't they get paid for it?).
A vocalist who uses too many online ID's to keep them straight writes:
RE:We expect singers and rhythm section to be on site 45 minutes before start time and horn and string players 30 minutes before start time.

This just doesn't sound right to me. Why would a singer have to be earlier than the horn section? Singers many times have later starting times. Even if they don't they certainly are no different than the horn players. Singers don't have any equipment to set up. Not sure I understand this rule.

5. Glasses are not permitted on the stage.

I understand the reason for this but I'm wondering how they expect a singer to not drink when singing for 45 min or longer. Are bottles ok just not glasses? Perhaps you could shed some light here. Thanks