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The Musician Versus The Plumber The Source For Jobs Since 1969 Sterling Howard, Owner/Founder 818-888-7879 Musicians & industry personnel receiving this: 59,923


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I recently saw a post on a popular website, (I'm sure you can guess which one), that I thought was a joke at first, but sadly, it was real. A club owner was seeking bands. Here's what it said:

"Our venue is looking for bands with a big following. If you can bring an audience, come out on Sunday night and show us what you got! Invite your fans to come out and support you by playing a showcase set. If you can pack em in, you will be encouraged to return. Our food, drinks, and service are great!"

Based on this, I thought this might be what I would overhear the next time this club owner called a plumber:

"Hello, is this John, the plumber? Good, I own a nightclub and I'm going to require a lot of work on some leaky bathroom pipes, plus several of my toilets are really jammed up. Here's what I want you to do, John. If you can come over Monday and do an hour or two of work, that would be great, because on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I'm going to call three other plumbers and have them also do a couple hours work. What's that? Yeah, sort of think of it as an audition. Then on Friday morning I'll decide which one of you gets the job based on who did the best audition, and of course who gives me the lowest price. The winner will get paid, but exactly how much will depend on a couple factors. What factors, did you say? Well, the band who plays here gets paid based on the amount of people they bring, so if we're having a good night, you could all do well. And by the way, John, just like the band you will be required to bring at least 10 friends. You can do that, right, John? John? Hello?....."

Sound familiar? Just a bit of October comedy, but not far from reality! Now, why is it that musicians are sometimes not paid? Shouldn't our labor laws demand that musicians be paid, just like dish washers and waiters? But remember that many musicians VOLUNTEER to perform for free, so since they are WILLING to play for free, no labor law is broken. Isn't THAT the difference? When is the last time you heard a dish washer say to a club owner "Hey, let me wash your dishes for a few nights and if you like my work, maybe you can hire me later." Comments?



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