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#10562 by Jacquee Rae
Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:35 pm
Hey Front Man,

I simply wanted to address what you felt was not a win win situation for bandmix. Please explain to me that by providing a service that people are looking for in the same arena that they are coming to YOUR site for which will ultimately help make them successful will NOT help band mix?

It is the old out of one hand back in the other effect.
Bandmix provides service, members are happy - hopefully become successful, they promote bandmix by word of mouth or other means, membership increases which draws advertisers which in turns puts money back into bandmix's pocket?!

Honestly after members become successful, bandmix could do a little self promoting too along your lines by using those people's names. For example " Front Man had a long career in music, after joining bandmix and taking advantage of our free promotion service, he is now headlining, join today to see what bandmix can do for you"

I am an incredibly realist person, so according to you we are one in the same, I guess I also feel that I am an opportunist and try to grab hold and take advantage of situations that can benefit all parties involved.

This being said, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, just don't get upset when someone doesn't agree with you!

Have a great day all!

#10579 by Irminsul
Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:32 am
Front_Man wrote:
Seriously, not trying to be a smart@ss here, but it sounds like you want someone to do all the "leg work" for you? IMHO that's half the "business": getting out, networking and promoting yourself, etc.

I'm not sure I agree with that. Something I have felt has been horribly lacking in the music biz world, both online and in RL, are good promotion and booking companies. Think about it for a second. There are gazillions of musicians out there, many of those pretty spectacular. Most if not all of them would leap at the chance for good representation and promotion - hell, they'd pay for it! (via either fee or percentage). Just imagine the market waiting out there.

Let me give you a good example of what I'm talking about. I have a couple of colleagues who play in a well known Celtic act known as Golden Bough. These guys are booked almost 300 days a year. They all live in Southern California (you know how expensive that is), their agent gets them....

- top dollar for their appearances

- travel expenses added to their fees

- a per diem for food and travel items added into their fee structure

- all their bookings and accounting from album sales

Sounds like a big time booking agency or artist rep company at work here, doesnt it? Well guess what. ONE PERSON does all this. A woman named Nina Black. Golden Bough is her only client, and they keep her busy all year. I spoke with Nina and she confided that, armed only with a phone, fax machine and laptop, she makes band appearances happen that allow all the members to support their entire families, and the percentage she gets for her work is more than enough for her to support HER family.

So I ask again, who in their right mind would NOT want to get into the booking/representation business for musicians? It's a big ol market just sitting out there, for anyone with an ounce of ambition and drive to snatch up.
#10581 by fisherman bob
Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:01 am
At least that's the way it is in Kansas City. There's dozens if not over a hundred blues bands alone in the KC metro area wanting to play in about five legitimate blues venues. Agents can only exist if there's enough places to hire bands. Also the supply and demand issue means that the bar owners can get bands to play for next to nothing, so the agents can't make very much money with the few clubs that exist. I'm sure this condition of not enough places to play exists in most other markets in the United States. It would be great if Bandmix could figure out a way to set up some sort of online agency. I don't see how it could be implemented profitably. If it could be done profitably it would have been done by now. I'm glad there's this forum, I'm trying to soak up some of the knowledge my 50 year old brain can. Lately I've had trouble remembering stuff. Just last week I forgot the Alamo. Later...your friendly neighborhood bluesman fisherman bob

#10586 by Irminsul
Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:00 am
I'm not sure what you mean by "legitimate venues". If you mean bars and nigthclubs, they are only one part (and a poor one at that) of a much larger picture which includes festivals, special events and private functions like parties and gallery openings. In fact I'll go farther and recommend against playing the club circuit because not only will you make little money on the venture, but in increasing numbers of nigthclubs the owners make the bands PAY to play these days, as effed up as that is.

Humans are immensely creative creatures. With a little thought, ingenuity and investigation I'd bet my old Jupiter 8 that an agent could sniff out a lot of non-club prospects for a good blues band.

#10597 by johnnya
Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:35 pm
man folks, i feel like this is a secret society or something, what you guys are saying is reallly very usefull information, and i love to hear what you say, all seems true and if any beginners who are starting out should read a lot of this wisdom givin out, been recommending to young musicians to soak up this, by the way i work full time as a disrict campus security at a local school district, i teach guitar after school and coach little league football. to me, all this is gold and inspires me and others whom i have showed the words of the wise, thank you all,

#10599 by Front_Man
Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:35 pm
Wow, where do I begin?
If you recall, the origin of this thread was a request for Bandmix to provide booking and representation, so to speak, and to provide it as a service to Bandmix members. The implication of that post was that this service should be included in membership fees. I want to add that I've been called a lot of things in my 45 years, but thankfully "politically correct" is not one of them. I call it the way I see it, and nothing I'm about to say is meant to be impudent, malicious, insulting, or to intentionally piss anyone off; these are just my opinions.

To Jacquee: There are several inherent problems with your proposal/theory/concept, not the least of which is expecting Bandmix to take on the extra work involved without increasing their fees. Second, what artist in their right mind would pay to be represented by an entity that knows little to nothing about them and the geographical area in which they seek work? Third, the logistics of handling bookings for the hundreds or thousands of Bandmix members would not only be mind-boggling, but also prohibitively expensive. As I said before, Bandmix IS NOT a non-profit organization. Your theories as to how this would benefit Bandmix are plausible -- in a perfect world maybe, but application in a "real world" situation would be a nightmare, and expecting them to provide services such as this, on such a large scale --and involving so much work, is about as unrealistic as you can get. And that's without even mentioning the headaches that would surely be involved in dispersing funds to Bands and/or receiving commissions. (P.S. and I'm still trying to find anything in my previous posts that would lead you to believe I was "upset" because others disagreed with my opinion)

To fisherman bob: You are right on Brother. There will always be more Bands than venues, and, sadly, there will always be Bands out there willing to play for next to nothing just to say they've played a gig. And you hit the proverbial nail right on the head when you said "if it could be done profitably it would already have been done"!! Add to that the fact that most reputable agents require an exclusivity contract (further hindering the artist), and that most club owners -- at least in my experience -- would rather deal directly with a Band as opposed to an agent, and the "web" becomes even more tangled.

To Irminsul: Your example is an eye-opener, but IMHO that's a huge exception to the rule. Plus, I'll guarantee you that the market for Celtic bands is nowhere near as saturated and competitive as it is for rock, pop or blues bands. You're correct in saying there's a whole world of gigs to be had outside of clubs, but it's been my experience that most Bands have to work there way up the ranks of the club circuit to get recognized and approached about the festivals, private parties, etc. Why, you ask, would someone not want to get into this business? Again, I think fisherman bob said it best with "if it could be done profitably it would already have been done". With the emergence of the internet and related technologies, Bands no longer need someone to introduce them to the market. And lest we forget, the "product" needs to be marketable as well. All the PR and advertising and representation in the world won't help much if the artist or band is, well, crappy.

Finally (and this goes back to the "not politically correct" statement), I don't think you're going to find a bunch of signed artists and/or wildly popular, have-all-the-work-they-could-ever-need solo artists or Bands on this site. Most of us who utilize Bandmix are looking for work and/or looking to get noticed, and are probably not up to -- or in some cases not back to -- the level where outside representation would be beneficial, or even required. In fact, it seems to me you're seeing less and less artists on this site posting songs, etc., mostly due the emergence of sites like MySpace. I apologize if my initial post in this thread hit some people the wrong way, but the only message I was trying to convey is this: Bandmix is what it is; a site for musicians to network, collaborate, and find other like-minded musicians. Asking it to also take on promotion and representation duties for all of it's members is IMHO (and here's that word again) unrealistic at best. There are still plenty of agencies out there; go find 'em if you feel you have the need. You can't expect them to come knocking on your door. In the meantime, I personally will just remain grateful for -- and take advantage of -- the service(s) that Bandmix does currently offer.


#10613 by Irminsul
Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:06 am
Front_Man wrote: Your example is an eye-opener, but IMHO that's a huge exception to the rule. Plus, I'll guarantee you that the market for Celtic bands is nowhere near as saturated and competitive as it is for rock, pop or blues bands. You're correct in saying there's a whole world of gigs to be had outside of clubs, but it's been my experience that most Bands have to work there way up the ranks of the club circuit to get recognized and approached about the festivals, private parties, etc. Why, you ask, would someone not want to get into this business? Again, I think fisherman bob said it best with "if it could be done profitably it would already have been done". With the emergence of the internet and related technologies, Bands no longer need someone to introduce them to the market. And lest we forget, the "product" needs to be marketable as well. All the PR and advertising and representation in the world won't help much if the artist or band is, well, crappy.

All it takes is one exception - and you have no rule anymore.

When I spoke to Nina Black from Golden Bough, the first comment out of my mouth after hearing her story was something to the effect of "well yeah but you're one of a kind." She quickly shot it down and said that there are more agents like her than you think....because, quite frankly, how many agents get famous? They work in the background and help make things happen so the artist can grab the ring. If the artist does that, the agent gets a piece of that ring too. And lets make sure we are on the same page here: I am not talking about agents that make people megastars, but ones that make it possible for working musicians to make an adequate to good living. This is a profession to many of us, no less requiring of agents or "head hunters" than the rest of the working world.

Additionally, I have found that it is a fallacy to think that solo musicians or bands have to "work their way up" to these more creative gigs. That may have been true back in the post-60s AOR days, but not anymore. I have been to more than one event with a zillion people there, which showcased an unknown or first time performer. The truth is bands and soloists from all up and down the talent ladder can land the most amazing gigs. I'd give you more anecdotes from my own experience but I dont want to write a novel here. Point is- it happens. What makes the difference is; luck if you are out there beating the pavement yourself, or a good agent.

I got a big laugh out of the sage observation "if it could be done profitably it would already have been done". Such backwards philosophy reminds me of the rural citizens of my state who, who when asks why they keep voting for the same senator decade after decade, respond with "Well,'cause we always have!"

Look, every market starts with someone taking the plunge. Hell, not just market, but any kind of innovation you can think of. Many years ago, someone said to a young, pimpled pizza stained t-shirted Bill Gates that 'computers will never be a household item". Thank the Gods he didnt say to himself "yeah, he's right...if it could have been done, it would already have been done."

But back to the topic and one final point, regarding the necessity of bands "needing to be introduced into the market". And you have a good point that there are many facets of the band business which can be done DIY thanks to new technology and the internet. But some things don't change - and one of them is that a good promoter or booking agent can only HELP you. Why wouldnt you take advantage of all the arrows in your quiver? An agent/promoter is part of the scheme living in a more or less free market world. If this were still the golden age of patronage for musicians, we wouldnt be having this conversation.

So why not spread the wealth around? With some brains and ambition its not only doable, its practically laying at your feet already.

#10614 by Vocals & Bass
Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:59 am
Amen Irminsul, Your closeing lines, Said it All.

#10617 by Jacquee Rae
Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:27 am
Very well put Irminsul! :D
#10701 by fisherman bob
Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:27 pm
In a make-believe world of honesty and integrity agents could find work for every band in any venue. The problem is there's money involved. I recently ran into a situation which really opened my eyes. I was trying to get my band into a new blues club. The owner hired an agent who I am not familiar with. This agent works as a "volunteer" DJ at a community radio station which plays some of the local bands and musician's music. (Follow the money, honey!) Don't you get a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing how many hours these "DJ's" donate to a "worthy" cause? This DJ also happens to be a bartender and also happens to be an agent. This "DJ" only plays on the radio those bands who are in the agency. This "DJ" is now tending bar three nights a week at this new blues bar where the bands in the agency are now gigging. All the listeners of the "listener supported" radio program are instructed to come visit this new bar. This DJ gets paid a percentage of course to book the bands and gets paid to bartend AND gets tips from those listeners who frequent this bar. So this warm fuzzy feeling you get from listening to all those local bands on the "listener supported" station which in reality is nothing more than a payola program from hell. This is the kind of crap that agents are involved with. In a real world of make believe where there is equality and honesty agents could get bands all kind of jobs. We live in a world where money rules. Bandmix could not possibly be an agent in Kansas City where politics and corruption RULE. They couldn't grease palms from a remote website. They'd have to have a representative visit each venue and find out how to BRIBE people and place MONEY in their hands. Later...your friendly neighborhood bluesman fisherman bob unfortuneately living in the real world

#10705 by JJW III
Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:29 pm
Muscians IMO need to look at it like this. This is a business and musicians are selling a commodity. IF there is no market for the commodity, regaurdless of talent, there is nothing to be sold.

If a band/musician can consistenly fill say 1k venues or more, I don't believe there will be trouble finding a booking agent or shows. The question then becomes, how many of us can consistently fill 1k or larger venues? Ok 1k to big? How many bands/musicians here or anywhere can fill every club they play to capacity every time they play?

I understand that this is also an art, but if one wants to succeed in the monetary definition then the goal should be to fill every venue played to capacity and have the abilitiy to keep filling larger and larger venues.

The rest will take care of it's self from there.

In Chicago there is one booking agent for all the major clubs. Most bands hate him because they have to go through him to get booked. What they fail to understand is that he knows who can pack the seats and make money, and who can't. So the club owners love him, the bands he books love him, and everyone else despises him.

#10714 by The KIDD
Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:55 pm
Hey Wegman,

I know the agency your talkin about... :lol: ..I was playin chicagoland 20yrs ago...Work was plentiful back then..Lots of weekly jams to attend..Ive been askin around about some musicians from your area and thought I would see If you knew of Ernie (one man band keyboard player), Scott Hendricks (Keys), John Taylor (Keys)..They were some freinds I lost contact with over the yrs...
Is ACA outta Milwaukee still doing anything nowdays?

Best to ya,

#10715 by JJW III
Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:29 am
Hey Kidd.

That is to funny. You know exactly who I am talking about. 20 years later he is still running things. He does have an agency, but it's him and partner I believe now. I mean his name is no secret and if we are talking about the SAME guy, and I know of no other it's Joe Demarco.

ACA out of Milwaukee I have no idea on.

IF you played Chicago, you had to have played the Whale. That was THE place in 80's and early 90s. It's a gas stations now.

That is where I learned the lesson of what it takes to make it in this business. Any band that played the Whale on weekend packed the place. Same with Snobs. If you couldn't do that, you might get one shot at a weeknight to prove yourself, playing for free or maybe free beer and if you didn't go over, you were done. Of those bands very few went on to fame. One was Trouble, though they had limited success and that really unknown band by the name of Styx :D They played there once.

Two of the names you threw out ring a bell though I don't know them personally, I know of them and that is Ernie and John Taylor. That is a long time ago though.

What part of Chi were you from? I was from Cicero/Berwyn

#10720 by The KIDD
Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:09 am
Hey Wegman,

Dont wanna hi-jack this thread but I dont getta talk to anyone from the burbs anymore so Im gonna take advantage... :lol: Yeah, I had a blast in the city and burbs 87-93...Events are alittle fuzzy (heavy drinking period. :shock: ) I had actually forgotten that agents name but yeah , Im pretty sure thats him...Most of the bands I played with were variety bands and we played the burbs mostly...Ernie was a special Cat...He was light years ahead of the game with sequencing and kickin bass with his RH for the late 80s'..Had about 500 tunes he created on 3.5 in floppies. :lol: ...He wanted a real drummer so I worked with him a while....then there was "The Media" with John T and Lynn (female vocal)..That was a good variety band ..We worked alot and made good $$$...I lived in Glen Ellyn and Waconda...What I remember most was all the places to jam...Lots of players who got along real well...My drinkin got really bad toward 91-92 dont remember much from those yrs...Played the city alot with a couple more blues oriented bands ...One with keyboard player/vocal extrordinair Scott H...Got a DUI and spent some time in the hospital so I decided to come back to WV. and dry out :lol: ...TOO MUCH FUN in chicagoland... :lol: I miss it , but from talkin to a couple other oldtimers from the area, its not what it used to be...Yeah , ACA was an agency that sub-booked a road band I was in...They handled Milwaukee Madison , Janesville, Kenosha, Racine, etc. Now that was more in the late 70's early 80s'...One on the agents last name was Beavertrees..No sh*t.. :lol: ..Those were some party towns back then....I was young in 78 and never seen people talkin to themselves till I hit downtown Milwaukee :lol: Sweet home ORD baby...Id like to come back and visit someday...Hope you can continue to prosper there....

take care,

#10722 by JJW III
Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:41 am
Yes sorry about hijacking, but same goes here.

Sweet home ORD. Oh man, that captures it for me.

I came up in the late 80s very early 90s. What band were you in? I might know you or of you. The scene was pretty tight back then. I was a south sider and played most of my gigs on the south side. Yes, the area has changed alott and that is why I got out. I tried to explain that to some one else but they thought I was full of it. Cicero used to be great, and then it went down hill after the feds cracked down on the outfit, so I move to Berwyn. After getting shot at for the second time I figured it was time to make my way. I am now on the far north side and spend time in North East Wisconsin. Your from Glen Ellyn and Waconda huh? Your a country club gent. :lol: By and by my good man how are your AT&T blue chips doing? :D

The two big clubs in my day were the Thirsty Whale and Snobs. You ever visit/play either one of them? Like you said everyone got along great, and the Whale was a fashion show. The kids these days don't know what they are missing. The girls back then and the way they dressed, my goodness. It was cool because you could be in bad jam and some one would help you out. Not like that anymore.

Make time to take a trip back and check out the lake front. It is all changed and looks spectacular. Well worth the trip. Also for anyone else making the trip check out the Double Door. I think it's still there last I heard.

Yes it is:

Great room to see a show for local bands. Everyone who plays there is pretty much top notch. IF memory serves me the Pumpkins got started there. There on the list anyway.

Great to talk to some one else who can relate. Refreshing.

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