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OT: Is it time to object to the tuxedo?


raddtunes

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I was asked to wear a tuxedo to a wedding tonight. I also wore one for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In both cases, it simply looked absolutely silly. Tonight - you know the scene - loading an RD700GX, JBL PRX 515 in on a rock n roller cart - - wearing a tux shirt, and the pants. Then hooking it all up, then putting on the coat and the bow tie.

 

I cannot believe that anyone - - clients, event planners - - ANYONE really things this looks good. A guy in a tux sitting at a Roland keyboard, on a Z stand, with all those wires, pedals.

 

The only reason someone asks me/us to wear a tux anymore is because it's the "safe" thing to ask a musician to do.

 

Ironically, I think the tuxedo is actually an awesome suit and but it should only be worn on very very special occaisions, and I'm thinking not by people who have to work at anything that is even mildly physical.

 

In the last five years, I have actually performed at one - - and only one - - truly "black-tie" affair, where ALL the men were in tux, the ladies in formal wear, and the decor was substantially black and white. And can you believe this was the ONE TIME the event planner requested that we wear all black!!!

 

Comments?

 

 

 

 

 

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IMO, a tuxedo is the dress equivalent of a uniform. Musos are still viewed as 'help'. :rolleyes:

 

Unfortunately, it seems easier to require a tux rather than trust individual fashion sense.

 

I have objected to any situation that requires a uniform all my life. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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We're a bit different, but when people inquire about weddings, we tell them you get what you get - we wear wigs, skinny ties, black jeans, chucks, and play all 80's - that's our show. We don't do the duck dance, or the Macarena, or the hokey pokey. If you don't like it, hire a wedding band. We decidedly try to discourage people from hiring us for weddings - but the ones that do, know exactly what they're getting.

 

Now, if they did decide to instead opt for a "wedding band", I think it would be reasonable to ask them to wear a tux. I think that would be par for the course for a "wedding band". If it were me, I'd wear shorts and a t-shirt and set up before everybody got there, then change into my tux for showtime. I don't know of anything that would qualify any more as a "special occasion" than your (hopefully) one and only, once in a lifetime, wedding.

 

As far as cords, I don't like anybody to see them anyway. I try to always keep mine tucked neatly away - but I'm pretty anal about that.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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IMO, a tuxedo is the dress equivalent of a uniform. Musos are still viewed as 'help'. :rolleyes:

 

Yes, exactly. You have the "help" - - the musos, and sometimes even the servers - - wearing what is almost certainly the most expensive, high-class outfit - - arguably the most distinguished outfit. Almost completely out-dressing the audience in so many cases.

 

Something has always been WRONG with this picture.

 

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I always hated wearing a tux to play music too. Fortunately I don't have to often.

 

One time I was so disgusted, I threw the tux in the corner of the closet and left it there. Two months later when I got a call to wear it again, it was still in the corner crumpled on the floor. So I was forced to buy a new tux - aggravation x100.

 

I do think it's funny when musicians show up with tuxes that look like they slept in them. Formal attire with an attitude/non-committal elegance.

 

I actually 'formed' a joke band once to satirize the idea, called The Tuxers. Their only claim to fame would simply be that they owned tuxedos, with business cards with a logo (an eight note with a bow tie) and called "A General Business Orchestra." The music would mock versions of pop tunes to make the audience as uncomfortable as the musicians in the tuxes were. Cringe inducing material/funny arrangements.

 

Strangely enough, that short lived band was well received and had a cult following for a while. After we won some popular awards in local papers, the state of Va. called to see if The Tuxers would do a state lottery TV commercial. By then, I had to tell them the band didn't exist.

 

 

 

 

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Pay me $300 - $400 bucks for the night and you get to dress me too. If a satin stripe down the pant leg and a cummberbund float your boat - I'm wearing it and smiling all the way to the bank.

 

I'm with SpaceNorman on this. Most of my work is on acoustic pianos so there's no moving of equipment on my part.

 

On those few jobs where I bring my sound system and piano (five trips back and forth to the car), I simply wear my street clothes for the set up and tear down, and change into the tux for the job. I get there in plenty of time so I can take my time setting up.

 

I would much rather wear a tux and be over dressed, better dressed than the crowd, than be under dressed.

 

Here's a true story. Before I wore tuxes on jobs I would wear either a suit or the gray slacks and blue sports jacket deal. I had booked a job and the bass player (now the bass player for Ahmad Jamal) shows up in construction boots, no socks, a pair of black slacks with a rip in it, and a pullover. For one time in my life I was speechless. I sent him home to change and he did.

 

Wearing a tux on a job (and mine is always neatly pressed) comes with the territory. If I ever play a job in a bar again, I'll dress down appropriately, but for now, the tux is my uniform.

 

If you want to treated like a professional, play well and dress better than the guests.

 

One more thing, there are $100 tuxes and $800 tuxes. You can see the difference.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I don't think anyone has suggested dressing inappropriately for jobs. The tux is a fact of life for many musicians, and I accept it.

 

Meanwhile, there's two sides to this. The OP asked "is it time to object to the tuxedo?" so I say yes, any time is a good time for me. I have a nice top dollar tux - who cares? I wore it just last night at the D.C. Ritz Carlton. It's not something I take personal pride in - it's an outfit to get certain types of jobs done professionally. Bill Evans said "I still keep a tux in my closet, just in case."

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I think we need a photo of raddtunes in his tux to see if he indeed looks silly.

 

raddtunes, you're up ....

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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If I'm being well paid for a gig, I'll wear whatever you want me to wear. Nothing wrong with looking better than the guests, which is not hard these days.

If you're lugging your gear, you should definitely bring a change of clothes to do it in, and change afterwards.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

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I started a related topic on this a while back, but after giving due consideration to the matter decided that tux was probably what most of my clients (mostly weddings) expect, so you give the customer what they want.

 

However, I rarely turn up already dressed in it. Even if I'm not lugging gear, it's not unusual for me to be driving 100+ miles to a gig and sitting in a car is not the best way to keep your stage clothes nice.

 

My own problem, right now, is that I've lost so much weight I'm now having to use braces (suspenders) on the pants. Even then, it's only going to be so long on my current diet before I start looking like an escapee from the circus.

 

Judging when to have my pants taken in/buy new clothes is proving something of conundrum right now!

Yamaha P515 | Yamaha CP4 | Yamaha MODX 8 | Casio PX S1000 | Nord Electro 5D | Moog Sub 37 | Korg Monologue | Native Instruments Maschine MK3 | Novation Circuit Tracks | Plug-ins Agogo

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My own problem, right now, is that I've lost so much weight I'm now having to use braces (suspenders) on the pants. Even then, it's only going to be so long on my current diet before I start looking like an escapee from the circus.

 

Aidan, I for one would like to hear how you lost the weight. I have been needing to lose 10 -15 pounds for the last 15 years and I've only gotten close once. It's so difficult. (Perhaps a new thread ... ?)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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It is time to object to the tux.

 

A tuxedo is a servant's uniform. It isn't classy; it is silly. (IMO)

 

If the pay is good I'll wear a suit if I have to, but I'd rather not deal with people who require tuxedos. Even the suit thing is annoying-- I have a lot of nice, comfortable cotton and linen stage clothes that look better than a suit.

 

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Another great thread. :D

 

My tuxedo shop knows me by my first name, they send me Christmas cards. :D I must have 15 tux shirts, I have about 20 pairs of cufflinks, and have purchased at least 30 tuxes in my life.

 

I have standard tux, tails (symphony), and white dinner jacket for summer. I'm a guy who always goes up and down in weight, so I have fatass, medium fatass and normal sizes. :D

 

I like the tux. It requires zero fashion sense, you can't mess it up. I also find that black is a lot easier to keep clean than anything else. I always shower right before a show if possible, so I can get a ton of gigs outta that thing before it starts stinking. :thu:

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I call my tux my MONEY SUIT.... because I am going to make twice as much in a tux.

 

I'm with you SpaceNorman

Jimmy

 

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We booked a wedding a few years back where the bride insisted the band (7 of us including the part time horn section) must wear tuxedos. It was a very upscale affair, so we offered to wear suits/ties and reduce the price of the gig by the cost to rent the tuxedos. (it was still a pretty well paid gig well over $2K after the proposed reduction). She replied to say, No the tuxes are a must and they must be of the style in the attachment. Oh and you can get them at my Dad's men's store right here in town! LOL!! Oh, and just to eliminate any thoughts of a break on the rental, they were at full rental price.

Stan

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OT Mr. Horne As someone who dropped about 60 lbs, I can tell you that white is your enemy. Stop eating anything white , pretty much an Adkins diet. White bread, rice, pasta, and of course white sugar. Basically you limit carbs and eat more veggies and meat. By the way 60 lbs in about 4 months.
SR guy thats finally decided to put his collection of toys to personal use (extremely G.A.S.'y) LOL
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This reminds me of the old advice that a girl should never date a guy who owns his own tuxedo.

 

He's either a gigolo or, worse, a musician.

 

With the cost of rentals, if you need a tux once a year you might as well buy one.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

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I'm kind of surprised by this thread. I started gigging in the late 70s. Tuxedos were the standard dress for all my legit gigs as a percussionist and many of my jobbing dates on vibes or piano through the mid-late 90s; the main "options" were red v. black bow tie and cummerbund or no. An alternate jobbing date gig was gray pants, white shirt, blue blazer, and decorative tie.

 

Things have relaxed some since then. Keep in mind, the uniform makes life easy. I kind of miss it. 2nd-hand tuxes aren't that expensive. As for thinking it is servant's wear--who cares? First of all, it's not, but that aside, you've been hired to help make the event, not BE the event, so get off your high horse. Unless you are some special act, which case you ARE the event. It's not about you, it's about the customer.

 

Even now, I'll wear a suit or at least blazer, tie, white shirt, and tie to any gig outside of a coffee house or strictly jazz affair. Frankly, it's...polite.

 

Wear the tux. Maybe the gig doesn't pay enough, but it probaly doesn't pay for you gear either. If you intend to be a generalist musician you need a tux.

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I've grown to hate having to dress up to someone else's standards. I hate wearing ties. I used to be an automotive engineer and we had to wear ties to work. Think about how stupid that is for a minute. You spend half your time with your tie tucked in your shirt, over your shoulder, wherever trying to keep it away from moving parts. And the styles of ties and shirts change and you have a bunch of expensive clothes that look dumb because they're no longer in style.

 

I had to wear a suit for a photoshoot the other week because the band leader wanted us *that* dressed up. He sent us a picture of Prince's band as an example (his is a soul/r&b band). I replied, if I had Prince's money, I'd have his tailor too!

 

I'd like to find a "suit" look that I could pull off without a tie, but I really haven't had the need yet. For that kind of thing I prefer to have an idea what I want and where to go before I go shopping.

 

When I do gigs, I try to dress sharp casual. I guess that's what I'd call it, anyway. It's a button down collared shirt, decent jeans, boots, and a hat.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I have gotten contracts which specified that the pianist wear a tuxedos only to show up for the gig and be the ONLY PERSON WEARING ONE ! So I bring a nice black vest, lose the jacket and sometimes the tie and voila! Professional attire minus the monkey suit.

 

I also agree with SpaceNorman: pay determines everything. And if everyone is in a tux I would feel foolish not to wear one too. But I won't be the only tux in the room.

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We booked a wedding a few years back where the bride insisted the band (7 of us including the part time horn section) must wear tuxedos. It was a very upscale affair, so we offered to wear suits/ties and reduce the price of the gig by the cost to rent the tuxedos. (it was still a pretty well paid gig well over $2K after the proposed reduction). She replied to say, No the tuxes are a must and they must be of the style in the attachment. Oh and you can get them at my Dad's men's store right here in town! LOL!! Oh, and just to eliminate any thoughts of a break on the rental, they were at full rental price.

 

That's funny. :D

 

Important tux tip for anyone in the future:

 

A black suit doubles as a tux. :D True, it doesnt have the racing stripe on the pants, but you can't see that unless you are like 3 feet away. Another important tip:

 

every town has a "Tux warehouse" or something like that. Tux places are constantly dumping their used inventory. The catch is that the condition is usually amazingly good. I bought a tux coat in April for $54.

 

Since I am always losing bow ties, I buy a lot. One time I was on the road and went to the "mall" tux store to buy a tie. Here's how the conversation went:

 

Me: I'd like to buy a black tie.

Clerk: Buy or rent?

Me: Buy. How much is that?

Clerk: 12 bucks.

Me. Out of curiousity, how much to rent?

Clerk: 21 bucks. :laugh:

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I've been spared the requirement to wear a tux in the last bunch of years but have been asked to wear suits, and sometimes ties, pretty often. I don't mind at all. I used to have a set of tails and there is no cooler gesture for a pianist than flipping them back as you lower yourself to the piano bench.

 

C'mon, we're talking stage costuming here. I remember reading Miles Davis saying you should always be able to tell the band from the audience. A decent-quality, properly fitted tux looks good on a man. If they're willing to pay you enough to consider wearing a tux, and it's appropriate to the occasion, put it on and enjoy your James Bond moment. :)

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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I actually 'formed' a joke band once to satirize the idea, called The Tuxers. Their only claim to fame would simply be that they owned tuxedos, with business cards with a logo (an eight note with a bow tie) and called "A General Business Orchestra." The music would mock versions of pop tunes to make the audience as uncomfortable as the musicians in the tuxes were. Cringe inducing material/funny arrangements.

 

Strangely enough, that short lived band was well received and had a cult following for a while. After we won some popular awards in local papers, the state of Va. called to see if The Tuxers would do a state lottery TV commercial. By then, I had to tell them the band didn't exist.

Sorry I missed that gig!
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Wearing a tux on a job (and mine is always neatly pressed) comes with the territory.

 

I've never been so happy to be a pop/rock guitarist. :D

 

Wouldn't you wear a virtual tux for a virtual concert in Second Life? :)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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A black suit doubles as a tux. :D

 

I've done that before. Not for a gig (I've never had to wear a tux for a gig), but for a party that was black tie. I bought a tux shirt and black bow tie and wore it with my black suit. Nobody knew the difference.

 

 

As a compromise, you could wear one of these:

 

http://www.dorkazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/tuxedo-t-newest.jpg

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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