Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Contingency plans


Eric Jx

Recommended Posts

I read through the thread started by Dan (that 80's band) about how his lead singer got sick and they had to perform a few gigs without her.

 

It got me thinking about my own band and what we would do if various members couldn't make it to a planned gig.

 

I know if we lost the bass player or guitarist, I'd have to jump on the phone and call every player I knew to see if someone could cover. However I don't have any standing agreements with anybody so it would really be a dialing frenzy hoping I got lucky. In addition, I would suspect a sit-in player might only know about 1/2 the songs in our song list. So we'd have a problem there. If our lead singer got sick, we'd be screwed. We have 2 other vocalist who have songs that they sing lead, but we don't have enough of those to fill 3 sets.

 

In any case, I'm thinking that I should be proactive about this, and work out contingency plans in the event of a sickness of any of our bandmembers. We may not be able to cover every situation, but I'd rather think things though in advance instead of at the last minute.

 

So what I'm asking is:

* How does you band handle this?

* Do you have standing agreements with other players (verbal or written)?

* Are one or more members of you band irreplaceable?

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 18
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Our band's keyboard player got pretty sick with a fever for a gig in January. He was supposed to sing lead on about 9 songs during 3 one hours sets, but could not sing a note. His keyboard playing was indispensable for at least 90 other minutes of music where he was not singing lead. I got this information from him at about 5:30pm the evening of the gig.

 

We worked out a plan where he would not do any setup or teardown, he would show up optimally medicated 10 minutes before set 1, play the first 2 sets and leave, with his wife driving him to and from the gig. He rested with his head down on a table between these 2 sets. We frantically rearranged out set lists so all the songs we could play without a keyboard were moved to set 3. I called my wife as I was driving to the gig, to ask her to print out and bring lyric sheets for two of the Billy Joel songs he was supposed to sing, so that I could sing them instead during the 1st two sets. This was the only night I was glad when the restaurant did not clear the tables from the stage space in time, because we were still writing our set lists!

 

We were fortunate in that we had 60 minutes of material we would do without him there, and that he was able to force himself to play for the two sets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave Horne has great advice for overcoming stage fright--be over-prepared.

 

For a band, that means learning more songs. If the (3) sets worth of material is a lock, start working on a new set of tunes.

 

Have the other singers learn a few more songs. Learn instrumental tunes to fill in when vocalists are under the weather or absent.

 

Also, rehearse the band stripped down to various configurations in order to see how much ground it can cover with certain pieces missing.

 

It is more work for the bandmembers but eliminates the potential of being uncomfortably short-handed and/or having to rely on a sub(s).

 

Also, it helps to have a rolodex filled with the best subs in the area too. If the band has a deeper repertoire, that increases the chances of a sub knowing the tunes.

 

So, the first thing to do is have more material prepared than necessary. More work but it keeps the show rolling. :cool:

PD

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Timely thread. Last Friday we played a gig and our lead singer was sick. It was strange, at times her voice would nearly be full strength, at other times nothing came out, and in other instances it sounded like she gargled with razor blades. We barely made it through our first set. Fortunately, a lead singer friend of our drummer/guitar player/bass player was in the house, and he did about a half-dozen songs we mutually knew; I had not played many of those songs in 4-5 years. This was enough to allow our singer's voice to rest, and we limped through the rest of our second set (we play two 90 minute sets).

 

It's scary because we only have one other singer in our band, and he only sings about 4-5 tunes. Were it not for this other dude being there, we may have had to pack it in for the night....pissed off crowd/club owner, undoubtedly less pay, etc. A workaround is especially difficult for this band because it's a niche market (Heart tribute band); well over half of our material is from Heart. Not many Ann Wilson replacements out there. So I'm not sure what the crisis contingency plan would be for us. I suppose I could show some magic tricks.....

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A workaround is especially difficult for this band because it's a niche market (Heart tribute band); well over half of our material is from Heart. Not many Ann Wilson replacements out there. So I'm not sure what the crisis contingency plan would be for us. I suppose I could show some magic tricks.....

I can understand your dilemma as it relates to a niche market. However, I would think that audience would appreciate similar tunes as well.

 

My contingency plan would be for the band to learn other songs with a Heart-vibe and/or from the same era.

 

Those tunes could be pulled out in the event of an emergency. Along with those magic tricks in your back pocket. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Heart tribute band) I suppose I could show some magic tricks.....
He's a Magic Man, momma! :laugh:

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you heard what we did without our lead singer in the other thread.

 

Some other cases:

 

Our drummer I've had to replace probably the most. He's ALWAYS sick (relative to the rest of us). Probably at least a few times a year. And usually its a day-of-the-show call "I'm sick, I can't play tonight". Last time it happened, I called 8 people before I found a fill-in, and the guy we got was great - He'll be my first call next time. But needless to say, I've got a list of drummers on speed dial.

 

Our guitar player would be harder to replace because he sings a lot of the songs, the hardest songs (Journey, Outfield, etc). He's so far never missed a show, but has lost his voice several times. We have been able to rearrange the vocals in those cases. There's a chance coming up that he may donate a kidney to his brother, in which case he'll be out for a month or so. But that's enough advance that we could probably make arrangements. If it was a "day-of-the-show" thing, we probabably couldn't go on.

 

Bass player - I've got one or two lined up... one was our oringinal bass player, but he's in another band, so it would depend on if he had another gig or not.

 

ME - well, when I hurt my hand a while back, we had to cancel 1 show, and I was back the next weekend. I have a keyboard player lined up if I was out long-term, but it would probably take a couple weeks to get him up to speed, just because of all the parts (layouts), sequences, etc - it would take a while just to familiarize himself with the rig/layout. He'd have to use my rig, because it would take at least a few weeks to come up with all those sounds, etc from scratch on another rig and be able to do it justice. I'd say we could do a set geared towards the guitar stuff to simplify the keyboard parts, but I sing most of those songs now - so that'd only work if other members (or my replacement) could pick up those vocals.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you guys handle pay for the subs?

Are you just paying them as you would a regular band member?

 

I use subs on an occasional basis - and that's what I do. They get "1 share" of what the night pays. I have a handful of guys that I use - and while I could get all rational about paying them a flat rate (pocketing a little extra when the gig pays well and eating a little if it's a gig that doesn't cover the flat rate) - however, truth is - they're doing me a favor by making themselves available at the last minute. It's just easier to be up front - tell 'em what the gig pays - split the money down the middle - and let 'em profit when it's a good night and be willing to go a little light on the lessor paying gigs. I suppose if I used subs constantly and a little more randomly - I might change my approach - but at this point the subs we use are more "friend" than simply "musician labor" such that treating them different than the rest of the guys on stage just wouldn't seem right.

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep - they get the money that the guy would have gotten who's out.

 

The more complicated question is who pays the taxes. If somebody subs one time through the year, are you going to bother issuing another 1099-MISC for what he made that night? And if not, who eats the taxes on that income (in my case it would fall on me since all the gross income goes on my SSN).

 

The way I handle it is I still cut the taxes the way I would if the band member had been there and gotten paid. If that band member then wants to go through the trouble of writing a 1099 to the guy who subbed for them, then it's up to them, but it's off my back at that point.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why I'd rather be in a tribe than in a band.

 

If you're getting at what Ithink your getting at - there's alot of merit to what you're saying. Having a solid circle of musical friends from which "performing units" (as opposed to bands) are formed for specific gigs based on availability, musical strengths, gig budget, etc. can be very workable. Several of us in my primary act play with a "tribe" during the summer months - and have a ball doing it. It's non-competitive and very enjoyable all the way around.

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why I'd rather be in a tribe than in a band.

 

If you're getting at what Ithink your getting at - there's alot of merit to what you're saying. Having a solid circle of musical friends from which "performing units" (as opposed to bands) are formed for specific gigs based on availability, musical strengths, gig budget, etc. can be very workable. Several of us in my primary act play with a "tribe" during the summer months - and have a ball doing it. It's non-competitive and very enjoyable all the way around.

 

you got it!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep - they get the money that the guy would have gotten who's out.

 

The more complicated question is who pays the taxes. If somebody subs one time through the year, are you going to bother issuing another 1099-MISC for what he made that night? And if not, who eats the taxes on that income (in my case it would fall on me since all the gross income goes on my SSN).

 

The way I handle it is I still cut the taxes the way I would if the band member had been there and gotten paid. If that band member then wants to go through the trouble of writing a 1099 to the guy who subbed for them, then it's up to them, but it's off my back at that point.

 

If he made less than $600 total for the year - there's no need to issue him a 1099. If it's more - cutting a 1099 is no biggie. I use one of the online services that handles the forms, the submissions, etc - for $3.50 per 1099 issued. It's one simple "self-employed" tax form at tax time - that's nothing to fill out.

 

 

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he made less than $600 total for the year - there's no need to issue him a 1099. If it's more - cutting a 1099 is no biggie. I use one of the online services that handles the forms, the submissions, etc - for $3.50 per 1099 issued. It's one simple "self-employed" tax form at tax time - that's nothing to fill out.

 

The form's not a biggie as long as you bothered to record their mailing address and SSN. Of course then you also have to go through the calendar and look at what nights were subbed and what the pay was that night, etc. Still not that big of a deal, but dividing the total by five and being done is a lot easier.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it's best to be up front and let the sub know to expect a 1099.

 

In my day job, I've subcontracted some web design work. When the new year rolled around and this web designer got a 1099, she called screaming at me because she ASSUMED that she was being paid off the books. It was a awkward situation to be in because she was the fiancee of a good friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it's best to be up front and let the sub know to expect a 1099.

 

In my day job, I've subcontracted some web design work. When the new year rolled around and this web designer got a 1099, she called screaming at me because she ASSUMED that she was being paid off the books. It was a awkward situation to be in because she was the fiancee of a good friend.

 

Yes - that is a VERY good point. Same with Sound Guys, btw.

 

A guy in town who has a sound company always issued 1099-MISC's to anybody who ran sound for him - most of them were part time, did shows here and there, and also worked for other people. One person never paid their taxes and was eventually audited. They ended up taking him to court saying the he should have been paying payroll taxes all along. I don't know what ended up happening, but he could have ended up being on the hook for something like $10,000 if they decided that the person was an "employee" instead of an "independent contractor".

 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it's best to be up front and let the sub know to expect a 1099.

 

In my day job, I've subcontracted some web design work. When the new year rolled around and this web designer got a 1099, she called screaming at me because she ASSUMED that she was being paid off the books. It was a awkward situation to be in because she was the fiancee of a good friend.

 

This is EXACTLY why gawd invented the backhand. Get real - none of us are crazy about paying taxes. However, anybody who has an expectation that I'm going to assist them in committing a felony (i.e., tax evasion) can kiss my fat ass. "Off the books" for most of us simply means that we overstate our own income - and incurr additional taxes in our own right as a result.

 

The gall of some folks is hard to fathom.

The SpaceNorman :freak:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it's best to be up front and let the sub know to expect a 1099.

 

In my day job, I've subcontracted some web design work. When the new year rolled around and this web designer got a 1099, she called screaming at me because she ASSUMED that she was being paid off the books. It was a awkward situation to be in because she was the fiancee of a good friend.

 

This is EXACTLY why gawd invented the backhand. Get real - none of us are crazy about paying taxes. However, anybody who has an expectation that I'm going to assist them in committing a felony (i.e., tax evasion) can kiss my fat ass. "Off the books" for most of us simply means that we overstate our own income - and incurr additional taxes in our own right as a result.

 

The gall of some folks is hard to fathom.

 

Yeah, in my day job we use a lot of short-term contractors, and are sometimes asked to pay people "under the table". I love my biz partner's standard response. Completely deadpan, he says: "No, I don't want to commit fraud, but hey -- thanks for asking."

 

:D

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...