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Benefit concerts are awesome!!!


JDL

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Last night(11/14) I performed at a Thespian benefit concert. Man, it was so fun. No one was worried or uptight(except the people who had to keep us in line). Even though we didn't do an original song, it was still fun. The song that we played was "Aerials"(SOAD). We played it perfectly. I was the one singing it(I have a pretty good voice :cool: ) I was the one head banging the whole time cuz' I didn't have a guitar that I was strapped too. I know that you can still rock out with a guitar, but a mike is better. I just wanted to tell you the story. There were about 200 people there, I think :confused: . It was such a fun night. Have you ever played a benefit concert? If so, what was it like?

 

JDL ;)

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Oh yeah!

 

I did an MTV Rock The Vote benefit in '96 or so. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. So much fun! Didn't have to worry about what I was getting paid and whether or not the club manager was gonna stiff us. And I got the chance to play along with bands that we never would have been paired up with in any other situation.

 

I love benefits.

"Bass isn't just for breakfast anymore..."

 

http://www.mp3.com/Addix_Metzatricity

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Devils advocate here. :evil:

 

As someone who plays lots of gigs for money, I do not want to play benefits. If I feel that a cause is worthwhile, I give money.

 

Benefits are just another way that people take advantage of musicians.

 

I also feel that a lot of people that pay to come to the benefits don't have a clue as to what they are supporting, they just want to see the bands.

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You've seen those commercials. "It doesn't matter WHY you give..."

 

As an entertainer with any kind of draw, you can do more for a cause you believe in by drawing OTHER people to give money. I'm not saying you're wrong for not playing benefits, and believe me, I certainly understand playing for a living. However, at that point, I could spare the time to play a non-paying gig.

 

And besides... They ARE fun, and isn't that really why we all play music?

"Bass isn't just for breakfast anymore..."

 

http://www.mp3.com/Addix_Metzatricity

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In the 70's, when the Jerry Lewis telethon thing was young, the band I was with sponsored this gathering at the hotel we were working in. The finale was we had to jump in the pool, uniforms and all :eek:

 

Benefits are allright, but as the musicians' union say, EVERYONE should be working for free, not just you.

I'm trying to think but nuthin' happens....
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I did a 911 benefit last year. But there was a twist to it: we got paid. I talked it over with the club owner who held the event and the assured turnout was good enough to pay the band what we'd get for our lower paying gigs and still be able to make a sizeable donation.

 

Otherwise, I too am not that interested in benefits. Time and time again I've seen musicians get used with little PR benefit to themselves, though at the surface it often looks good.

 

But I still would look at each proposition on an individual basis, and talk with the organizer(s).

.
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We just played a benefit in VA for some very poor folks who were having trouble meeting their medical bills.

 

The local Elk's Lodge (yes, Tom, it was the same place we played two weeks ago) donated their space, and another local soundman donated his rig.

 

We drove 8 hours back to this town so we could help out. We helped raise $3000 for these people. Considering the state of current medical care, that's not a ton of cash, but I'm sure it helped.

 

The crowd was really hyped to see us again so soon.. they thought they'd have to wait another two months to see us again. This time nobody was hurt in the pit, and the power didn't go out.

 

The locals gave us another free crashpad and overfed us. Lucky for me, this place was free of cats. We were still allowed to sell our t-shirts and CDs, and we made about $200 from CD and shirt sales. Basically, we didn't make anything on the weekend, but we didn't lose anything. In fact, we gained more friends and solidified our relationship with our present buds down there.

 

I didn't feel taken advantage of at all. We'd do that again anytime. I know other benefits aren't always so great, but ours was a blast.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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hey man, not all of us can earn a living doing this. some of us play for exposure. that's what's great about benefits. my band in high school had a black singer, so we were selected by the black rock coalition (vernon reid's thing) to play a benefit for a native american charity. it was a great experience to be 17 and play on the same stage with a bunch of bands that had recorded albums that you could buy in stores and played concerts you could buy tickets from ticketmaster to see.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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That sorta goes back to the "Amateur professionalism" point of the "Paid in church?" thread. You get the kind of work ethic that sometimes comes from these things, but considering that it's often volunteers, and often young people at that, it could be worse. That said, I am split. I see E's point that experience playing is all good, but jeremy's point about being paid to work also rings true. I guess greenboy, again has the answer. Case by case is probably best. Man, that was easy, I'm glad I resolved that. Next topic? ;):)

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gotta laugh when I hear people tell other people how they should prioritize. In the past for me I've seen

 

1) the money NOT go to the supposed cause

2) the organizers make it a living hell logistically. Bad stages, bad PA, AC shock nightmares, no power service there when arrived to set up sound system, scheduling conflicts, shoddy or worse treatment, etc.

 

That's why I would look at it on a case by case basis and not get swayed by someone else's FEED THE WHALES TO THE POOR political correctness gone askew - and after you have done some more of these you may begin to feel the same way.

 

It's nicer when you don't have to consider money at all, and you can look at only the positive benefits for yourself, and for a larger world. But if it looks too good to be true or you see evidence of clusterF*** by committee mindset, you begin to be glad there are other gigs available.

.
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Last benefit I did was for a church fundraiser (and it wasn't even my church). It totally sucked, we were just part of a big field of other activities. They could've just stuck a radio there.... Based on that experience, i have sworn never to do a freebie like that again. Worse than "showcases" or "writer's nights"--translation, the club gets free entertainment under the guise of "exposure for the band".

 

But five years ago I played for another free event that really appreciated the band, and it was awesome. (In fact I drove 700 miles one way to participate, and enjoyed it immensely.) I personally think that's an exception though.

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You get what you give. I would like to think that bad P.A, organisation, etc, etc, wouldn't leave me so jaded I'd turn down the opportunity to help those less well of than myself. Saying that, as many of you might know, at the moment my band (just started gigging) would play anywhere. I'm not judging, but ego wranglings (where are we on the line-up) seem a bit petty if charity is going to benefit. Saying that, I'm aware I've never came across these sort of situations before and may well be talking outta my ass (again) ;)

 

Think of the children....Think of the children! :D

 

CupMcMali...Do you dig? Naa, manual labour's never been my forte :freak:

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I just played one of the ultimate gigs of my life... A benefit for the "Fullfillment Fund" playing bass for "Roger Daltry and Friends".

PHEW.. what a night!!

 

The Band:-

Roger Daltrey

Simon Townshend - guitar & vox

Zak Starkey - drums

G. Tom Mac- Keys & Vox

Johnny Lang-guitar

Tony Silver - Bass

 

The Set :-

Baba O'Reilly

Pinball Wizard

Behind Blue Eyes

Wont Get Fooled Again

The Kids Are Allright

See Me Feel Me - with 60 Strong Gospel Kids Choir

 

Check out the Pix on petetowshend.com

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The policy of AFM Local 153 in San Jose is that a member must run the situation of the benefit by the Local 153 Board of Directors to determine if members should give away their services. In most cases the board has approved them, but there have been times when not. Those not approved were due to the reasons that everyone else involved were getting paid except the musicians.

 

Club and bar owners seem to always come out on top at benefits. There is normally a cover charged that goes to the benefit but all the profit from sold beverages go to the venue owner. It seems to me that if the event is held at a club the club owner should donate some percentage to the cause.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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