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Thread: Music and Money...

  1. #1
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Music and Money...

    Opening a new thread on this because I think this is a good discussion topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keletcaster View Post
    That's smart buddy. To approach playing as a business & invest in it like you do is remarkable. You not only are exposing your children to as much live play as they already do combined with using it to build for their future makes you one of the smartest dad's I know. Super cool bud.
    Thank you but honestly I really don't have a choice. What started as a hobby a few years back evolved pretty quickly into a full blown business. The band's revenue is something that would crush me in taxes if I declared all that as personal income- it is only fair to declare the income of the musicians as an expense for which they have to pay taxes (if they exceed minimum tax thresholds). Both my lawyer and my accountant urged me early to start an LLC for the band and do this- once you are making money from playing the whole picture changes. I'm sure DW does the same.

    Luckily (for me) I observed a lot of failed bands. Most failed because they made starting investments in equipment that they could never recoup from gigs and they created a situation where the (number of people in the band) x (pay musician) either priced them out of the market or made them play at a loss, hoping to recoup because one gig gets you more. The real world doesn't work like this- playing for free or at a loss to the business seldom gets you more paid gigs. Generally it forces you to call in favours (for free) and creates a situation where your value as a musician is now perceived as zero. Even reducing your base rate can backfire. We played a place and I agreed to a "charity rate". Sure enough someone from the same town (different organization) is looking for the same deal- I refused the gig, saying I can't ask the guys to play for so little twice in a row. We are not mercenary people, but the more you discount, the more you race right to the bottom.

    If the musicians know they will always get a minimum of $x and they know you will always give them more when you get a higher rate, they will be loyal and want to play with you.

    Likewise with equipment. I acquired things over time; there was never a huge spending binge. We got our music stands as scratched seconds and saved half the cost. When I needed more I did the same thing. Bought a mic here and there $100 at a time. I never had a minimum $20,000 investment (like some bands) that I could never recoup.

    You can be the greatest musician in the world and if you cannot turn it into a commercial success, you will fail as a band and a business

  2. #2
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Some musicians have have sold millions of singles, albums, concert tickets--and wasted it all--others had more modest careers but had a sound business plan and are set financially.
    Certainly something to be learned from both examples--and most of us will never get anywhere either of those groups--but can still learn.
    Maybe even those of us who don't play music for a living.

    After all here is a lot of gear out there I would love to have--but for someone who primarily plays at home for fun--and sometimes jams & sometimes plays at church (No money involved)--it doesn't make sense to spend that much--based on my income & other expenses...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I would suspect that most guys that make a lot of money and wasted it all either created a lifestyle they could not afford or blew it on drugs, or both. Instant success for some people can be a path to ruin. If my son were to ever make really big money I would continue to be his financial adviser as long as he would want me to do that.

    I can't really say that I play for a living, although my son might as he gets older. Right now he socks away all his gig earnings in a retirement account and another investment account. The aim is to keep the money away from him. Of course he earns money on the side mowing lawns and teaching lessons so he has plenty of pocket money, but the larger sums are all invested.

    We all have different needs with our equipment. My gear choices have evolved from being drawn to vintage stuff to now wanting gear that is reliable on gigs.

  4. #4
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post

    We all have different needs with our equipment. My gear choices have evolved from being drawn to vintage stuff to now wanting gear that is reliable on gigs.
    I have heard from many gigging musicians--they have more easily replaced stuff they use for gigs--and the nicer stuff for playing at home & for recording.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    For certain stuff you gig with will get wear and tear no matter what you do.

  6. #6
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    For certain stuff you gig with will get wear and tear no matter what you do.
    Well that's why they use the more easily replaced stuff & not the vintage ones...
    But either way it does take cash to buy it.

    Related to that I remember reading Pete Townshend lamenting that their instrument bashing ways actually meant they lost money for a time...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    Yeah destroying gear on stage would cut into your profits quickly unless you were doing it to worthless guitars you paid nothing for and were probably not fit to be played on a gig. But moreover I think that your insurance rates would be very negatively impacted if they got wind of what you were doing.

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    And he WHo smashed whatever they had--not like Paul Stanley or Yngwie who switch out a cheap guitar.
    Although I find the whole idea of smashing guitars unpleasant now
    .
    Townshend did it
    Hendrix did (& burned them)

    Move on...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I never quite got it myself.

  10. #10
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    While I was never in a position to do so--I have heard of musicians that no matter how little they made on a gig--they always out aside a minimum percent of what they made for later on.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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