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Bebop Spoken There

Les Paul: "Okay so you make great sounds. The people you're playing for, they work all day, they don't go to music schools and study harmony. They pay their dough, they come in, they listen. If they don't understand what you're doing, they walk out. What are you supposed to do, tie 'em with a rope whilst you explain you're playing great music?" - (Down Beat June 15, 1951).

Jack Perciful: "Unless you're playing somewhere like Carnegie Hall, in the States, the piano is the last thing they buy. When they've got ten dollars left over they go buy a piano." - (Crescendo October 1971.)

Number 22!

Bebop Spoken Here is currently listed at number 22 in the WORLD JAZZ BLOG Rankings!

Sunday May 28

Afternoon.
Harambee Pasadia - See RH Column.
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Mark Williams (solo guitar) - Cherry Tree Restaurant, 9 Osborne Rd., Jesmond, Newcastle. 12:30pm. Free.
Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Northumberland Park, Tynemouth Rd., Tynemouth NE30 2HA. 3pm. Free.
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Blues @ The Bay - Tanner Smith's 17-19 South Parade, Whitley Bay NE26 2RE, 0191 2525941. 4pm. Free. Blues jam w. Scott Wall & Charlie Philp.
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Musicians Unlimited - Park Hotel, Park Rd., Hartlepool TS26 9HU. 01249 233126.1pm. Free.
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Evening
Cancelled! Young Musicians Jam Session - Quakerhouse, Mechanics' Yard, Darlington DL3 7QF. 6pm. Cancelled!
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Billy Bootleggers All Star House Band w. Teresa Watson - Billy Bootleggers - 28 Nelson St., Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9pm. Free.
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To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Work NOT Play

I note that musicians are being booked to perform at 'The Café' in Alnwick Gardens
Apparently, the A G Facebook page invites 'talented musicians' to play in their café for a few hours for 'no fee' but that they will be 'allowed to keep any tips or donations'. 
As an experienced band leader on the local jazz scene for more years than I care to remember, having worked 'on the road' in Holland, France, Germany and throughout the UK, played in bands with Sting, Jools Holland and Fred Rowe, my advice to musicians is 'don't do it!'. It's the thin end of the wedge and it's setting an extremely bad precedent for other musicians, especially those with babies to feed and mortgages to pay. 
We all work on the premise that one gig will lead to another (better paid) gig - but don't perform for nowt! The MU is very aware that their members are being asked by organisations and charities such as National Trust to play for 'nobbins' and the opportunity to sell CD's, etc. to the exclusion of a reasonable fee - check out the MU's campaign for 'Work NOT Play'
It's a jungle out there for the majority of working musicians! Let's not make it worse than it already is. 
Brian Bennett.


6 comments :

  1. Agreed, no one should be asked to work for nothing. Having said that, I've looked on the AG F/b page and can't find the item in question. However, we do know it goes on whether at AG or elsewhere and as long as musicians are prepared to do it then organisers will take advantage.

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  2. Phew! That's a relief! The baby will be fed and the Building Society Manager will sleep at night - all's well on the Tyneside jazz scene!

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  3. FROM The Alnwick Gardens/Northumberlamnd estates of mouth
    Alnwick Gardens Admission Charges
    Adult
    £13.75
    Concession (students and aged 60+)
    £11.90
    Child (5-16 years)
    £4.40

    Isobel Jane Miller Percy is the Duchess of Northumberland and also a businesswoman who is best known for redeveloping Alnwick Garden. She is married to the 12th Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy.
    The Percy family have owned Alnwick Castle and surrounding lands since 1309. In order to ensure the continued upkeep of this heritage, the business has undergone significant change in recent years.
    Ralph Percy was ranked at number 248 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, with an estimated wealth of £315 million. He is the titular owner of Alnwick Castle, an ancestral ducal seat, as well as Warkworth Castle and Prudhoe Castle in Northumberland; Syon Park in London; Hulne Park and Hulne Priory at Alnwick; the Albury Estate in Surrey, and other listed buildings such as Brizlee Tower.[4] Northumberland Estates manages 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) of land, directly managing 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) of forestry interests and 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) of farmland, with 100 tenant farmers managing the remainder of the land.....

    Draw your own conclusions

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  4. A well known Tyneside music and educational centre is another culprit. I've performed their quite often in recent years, both on the concourse and in the brasserie. Until now, this has been at a reasonable rate. However, when last month I was asked to perform on the concourse next January, a generic email advised me that "this wouldn’t be a paid performance, but the Concourse programme offers local artists, ensembles and community groups the chance to perform at (well known venue) and to profile themselves. You will also be provided with technical support (where required) as well as a listing on our website."
    Upon enquiring about this change in policy, I was informed that this was a "result of having a reduced budget to manage and produce the Concourse programme; a consequence of the continue economic squeeze both internally and externally."
    I find it strange and disappointing that a venue that purports to support the cultivation of local music and musicians cannot find the money to substantiate this claim.
    I have declined their offer.

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  5. Hi Brian/Lance. I have a gig at Alnwick soon. I can assure you I have a guaranteed fee for the gig well above the MU minimum rate. I agree entirely with the above! Cheers. Paul

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  6. Don't worry guys, you are not alone, this type of thing does crop up in Hong Kong also, these people just don't get it, that we also have to make a living, but they seem to think that all musicians just do it for fun, well I think you can guess what my answer was.
    Colin Aitchison
    China Coast Jazzmen
    Hong Kong

    ReplyDelete

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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