Re: Original bands vs. covers
- From: "Neil N" <daltonmusic@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 3 Mar 2007 10:23:01 -0800
On Mar 3, 2:29 am, "Lane Baldwin" <l...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
LOL.... Amen, brother!
I've been totally slammed lately, so have had to pass on most of the threads
here for the past while. And this was one of them. But tonight there were
just a few posts unread here, so I took a quick glimpse. I don't know who's
been arguing with whom, who has presented which viewpoint, who's been
naughty and who's been nice... so this may repeat the words of others. In
fact, there's a really good chance of that, as reading it all back, this is
one hell of a book.... chalk it up to too much wee... nevermind. Moving
More than ten years ago, I led my first band, after many years as a sideman
to original and cover projects, as well as some studio stuff. In that band,
in those clubs, most of the time I considered myself lucky to play 30%
originals. Concert slots were different, but that's *different*. lol.
Anyway, we did a cassette and sold tons of copies. First two originals and
two covers (it started out as our demo), then three of each. We also sold
several truckloads of T-shirts. I was the sole writer, lead vocalist,
manager, provider of PA and most transportation, financial investor when
needed (and paid back). Yet, we shared all income equally. And I told them
that in the unlikely event we actually hit it big, we'd continue to evenly
share all income, including songwriting royalties and any publishing we
managed to hang on to.
Now I'm approaching my one-year anniversary with Deeper Blues. It's a Blues
band, again fronted by me and, technically, all of the songwriting credit is
mine. Gary is bringing riffs and even chord changes to add to the
*arrangements*, but the lyrics and melody are still mine. Both other members
add a lot of input when working up new songs, however. Even though some
(well, quite a few, actually) of the songs are 5-20 years old, and even
though I am again funding the project when necessary (and taking a little
off the top of most gigs to recoup that), doing all the web work, producing
the video, coordinating all booking activities, blahblahblahblah... I'm
splitting everything three ways.
This time around, it matters a little more... because this time, there is
far greater, and far more serious interest in what we're doing. And yet, as
long as these two original members stay with the project, I'll continue to
split all income three ways. I don't know if I'd immediately make that same
offer to a new member some amount of time down the road... but I *do* know
that I'm totally open to someone *earning* a fully equal share over time.
I'm sure by now, many are scratching their heads while thinking I should
maybe put that thing out and not smoke any more... and at least a few are
going "he's freakin' nuts" and wondering which Stupid Truck I fell off. But
there's a method to my madness. In no particular order, here are some of my
reasons for my decision. Not all, mind you... this is already a book... but
here are the high notes floating to the top of my mind at the moment:
In both cases, I waited a ***long*** time for the right people to come
together. I don't want them to leave. The best way I know to keep them is
for them to see a dollar in *their* pocket for every one in mine, and to see
me work harder than anyone else. Then, no one can say they're being cheated,
and no one can say they have to do all the work. It's the same mind set I
took into management... work harder than anyone else and look to others'
interests as least as much as to your own. It sure seems to give others a
greater sense of ownership and much deeper commitment to the project. It
sure seems to help others play their best, and when I push them in
rehearsals, or oversee load-in, etc., everyone buckles down without a lot of
whining and complaining.
I believe that if you don't open your arms to share what you have, you
aren't prepared to receive the greater reward that can be yours if you do.
It's WAY too late to get philosophical, much less spiritual, and I need to
get some sleep. Suffice to say that my life has always been much better,
much more bountiful, if you will, when I share freely with those around me.
And it really seems that the wider I open my arms lately, the bigger the
gifts received. And they're still coming -- for all of us -- and I'm so
grateful I could just explode. Hell, yeah! I want to share the financial
part of that reward with those who've made it all possible. (And I'd like to
thank mymother&myfather&myhighschooldramateacher . . . told you it was late.
Last thought (I hope): I think the most important little gem hidden in all
that, is that I *waited* for the right people... and I mean, ****really****
right. While waiting, I played in a lot of bands, did a lot of gigs and
studio dates and a bagillion miles of traveling. I even made some money. (I
*know* I learned a lot. What to do... what NOT to do...) But it wasn't until
I found people that I could consider musical partners that I actually
stepped out front and led my own band. I really don't think I'm good enough
to "sell" myself and my songs with just mediocre players backing me. I
*need* great players, players who inspire me, people who share my vision,
and feed off of it... who feel challenged and excited by it... and that not
only charges me up and helps me do my absolute best, it's also nice to know
that I'm the one making the most mistakes! LOL.... Seriously, these guys
have my back at ALL times...
Anyhoo... enough rambling. I'm off to bed, and up in four and a half hours
to drive up to Chicago with our director and spend the day working with the
video footage we shot last weekend and, hopefully, the audio feed by itself
for others purposes. Keep your fingers crossed. I'm really hoping we'll have
it all done in time for Nashville on the 15th.
I *really* hope this makes sense to *someone* besides me...
Makes sense to me. Great read.
I very much want to believe the part about open arms, giving and
trust. But cynicism about human nature gets harder to fight back all
the time. It's been a while since I fell off the turnip truck meself,
and that road has a number of bumps.
There's that saying, shortened here, "The only reason I'm still in
this is to see what the heck could possibly happen next".
I say good for you, Lane.
As for myself, thankfully, hope springs eternal.
- Re: Original bands vs. covers
- From: Lane Baldwin
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