Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig

A lot of the gigs I play here in San Diego, the musicians are forbidden to
eat from the buffet line, and don't get a table either.
OTOH, my wife says, if you feed the musicians, you don't need to pay them--
My experience is that the more you get paid, the less fun you will have.
I do enjoy it when I am treated well, but hardly expect it--I am, after all
a professional--I don't have lunch prepared for the plumber . . .

On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Jerry Deall <jdeall@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> My favorite wedding gig story:
> Last year a friends band, played a wedding, at the break they went to get
> food w/ the guests.
> The father of the bride comes up to the band to tell them they have boxed
> lunches for them in back.
> So the sax player says "you think we do this for the MONEY, we're out of
> here"
> The bride's father had to do some fast talking to keep the band at the
> party
> Thanks Jerry,
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mike Rogers" <bullfrog9@xxxxxxx>
> To: "michael rubin" <michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx>, "harp-l" <
> harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 7:31:09 AM
> Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Wedding gig
> Wedding gigs are chancey. I've done some, with folks I know and they have
> been just fine. Others, have had people conxtantly changing their minds,
> claiming that you want too much money, forgetting that they haven't paid
> you
> and wanting you to do more than originally agreed to. Not my favorite gig,
> but they often pay pretty well.
> Bullfrog
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "michael rubin" <michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: "harp-l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Sunday, April 15, 2012 10:45 PM
> Subject: [Harp-L] Wedding gig
> > So about two months ago a student showed me a craigslist ad asking for
> > a harmonica player to play Pachelbel's Canon in D at a wedding. The
> > experience was interesting enough to share with you.
> >
> > I emailed the bride. I asked her what I needed to know to quote a
> > price. It was an hour away from my house,each way. I would need to
> > provide amplification, I would need to buy the sheet music and learn
> > the piece. I would need to have another song for the wedding party
> > march and another for the walkout music plus 15 minutes of waiting for
> > the wedding to start music. I would need to wear a nice button down
> > shirt and slacks. I quoted $250.
> >
> > "We didn't expect to spend that much on a harmonica!"
> >
> > I asked what they'd be willing to spend. I said I wanted to help them,
> > but please remember it took years to learn the craft, plus how to read
> > music. It would be 3 hours away from home, where a wife and baby and
> > mortgage waited. The sheet music would cost money. It would take an
> > hour to buy the music. It would take at least 10 hours of rehearsing
> > to get ready. Amplification costs money.
> >
> > I didn't hear back so I assumed it was lost. I told my top students
> > about the gig, maybe they could get it.
> >
> > Two weeks ago, I got an email saying they were willing to spend my
> > price. Besides taking care of a baby, chores, 4 bands and around 30
> > students a week and a group lesson every Saturday, I also have taken
> > on 2 unusual music projects that perhaps I will share with you when
> > their stories are done. Plus I hadn't finished my taxes, which when
> > self employed doing by yourself is tough! Basically I was beyond
> > swamped and this would possibly sink me. Still, $250 is $250. I said
> > yes.
> >
> > I rarely get nervous about performing. Now, I had 3 performance
> > situations that I was nervous about. I could feel stomachaches!
> >
> > I bought the music. I listened to a video of a diatonic harp player
> > the bride sent me that she liked. The diatonic player was improvising
> > on the theme, it was nothing like my version of the music. The bride
> > said it was the speed she wanted.
> >
> > Although Pachelbel's Canon in D is leagues easier than other classical
> > pieces I have learned, there is still a very complicated eighth note
> > passage in the middle that at her speed, I could only hit around 50%
> > of the time. One night, I played it for my wife who said that it
> > sounded uncomfortably fast. I agreed with her and slowed down that
> > section. We both agreed it sounded much better. I then decided to
> > screw the bride's tempo, I would play the entire piece with a goal of
> > comfort and beauty. That really was the turning point. I came up with
> > a nice version, in my opinion.
> >
> > I chose 10 romantic songs out of the real book and read through each a
> > couple of times. I made sure I really had the walk songs down.
> >
> > Today I arrived on time and the wedding coordinator acted
> > professionally with me. Although a beautiful space, it was very small
> > so my amp stayed in the car. After playing almost all my romance
> > tunes, they said it was time to start. After playing two verses, no
> > one had walked down the aisle. I stopped. Someone let me know they
> > needed 5 more minutes. I finished my chosen songs. Luckily I had
> > brought a real book with me. They whisper it will probably be another
> > 15 minutes.
> >
> > A half an hour later I had read every romantic song I could find and
> > even a few where I was like "I cannot remember the lyrics. Is this
> > romantic or sad? Screw it, I'm playing it." When the wedding party
> > started coming out, I played the walk song until they stopped coming.
> > Then a minute later, they cued me that there was still lots more of
> > the wedding party to come out! I restarted the song again. Finally
> > they let me know it was time for the bride.
> >
> > Remember it was a small place? I basically had gotten through the
> > first line Baa daaa daaa daa da da daa daaaa and the bride had made it
> > down the aisle. All that practice for nothing! Perhaps I will record
> > it for youtube this week.
> >
> > Unlike normal gigs where you get to hang around the audience to get
> > kudos, only the preacher and the coordinator were left to talk to me.
> > The preacher took my card and asked if he could put me on his website
> > for recommended wedding players. The coordinator did not have my
> > money! Rather than run around the wedding trying to figure out who the
> > bride's father is and interrupt his picture taking, I went home and
> > sent the bride an invoice and said wait until after the honeymoon.
> > Hopefully this story has two happy endings and not a sequel!
> > Michael Rubin
> >


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