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Dead Man's Hand Gig Report 09/08/2012

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Postby jwmartin » September 10th, 2012, 8:08 am

Saturday night, we played a place in Bon Aqua, TN called Dillinger's Hideout. It's next door to Dillinger's Motorcycles, a sales and service shop specializing in Harleys. Our band is split geographically, guitarist/singer and I live north of Nashville, drummer and other guitarist lives west of Nashville, a little over an hour from me. This gig was in their neck of the woods, so it was a bit of a drive. And we had too much gear to bring, so guitarist and I had to drive separate cars. We got there around 3 and set up. It took a while to get the sound right, as we had some new gear. We finally got it all good to go, so we went down the street for a pre-show dinner.

We hit the stage right at 8pm, played our first 2 songs back to back and as we ended, we heard very sparse clapping. There weren't a whole lot of people there. Apparently, the night before they had their monthly wet t-shirt contest and the fair was in town, so the regulars had either already spent their money on Friday night or were at the fair. We soldiered on through the 1st set, making the decision to skip "Feel Like Making Love" based on the crowd demographic at the time time. It was extremely hot on the stage and I was regretting that my leather bracelet I normally wear on my right wrist had broken, as it usually acts as a sweat band. As we were about to start our last 2 of the set, our drummer said he needed a break as he was getting a cramp in his leg. He was drinking gatorade like it was going out of style, but couldn't keep hydrated.

We came back and ran through our 2nd set and the reactions got a little better. The lady that owns and runs the place (her husband runs the Harley shop) and the bartender danced some and got a few of the patrons out on the floor for a few songs. Most people were there to shoot pool and drink beer. We had originally planned 3 sets, but with skipping a few and worrying about our drummer's legs, we decided to make the 3rd set 2 shorter sets and include the few we had skipped. Plus it was only 9:45 and we were supposed to play til 11:30.

We came back for our 3rd set and the response got better. By this point, there were some new people in there and more couples. A couple came out and danced to a few and then a new group showed up and they stayed on the dance floor the rest of the night. During our last set, the owner handed us a note asking if we could play a party there on the 21st ( a Friday night). We knew going in to this type of place that some Lynyrd Skynrd would be required. The previous week, we talked about it and started jamming on Freebird. I didn't know it, but just watched guitarist that did and picked up the progression. We actually did a pretty good version of it for a first run through. Saturday, we had played all of our songs and someone yelled out "Lynyrd Skynyrd!", so we threw it on 'em. It took me a couple of passes to remember the 1st chord progression. It only clocked in at 8 minutes, but we tore it up. Both guitarist went to town on the leads, swapping a few times and then going into the twin lead section. We had to communicate the stops visually because none of us really knew the structure. It got a great reaction out of the crowd that was still there. By this point, it was 11:45, so we thanked them and started breaking down.

We talked to the owners and they said Fridays have been a lot busier for them and they want us to come back on a Friday. They said they had gotten a lot of calls from people last week asking who we were, so they think some people didn't come out because they didn't know who we were or what we played. They said that people will be talking about our show and more will show up. Our deal was to play for the door money ($5 a head) and we ended up making $35 a piece. Once I added up my gas, dinner, beer and soda, I think I spent about $40 :D . Good thing we have fun doing this! Our next 2 shows (unless we do the 21st show there) will be for $200 a night and on my side of town. Unfortunately, in Nashville there are so many people willing to play for free, there isn't much money in playing out.

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Postby Laz » September 10th, 2012, 9:49 am

Very cool! Even though only 30 people showed up, they had a good time, and will tell their friends.

Skynyrd can be tricky, as not every audience loves them (esp Freebird), but Gimme 3 Steps and What's Your Name can be fun.

Were you able to decide if you needed all the extra gear? Is there a house PA? Did your local bandmates advertise and bring in their friends? I only mention these as getting a regular gig is nice, as you can build your audience/following and get more comfortable.

Good luck with your upcoming shows.
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Postby jwmartin » September 10th, 2012, 10:51 am

Yes, we needed all the gear. They have a very small house system that is only used for the DJ to play music when there is no band. Gimme 3 Steps is going on our list, cause I heard someone say that one. Also, more country. That was one thing the owner mentioned hearing from patrons. We just haven't gotten to the point where we have enough songs to tailor our show for the venue. We have to play every song to fill our 4 hours.

I put together a flyer in photoshop and our drummer dropped them off at the venue the week before. It had our web site, which has demos, but I guess no one really followed it. They did bring in a few of their friends and family. I think going forward, when we are going into a new venue/area, I'll make up some CDs with our demos on them and see if the venue will set them up somewhere the patrons can take them. Print the date of our show on the cover, so they know when we'll be there.
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Postby Laz » September 10th, 2012, 11:41 am

Try business cards. Just a photo and the link to your website. Cheap and easy for people to carry home to check from their computers.

You having a flashback to the Blues Brothers country bar scene? Rawhide!
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Postby cnev » September 10th, 2012, 12:01 pm

Hmm suprised you guys didn't have any Skynyrd in there already. The places we've played I know will require some Skynyrd so we started learning a few. I thought we'd do 3 but right now all the guys wanted to do was That Smell.

Thankfully I don't think we need any country :D

Wow with so many musicians down that area I never thought about it but having enough people that will play for free really messes up the whole pay scale I guess. I think the norm up here is $300 - 500 with more around the $300 range than $500. If you get to play some of the bigger clubs you might get the $500.
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Postby jwmartin » September 10th, 2012, 7:40 pm

cnev wrote:Hmm suprised you guys didn't have any Skynyrd in there already. The places we've played I know will require some Skynyrd so we started learning a few. I thought we'd do 3 but right now all the guys wanted to do was That Smell.


We all just were tired of Skynyrd. But we want to please the audience too. I've seen two other local bands do That Smell and I think it is one of the worst ones you can do. "Here's a song about drugs and alcohol killing people...be sure to tip your waitress when she brings your next beer!"

Laz wrote:Try business cards. Just a photo and the link to your website. Cheap and easy for people to carry home to check from their computers.


These are our business cards that I made. 52 for $1.00.

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Postby cnev » September 11th, 2012, 4:12 am

I'll let you know how it goes over when we play it. Not really concerned with the lyrics and any crowd that would be into LS I don't think would have a problem with it, it's only a song.

I think the song is one of their better songs and it's not as played out as Sweet Home Alabama or Freebird although I know we'll hear the old "Freebird" someday when we are playing so at some point we probably will need to add it. I would think the requests for LS would be twice as much where you are.

Personally I could do without any LS and play more modern stuff but if you are playing biker bars and biker rides it usually goes over well.
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Postby TRGuitar » September 11th, 2012, 9:04 am

I never used to like Skynyrd til I saw them. (I saw them when they did their comeback so it was the origional band minus the plane crash victims.) Now I'm not their biggest fan but I do kinda like them. Only know a couple of their songs though. 3 Steps and Free Bird I suppose. Yeah, gotta please that audience.

Oh, why'd I see them if I didn't particularly like them? Price was right ....... Free! + Web Wilder opened up. Who is he? See my quote at the bottom of my posts. :wink:


PS Like the business cards!
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Postby rparker » September 14th, 2012, 12:07 pm

Congrats on the nice gig. At least you almost broke even for the night. Almost, of course, excepting any sort of proceeds going to the ammoritization or whatever accounting is in place to eventually pay for the gear.

Booo-waaa ha ha ha ha . That was rich. Pay for the gear. Play more, buy more....never catch up. :lol: :lol:

I like 'LS. I can even handle the over-played songs now. I agree with Jeff about 'That Smell. "Tuesday's Gone" is a good slow one for those two obligatory slow numbers. Free Bird is fun to play. I playing all the guitar parts going one after the other could keep someone busy for two hours. :D

I like a bit of country every now and then. I imagine any one that I would like would be Johnny Cash or any number of over-played cliche songs.

Good show, though. Get invited back. Gotta love it. 8) 8)
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Postby jwmartin » September 15th, 2012, 8:28 am

We are playing the 21st there. Our drummer burned some CDs with our demos and I made a "cover" that had our info and the date of the show. We'll see if their promise of Friday being busier holds up.

rparker wrote:Almost, of course, excepting any sort of proceeds going to the ammoritization or whatever accounting is in place to eventually pay for the gear.


Haha, indeed. That will never happen. I have put buying anything new on hold until I can buy it with proceeds from our gigs. And expenses for the night don't count against that. The $40 I spent came out of my regular funds, the $35 I made goes into the gear fund. :D Musician's accounting 101.
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Postby rparker » September 15th, 2012, 6:15 pm

Sounds logical to me. In fact, I'd figure out some way to match that $35 from the household budget.
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Postby TRGuitar » September 15th, 2012, 9:28 pm

How much more would you have spent on drinks if you weren't playing? Gotta factor that in and credit yourself another $20 or $30. How much we got towards new gear now?
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Postby Moonrider » September 18th, 2012, 10:47 am

jwmartin wrote:Our deal was to play for the door money ($5 a head) and we ended up making $35 a piece. Once I added up my gas, dinner, beer and soda, I think I spent about $40 :D . Good thing we have fun doing this! Our next 2 shows (unless we do the 21st show there) will be for $200 a night and on my side of town. Unfortunately, in Nashville there are so many people willing to play for free, there isn't much money in playing out.


Our usual deal with the smaller clubs that routinely charge admission or a cover is ask for a guarantee large enough to cover gas money(usually around $150), A free meal, free soft drinks (none of us imbibes while performing), and 100% of the door/cover. That usually results in a happy owner, happy staff, and happy band because everyone makes a nice profit. You guys might consider popping a 2 or 4 "adult beverage" clause in your deal.

Go for the lagniappe! The owners don't usually mind, and it helps YOUR bottom line.
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Postby jwmartin » September 18th, 2012, 6:40 pm

Moonrider wrote:
jwmartin wrote:Our deal was to play for the door money ($5 a head) and we ended up making $35 a piece. Once I added up my gas, dinner, beer and soda, I think I spent about $40 :D . Good thing we have fun doing this! Our next 2 shows (unless we do the 21st show there) will be for $200 a night and on my side of town. Unfortunately, in Nashville there are so many people willing to play for free, there isn't much money in playing out.


Our usual deal with the smaller clubs that routinely charge admission or a cover is ask for a guarantee large enough to cover gas money(usually around $150), A free meal, free soft drinks (none of us imbibes while performing), and 100% of the door/cover. That usually results in a happy owner, happy staff, and happy band because everyone makes a nice profit. You guys might consider popping a 2 or 4 "adult beverage" clause in your deal.

Go for the lagniappe! The owners don't usually mind, and it helps YOUR bottom line.


Yea, I wasn't involved in the negotiations for these gigs. I said we should have asked for dinner in addition to the door.
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Postby Moonrider » September 19th, 2012, 5:39 am

jwmartin wrote:
Moonrider wrote:
jwmartin wrote:Our deal was to play for the door money ($5 a head) and we ended up making $35 a piece. Once I added up my gas, dinner, beer and soda, I think I spent about $40 :D . Good thing we have fun doing this! Our next 2 shows (unless we do the 21st show there) will be for $200 a night and on my side of town. Unfortunately, in Nashville there are so many people willing to play for free, there isn't much money in playing out.


Our usual deal with the smaller clubs that routinely charge admission or a cover is ask for a guarantee large enough to cover gas money(usually around $150), A free meal, free soft drinks (none of us imbibes while performing), and 100% of the door/cover. That usually results in a happy owner, happy staff, and happy band because everyone makes a nice profit. You guys might consider popping a 2 or 4 "adult beverage" clause in your deal.

Go for the lagniappe! The owners don't usually mind, and it helps YOUR bottom line.


Yea, I wasn't involved in the negotiations for these gigs. I said we should have asked for dinner in addition to the door.


Weird side note: One of the restaurant clubs in downtown Richmond, Emilio's, makes an awesome paella. I know of at least three bands (plus any one I'm in that fits the clientèle) that play there because their standard offer is "paella, sangria, and the door" - actually anything off the menu (we're talkin' gourmet class cooks here). a moderate bar tab, and 100% of the door. You may not make a lot of money there, but you're gonna get well fed 'n watered..
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