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What would you do; principles or money?

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  • What would you do; principles or money?

    I don't want this to turn into a political discussion, but more of a gig discussion. Here's the deal; I was offered a gig at a place that bears the name of a certain fellow I generally disagree with. Many others love him and that's just fine, but I turned the gig down. I figured that there might be repercussions if others in my muso community saw that I was playing there. I also imagined that just my luck, there would be protests on the day of my gig. I also wondered how I would feel supporting someone I can't get behind - again if you like him, more power to you, it's all good.

    I know folks that won't play in casinos, or won't play for organized crime and so on. What do you folks think. take the money and run, or put your money where your mouth is? BTW this was for a potential early evening New Year's gig so it was real dough. So far, I have no regrets but I am curious as to what others do, or have done.

  • #2
    Well, being that it is Canadia...take the money, do the gig and forget who's name is on the front of the building in big gold letters...he holds no political sway where you are, fortunately.
    I've gigged for nudist colonies, Hell's Angels Parties, trade unions, corporations...if they pay me, I'm there. I would, however, draw the line at doing a political function for a party I oppose...unless the money was yuuuuuge...
    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

    "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

    Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick

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    • #3
      In the early 1980s, Ronstadt was criticized by music critics for playing concerts in South Africa under apartheid.[146][147][148] She was listed by the U.N. as supporting apartheid by performing there. At the time, she stated, "The last place for a boycott is in the arts", and, "I don't like being told I can't go somewhere."
      I'd rather not have this line in my bio.
      There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        'criticized'...meh...it didn't really hurt her career.

      • GtrGeorge!
        GtrGeorge! commented
        Editing a comment
        Rondstadt mainly played to mainstream audiences who didn't think to much about politics. Her biggest success doing covers, as far as I know. To walk it back....I think it has to due to "who is your audience?"
        If I played for the audience of Rage Against The Machine..I think I would reflect on how I would seem to that audience. The optics. I ,personally, feel if people can behave in a civil manner, I have no problem playing for them, In fact, there is a case for "I need to speak to those who disagree with me...I already know how my own crowd thinks." So, so long as the politician is civil, or the bizness person is civil...why not show some UNDERSTANDING and play? I appreciate those who I respectfully disagree with. I am sort of smart, but still have alot to learn.

      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        GG, stay away from our political forum!!

        My response was based on the fact that although Linda Ronstadt was a 'rock chick' going back to the Stone Ponies era, and her early successes were definitely in the rock milieu, but by the 80s, she was going 'mainstream', and a bit off the American charts [Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, and exploring her family's Hispanic roots]...so her career was not going to be damaged playing in S. Africa.

    • #4
      You can just turn down the gig for no reason. But, remember, celebrities take gigs and do commercials for things they don't use or don't believe in. If you consider yourself a "gun for hire" then take the gig and don't worry about it. It's just a job. But if you really have a problem with whatever this person talks about or believes then just tell them you are already booked. Easy peasy nice and easy.
      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

      -- H.L. Mencken, 1915.

      Thanks Anton

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      • #5
        The most lucrative political affiliation in my county -- federally, provincially and locally -- is one that I cannot support. (Hint for Shaster -- they're not currently the government.) Not that they've asked me. I'd play for any of the other parties, again if they asked me.
        There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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        • #6
          Thanks for the responses. I guess I'm more worried about backlash, than what's left of my principles. I can think of some scenarios where news of my employment at this establishment could cause me to lose gigs with those that are against, umm.... tic tacs. As I said, there are sporadic protests at this venue, and all I need is to be seen on the news, crossing a protest line with my guitar. Not the kind of promo I need. In fact a few years back, I did make the evening news when I played at a labour convention - but labour is okay in my music community, so it was a plus not a minus. Think I'll just leave the gig alone.

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          • daddymack
            daddymack commented
            Editing a comment
            Sunglasses, a large brimmed hat and a trenchcoat...ignore the Trump issue, you are a working musician, not a lying politician. Do the gig, cash the check, and move on

        • #7
          It depends on just how much I dislike them.

          For example, I wouldn't play for many political figures here in the US - and this isn't the forum to discuss which ones I would refuse.

          I wouldn't play for an organized hate group rally.

          I wouldn't book something I think would be detrimental to our career and/or reputation. Not on moral ground, but on good business sense.

          I'm sure there are a few others - but I can't think of them now.

          Other than that, I'm in. I've done Casinos, various Religious denominations, Bikers, Nudists, Political rallies, Strip Clubs, and just about everything else. It's a gig, and if I think I can do the gig well, in all likelihood, I'll take it.

          One more thing. There are gigs that were very unpleasant, usually due to the people hiring us or managing the event/club. In those cases if they ask us back, I raise the price quite a bit, so that if it's going to be a bad gig, at least I'll make good money - but more often than not, they refuse to re-book.

          I have my ethics, the bar may be low, but there is a limit.

          Insights and incites by Notes



          Bob "Notes" Norton
          Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
          Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
          The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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          • #8
            we're musicians. we aren't supposed to have principles.

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            • daddymack
              daddymack commented
              Editing a comment
              Now wait a minute...while I get my moral compass to stop spinning...

          • #9
            Success always necessitates a degree of ruthlessness. Given the choice of friendship or success, I'd probably choose success.
            Sting
            There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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            • #10
              Pithy and humorous responses fellas, nice job. Oddly enough, the backlash in my musical community is kind of the reverse to what was happening in the McCarthy era. We're such big tree huggers here, I actually know of a few guys that have possibly had their work comprised because they're too far right (and pretty vocal about it). Yoga, tofu, Greenpeace and rain can make for a pretty liberal crowd.

              I don't have many principles but money is one of them, and I suspect I'll ultimately make more money avoiding the gig than by taking it.

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              • #11
                As I've aged, I've gradually become lefter but more relaxed about it. (The contentment of "the world was ever thus".) I don't know what it was like for McCarthy-ites in liberal circles in the 50s -- may have been uncomfortable.

                But now we're being specifically stirred up and polarized by forces who do not have our best interests at heart.
                http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41844025
                There is more than one way to do this. Notes Norton

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                • #12
                  i wouldnt walk into a building owned by trump let alone soil my instruments in such a filthy hole... but you have to follow your own path... you are the one you have see in the mirror every morning...
                  Originally posted by isaac42;n32240445

                  Voltan is correct.

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                  • #13
                    but then i get to “appear” altruistic... right dm?
                    Originally posted by isaac42;n32240445

                    Voltan is correct.

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                    • #14
                      I despise the conflation of politics and the arts and I won't perform for any political party. I have a myriad of other ways to express political preference, and I don't care to alienate anyone who may be an audience member. It's not worth the two hundred or three hundred dollar paycheck.
                      Last edited by Pat'sStrat; 11-23-2017, 01:32 PM.

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                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Voltan View Post
                        i wouldnt walk into a building owned by trump let alone soil my instruments in such a filthy hole... but you have to follow your own path... you are the one you have see in the mirror every morning...
                        I wouldn't play for Trump or any politician who I totally disagree with (that means most) but I have played for some local guys who I think were trying to do the right thing.

                        I woldn't play for a hate group, and I don't think they would like what we play anyway.

                        I wouldn't play for an entity that I didn't want my name associated with - but that might possibly be more of a business decision than an ethical one.

                        Notes
                        Bob "Notes" Norton
                        Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                        Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                        The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

                        Comment

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