Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I've just been reading about all the recent comings and goings of players and conductors between some of the top "Name" bands.
    It is impossible to ignore the similarities between this and Premier League Soccer.
    To allegorise further, isn't it true that the Championship Section is really two sections, Premier League and First Division combined, and the rest of us are in the Conference ?
    It's all about Sponsorship, and how much of this the name Conductors and players can cream off for themselves.
    It's a very lucrative roundabout because the same names just rotate around the same top few bands - the pickings remain constant - very lucrative !!!
    It is a corrupt, sneaky, backstabbing system, fuelled by greed and self interest that is bleeding the life blood from top bands who feel it necessary to enter this rat race in the name of prestige.
    The word loyalty, seemingly, has no place in "Professional" banding.
    We have all seen what happens when a "Name" band loses sponsorship and "Expenses" can no longer be paid - the sound of music diminishes and is replaced by the sound rats leaving the sinking ship, eagerly sniffing for the next piece of cheese which, of course, is just around the corner !!
    I forecast that in the not too distant future it is going to become extremely hard for bands to attract substantial financial support from commercial enterprises and the gravy train will cease to run.
    When the fat juicy fees dry up the recipients will still be around to enjoy banding, though they may have to fill their wallets (and purses !) from other activities.
    Perhaps in its place we may see the return of a little integrity to Premier Banding!
  2. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Thank you, the Reverend Ike.
  3. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Mock Not Bigcol - I might appear sanctimonious, but it's gonna happen !!
    Better get practicing and get your snout in the top section trough before the caviare runs out and it's back to the old swill !!
    PS - I'm another one whose cuddled up to an EEb Bass ever since school days !! (A long, long time!)
  4. Tom

    Tom Member

    I don't think that there are many players or conductors out there who are earning "fat juicy fees". I admit that some players and many conductors do receive expenses and/or retainers but the truth is that if they were that greedy then they would be able to earn more money doing other things.

    The majority of players in Championship Section bands (sponsored or not) spend a great deal of money on pursuing their hobby. I think that some players in this category value success highly and because of that there probably is more mobility between bands but I doubt very much if their motivation is primarily financial.
  5. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    I'm in the top section and neither myself nor anyone in my band (including conductor) gets anything towards expenses.
  6. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    These are points I've often considered. It also makes me ponder the idea of banding as an 'amateur' pastime??????

    Another analogy with football however - if the money at the top dried up would the best players still play with the best teams - probably because thats what they want to do, money or not.
  7. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Probably not because that's how they make their living, from playing football. If the money dried up they'd have to find another income, meaning they wouldn't be able to be as dedicated, or as committed. I doubt many people can make their living out of playing in brass bands, whether expenses or retainers are paid or not. At the end of the day it's only human nature to want to win or to take on new challenges. I don't think a lot of the movement in brass bands is actually money motivated, just people taking on new challenges.

    I've said enough now!!
    Laura xx

    BT Band
  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Look Bigcol - your band may be in the top section, but not in the "Elite" of the top section, that's where all the moolah's changing hands.
    Had any of your up and coming stars either poached or lured by the "Big Boys" yet ?? -
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of these much sought after "Professional Amateurs" don't go the whole hog and get Agents who can tout their talents around and signing them up to the highest bidder !!
    Beware "Mr 15%" is just around the corner !!!
  9. jinx

    jinx Member

    one band I have been associated with pay some members and not others, based not on distance travelled to rehearsal or the quality of their playing but merely on who was canny enough to demands cash prior to signing up. It makes it very hard for those not in the game to remain loyal to the band.
    In my experience people mind less if those recieving expenses or a retainer are top quality players or those who put in the work...its the freeloaders that aggrevate the delicate balance of band politics every time.
  10. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Whats your beef? I know lots of top banders, and a lot of them don't get paid huge amounts, by the time you take into account the large number of concerts rehearsals and CDs they do. Plus, there are tonnes of players who have been in these bands for ages. Poaching does not exist... if you want to go to another band you will... end of story. Leyland still have a large core of the players they had when heavily sponsored. People play for us because they WANT to.
  11. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I know banders who used to travel huge distances, and their 'expenses', where literally just that! and what about all the afternoons off work which must be taken?

    As previously stated, the thing that annoys me is the paying of players who aren't the best in the band, who don't turn up every practice, and whose lips get tired after 10 minutes!
  12. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    Look Darth tuba old pal - I have no beef - I've been there, done it, aged a bit and dropped a section and am really enjoying banding.
    It's just that when I was Solo EEb at a name band, (Admittedly a long time ago !!) I received £50 A YEAR retainer plus job money.
    To be perfectly honest (Unusual for me !) - I have to confess they did find me a job in the Company office which provided me with a good living for eight years - Hang on, what's that noise ?? Could it be the sound of my arguement crashing around my ears ??
  13. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    You do have a beef cos you were moaning about it. I'm quite happy with the way banding works, I get paid bugger all and fork out a lot of money to get to band. :D
  14. sudcornet

    sudcornet Member

    So why do we do it?
    I dread to think what banding has cost me over the years, but I do it 'cos I love it. I do it for the music and at the highest level I can attain. To play some of the most challenging brass compositions, surrounded by a team of extremely talented musicians is my reward and that's fine by me. If some of them require expenses then so be it. The amount of time and travel and bloody hard work involved in maintaining a high standard far outweighs these piffling sums. There are anomalies I grant you, and I agree with what "jinx" has said, but these are generally few and far between. I hate "band politics", it diverts us from our course. As far as I'm concerned we are here for the least most of us are.

  15. Despot

    Despot Member

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with an MD of a junior band that has too seek deps for gigs elsewhere because local members of the senior band will not help unless they get paid to do so. :shock:

    I'm not arguing the rights and wrongs of expenses, but there are a percentage of players, and not all in the Chamionship section, nor often particularly that good, who will not play unless they recieve some form of payment. Unfortunately, a growing group I think!
  16. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    My point was the even if the footballers had to make a living elsewhere they would still strive to play at the top.
  17. jo

    jo Member

    Its my hobby, I dont expect to be paid for it, I do it cos i love it (and non of my other friends have the beer drinking capabilities of brass banders) and if i won the lottery I would give up my job but still be playing in a band (might have to relocate band to a suitably tropical island).
    There are always issues with who gets paid and why, some of which I agree with completely (freeloaders and the like) but having experienced the "political" side banding with a previous band I am prepared to let them just get on with it (apart from the odd private moaning session with mates in the pub)!
  18. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    I think it depends what band you play for - I know some people who play at Leyland (my brother is one of them and travels from Coventry) and do so because they love the band.

    "Team spirit" is important, then everyone knows that they're all moving in the same direction, but that can be motivated by a number of things - dosh being one of them.

    It appears from a number of postings right across this forum is that there are all sorts of reasons why people play in bands. For some its the music, for some its the (to use an old-fashioned term) fellowship, for some its the "beer and totty", for some they want to further their playing careers. Whatever the reason, we should have a good time doing it. When it stops being fun, its time to stop and find something else to do.
  19. asteria

    asteria Member

    I’ve had expenses from bands in the top section before, but I'd never take it for granted. It’s always a bonus when I do get a bit of cash, but its peanuts really compared to the fortune I’ve spent on this ‘hobby’ of mine.
    Most people in the Championship section get nothing at all, except perhaps a bit of petrol money, and I’ve met very few people who actually demand money for being in a band.

    At the end of the day if someone offers you some money for your love of playing would you turn it down? Yes I agree there are a few individuals out there who try to take advantage and give the rest of us a bad name, but majority of us aren’t trying to bleed the system dry!
  20. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    I agree Helen - I'd hate to think how much money I'd save if I wasn't a bander - and how much less my phone bill would be...

    But let's all keep it friendly!

    I know that bands where some players are paid are split down the middle - without naming names in one band the solo trombone was paid but nobody else, he was notoriously unreliable and eventually the band imploded. Makes me think money in banding is not necessarily a force for good - but hey, that's my opinion.

    I'd hate to see banding go the way of football - no offence to the top players but none of us are worth silly amounts of money because we can blow down a lump of metal and make it sound good.

    Each to their own - but let's all remember the spirit of banding - good friends, good music, good beer!

    Rach x

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