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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How much were you making when you first went on the road?

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Roly
Contributing Member
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Jul 3rd, 2017 11:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I turned 21 in 1973.
Back then in Saskatchewan the legal drinking age was 21.

I went on the road with a smarmy lounge act (no bands in the bars....lounges only).
I earned 125 a week.


You?

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
****

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Jul 4th, 2017 09:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$20-$35 per gig. About 5 or 6 gigs a month.

I played with them my Senior year of high school and my first year and a half of junior college.

Band was family (2 brothers and cousin) along with their high school buddy on bass. I was the "outsider" guy.

I lived 30 miles from the rehearsal place on their farm. Their mom fed me before rehearsal and they provided me with a Vox Super Beatle and a Rick 12 string. Oh, and we wore matching "Paul Revere and the Raiders" style jackets...

About a year after I quit, I got a call back to cover bass for about 3 months.

We played pretty steady for one of the KOMA-AM radio DJs. Actually, the Mom and Dad rented the venue, put up the posters and collected the admission fees. Then they sent a check to the DJ for his "sponsorship".

"Sorry, he can't be here tonight." OR "Oh, sorry you missed him. He has two teen hops tonight and came here first."

tepperson

Look at my hair ...

... LIKE THE DESIGN?!
Jul 6th, 2017 05:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$25 a gig; minimum wage was $1.85/hour. Not counting set-up and tear down, it was, like, $8/hour!

I cooked at a local restaurant and gigged when I could and made decent cash.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jul 7th, 2017 05:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It was so long ago that I don't remember. We're talking just out of high school in the 70's.

I definitely made more in the 80's, but I don't recall what I averaged per week back then either.

Tony Wright
Contributing Member
****

Stillwater, OK

I never met a calorie I didn't like.
Jul 7th, 2017 06:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just realized I forgot the "day job" salary.

$60/week for every waking hour that was not "band time" was "work time"....or school time.

I lived on a 160 acre cattle and horse ranch. Depending on my schedule and day of week, I did the chores after school and before "work" at Dad's gas station. I averaged well over 40 hours a week at the gas station.

School time? Yep, I was either in high school or junior college the entire time (graduated in 68). In 68 you had 4 choices upon graduation: College, National Guard/Reserves, Draft, Canada. The week I dropped out of college in late 70, I got my notice of my selective service physical.

I was told by the doctor at the center that being deaf would not keep me from serving...but my high blood pressure did. First time it was diagnosed and I have been on meds ever since. (There is a reason they call me Fat Tony.)

RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Jul 7th, 2017 06:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't remember exactly how much, but it was more than working a factory job at that time. That was after paying for rooms and meals.

In the 70's

(This message was last edited by RicOkc at 08:36 AM, Jul 7th, 2017)

LadyJazzer

Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Jul 7th, 2017 12:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My first road gig was with "The Original Platters" in 1968; (and yes, three of them really WERE 'Originals'... They used the name "Original Platters" as part of the lawsuit against Buck Ram over rights to the name, when he tried to put another group on the road and sell them as "The Platters".) I was making $600/week in October '68. According to the CPI-calculator, that's $4,160/week in today's money.

In 1971 I was on the road with the Bobbie Gentry Show, and I was paid $1,000/wk + expenses. The CPI-calculator says that is the equivalent of $6,118/week in today's money...

Woof! That sounds like a lot today!

LJ

PS: Roly said: "I went on the road with a smarmy lounge act (no bands in the bars....lounges only).
I earned 125 a week."

The CPI-calculator says that was $706/week in today's dollars...

(This message was last edited by LadyJazzer at 02:09 PM, Jul 7th, 2017)

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Jul 7th, 2017 02:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Starting in '72 and for a couple of years I played drums in a lounge band. I made $50-60 per gig. More if it was a private gig like a wedding. That was more than a weeks pay at my part time high school job for just one gig.

I never did a full time road thing.

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Jul 8th, 2017 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$100 bucks a gig...minus the bar tab....

I never expected to get rich, but had a helluva great time

shunka

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Jul 11th, 2017 11:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

More than 30 years ago, Holiday Inn Lounges and similar. Mostly NE Ohio, Western PA, a few excursions to the FL panhandle and TX. We got rooms, I meal, and about $150 each, a week, after we paid the agent. Sometimes more.

(This message was last edited by shunka at 01:11 PM, Jul 12th, 2017)

Laker

Forgive your enemies

but never forget their names
Jul 14th, 2017 12:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Back in '68 (out of the army) I was on the road with bluesman Bryan Lee I put $1000 a month in the bank after paying for rooms, food, travel and entertainment.

LadyJazzer, back in those days a friend named Jeff Johnson was with one of Platters groups as arranger and, maybe, keyboard player.

LadyJazzer

Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Jul 15th, 2017 10:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Laker:

He might have been with one of the Buck Ram groups. We toured the Far East doing USO tours and public concerts, and I acted as Music Director, arranger, conductor, and guitar-player and we used local "pickup" musicians and there were no other players traveling with the tour. (You haven't lived until you've tried to rehearse a 7-10 pc band where no one speaks English, and all you can do is hand-signals, and demonstrating what you want from the horn players on the guitar...) ;-)

If you take that $1000/mo and run it as a weekly salary of $250/wk, that works out to about $1,764/week back in 1968! Not a bad salary, that!


ECS-3
Contributing Member
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USA / Virginia

Jul 15th, 2017 10:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The bands I played in (high school / college) never went on the road. We played local gigs like high school dances, some private parties, a couple gigs at Vint Hill Farms (a military base), but mostly we rented out a large space at the National Guard Armory and had our own dances. Charged something like $4 to get in.

I think the most money I made was one of those dances we had at the Armory each band member got about $150.

Laker

Forgive your enemies

but never forget their names
Jul 16th, 2017 04:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

LadyJazzer, I believe you spent some time playing in Las Vegas and possibly you ran into Jeff Johnson. Unfortunately he passed away last year.

If this link works it is his obit.

Las Vegas obit

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
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E NC

Hoarder of instruments
Jul 16th, 2017 10:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$25-35 a night 1971-1972 playing the club circuit in my home state.

Went from weekend warrior to full time grind musician during that year earning $150-225 a week. Weddings were a plus: $50-75 apiece.



LadyJazzer

Colorado, USA

"You play pretty good--for a girl"
Jul 17th, 2017 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Laker:

"LadyJazzer, I believe you spent some time playing in Las Vegas and possibly you ran into Jeff Johnson. Unfortunately he passed away last year. If this link works it is his obit."

I don't believe we ever crossed paths. I was in Las Vegas, a lot, between 1971-72, but we mostly performed on the headliner stage at the Landmark Hotel. (Torn down years ago, you can see its destruction in the movie "Mars Attacks!") We hung out some over at the International during the "Elvis comeback" tour because Bobbie and Elvis were good friends and we were always getting free tickets for the late-show.

If the posted link works, It's a picture I shot of the International from the Landmark, ca 1971.

International Hotel - Elvis - 1971

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Jul 17th, 2017 06:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Never went "on the road" but when I first started playing in bands, I think I averaged about $20-25 a gig. It did get better later. I always had another full time job when I played in a band.

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
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Philly/NL, CT

Retired
Oct 14th, 2017 09:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$18 to $35 a night in 1971 plus a meal, a couple of complimentary drinks and a place to crash. I gave my buddy whose car we used in our travels $3 daily for gas. I quit it when I got married later that year. I didn't start doing it as a full timer until I quit college and needed to support a family.

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
**********

Philly/NL, CT

Retired
Oct 14th, 2017 09:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$18 to $35 a night in 1971 plus a meal, a couple of complimentary drinks and a place to crash. I gave my buddy whose car we used in our travels $3 daily for gas. I quit it when I got married later that year. I didn't start doing it as a full timer until I quit college and needed to support a family.

Twangmeister
Contributing Member
**********

Philly/NL, CT

Retired
Oct 14th, 2017 09:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

$18 to $35 a night in 1971 plus a meal, a couple of complimentary drinks and a place to crash. I gave my buddy whose car we used in our travels $3 daily for gas. I quit it when I got married later that year. I didn't start doing it as a full timer until I quit college and needed to support a family.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / How much were you making when you first went on the road?




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