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Drummers not getting paid for the art they create

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Seeing the recent clip posted here about the Ginger Baker Documentary really makes me upset.
That guy was an integral part of Cream, and created a sound on the Drums that no one else could....and didn't get paid for it.

I know it's an age old gripe for every Drummer out there-- 'How come we don't get paid for our contribution to the music'?
And I really think it's high time for this to change..

The Drums are such an integral part of any music. They have to be thought about, composed musically, dynamically, and 'Played Well.
You might think that one of the oldest instruments in the world would get more respect. Not in America..

If they didn't effect or contribute to the music, then what would:

Led Zeppelin be without John Bonham

The Who without Keith Moon

Mahavishnu without Billy Cobham

Cream without Ginger Baker

The Police without Stewart Copeland

The Beatles without Ringo Starr

Jimi Hendrix without Mitch Mitchell

Rush without Neil Peart (granted he writes the lyrics, but could you imagine anyone else in that band?)

And I could go on and on..in every genre.

Who is the maker of this musical law? I want to know..and how could drumming contributions be validated and changed so we get paid?

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D.L.,

I'm not quite understanding what you're saying....
Are you saying that there should be a special fund
for the drummer, simply because he or she is the
drummer?

Or are you saying that drummers get paid less in the
band because they happen to be "just a drummer"?

Or, are you saying that drummers don't get recognized
monatarily for their compositional, arranging and producing
contributions to the band's music?

Please elaborate.

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Here, I'm paid a minimum, $125 for 3-4 hours max - including breaks and increases as the gig dictates (e.g. celeb weddings/parties - politicians, actors etc.). But I think what Dave is referring, I don't mean to be premature in answering here, is that professional drummers should be well deserving of fair compensation on any level of involvement in music, especially if the leader of the band is being paid due to recognition of his/her professional musical contribution. It's a small geographical city here and people know who's who here and if they can't dish it than don't place an order for me and go get a drum machine. Wink

My apology Dave if I dropped in too soon here.

peace,
rac

View user profile http://www.glennracoma.com
Yes, but compensated for what specifically is what I'm asking.
I play and I get paid what everyone else does when it's a band
or group situation. If I'm part of a band that's been hired by a
front person or a leader and my fee is negotiated and agreed
upon then that's what we go with.

I can't say for sure but I would imagine Billy makes more than the
players he hires. That's just the way it's done.... He gets the gigs,
he's the draw.

If players (be it drummers or whatever instrument they play) contribute
in the writing, production and arragement of one or more tunes and gets
burned because they did not bother to negotiated monatary compensation
for their services then that's their own misfortune the way I see it.

It's pretty obvious to me that Phil Collins had a firm handle on that deal.

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The only way a drummer is going to get an equal share of writer's royalties, which is what we're talking about here, is if they are listed as one of the writers of the song or of the lyrics if there are vocals.

One of the best examples of fairness in this regard is to look at the band The Doors. ALL songs on their albums are credited as being written by the DOORS. Not Morrison, Manzarek, Densmore or Krieger . Legally, each one of them is a member of THE DOORS so everything was and still is split 4 ways.



Peace, TED

View user profile http://www.drumminfool.com

6 Drummers not getting paid on Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:30 am

You are right Ted, that is what the Red Hot Chili Peppers do as well.
They list all the members of the group to give equal pay to everybody involved with the creation of the music.

Many groups have broken up over this issue, when big money starts rolling in.
I remember seeing Vh1's "Behind the Music" on The Go-Go's, the same thing happened, one person was making
big money from the hits they wrote and when the others found out what they were making, the shit hit the fan.

That is why drummers need to write music and be smart with business.
Yes this is an art form, but you have to have your business side as well and be very aware of this at all times.

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Yeah Don,
I'm talking about Drummer's compositional, arranging and producing
contributions to the band's music..

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There have been times I've gotten hired to play on records, and through the process of recording I've contributed to the arrangements and helped produce some tracks, and later never got credit for it.

I don't think that's fair at all. Granted no massive amounts of money were made, but still...Maybe that's my own fault. I took for granted that it was going to be accounted for.

I guess I just feel that it's wrong to think that Drummers are second class musicians.....Maybe I should jack up my price for sessions.

But I run the risk of pricing myself out of work. Just thinking out loud here.. Not looking for a million dollars ...just credit where credit is due..
And If I bring it up at the session- I look like an A-Hole..

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Ted E. Bear wrote:

The only way a drummer is going to get an equal share of writer's royalties, which is what we're talking about here, is if they are listed as one of the writers of the song or of the lyrics if there are vocals.

One of the best examples of fairness in this regard is to look at the band The Doors. ALL songs on their albums are credited as being written by the DOORS. Not Morrison, Manzarek, Densmore or Krieger . Legally, each one of them is a member of THE DOORS so everything was and still is split 4 ways. Peace, TED

That could be a tough one... If a band of say, 6 members are raking it in
off hit tunes that are being written from one or two members that has to
share writing royalties with 4 guys that aren't doing any writing, producing
or arranging yet sharing the credit spoils of that, I can definately see how
that can seem unfair to the one(s) wearing those particular hats.

If a band agrees to that then fine I guess but I for one would feel better if
everyone reaping the benefits were contributing to one or more of those
three creative aspects. But if everything is based on how well the sales have
gone and those who didn't contribute to the creative conceptual process but
did play on the project, I guess I can see that working.

Dave, I'm with you, man... It's really cool when you can be nice and trustworthy
and assume that people like you, would simply do the right thing just for the sake
of proper morals and ethics...... Maybe on some other planet.

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I'm talking about Drummer's compositional, arranging and producing
contributions to the band's music..
Daveonskins
_______________________________________________________

So, if a drummer is part of the compositional arranging and producing contributor to the music and the music is for profit then that drummer (musician) should be compensated for as much as a musical arranger who initiated the venture using that drummer (musician). Well, my thinking along those lines is that I can't see how a drummer (musician) is not part of the totality of the music being produced and sold for profit. Monies/royalties should then be split down the middle..clean and square. I'm sure that if the music was to be analyzed closely everyone would see at what junction the drummer (musician) had his/her part in the production of the music resulting it as being a profitable commodity. And where there is a profit there are the rightful pipers.[i] But I'm also well aware that at this junction, a writer/musician utilizes the technology where he/she can digitally arrange the music minus the musicians having him absorbing all financial gain and avoiding this issue all together!

Back to the subject minus technology driven means;

I think that we live in a society where we tend to compartmentalize people. An example is when building a house; why is it that the designer will be paid substantially more than the contractors that lay the foundation or the contractor that built the structural beams of the building? Would you think these are as vitally important to the 'totality' to the architectural soundness of a building as is the designer who designed the esthetics of it's exterior presence? Credit is due where it needs to be noticed and understand the interconnecting of all special parties engaged.

That's how I see it but then, we know there are exceptions to this rule as we look at musicians of a higher level of producing such as Boomer being one of many. And that's just the way it is as D moves ahead in justifying, this sometimes, misunderstood principle here.

And yes Dave, I totally understand the embarrassment as we know that others are being satisfied financially on a song and we are not. But I think that was a mentality that we were conditioned to think...call it our Matrix, if you will, of conditionally believing that a drummer is just that....that guy that hits drums. We are musicians straight out and is well deserving of that. There is a bible verse that states; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. It took me awhile to break out of that mindset but I had to, knowing what drummers, good drummers, were getting paid in my neck of the woods....And finally, with the right attitude I ask;...Now, can I please have my share of that cheese....?

rac

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I think you're complicating things to an unecessary degree, Rac.
With me it's much simpler than that:

"Render onto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's."

Should the construction worker get the design credits of the Architect
for following his blueprint designs? Then likewise, should the construction
worker be held liable for following the architects structual layouts to the letter
that by some unfortunate chance just happened to fail on account of poor
structual design?

I don't think it has anything to do with compartmentalizing. It's a simple
matter of giving credit where credit is due and allowing a man (or woman)
to be compensated, responsible and worthy according to his or her own
gifts, to the result of success or failure.

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"Render onto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's."
D
________________________________________

That was a statement made by Jesus in a direct reference to paying taxes unless the tax collectors took credit on confiscating liquid assets Wink

Anyway, you can see how present technology can digitally resolve the issues of musicians having to be part of music that is sold for profit? I might add to that thought is especially if that musician/writer has the talent of doing that. I have a friend that did away with his group and now makes hefty takes (financially) on music that was digitally composed and sold. Then of course the consequences of that is lost of friends, that special sound produced by real musicians and a developed personality that has a cockiness about it.

rac

View user profile http://www.glennracoma.com
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are
Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

I understand what the statement represents, Rac.
The idea still applies in this case. The real point Jesus
was making in that statement is everything is God's
anyway, no matter who's earthly hand posesses it.

In short:

If I'm the one who did the writing, producing and arranging
on a tune, a series of tunes or an entire cd, why should
I have to share those credits or the possible benefits that
go with them? On the other hand, whatever other artists
were involved in any one or more of these processes
deserves to be compensated for their level of involvement.

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If I'm the one who did the writing, producing and arranging
on a tune, a series of tunes or an entire cd, why should
I have to share those credits or the possible benefits that
go with them?

D
___________________________________________________

Okay, I can understand how that all works into the studio aspect of music production for profit. But in the scenario of a live concert, you would think that at that point all monies would be split down to square one where everyone has an equal amount of cheese. Whether that's agreeable or not, there was a night where I was contracted to do an outdoor concert among popular local bands that were headlining. The band I played for was lead by a person that digitally recorded all his music for CDs that were sold locally...and believe me, over the years he has created a large market here financially...for himself! He contracted me to play drums on four of his known songs at this concert. I was payed my minimum of only $125. I later discovered that the other three musicians were paid the same while he got a huge chunk. Now...the music was not like his recordings because he wanted a different sound that could only happen spontaneously within a live concert situation. In other words, he wanted a different sound that derives from each style of each performer, yet played in the basic context of his cd music so that his fans would recognize it. A year later, I see his new 'Live' CD on shelves in the grocery stores selling for $15. per......I and the musicians he used had..................$0. dollars for our performances nor "any credit recognition on it's cover.

Moral of the story;
Yes, the writer of "recorded music" should be compensated more than the musicians at some point but when these musicians are used in a "live" situation, they should be payed straight up down the middle.... unless he was a Herbie Hancock or legendary Bill Evans I can see him getting the bigger chunk and that's my opinion for what it's worth here - I also was a gentlemen and actually tolerated his cockiness backstage prior to going onstage.

Peace,
rac

View user profile http://www.glennracoma.com
Well, that's a situation where you just got burned, plain and simple!
How did you know the guy was going to release a CD of the show
you played on? This is the chance we all take when we do these things
without legal backing.

Here's the thing, Rac, as a hired gun you have no right to expect equal pay.
You only have a right to expect to get paid what you agreed to. No one who
hires you is obligated to tell you what the gig is paying. You and your client
agree on a negotiated price and that's what you get paid.

Here's the best way I see to protect yourself to a greater degree:
SET A FEE FOR YOURSELF! If the one who is looking to hire you doesen't
want to pay it then don't do the gig. Or you can go a more expensive route
and get yourself some legal representation and have your lawyer write up
contractual clauses as to the conditions of the jobs you accept.

I think we can both agree that with what we make at our level of performance
opportunity, that this really isn't financially feasible... Besides, the one doing the
hiring would simply go find someone else and not deal with the hassle of working
with you...

Either way, you're jacked... But you don't want to get ripped off either.
I would say set parameters for yourself. And once those parameters have been
established among potential clients then only those clients who are willing to meet
those parameters will call you.

Well, there IS one final option: Develop yourself into a kick-*ss drummer to the degree
that potential clients will want you bad enough to meet your criteria. cheers

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I like to split things evenly at shows. if i have a cd and sell it at a show and i have musicians on the gig, I'll split the take with them, because without them i wouldn't have had the platform to make the sales from. that's just how i do it. i think when you spread it out it comes back in some form. if it's just the feeling that i did something nice for my band by actually helping them survive then that is better than being selfish with the take. If 2 bands play a gig, i like to split it evenly each member gets an equal share. But often a 5 piece band gets the same as a 8 piece then the 8 piece doesn't do as well. In a perfect environment everyone gets an equal slice but that doesn't always happen.

Ginger baker should have gotten a fair shake but i am willing to gesture that he did alright but blew his money on his polo ponies and other pastimes like weed, whiskey and smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day for 44 years. i know he lived in santa barbara but got kicked out of america for not contributing.

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Just curious. How DOES the pie get cut up from CD sales nowadays, generally?

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On the local level... The way that Kenny describes things is usually
the way they're done except for the cd sales. If I get hired by an artist
And he sells cd's that I had nothing to do with then I see no residules
from that and I don't have a problem with it. But usually it's whatever
the band makes on the gigs is split evenly. Same can be said for a band
member situation.

However with national acts it's generally not done this way. You are contracted
for a negotiated fee that both parties agreed to before project begins. During
my stint on the road from 05 to 10, this is the way it was done. And this is the
way most if not all big name artists do it. I've talked to players that worked for
artists like James Brown, B.B. King, Maria Muldar, Angela Bofill, Anita Baker, and
Ray Charles. All these players were paid on a weekly salary. That's basically the
way it's been done and is done to this day. There may be some with higher salaries
than others but the method is what it is.

Those who choose to do it differently is in their right to do so.

ASAPH!!!!!!!........ HE'S BAAAAAAACK! affraid

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Rac, You and the other 3 musicians who played on the live CD are ceertainly within your rights to sue the bastard.


That may or may not be worth your time and money to do so. If it were me, I would break the guys fingers so he could not play for a long time but I know you're a man of peace.



Peace, TED

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Yes Ted, I believe in time, and I've seen it so many times, that it all comes back to the person that initiates injustice. All I know is that I serve a just God who deals justly better than I can. The thing that bothers me is the cockiness that seems to always permeate through individuals like him. It's like the unfairness done is not enough. It's stated that 'vengeance is mind saith the Lord.' I never wished it upon anyone, but appears likened to the natural laws of gravity. So in light of that perspective - because it's all in perspective. We may ask who then is really on the....... losing end?

Shalom,
rac

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Romans 12:19 as it refers to Deuteronomy 32:35.

All I know is that I serve a just God who deals justly better than I can.

It's stated that 'vengeance is mind saith the Lord.' I never wished it upon anyone, but appears likened to the natural laws of gravity. So in light of that perspective - because it's all in perspective. We may ask who then is really on the....... losing end?

A wise outlook, Rac. The natural man in us wants to see it.
Some of us would even love the opportunity to inflict it. But
those of us who know also understands that God will have
his day. Who can be more just than God?

And again, those of us who know would not wish God's wrath
of justice on anyone. So we pray that the Lord would rather
bring them to a place where that doesn't have to happen.

But either way, rest assured that The Lord is not slack concerning his
promises as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering (patient) to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance.


2 Peter 3:9


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