Re: Low Paying Gigs

This is my response to Emilio Le Blanc’s comment on my original post:

Hi Emilio,

Thanks for your comments.

Let me clarify. This post addresses instances where musicians have the freewillto accept, reject or negotiate terms based on their supposed value. In regards to instances where musicians are starving, being blackmailed and/or being threatened by murder, I’ll have to save that for another post!

I just returned from playing a gig where I received no financial compensation. I perform at this venue because I believe it still offers value that is equal to the value of my performance. I don’t complain because the action of complaining assumes that this relationship is unequal. Complaining would be silly because it is in my power to reject or renegotiate these terms! It’s in allmusicians’ power to reject or renegotiate these terms.

You may ask then: Would I sacrifice a career in music if I thought the whole world undervalued my work? You bet I would!

As for the Fountainhead reference, it’s a beautiful quote and expresses perfectly my feelings on this subject.  I won’t hesitate to share things that have moved and inspired me. Regardless, I don’t entirely understand your views as you’ve written them, so we’ll have to save the debate for another time.


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