April 21, 2010-The Brady Band Bunch
“…and they knew that it was much more than a hunch. That this group must somehow form a family….that’s the way we all become the Brady Bunch…” – Sherwood Schwartz- Creator of Gilligans Island and The Brady Bunch
You can smell it in the air. It’s the scent of diesel and sweat combined with smoke and beer. It’s the “possibility party” as my friend Jeff Mosier would put it. It is tour season. And no matter if you’re a member of a garage band, a professional musician or a weekend warrior, spring means getting in a vehicle and taking your music to the masses.
Some bands tour with a skeleton crew. Some tour with an entourage of buses, merchandisers, managers, wardrobe staff and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For most intermediate bands, a support staff is not feasible or affordable. Therefore, each member wearing two hats is essential. One hat is the musician cap. The second is the business chapeau.
The drummer may set up his own kit and take care of making sure the email list is making repeat rounds during the show. He may also do the driving. The singer may take care of the contract, advance the performance, oversee load in and load out and get paid at the end of the night, and hopefully reschedule a future appearance with the talent buyer. The bass player may be navigator and in charge of mapping, GPS and directions. He may be responsible for waking and gathering the band each day as traveling commences. He may stock the van with water and snacks for convenience and economy. The guitarist may oversee merchandise inventory and participate in selling merch between breaks as well as settling tabs and making sure the bar staff is tipped well. Making friends among the bar staff is essential. These people can make or break a band.
If a member is confused about his work outside playing music, supply him or her with a job description.
Yes, your group must somehow form a family. And families have responsibilities. Even band families.