Love doesn’t pay debts

Posted by on Nov 24, 2011

A friend posted this on Facebook…

If you ask yourself why musicians charge so much for performances: We don’t get paid vacation, we don’t get paid sick days, we don’t get bonuses for outstanding performances nor for Christmas. We don’t have insurance plans nor do we qualify for unemployment. We sacrifice our family on special days so that we can bring happiness to others. Illness or personal affairs are not excuses for a bad performance. Next time you ask, remember that musicians are musicians because of the love of music, but that love doesn’t pay debts. *

I think there’s value in live music, and not just because I’m a musician. Yes, I’m also guilty of missing shows because of money but you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever come home from a show and regretted it (let’s assume there wasn’t a hangover involved) but there were countless times I’ve regretted my decision not to spend that $5, $10 or even $20. With so many shows these days being Pay What You Can or under $10, it’s hard to believe that people even ask this question and harder to understand how musicians can afford to play music, especially if they’re touring and/or have to split revenue with other band members. Many can’t. It must be the love thing that keeps us going…and maybe the other job or two we’re working.

* Unfortunately I am not sure who is the original author of this quote. If anyone knows, please feel free to post in the comments and I will update this blog.