Remember Your First Paying Gig?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by stucker, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. fenderball

    fenderball Supporting Member

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    first paying gig was waaay back...acoustic duo...played at a nursing home...they paid us with lunch in the cafeteria...
     
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  2. jerrycampbell

    jerrycampbell Member

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    My first paying gig was my high school graduation party, 1978 or 79.
    It took place at a local University hall.
    I don't remember the pay, but I remember I played loud punk rock on a wine red Les Paul DeLuxe with a Dimarzio SD in the bridge through an MXR Distortion+ into a heavy 100W Gibson 2x12 solid state amp on a big stage.
    Quite a memorable night.
     
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  3. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    No, I can't. I recall being paid while in my early-to-mid teens in the mid 70's, but can't remember the actual first paying gig. I can remember my first paying flop as a roaming troubadour for a friends wedding reception. I was really frightened and sucked so bad (solo gigis are the worst), but received a wad of high value bills by the end of the night. A well paid terrible troubadour.

    I used to do a lot of 'live' session work: concerts for singing groups: in my late teens that paid well.
     
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  4. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    During a clean up, I found a notebook from 1974 with a list of dates, venues and moneys earned. Those amounts looked laughably “modest” but I reminded myself I managed to buy a car.
     
  5. p-ninety

    p-ninety Member

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    1966. My band, "The Lonely Souls," played the grand opening of the Garden Center at our brand new shopping center in SW Durham, NC, Lakewood Shopping Center.

    The center is still there (though much changed), and the Garden Center building still stands, though it's some other kind of business.

    We got paid $50 ($10 each) for the gig.

    I don't have a set list, but it was probably pretty much the first three Stones albums, the first Yardbird's album, the first Byrds album, plus the four or five Kinks songs and a few of the simpler Beach Boy tunes, the ones about cars and girls and surfing. My mom hauled our gear in our 1961 Plymouth station wagon, which had a square, see-through plastic steering wheel and a push-button transmission.

    Technically, I guess it was our second appearance; we'd played the Jr. High talent show the previous year, where we played three songs: Heart Full of Soul by the Yardbirds, Stubborn Kind of Fellow by Marvin Gaye, and Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs. We didn't have a keyboard player, but we rocked the heck out of that groove!

    Them were the days . . . .
     
  6. Kingofdogs1950

    Kingofdogs1950 Member

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    1968, we played a teen center called the Teen Teepee. I don't recall the exact $$ but I do recall that early on we usually made $100-200 for the five of us.
    Mostly dances at schools, roller rink, American Legion, Navy base, etc. We started doing clubs later even though we were all underage. Places with booze paid more. The most I can remember making was ~$4,000 for one night. That was serious $$$ for a high school band, but not our usual take.
    Kustom amps plus a twin, and we played LOUD. I blew out at least half a dozen 15" speakers. (And my ears...)
    I saved every penny for college. Enough to pay 1.5 years at the University of Houston.

    Mark
     
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  7. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

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    There are people who pay other people to play the guitar?
     
  8. jimpridx

    jimpridx Supporting Member

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    Our very first paid gig was when I was 14 in 1968. We were at a county fair playing as a 3-piece in the local Chevy dealer's display lot. If I remember correctly, I think we got a whopping 30 bucks to split between us.
     
  9. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    yes. we filled up the tip jar pretty good. the keyboard player took off with it all. welcome to the business, kid!
     
  10. jnovac1

    jnovac1 Supporting Member

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    yes.
     
  11. burner

    burner Member

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    I know right...

    First paying gig was a weekend kegger....half the band were still highschool seniors so they presold tickets all week and after expenses, etc., the five of us cleared like $50 each.
    First paying *club* gig, after all the ballyhoo and BS shellgaming from the club owner i think we ended up with like $75 to split 5 ways. lol
    At least we had Denny's afterwards. :)

    Getting paid the agreed upon amount at club gigs was always like pulling teeth...and we hardly EVER got the full amount.
    In fairness, we did pull our share if shennanigans, and in a good amount of "under 21" clubs, so....u know.
    Needless to say we much preferred the private party scenario where we ALWAYS got paid.
     
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  12. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Yes, I do, and it was a long time ago.

    I was playing trumpet. o_O
     
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  13. Mark Ray

    Mark Ray The RockTrain Gold Supporting Member

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    My first band's public debut. After HS football game dance, held in the junior high gym. We charged $1/head and made $363. Played 2 hours. DAMN it was a blast!
     
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  14. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    The band shared the bill with 3 other bands...we probably made $75 or less from the door. All I remember was one table really liked us so they kept buying us beer.
     
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  15. Lotis

    Lotis Silver Supporting Member

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    Yup. I was about 15. We knew some Jimmy Reed songs. So the guy that hired us decided to amuse himself by pouring us endless shots. We amused them but got sick drunk which started a bad pattern of behavior which took years to overcome!
     
  16. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    14 years old, '69. Played July 4th in a communal recreation park building with a cement floor on the York river.

    Audience was a bunch of teens staying in the campground. Quartet 2 gtr, bass, drums, PA shared with the Silvertone guitar amp.

    Think we did "Proud Mary" only once but may have repeated "Born To Be Wild" because it was so psychedelic. Did some Beatles, Stones, Creedance Clearwater, two originals, Cream, other? Good times.

    I may have been playing for about 6 months. We had played two parties up to then so we were getting a good enough reputation to actually get paid. :)

    A year later a pal & I put together a steady gigging band doing ABB, Santana, Yes, Jethro Tull, etc. Really good times.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  17. iGouger

    iGouger Supporting Member

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    115° and an outdoor stage. Hopped up on pills to combat the stagefright. Played to virtually no one. Took home $17. Way back in the summer of 2018.
     
  18. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    Berky's Blues bar in Tucson Arizona 1997ish. We got a Wednesday night residency that we kept for 3-4 years. Good times, I think we made $150 (total) a night.
     
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  19. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Ditto. I was playing in a ska/skate-punk band, which means our $100 had to be split 6 ways.

    When ska started falling to the the wayside, I started playing second guitar on our newer songs. When the frontman went to jail for arson, I took his place.

    Ah, memories.
     
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  20. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    Share. Gave most of mine to my girlfriend.
     
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