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What are the financial considerations regarding the firing of a band member?

straticus

Member
Messages
3,101
What are the financial considerations regarding the firing of a band member?

We're going to have a band meeting to talk with our bass player about issues we all have with him and it's possible that he might end up getting the boot, depending on what he has to say for him self.

The only reason I'm asking about the financial end of this is because I know this will be one of the first questions our bass player (the guy possibly getting canned) will bring up. That's just how his mind works.

So here's my question: say something freaky happened and one of our songs took off and we started to make some money (it's a long shot, I know) but say it did happen, what would we owe the base player? He has never brought any songs to the band but he has helped in the arrangement of most of our tunes to varying degrees.

I'm just trying to get a feel for what we, as a band, would be obligated (legally and morally) to pay him if he was no longer with the band.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,316
If he's not listed as a writer, you legally don't owe him anything. Altho, if he added an integral part to the arrangement, he might have a case - the organist in Procol Harum just received a favorable judgment for his part in "Whiter Shade of Pale." But that's a whoppper of a part.

Morally, if the song hit, I'd at least buy him a beer... <g>
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
3,860
Lost in court even though Gary Brooker (credited songwriter) conceded that MF contributed most of the music.

Just saying.
 

mark norwine

Member
Messages
17,159
The whole "but I helped arrange" has been beaten to death.....here, there & in court. Unless he's the (or one of the) songwriters, he has no standing.

What he might hit you with is this: Did you all collectively contribute money (perhaps a portion of gig money) to PA gear? Petty cash? Capital funds? CD creation? He may want to be bought out of his pro rata share. If so, calculate it & write him a check. In the long run, that's the easiest.

Better still, if such a situation is likely, pre-calculate it and have a check already written, in an envelope, in your pocket.
 

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,895
Worry about that if and when it happens.

Or change the song slightly to eliminate his contribution.

IF there is a ton of money made, he will find a lawyer that will work for a %.
 

TD_Madden

KotWF
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,509
of course, iI think that organ part is Bach's......how much of cut do his heirs get?? :hide
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
37,846
I would handle the songwriting credits exactly the same as if he were still in the band, and the same as the other band members if they made similar contributions. If you believe he made a real contribution to writing a song or songs, he should get paid for it. If not, then not.
 

Simon

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,998
Just curious, what are the issues with the Guy?
Is he your good Bud? or is It really beyond repair?
Is'nt being in a Band like having 4 Girlfriends or Wives, and trying to get along with them all( Not easy)
 

straticus

Member
Messages
3,101
Just curious, what are the issues with the Guy?
Is he your good Bud? or is It really beyond repair?
Is'nt being in a Band like having 4 Girlfriends or Wives, and trying to get along with them all( Not easy)
He tries to run the band. He makes band decisions with out talking to the rest of the band. He stifles us musically. One of his favorite things to say is "I know what audiences want" and "I have a gift". The problem is, he really believes that crap.

He's the drummers step brother and even he's sick and tired of him.

Hey guys, thanks for the advise! There's going to be a band meeting soon.
 

SBRocket

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
685
Before you reprint any more cd's , re-record and remix the bass parts. Otherwise I think he could be entitled to some royalties for his performance.

I don't want to sound like a jerk but if you do make a big splash, say after another year or 2 of being out there working the songs, carrying amps and guitars, load-ins, load-outs, dealing with sleazy club managers and everything else that goes along with breaking a band, do you really think he would be entitled to get paid some of your hard earned money for sitting around not doing anything for the past 2 years?

I understand he contributed to the arrangements, but is there anything in there that any bassist would not have done in the same situation? When I play a new song for our band the bassist sometimes plays some things slightly different than I did on the demo and if I like them we keep it that way, but that is not writing IMO. Now, if the song were a 3 minute bass solo that might be different, but in that case I'd just pull it from the CD.

If you are breaking ties with him, you should try to make as clean a break as possible.

SB
 




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