When I first move to DFW I took on a weekend run w/ a smaller original band. We discussed the details of the weekend, rehearsal to prepare, gig pay, etc & were off to the races…or so I thought.
We play the first show, no problem. It was a well established popular venue w/ plenty of locals. Plus they had a good crowd, we played the show great & I was paid that night. Night of the second show, was in a slightly smaller venue still in the DFW area. Because of our show the night before they had a smaller crowd & the payout wasn’t as good. Because of that, they asked if they could just pay me the next night for both gigs. I agreed & didn’t think much of it. Third night, we’re the band in the back of a barely attended pool haul. Needless to say, it was a bleak situation.
At the end of the last night the band leader presented me a sum FAR below our agreed per gig rate for the two show saying, “I’m sorry man, we just didn’t make enough to cover it.” After telling me this, I explained that it didn’t really matter what the door made, they hired me for X amount of shows for X amount of money. This was only met w/, “Sorry man, not anything else I can do.” Did I get upset, yell & scream? Absolutely not, I just calmly replied, “OK then, I’m taking that & giving it back once you pay me what you owe me.” What did I take you ask, the head to their PA. I then calmly walked over, unplugged everything, picked it up & carried it to my car as they watched. I then stored that piece of equipment at my house for 2 years until I decided to pawn it due to lack of payment.
This isn’t something I would normally do OR recommend.
In retrospect it’s probably not the best conflict resolution strategy; however, telling this story to people has gotten me paid before door deal shows when subbing sometimes. This was also before I had the Rhianna strategy I mentioned in my last post.
P.S. If you’re a front man & hire a sub/sideman & don’t make what you thought you were. Just pay what you originally agreed to. It’s not that subs fault/problem.