Friday, February 26, 2010

How to NOT make money in Music

Ok, so we played a gig last Saturday. It went really well. We
had a good time, we sounded OK, and I don't believe I did any
major screw-ups which would have made everyone else look bad.

Now, one thing that must be understood here is that we are a
Christian band. We don't make any money, and we are not doing
this to make money. It is spiritual, comforting, and is also
great fun.

So we don't play clubs, rock venues, backyard parties, or The
Hollywood Bowl. We do coffeehouses, church functions,
sometimes Masses. Our gig last Saturday was a Magnificat
Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lewisville, Texas. Events
like this might have between 300-600 people in attendance.
Like everyone else who attends, we each had to pay $18.00
to be there, even though we were part of the entertainment.

So here is a picture of me in front of some of the equipment,
and our fearless leader Roger warming up his axe:
(Do they still refer to guitars as axes?)

Roger and me:

A shot of the interior from a recent event before the frenzied
crowd arrives:

The night before the gig, we usually get everything set up.
Roger has to rent a U-Haul moving van for 24 hours. We meet up
at his house...where he has his studio... and load it up.
Amps, keyboards, mixers, drums, music stands, microphones and
microphone stands, speakers, monitors, and miles and miles of
thick cable.

Depending on how much help we are able to dig up, we usually
have the van loaded up in about an hour. this case
last Friday night...we head out to the hotel. It is nearby,
it only takes about half an hour to get there. We arrived by
around 7:00 PM.

Unloading is a bit of grunt work, but then, once all the
merchandise is inside and scattered around, we are able to start
assembling the various components. Everything has to be set up,
wires connected, tested, cables taped down.

The electronic drums add a whole new dimension to the mix, as
they take longer to set up than standard acoustic drums.

(They are LESS work to physically carry around and set up, but
the fact that they have to be plugged in and programmed makes
it more time-consuming).

I got very lucky this time, I was able to program some really
great sounding tom-toms into them, which in the past I had been
having trouble doing.

There are usually a few glitches that come up, such as bad
cables, sound checks that fail, etc. But this time it went
OK, we were done and out of there by 11:00 PM.

I went home, got some sleep, and arrived back at the hotel at
about 7:15 AM for a final check. (Some members opt to stay
overnight at the hotel, especially if it is pretty far out from
home, but that is an added expense, so I usually don't do this).
The event ran from 9:00 AM till noon.

Breaking it all down is always much quicker than setting it up,
and we had lots of help too. It only took us an hour to make it
all go away and get it into the van.

All we had to do next was go back to the studio at Roger's house,
unload the van, and get it back to U-Haul.

Sometimes Roger will get compensated for his expenses by the
guy that runs the video, or some of the Church groups. When we
compare our notes at the end of the gig, we always joke that you
know you have made it in the music world when you play a gig,
and you break even!

But again, money is not the reason we play. It is a lot of work,
but a lot of fun. It is well worth it to enjoy ourselves, and
if we are able to help our listeners with their spirituality,
that is all the reward we need.

Like Roger says, "It's what we do."

Peace be with you.


  1. That's really cool. Sounds like a lot of fun. So if they're that much more of a headache, why the switch to electronic drums?

  2. That sounds like so much fun! I'm glad you enjoy owns the world!:P

  3. Mr. Hendrick...Roger prefers them, as they are easier to record and transport. They actually sound good, they just don't LOOK as cool.

    Thanks for the input, Miss Sarah.

  4. I can't believe you have to pay! That sucks!

    I think it's great that you guys love playing so much. It's a lot more work than people realize... I have never been in a band, but my parents had a country-western band for a few years and it looked like a total pain in the tookus. You really have to love what you're doing!

  5. you are correct, you aren't going to get rich, but it sounds like you get happiness from it. That's probably payment enough!

  6. Awesome!! How cool is it that you play gigs? I think that is something to be extremely proud of, not to mention that you seem to really enjoy doing it.

    You are the entertainment, so everyone's favourite person while you are performing. That must feel great :)

  7. That is very cool...thanks for sharing with us!