You’re a Real Musician When:
You realize that the cheers from the audience after a particularly
difficult passage are for a sports play on the big screen TV over the
bar, and that in fact, no one is listening to you.
When the gig you drove 200 miles for to make $100, and had to pay for a
hotel room, is later referred to as your "summer tour".
When your most sincere, heartfelt comments are made by people that are
drunk and who won’t remember you in the morning.
When you are repeatedly told that the lead singer who can’t read, never
practices and has been singing for only six months is "The strongest
part of the band", primarily because she has big tits.
When you are pleased that the pay for the gig, when looked at hourly
from the time you leave your house to when you return meets minimum
When someone comes up to you to tell you how much they love your
playing, because they didn’t think anyone played those things anymore.
You get to the gig to find out that nothing is comped, and you’re
charged $10 to park.
When someone seeks you out to complement your playing as the "best sax
player they have ever heard", and you’re the trumpet player.
When you realize that a small piece of equipment- such as a wireless
mike you need- will take months of weekly gigs to pay for.
When you have to add $30 or $40 out of your pocket to find a sub, cause
no one will cover you for what you are paid.
You aren’t offended when all of the young wedding guests leave after
the second set to dance to the DJ at a club down the street.
When you are told that you must play until the very end of when you
were contracted for, when your only audience is the bartender, and
you’re being paid 40 or 50 bucks for the night.
When the bandleader or club owner wants to pay you in food or drinks,
and you have $100,000 in school loans to pay off for that music degree.
When the guy collecting money at the door for the band’s performance
makes twice over the course of the evening what you do as one of the
When as a member of a blues band you no longer even pretend to smile
when asked to play "Free Bird".
When you know that other musicians who routinely claim they don’t work
for less than $100 a night only work a few times a year.
You notice that all of the musicians playing the better functions to
young audiences are mid 40’s+ and balding, because young musicians that
read don’t exist anymore.
When people who are drunk tell you that what you are doing is
absolutely great and the best thing thing they have ever seen or heard,
but refuse to pay more than $5 at the door.
When someone calling the cops for noise is a good thing. You get to go
home early and you still get paid.
When you realize that asking women out that you meet on gigs doesn’t
work, for now they know you’re a musician.
When you get invited to play the same gig the following year, which
means that you don't have tear down after this year's gig.
When you have, for several years, been paid the same amount for a gig,
but are afraid to say anything about it for fear that you might lose
When you spend more on the bar tab than you get paid for the gig.
When you finally have to resort to playing Proud Mary in order to get
the audience dancing.