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Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 52
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post

I wanted to throw this out there for your takes on it. Many have responded to this in the thread re "JimmyJ in Bass Player". Let's address this from a non-pro perspective - no money/copyright issues etc. Local bands doing local shows.

I realize everyone will have a different take - new bands will want publicity (the old saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity). I'm not in that position.

To repeat, I play in a cover band - we're weekend warriors not pros, but we've had a measure of success over the years and work steadily. Between clubs and concerts we average 100+ shows a year. Our name and rep has become established locally (Long Island, NY) in the 24+ years the band's been around - I've been in this band for 16 years so we have a following, many that go back to the beginning.

I echo JimmyJ's feelings regarding taping of a live show. It's one thing to take some still pictures or catch a bit of song here and there on a phone, but there are people that come with tripods and tape everything. For what? Why not just come see us again? We're doing covers for crissakes!

I dislike the idea that we have no control over any recorded material and would prefer it didn't happen. Of course, it's not realistic to think this can be enforced at every situation, but in a dinner club, where it's a more intimate environment for example, we'll ask anyone doing it continuously to stop.

Everyone has less than stellar shows and there is no way to control what happens to the tape. A lot of players don't care one way or the other. These are my personal feelings and I'm interested in hearing yours.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8686
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 7:47 am:   Edit Post

As an aside; if you are doing over a hundred paid gigs a year, you may be, in my view, and I think not unreasonably so, a professional. I suppose it can depend on the circumstances; if you're getting paid primarily in beer, then no, but if you're making enough to pay the expenses of playing plus some left over each week to go toward putting food on the table, then it's a profitable endeavor. If you're working two nights a week, every week, year in and year out, and getting paid to do so, I would tend to think of you as a working musician. Regardless, I'm guessing that since you've been in the same band for such a long period of time, playing every weekend, that it's a pretty enjoyable experience. Congrats on your success!
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 552
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

What Dave said. There were times I wasn't gigging that much when it was my only income. You may have a side job, but you're a pro, dude.

Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 54
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 9:05 am:   Edit Post

Though I understand your take, I don't equate gig frequency with being a pro. In my mind a pro is someone who is devoted and dedicated to their profession. I'm a pro at my day job but I am an amateur bass player. I do it as a hobby. Having said that, I need my music the way I need air. It's what releases me.

Jeff Berlin did a great article way back on being an amateur vs pro, success notwithstanding. He compared it to being a doctor saying, would you want to be operated on by someone that only dabbles in it because it's fun and only does it on weekends, or would you want someone that spent years training to do it as their vocation to do the work? JimmyJ is a pro. Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Jaco - you get my drift. Unfortunately I don't fall into that category.

Anyway, although I play regularly, I can't live off of it and quite honestly I wouldn't want to be put in that position. My day job allows me to gig, not the other way around. The gigs allow me to play with some great players who also happen to be really good friends, and to indulge myself with gear now and again. I'm very fortunate to be in this position and I am grateful.

So, how would you feel about being video'd?

Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 294
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 9:58 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, I am sure that any "PRO" will tell you that you have to pay your dues, and I aint talking just union dues brother ! _____ that would be the easy part.
Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 295
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 10:14 am:   Edit Post

I personally look at every situation in a separate set of circumstances , that is how I think. I really do not follow a set mind set or policy for anything and that way I can evaluate anything with a fresh out look to a project. A blank canvas to paint on ! I DO NOT however encourage copy right infringement or worse, piracy, of an Artists work.
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1728
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post

As long as they're not selling it, I don't care..

Username: gyonnii

Post Number: 51
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 3:03 pm:   Edit Post

All I can say is I have seen first hand video issue, I did roadie for John Judge and once during a show with Edgar Winter and Rick derringer , I have seen Rick have a guy thrown out of a club and told the bouncers to take the tape out of an 8mm camcorder and bring it to him, he was pissed off, and then gave the audience a speech on pirate's who steal over the mic while destroying the tape in front of everyone while on stage, but if you did it today someone would try to sue you!
A month later after they went to Japan, I did not get to go, but John told me when he came back that Rick was selling Cassette Tapes of the performances at the shows to try and discourage these acts, I mean as far as myself goes, I love You Tube but you are talking a organization using your wears to put up publicly and it could make you or hang you out to dry and there is a lot of bootleg stuff on that site
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2420
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 8:56 pm:   Edit Post

To me, "pro" is more attitude, state of mind, and commitment to deliver than it is skill or training. It doesn't matter how much money you make or how many hours of practice you have in. If you show up at a gig and get yourself into a state where you can't put forth a quality performance, you're not a pro.

With regard to video, I don't care about people taping our shows. I wouldn't tape anyone else's show without permission. If, for some reason, I did tape someone else's show, I wouldn't publish it. In taping, I would also be unwilling to block any other attendee's view of the show.

Posting a 30 second or less clip seems to be accepted as part of a review or report, but full song or full show videos feel like copyright violation to me.

My opinion, anyway...
Intermediate Member
Username: jimmyj

Post Number: 112
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - 9:58 pm:   Edit Post

The titles; pro, part-time, hobbyist, are meaningless. There are talented musicians everywhere, some of which only play on rare occasions...

Yeah, Will, you gotta wonder why somebody needs to video tape your whole gig? What if the guy subsequently has a party at his house and instead of hiring your band he just plays the video all night? That would be lame. And an old-school bootlegger would set up a table outside the club, sell copies of the video and keep all the loot. Not that this guy is thinking of doing either of these things, he might just be a super-fan, every band has them.

The Rick Derringer thing is a direct reaction to having been ripped off back in the day when people DID sell bootlegs. I don't think anybody is making money that way now, certainly not with their cellphone cameras. If you get to a gig and there are multiple broadcast quality cameras around, well, it's time to renegotiate.

Jimmy J
Username: jos

Post Number: 24
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 12:17 am:   Edit Post

If someone is videotaping or recording a concert and makes money with the material without the artists or record companies permission it’s of course always illegal.
If someone puts something on YouTube its most of the time a fan who want to share the experience with other fans. Its not always fair to the artist but on the other hand it’s a public performance and the artist gets paid for the gig so the artist should also make sure that the performance has some quality.
The great thing with YouTube is that you can check out musicians you like or musicians you have never heard about before. I would like to buy Allan Holdsworth DVD`s featuring Jimmy Johnson on bass but its not possible because there are non so in this case I would hope to find some on YouTube.

Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1034
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 3:07 am:   Edit Post

Pro v amateur??
Well Dave I do loads of gigs every year, have done since i picked up the guitar then the bass, my record if I can remember is over 200 in one year.
Difference..Pro = full time job whether you are good or moderate at it
Amateur = weekends and week nights.
The tag can be misleading as I know one excellent pro drummer who gigs with the weekenders..he doesn't mind at all, no airs & graces at all.

Now the video/copyright. Personally I prefer to down load a snippet of a song then go and buy the CD or DVD. It's only respectful to do that, same with PC/console games.
If YT shows me something I like then I go buy the full product.
Bootlegging,copying etc will never be properly policed as the general public have the attitude 'Well it is just a song/film/game' as they don't realise the amount of work that goes into producing such work from musicians, film makers and software games writers..they just see the final product..a piece of circular shiny plastic.
Copyright is a big issue that is very often overlooked
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1369
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 5:16 am:   Edit Post

I look at an amateur as someone who does not get paid. A weekend warrior getting paid I would call a semi-pro. In general I consider a pro someone who's primary income is from music.

As far as recording and photo's go I wouldn't have problems with a few snapshots that were for personal consumption. The same goes for video provided it is snippets of the performance (like my solo. LOL). I also suspect the guitar player in my band would have issues as a lot of the material is copyrighted by him and he sells it via CD and download.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8692
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 7:49 am:   Edit Post

On the pro vrs amateur discussion, everyone has made excellent points, and it seems reasonable to conclude that these words have different meanings for different people, just like a lot of words do. So I'm thinking Jimmy has a great solution; that the tags don't really mean much.
Intermediate Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 171
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 8:00 am:   Edit Post

Just to ad more light here as far as the Rick Derringer thing, two weeks prior after a gig, Rick and myself and two other band members went out for breakfast after a gig and while sitting eating, a fan of Rick's came up to him and asked him if he would sign the inside of his CD cover that the fan handed was Bootleg and Rick asked him where he got it from, the man said he bought it from a guy outside the club that night, Rick was furious and did not sign it and told the guy to go play it at his grand mothers house on her Victrola Lol! but Rick talked about it for weeks , so when the tape issue happened that was like the last straw for Rick and Jimmy J is exactly right it was pure bootleg issues back then, people making money.

Rick did manage to get a copy of one later and hated it more when he heard the recording quality sounded like it was done with a tin can and string into a cassette recorder from Radio Shack.

I can't seem to recall the exact video I seen on you tube, but during a Return to forever performance at one point Stanley and Chic are at center stage and as Chic looks out at the audience he is disturbed by what he sees a man video taping the concert he then nudges a sign to stanley to look at what's bothering him and you can see the look of frustration on both their faces.

I have to agree, nothing is more uncomfortable than seeing that happen while you are trying to play your best on the stage and you feel somewhat violated unless you are being taped for national T.V. and residuals are coming your way after.
One for the positive side is places like You Tube do allow us to catch some clip performances from players who should be and some who are better then Pro's that might have a better chance of being discovered thanks to their hard practice and You Tube...but on the other hand I have also seen some of the worse wannabe's ever who really think they can play.. so our mind's become a siphon for what we like and dislike as for me It doesn't matter as far as a clip goes but if I see a camera set up on a tripod with the red light on for more than 2 or 3 songs I am going to ask someone to say something to that individual because now I am not sure what his intentions are,

Bobby Torello, Johnny Winter's drummer(fabulous drummer) once told me he paid $ 5.00 walked into a blues club one night in Florida and saw a concert on a big screen of Johnny playing from a VHS machine with himself playing the drums that was almost and hour long while people watched and drank. He was in shock.
Intermediate Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 199
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 8:09 am:   Edit Post

Given the changing times, the advent of youtube and the propagation of video capture modalities like cell phones and teeny tiny video cams, I think it's reasonable to suggest that anyone that plays out these days should expect to be taped in some way. I'm not saying if it's right or wrong, but it's simply reality nowadays.

If you play out, and you lack a team of anti-image dissemination agents, you should reasonably expect your performance to be captured and posted in some manner. Again, I'm not layering judgment on whether this is appropriate, I'm just saying that this is now the way it is.

I'm wondering what the next phase will be...
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 826
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 10:36 am:   Edit Post

"I'm wondering what the next phase will be..."

Probably Holography
Intermediate Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 166
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post

Is this the next phase:

"Free minds, free bodies, free dope, free music.
The day is on it's way..." (from "Hijack" by Kantner, Balin, Slick, Blackman)

Naaahh, probably not...
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2292
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 2:08 am:   Edit Post

The next phrase, perhaps?
Advanced Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 304
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

Here is another angle in the definition of 'PRO" ; the music provided is EXACTLY what the costumer is paying you for. As in playing JUST what is written on the sheet music for the sound track of the commercial. This is an analogy , but I think you get the idea.
When I was in the High School Brass Band I used to get in trouble for improvising parts for where there were rests written for me on the sheet music. I was highly reprimanded by the conductor every time that I did that and eventually thrown out of the Brass Band . The Band Conductor (teacher) showed up at my home room a few days later and asked me to come back and said that he was just trying to instill "PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR ' in me! My answer to him was ' I AM SORRY THAT I HAVE DISAPPOINTED YOU SIR , BUT I HAVE DECIDED TO PLAY THE BASS GUITAR IN A ROCK& BLUES BAND INSTEAD" I still play Brass instruments as well as the Bass guitar . ALL in ALL Jimmy is RIGHT , as Dave said as well."THE TAGS DON'T MEAN MUCH '
Thank you very much ______________!

(Message edited by sonicus on September 04, 2009)
Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 225
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 9:22 am:   Edit Post

I think the way copyrighted material gets shared in an unauthorized fashion, has different ramifications and results, depending on many factors.

One of them being generational. I am 50 years old. When I was a teenager, I used to record and share with my friends, concerts of our favorite punk bands. I also bought everything I could from those same bands. It would never occur to me that a bootleg could take the place of a published release. I wanted it all.

In my adult life, I have been given many dozens of CD copies of bands I have never heard of. Most got a partial listen, never to be considered again. But a few, I fell in love with, and listened to often. This would start a long term appreciation of a band, with many purchases that, if not for an "illegal" copy being passed on to me, would never have happened.

I am of a mindset and a generation that I suspect, better understands the concept of supporting an artist, and intellectual property. For me, and many like me, the easy access on YouTube and through digital copies of music, has been a boon to expanding my awareness and appreciation of all sorts of artists. Some of these artists end up with my dollars, and the ones that don't, would never have seen them anyway.

If I had to guess, the poor kid who was denied Derringer's autograph on the bootleg, most likely bought the bootleg because he already had all of his albums, and simply couldn't have too much Derringer.

From what I hear on the internets though, the youngsters don't see it like I do. Many of the whippersnappers think it's their birthright to never pay for music. This is a shame.

Maybe all the artists of the world should go on strike, see how long those little thieves last with NO NEW MUSIC to steal!

I guess the point I want to make is that this is nothing new. When cassettes came out, it was the end of the music business. Why would anyone buy an album when they could make their own copy for free? It happened again when recordable CD's became common, there goes the business.

I guess it's true, the old model, the big record companies, are going through some huge changes. But I suspect that the free and easy distribution of digital music, (the internet) has also enabled thousands of artists to sell and live off their art, that would have never been able to under the old way of doing business.

If you don't want to be videotaped, put up signs at the entrance. Make them sound scary, "recorders will be confiscated" etc. Have a roadie stand at the door and check for obvious tapers. Have a friend patrol the crowd while you are onstage. Still if someone captures your worst clam on tape, and posts it on the Tube, move on. Life is too short. If someone is going to make enough money for you to notice, from your intellectual property, then sue them.

If I were Bobby Torello watching myself on a bootleg tape, I would have demanded the $5 cover charge back!

(Message edited by jbybj on September 04, 2009)

(Message edited by jbybj on September 04, 2009)
Username: bassilisk

Post Number: 55
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 9:28 am:   Edit Post

Well, this whole thread quickly took a left turn into what being a "pro" is. Not a bad thing in itself - it got a lot of responses but it wasn't quite the crux of the biscuit.

At any rate, tonight I'm back at a dinner club that lends itself to an intimate setting and is the place that precipitated this whole thing. The last two times we were there there's been one guy in particular who has appointed himself our official videographer. I've spoken to the rest of the band and only one or two are ambivalent - the majority are not comfortable having the evening's performance under his control. If he shows up he'll be asked to refrain from taping before we go on.
It's clear we should expect some level of this in this day and age, but we feel he has exceeded our comfort limit. He already has way more than he should.

jbybj - I was writing my post while you were doing yours. I do understand your point about providing accessibility to material - I did all of that myself. However, we're not selling any original product.

In an age where the boundaries of privacy are constantly being stretched without an individual's personal control I find myself defending mine ever more fiercly. It seems everyone with a camera feels they should be allowed to put you into the ether whenever/however they want, whether you are aware of what they're posting or not. THAT bothers me. Am I over reacting? Maybe. Our only product is the performance of the moment - it's not like copyrighted material but it is our selling point and what continues to get us work. As such I feel any representation of that should be in our control.

(Message edited by bassilisk on September 04, 2009)
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 88
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

Isn't this why ASCAP went after clubs instead of bands back in the 90's? It is easier to controll the clubs, they are stationary, than the bands playing the clubs. Just my 2 cents. But possibly it is the same with the share sites. If the unions go after the sites and make them pay heavy, what then? By the way, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I grew up in the time when a Zep, or Dead bootleg vinyl was the ultimate possession, and still have a few, including Dire Wolf(sonicus) from 69'. I don't care if my stuff is onsite, But I really do feel for cat's whose livelyhood depends on ticket, and media sales.

Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 226
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 2:52 pm:   Edit Post

"In an age where the boundaries of privacy are constantly being stretched without an individual's personal control I find myself defending mine ever more fiercly. It seems everyone with a camera feels they should be allowed to put you into the ether whenever/however they want, whether you are aware of what they're posting or not. THAT bothers me. Am I over reacting? Maybe. Our only product is the performance of the moment - it's not like copyrighted material but it is our selling point and what continues to get us work. As such I feel any representation of that should be in our control. "

I wholeheartedly agree. While most of my post was directed to the digression that occurred in this thread, I also offered what I hoped to be some practical, useful suggestions at curbing the unwelcome videotaping. If nothing else, knowing you are being taped will affect your performance. A band of your reputation should be able to get some support and help from the club with respect to this problem. Good luck, and have fun...... JBY

BTW, I would love to check out your band, are you on YouTube?

(Message edited by jbybj on September 04, 2009)
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1371
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post

Actually I agree with you about the change of opinion about ones privacy. I also fight to keep mine as much as possible. I also would not want performances with my band to have uncontrolled video and sound recordings by the audience. While many, if not all, of these recordings would present a positive view it only takes one person with an axe to grind to cause problems.

As I said above there has been a shift in the way the internet generation looks at things. I say this with two children in their early 20's and a brother in-law not much older. In my opinion as this group has given up their own privacy freely they have come to the opinion everything should be available as openly and freely as the privacy they gave up. To be honest I am disappointed in the way the internet has turned out and it's effect on a generation but that is going off on a tangent.

I think your idea of asking the person not to record your show or James suggestion to have a friend or staff handle it is a good start.

Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1264
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 05, 2009 - 1:19 pm:   Edit Post

I had a hand in starting this on the JJ thread with my question regarding "lost performances", and I have been taping myself (audio) for over 35 years (I have partial shows, and even rehearsal tapes from 1972, etc). I was influenced by the philosophy of the Grateful Dead regarding performance and structure. Barring technical failure, I have recorded every show and almost every jam session / practice I've been involved with. I made a stereo recording of the Alembic Chicago gathering at Bagend this spring.

I think the crux of this discussion is control of the materiel and the performance. My personal belief is that the artists always must retain the control that gives them their maximum level of comfort and artistic expression / freedom. Recording a show should always be cleared in advance before attempting, with clear understanding of the purpose and control of said recordings.

To me, the composer is the paramount stakeholder in the final say regarding clearance, with the artists/musicians as seriously interested second parties. Both composers and performers have right of veto to any recordings they don't want to occur. I would use the methods discussed above by jbybj and Keith to control unauthorized recordings.

I have placed several full song audio recordings on MySpace, all are originals and all were cleared by the composers before posting. I have never uploaded a recording of a cover tune, because I have not sought or received clearance for any of those recordings.

I feel a different approach might be argued for a cover band uploading short samples(fair use?) of songs in order to promote bookings, but at least it would still be under the control of the band, not an attendee.


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