Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | May 22, 2015

The Bandleader

I’ve met many types of bandleaders. Here are a few personalities…

Pay yourself first leader: This bandleader pays themselves first and might eventually get around to paying members. If the gig pays $1,000, this leader will pay themselves $500 (leader’s fee?) and pay the members $100 each. Resentment develops among members. But musicians in the band are happy as long as they get paid.

We are a family (with a good job) leader: This bandleader is great. Everyone feels appreciated. Everyone is paid equally. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to support the organization (promoting, sharing responsibilities, etc.). This bandleader usually has a great job outside of music. When they pass away, members might now appreciate their sacrifices.

We are family (musician) leader: This bandleader uses other gigs, CD sales and royalty payments to fund the band. When checks bounce, they come out of pocket to pay for the gig. Similar situation to previous listed bandleader with the exception of no “good job” to fund gigs.

Pay yourself last leader: This bandleader rarely makes money on gigs as a leader. They are similar to the “We are a family” bandleaders with one exception… This leader sets a standard rate for members regardless of incoming funds. When the leader can’t afford to pay the band (bounced checks and/or broke), members might take to social media. Or in ideal situations, might be compassionate.

I am the star leader: This leader might be a combination of all of the above listed. Everything is about them on stage. It’s their show. They might treat musicians well behind the scenes or they might not. But they are the star. They will do anything to get ahead, even sacrifice members.

I am clueless leader: This leader did not speak to any elders before starting a band. They piss off their members and the audience. The money is always funny and someone probably punched them in their mouth for f-ing things up.

The BS bandleader: This leader is the one who gets on the stage and bs their way through sounding like crap and making the really good musicians work extra hard to make the music sound half way decent to overcome the crap. But their precious heart is in the right place SO everybody gets paid.

Amnesia bandleader: This bandleader was mentored by elders and hired/introduced around by other established musicians. When they become a bandleader, well they forget all about the people who hired them and taught them how to become a leader, and never call them for gigs. Might even take gigs from those who helped them get established.

The switcher leader: This leader switches it up all the time. They are a combination of all of the above. Sometimes they are cool. Sometimes they are crooks. You don’t know if you should love or hate them.

The Bandleader…


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