Pondering That Age Old Question: Why Are Musicians Paid Peanuts?
I get at least one link a day from another musician, music lover, performing rights organisation, etc. that is broadly concerned with a generalised lack of ‘respect’, ‘wages’, etc. for ‘professional’ musicians. In short ‘why are musicians paid peanuts? It’s so unfair!’ There will be the usual bad guys (corrupt record companies, loathsome bar owners, evil corporations, ignorant consumers, etc.) Rarely is the finger of responsibility pointed towards musicians themselves. Well I’m here to point that filthy, nasty finger.
I especially love the posts where a musician gives one ’10 Tips for convincing club owners to pay you what you deserve!’ I’ve actually laughed out loud reading these (they sound like a headline from Cosmo.) They are generally about as useful as ‘Tips for convincing Walmart to pay you more!’ Puh-lease. Record companies and club owners pay what the market says they should pay. You really think well-expressed arguments work? Look, the only reason I pay a plumber $200 to deal with my sewer is because… wait for it… all the plumbers got together and decided that’s what it should cost. There may be small variations, but every plumber charges what they charge to do competent work. They don’t show up with a snake and then take time to ‘convince’ you of their merits. Same with doctors, lawyers, carpenters, etc. You’re paid what people think [...]