The discussion below is taken from a thread launched by "Dnj" on the Synth Zone General Arranger forum.
Anyone bring their wife / girlfriend / boyfriend / husband to Gigs?
Dnj -- 01-09-2004 06:36 PM
Yes/No.....Pros/Cons on this question?
matias -- 01-09-2004 07:20 PM
Only on New Year's Eve, 'cause it's a special day and it's not easy to be far from the one you like. In general, unless it's a gig between friends (no job), I do not encourage a girlfriend to come with me (at least regularly) to my jobs. A gig is always a job, and it can be boring for somebody who's not working and knows nobody around. Anyway, if she really made up her mind about coming along, it's not going to be me to stop her! -- José.
cassp -- 01-09-2004 07:32 PM
When we were young, the wives would come on New Year's Eve. Now, she occasionally comes to the parish dinner dance to visit with our friends, not me. Otherwise, my wife has no desire to come to my jobs. I've had female singers who bring boyfriends or husbands, but I think mostly for security and not socialization. Back in the 70's, I'd bring my son to the job for the first set or two, but times were different and we were pretty much the hall band a mile from home. He loved it and still likes all that music I played back then; it was kind of a bonding for us.
kbrkr -- 01-09-2004 07:35 PM
First beer, now the women? What the hell has become of this forum? Are we turning bible belt or something? LOL
My wife is welcome to come to our gigs whenever she wants. The girls make a night out of it and hang together and get drunk.
She follows up more often these days, especially after she witnessed three wenches (from a local Renaissance Faire Troop) on the dance floor one night pulling down each other's blouses and licking each other. I almost fell off my piano stool, she didn't think it was so funny. LOL
Dnj -- 01-09-2004 07:35 PM
Jose, You make many valid points that I also agree with.
Part of my business is schmoozing the audience -- male and
female, on and off stage. This could create relationship problems
for the jealous less understanding"other half" even
though there is no harm intended. But that is
"what we do" in this business to make a successful living.
DonM -- 01-09-2004 07:35 PM
Years ago she did, but her mother, brothers and sisters came with her, and she had someone to sit with. Now, she doesn't come except on rare occasions with a friend. The last time she came out was when Tom Cavanaugh and his wife came to visit. We had a great time. Before that, it was probably a couple of years.
I'd say that, most of the time, it isn't a good idea, especially
with younger folks. There's the jealousy issue -- all entertainers
are deemed to be "fair game" for the opposite sex,
at least to flirt with. You have to walk a thin line and not
be rude but not encourage them either. My wife is totally
understanding and trusting, so I am very lucky. Not all wives
or husbands are like that.
travlin'easy -- 01-09-2004 08:14 PM
You guys must be kidding. This is a job -- not a vacation.
The music jobs are just like going to work anywhere else.
Do you take your wife with you to the office? Do you think
a surgeon takes his spouse to the operating room. "It's
OK, She's with me. She didn't have anything to do at home,
so I thought she could keep me company while I do your bypass
surgery." Besides, didn't you see the photo of the old
man with all those young chicks -- she'd kill me on the spot!
trtjazz -- 01-10-2004 03:30 AM
In the 20+ years I was gigging, I don't believe my wife ever
missed a performance. What a sweetheart. She's been in and
out of as many music stores as me too, although Guitar Center
with all the noise has cured her of that, and just about me
cassp -- 01-10-2004 05:20 AM
Reading some of these replies, it occurred to me that we may be talking of completely different venues. Most of my playing has been at private parties -- weddings, banquets, etc. My wife would never think of coming to a job like that. But when we've done a few weekends in a lounge or public place, like a park, she definitely supports me, along with as many friends as we an garner. Maybe we need to be clearer on the topic. I didn't see it until I read all the replies, but there are definitely different venues being discussed.
The Pro -- 01-10-2004 06:11 AM
Right on, Terry. Part of my job as an entertainer is to also be a diplomat and a socialite for the places that hire me. I often meet and greet patrons and talk about music or about where to go and what to do in my area. My wife is a superb socialite and she often adds to my image and function in numerous ways, from greeting patrons on my behalf and promoting me every chance she gets to asking friends and anyone she comes into contact with to come see me play. She is always welcome whenever I perform in public and not just by me. I only restrict her from attending private functions where seating is an issue. Some places have set policies: at one of the exclusive dining clubs I play, she can only come in at the end of my gig and we are allowed to dine together then -- but she is still more than welcome. At my public gigs, my wife often spends time with my employer having a glass of wine and talking business when she isn't representing me to the patrons. She has three college degrees and is attractive, smart, and good company so she can often hear things I never would be able to. We are a team in every respect and she is my biggest fan. I believe she is part of the reason I get rehired at my most steady gigs.
Uncle Dave -- 01-10-2004 07:54 AM
It depends on the venue, of course, but in general, we are hired to be "with" the crowd and to share that attention with a personal attachment would be wrong. My breaks are times I need to get into the heads of my patrons, not schmooze with my chick in another room. Too many bands have done this over the years, and along with bringing their own booze in and drinking outside on breaks, they have created a horrible image of the "gigging" musician. This is one reason why I hate to use the word "gig." When I'm at work, my clients get my full attention. If a guest is invited, that's totally different, but they would always need some company so they would not be waiting for me to entertain them. It's just not fair. To paraphrase what Gary said:
I never hung around the hospital watching my (nurse) wife work, so why is it expected that she hang in my places?
The argument about certain bars and public affairs is totally different, but for private parties, it's a no-no. I don't even like couples in the same bands for the same reason. I had a "no dating" rule with every woman I ever performed with. I never wanted to bring "work home" with me, or take "domestic trouble" to work with me. Gheeze, you have got to be your own person sometimes, don't you? Couples don't need to be attached at the hip.
I just think it's better for the craft if we treat it as a real job and break some of the old habits that our forerunners created for us. It's a different world in the field of entertainment, and it's a struggle just to stay afloat sometimes. I prefer not to complicate it more by adding domestic interaction to the mix....
rolandfan -- 01-10-2004 09:26 AM
This really isn't about me, but a friend of mine, who gigs solo with his G1000/XP60 all over South Africa and the rest of Africa. His wife is with him all the time, very cute and romantic, I think, and rare.
Fran Carango -- 01-10-2004 09:51 AM
Donny, what? Are you crazy? Bring your wife to club dates? Maybe a girl friend... [just kidding]. Usually unless it is a common family party, I would not think it wise for spouse attendance. Schmoozing is a big, big part in the business, and can be seen as flirtatious, especially by your wife / girlfriend / boyfriend. Most of our companions know it is the nature of the job, but it can be stressful to them. I always worked with good looking gals, that my wife got to know, and seeing me flirt with them, she knows there is no problem. Besides, I was in the business when I met her, and this had to be accepted, sort of a prenuptial music thingy.
trtjazz -- 01-10-2004 10:25 AM
I don't have a problem at all being attached at the hip to
my wife of 30 years. Maybe that is why we're still married
after 30. She's my best Pal and I prefer to spend my time
with her above anyone else. I played clubs and public gigs.
Private parties, convalescent homes and the like were not
my thing. The difference I see with someone visiting us when
we perform is that it is a job that is associated with an
audience and outside attendance, the other jobs mentioned
are not. Besides my wife has always liked my music and seeing
my gigs, too. She then used to provide valuable feedback from
the audience point of view of what was working and what was
not. Lastly, she used to work the soundboard. It was nice
to look out and see a friendly face in some of the crowds
that looked more like a lynch mob too.
bruno123 -- 01-10-2004 04:48 PM
I feel every job is different. When it is possible for my wife to come and enjoy being with those who hired me, then it's OK. Other than that, she does stay home.
My previous wife, who passed away in 1994, always came with me. She was very attractive and friendly -- and smart. For some reason, she always sat up on stage in a high back chair when available. I never understood why she did that. People would dance by and stare at her waiting for something to happen. We had a fantastic band, so I was not worried about jobs or approval.
We were playing a wedding in a fine hotel, and my wife sat on stage as usual. We were doing a great job that night, if I may say so, and people would look at her expecting something. She just smiled. One of the guest asked me if we were available for a party he was having for his son at Lenord's in Great Neck New York. I said we were open, and the same four men would be on the job. He said, "I do not want the band unless you bring the female singer". ????? Eh?? singer??? I said sure, that will be an additional $150. He said OK. She was booked on every job after that.
Did she have a good voice? No, average, passable. But she was the kind of person you had to like. They asked for her before they would ask for me, the leader of the band.
-- My story, John C.
matias -- 01-13-2004 07:00 AM
I'm coming back to this thread a little late, but I find
it interesting to see how the answers vary. I also believe
they reflect the different venues in which people are involved.
The music market in my area is quite poor, consisting mainly
in (well-payed) private parties, concentrated in the warmer
seasons (spring, summer). 90% of my jobs are, indeed, private
parties, and extremely tiring and long days. That's why I
do not encourage a girlfriend to come with me, no matter how
enthusiastic she is about my music (and I can not complain
about that!). In addition, in private parties, the socialization
question mentioned by Jim (The Pro), seems to me less important,
and the public is typically not very interested in discussing
music. But I agree, socialization is very important in classier
venues. For New Year Eve, I perform in this same
place for 4/5 years (and they booked me for next year),
which is considered the classiest of my area (well, at least
it's the most expensive ). I was glad that my girlfriend was
my company during these years; we are usually invited to have
dinner at the table of the hotel manager and family (my presence
is intermittent as I perform short sets here and there, before
the big dance part of the party). It is revealing for me that,
during the last year, this was my single opportunity to play
my "rusty" international repertoire (here international
is considered everything non-Portuguese, non-Brasilian and
non-Spanish), as in my area the music market is dominated
by dance-noisy-Portuguese-music gigs! That brings up other
interesting questions, but that's for another post!