1. #1

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    years back a duo partner got a singles gig at a top hotel in los angeles..he was doing 2 sets / 4 nights a wk..one night a union rep asked if he was in the local union..
    he said no..and the following day the hotel let him go

    so after that I asked every musician I knew or played with if they are in the union...most said no..as they were working in pickup bands doing bar gigs or backing a singer
    at a local club..a few who worked doing studio work said yes because their work may be used in commercial settings films TV/radio commercials or backing a name artist
    who has to have union players per contract...

    any of you have union stories/nightmares..

    (i was a union member for several years (studio work) they did not help much when I was looking for
    work..but they did collect their dues..

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  3. #2

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    Back in the 70's I was a union musician. Until I got a call to play a transcription gig ( big band ). I played the gig it was a very small crowd.

    At the next union meeting I was handed my pay in a envelope the union president said oh by the way we played for the door. The envelope had $1.35 in it. Union scale then was $10.00

    I quit and never went back.

  4. #3

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    Hi, W,
    I belonged to Chicago's Local 10-208 Musicians Union during the 70's. I never got a gig from the union but played union gigs, at times, by referral as a sub. The only place you'll need a union card to play is in the top hotels/venues/casinos. And, although they say they prevent you from being "stiffed" on a gig, I've personally never seen it or heard about it from other union members. They used to have a "blacklist" in their monthly mail out publications of club owners who didn't pay the bands/musicians but it didn't seem to change the status quo for booking future bands through that venue. Perhaps things have changed today.
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S. I would re-join the union today if I got a good paying/long term gig in a top venue otherwise, I have rock solid contracts I require venues to sign and a 50% deposit and balance due before I play to protect against unscrupulous people.