Sunday, 29 May 2011


Sometimes when a band plays, we have as part of our contract a thing called a RIDER.

You have probably read all those stories of touring artists who want a bowl of MnM’s with all the blue ones removed.. (what, they’re the best ones!) or a dressing room constructed and painted pink, or 2 dozen specially folded towels and bottled water flown in from the foothills of Nepal, platters of cold meats and salads and the entourage of chefs and nutritionists who must only cook vegetarian, gluten free, kabal friendly food etc. etc. etc….
Well the average Aussie rock band rider consisted of a slab of cold VB and a couple of bottles of Jack Daniels, Beam and a chilled Vodka for good measure.

Sadly this led to the downfall of many a good band and good musician.

I remember... god knows how… I was in a band where we rehearsed during closed times at a restaurant in Bendigo where we had a residency. The owner told us NOT to touch anything behind the bar but we could help ourselves to the port barrel that sat on the bar. Thus started my love of port and that barrel was easily drained at each rehearsal. Not so good on the liver and I would suggest that the music being played probably didn’t sound as good as we thought at the time.

However we did survive and various bands later we find that some venue owners are very gun shy when it comes to giving the band a beer or two at a gig. We find these days that we don’t get a tub full of grog and ice in the band room, but most venues will provide tap beer for free. But there are some venues who refuse point blank to provide free grog to the band because of those who went before us and made total dicks of themselves. It is an industry that pretty much revolves around alcohol and the sale and consumption of copious amounts of the stuff. Some young bands get caught up in the cycle and spoil it for the rest, but I can’t be too judgmental because there were times when I started out and I pushed the limits too.

However to survive in the industry, you can’t be doing that stuff continually because you will crash and burn, physically and musically.

Just a tip from someone with 40 years in the industry... (damn did I say that out loud!!)... you CAN have a heap of fun without being pissed. That way the only way you can make a dick of yourself is playing a dodgy note or two, instead of playing a heap of crap and thinking you still sound good!

Keep music LIVE