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Guarantees

"I hear you're in a band?"

"No, I have a band."

I get that a lot. Maybe most bands are not organized by women? I don't know. Either way, yes, I have a band. I was a solo artist for a few years then a few musicians later, along came Andy and the Honey Shakers were born. Andy and I share some duties, but the majority of the responsibility rests on me as I have set this up as a business, dealing with merch sales tax included!

That all said, it is also my problem if we don't get paid as I book the shows and this summer, we finally had our turn at not getting paid by a venue. Luckily it was not a local venue which, in my opinion, kind of makes it worse. It happened this summer when Andy and I were on tour. I would rather not name the venue publicly so if you are a touring musician going through Colorado, email and I will let you know although it's not that hard to figure out... Anyway, we played there once before and expected the same payout the second time. I actually asked for an increase in payout as we didn't eat there the first time and didn't drink much alcohol (free food and booze were part of the package) so a bump in the guarantee would do us better. I didn't get that increase so then I expected the original payout. At this venue, you provide your own sound as well so, musicians, here's how it went: we provided sound, rocked four sets with some happening while it rained, kept their guests happy, all after lugging our gear around the block and up the stairs. We earned our pay.

Here's where I went wrong... I'm old school or something, and when the bartender handed me the check at the end of our night, I didn't look at it. I trusted that it would be the correct amount as it was the last time. When Andy and I got back to the hotel then to dinner, I took the check out and saw that it was $25 short. Now, when you're only getting paid $200 for four hours of work with sound and your are on the road, that $25 is important. I immediately called the venue and the bartender said there was nothing he could do, that I needed to see the owner in the morning. Andy and I were there first thing and did just that. She said they had dealt with a huge tax bill that year due to musicians not claiming their payouts, so from the time we first played their until that second time, they had reduced their duo pay guarantee to $175; their booking agent failed to let me know this info. She then agreed to honor the $200 and used an app on her phone to pay me as she didn't have her checkbook to write another check (or I could come back on Monday; we we are touring musicians and were leaving that day so that wasn't happening). I saw a payment screenshot on her phone so I thought we were good. Then I handed her back the check, second mistake, and we left; I heard her ripping up the check as we walked out. Long story short, we were not paid. I don't know if she canceled the electronic payment or what, but I never received an email confirmation, and nothing ever showed up my PayPal which is what she said she used. She claimed she would contact her bank and send payment once the bank was sorted out. Nope, no payment. I emailed her very positively and politely, still no payment. She asked for our mailing address, and yet, no payment. I finally sent her an email in the context that clearly she was not going to honor her commitment. I contacted the Better Business Bureau, but they were unable to assist. I have one more direction to look into, but I doubt that will help. Lesson learned the hard way and now I know better. I also know that karma will absolutely take care of this situation as well, but I do wish that I could go back, rack up at $200 tab then walk out without paying...what do you think would happen? Hhhmm.... Oh well, enjoy this sweet picture of Andy and we'll see you soon! <3