P Mauriat
Antigua Winds

View Poll Results: Are you a union musician?

Voters
61. You may not vote on this poll
  • Union all the way! I only do contracted gigs.

    2 3.28%
  • Union member, but I *do* take non-contracted work

    11 18.03%
  • Union member, but I rarely/never get union gigs

    7 11.48%
  • Not a member

    41 67.21%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: Union or non-union?

  1. #1
    Über Geek
    Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SOTW Member
    bari_sax_diva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,843

    Default Union or non-union?

    Or something in between? I am a member of the AFM here in Los Angeles, but like many people I sometimes think the benefits to myself are limited. I'm curious to hear others' perspectives.

    Since this can be a touchy topic, I'll make the poll anonymous.
    "Nothing is worse for a musician than getting an opportunity you aren't prepared for." - Quincy Jones

  2. #2
    playitfunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    long beach california
    Posts
    1,488

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I'm not in the union but if I was a working pro I would probably have to be. From what I understand it can be touchy playing certain hotels and venues without a union card. I've never had a problem when it's a wedding or something of that nature but I think you have to be union to play at places like vegas hotels and disneyland. Anything for a movie? I don't know. I would be interested to here any advantage a weekend warrior such as myself could gain from joining.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    uhhh

    whats a union?
    Alto: cannonball big bell series, silver plated. vandoren AL3 with vandoren 3.5's or stock cannonball with jazz selects Soprano "maxtone", vandoren AL3 vandoren 3'sClarinet: 1950's buffet r13, vandoren b45, vandoren 3.5's
    flute: miyazawa 202, 9mz headjoint. piccolo: emerson boston legacy with keefe headjoint.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member and Forum Contributor 2008 saxmanglen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Winchester, OR
    Posts
    6,399

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    deleted
    Last edited by saxmanglen; 02-19-2008 at 01:03 AM. Reason: Irrelevant......sorry

    Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?

    http://www.facebook.com/UnfilteredJazz

    http://www.youtube.com/user/saxmanglen



  5. #5
    Über Geek
    Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SOTW Member
    bari_sax_diva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,843

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    "Nothing is worse for a musician than getting an opportunity you aren't prepared for." - Quincy Jones

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Not good enough to be in a union:

    Yanagisawa A-991 - Runyon Custom #7 - Rovner Dark Lig 1E
    Yanagisawa S-900 - Runyon Custom #7 - Rovner Dark Lig 1RXS
    King Cleveland 613 Alto

    Do not order from Charlie A's Gigdust.com! Here's why: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=36694

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I am !(AUBUC)
    Yanagisawa A-991 - Runyon Custom #7 - Rovner Dark Lig 1E
    Yanagisawa S-900 - Runyon Custom #7 - Rovner Dark Lig 1RXS
    King Cleveland 613 Alto

    Do not order from Charlie A's Gigdust.com! Here's why: http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=36694

  8. #8

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Quote Originally Posted by fluteypiccolosax View Post
    uhhh

    whats a union?

    Thanks, now I have coffee all over my computer.

  9. #9
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    big island Hawaii
    Posts
    23,730

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I was in the AFM for about a year. I made a total of $35 on union gigs in that time. It didn't cover the dues. A damn shame, if you ask me.

    I am, however a supporter of unions, and have been a member of IATSE for 15 years, and was vice president of my local for two years.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  10. #10

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuBerry47 View Post
    Thanks, now I have coffee all over my computer.
    sorry


    im retarded....
    Alto: cannonball big bell series, silver plated. vandoren AL3 with vandoren 3.5's or stock cannonball with jazz selects Soprano "maxtone", vandoren AL3 vandoren 3'sClarinet: 1950's buffet r13, vandoren b45, vandoren 3.5's
    flute: miyazawa 202, 9mz headjoint. piccolo: emerson boston legacy with keefe headjoint.

  11. #11
    Forum Contributor 2010
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Reedsplinter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    5,077

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I have one of these: (woo nice buns!):
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member Agent27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,877

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I'm in the union but the benefits are limited. The union says you can't play with non-union musicians, but the one down here doesn't enforce it. They can't because most musicians would just leave the union. They do their job with regards to the Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras. But for the rest of us doing jazz, rock, blues, country gigs, the union almost never comes into play. Gigs where you absolutely have to be in the union are very limited and I'll probably make just enough doing union gigs to cover my dues.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Being a saxophone player, supporting the musicians union just seems to make good sense. There are many approaches a musician can choose to take in their own career. Some musicians don't wish to ask for much money for fear of not getting the gig. Is it that the thought of someone playing means cheap? Ridiculous especially when professional sports athletes "play" their respective sports and yet make big money to do it. When attorneys and agents get involved that may be enough to make a difference, eh?

  14. #14
    Bloo Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Where I don't have to boil the water before I drink it..
    Posts
    1,408

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent27 View Post
    I'm in the union but the benefits are limited. The union says you can't play with non-union musicians, but the one down here doesn't enforce it. They can't because most musicians would just leave the union. They do their job with regards to the Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras. But for the rest of us doing jazz, rock, blues, country gigs, the union almost never comes into play. Gigs where you absolutely have to be in the union are very limited and I'll probably make just enough doing union gigs to cover my dues.
    It depends upon where one lives, and the venues one plays, though the genre in some markets can (and does) determine whether a shop is union. Location can also determine whether a venue is union or not.

    When I played in New Orleans, there were so many places to play that it wasn't really necessary to belong to the union. Generally, all of the school band teachers were union members; many were symphony or orchestra members by night who also played the short-notice pickup jobs in the union venues (e.g. hotels, reception halls, Mardi Gras balls and other functions). Generally, these guys were the black tie guys whom you never saw in Tipitina's or the Jupiter.

    If one played on Bourbon Street, generally, the venue was required to hire only union musicians. The union rep would make the occasional call to the clubs and hotels and card everyone. In the large N.O.hotels, if a venue was deemed to be capable of supporting 12 musicians but the band had only eight, the union might send four old timers to just sit on the stage with their instruments. They'd collect pay for nothing.

    When I was an active union musician, the union did not get work for musicians. It merely collected dues, listed you in their directory so others couldn find you. It categorized you by the instrument you play. In the case of the geezer wheel chair members, it DID find them " work" but it was just sit-in stuff to fill out the hotel's commitment to the union, no playing. There might be a call for actors who own instruments, and you might get notification of a non-speaking, non-playing part in a crowd, but not much more.

    Guys who had been in the biz for years and years collected benefits of some sort at retirement, but I remember in the 1980's when it was determined that a lot of money was unaccounted for, and there were many disappointments. It wasn't until recently that any sort of health benefits were accorded to longtime members in N.O., but even THAT was provided by a different organization, not the AFM.

    I was a member for one year, and when I realized that it wasn't helping me at all, I quit. I had to write a letter to the AFM explaining my actions, etc.. and then the local determined whether I left in good graces and could be accorded the privilege of rejoining in the future.

    About playing with non-playing members: I think it has to do with not playing in non-union venues. In N.O. in the 'seventies and 'eighties, non-union members could sit in on union gigs and the union wouldn't do anything if it carded a band and saw that one player was non-union. (THINGS MAY BE DIFFERENT WHERE YOU LIVE)

    What griped me was not having access to the high-paying venues because I wasn't a union member and didn't have the union connections, and then seeing union guys playing the non-union clubs for less-than-prevailing wages. At the time, the musicians' union didn't interfere in non-union venues, or at least it didn't often levy fines against union players for playing in non-union venues. It was common for younger guys who did the black-tie Mardi Gras balls to show up playing in the hip non-union venues. (By the mid-eighties, though, the N.O economy was such a wreck that former symphony players would play rock and roll/ R&B gigs in non-union venues. Hey, don't laugh. The french horn actually sounded good in Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" and on and Fats' "Walkin' to New Orleans." The oboe on "The Wind Cries Mary" was stretching it a bit, though).

    There ARE benefits to being union if one is a full-time primary or secondary level music teacher. It gains you entry to gigs which you might not have opportunity to play because you don't have time for crawling the bars on week nights in search of work and on-the-job training. The union can allow one to make connections if you like that kind of networking.

    If you work the major major metro areas such as L.A. Chicago, and New York, it will benefit you to pay the dues and work at remaining active just so that you can make connections. You might not even have any opportunity to play in front of a paying, live crowd UNLESS you're union.

    If you live in Vegas, I don't think you can even take a p** unless you belong to a union of some sort.
    The absolute real reason I continue is the free shrimp at the cocktail hour. It's the little things.--- Rich Maraday

  15. #15

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    A few years ago when I moved I talked the the local union officials and told them I would join the local if they didn't keep me from working.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member RandyJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Belle Harbor-Greenwich, CT and Grindelwald Switzerland
    Posts
    2,311

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    I've stayed union since the late 60's. A few times a year in addition to my scheduled performances, studio work I'll be called for movie score and soundtracks here in the US and in Europe and Britain and it's necessary.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    The AFM differs from labor unions in that it doesn't function as a hiring hall, although there is a referral service as a benefit to members. The individual is expected to do their own leg work. One has access to the best musicians, singers, and composers and arrangers in town.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,369

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    We didn't have that kind of union for musicians back in France. This subject is of high interest to me now that I live in the States. From what I've read, the whole union thing sounds less like protection for musicians than some sort of restrictive organization who tries to force you to enroll by limiting your freedom if you go 'freelance'. Am I wrong?
    If belonging to a union doesn't necessarily gets you gigs but you rather get the benefice of getting into a network, how is it different from going out and meet other musicians, sitting in on gigs or jam sessions?

    Victor.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member RandyJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Belle Harbor-Greenwich, CT and Grindelwald Switzerland
    Posts
    2,311

    Default Re: Union or non-union?


  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,369

    Default Re: Union or non-union?

    Thanks, I'll give it a look tonite.

    Victor.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •