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back to article Neil Gaiman’s saucy pop wife agrees to pay her musicians in money

Amanda Palmer, the often scantily clad popstrel performer who raised $1.2m from fans on Kickstarter to finance a tour, has yielded to criticism and agreed to pay her backing musicians in a recognised convertible currency - rather than embraces, T-shirts and beer. Palmer, whose most noteworthy achievement in many eyes is being …

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Pint

Wait wait wait a minute!

Getting paid in beer (and preferably pizza too) is all part and parcel of being a professional-ish musician. It's my preferred payment method to be honest.

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Re: Wait wait wait a minute!

Homer: Aw, twenty dollars? I wanted a peanut.

Homer's brain: Twenty dollars can buy many peanuts.

Homer (urgently): Explain how.

Homer's brain: Money can be exchanged for goods and services.

Homer: Woohoo!

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Re: Wait wait wait a minute!

Getting paid in beer (and preferably pizza too) is all part and parcel of being a professional-ish musician. It's my preferred payment method to be honest.

I've generally found beer just lowers my tolerance of annoying band mates. So cash is the only reasonable compensation for putting up with the buggers, singers in particular as they are almost always the unbearable ones.

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Thumb Up

Great article.

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Facepalm

This appears to be a growing trend.

That a certain sector of the public thinks that everyone around them should offer, do everything and work for free but they themselves should somehow be able to make money and keep it all.

I feel therefore, all people from now on should have to work the first six months of their working life for free. Maybe even pay £100 a month for the privileged.

Just to see how that doesn't work for them so they won't ask others to do so in future.

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Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

not been an intern ever then eh?

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Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

Isn't this called an internship? The important feature being that you need to do it in large chunks of the media, meaning that you can only do it if mummy and daddy can support you, meaning that the people in the media are drawn largely from the ranks of those where mummy and daddy can support them.

See also workfare.

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Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

I'm not the biggest fan of internships, but I can at least see they offer something in return for underpaid/free work. An intern gets trained on the job and can usually expect a position within the company when their internship ends (providing their performance hasn't been dire).

Amanda Palmer wasn't offering any of these things. She was abusing the generosity of her fans in order to avoid paying for backing musicians that she could have quite easily afforded.

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Meh

Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

"Amanda Palmer wasn't offering any of these things. She was abusing the generosity of her fans in order to avoid paying for backing musicians that she could have quite easily afforded."

Bull.

Did you bother to read the orignal blog posts of hers? Where she explained quite carefully that her band gets paid but what they wanted to do was give (relatively) unknown musicians the chance to join them on stage?

You have to apply fairly selective reading to those posts to arrive at the conclusions this article (and the previous article on the same matter) does.

And why does Neil Gaimans name have to be dragged into this - again?

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Happy

Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

Nope always managed to get paid for every job I've done.

Just a little rule I've always applied.

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Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

"Did you bother to read the orignal blog posts of hers? Where she explained quite carefully that her band gets paid but what they wanted to do was give (relatively) unknown musicians the chance to join them on stage?"

I read some, she wasn't offering to introduce these musicians to her fans, she wasn't offering training. She wanted 'amateur' musicians because they were less likely to tell her where to stick it when she asked them to perform for free.

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Re: not been an intern ever then eh?

No every job that I have had has paid me the going rate be it £2.00 ph in the '70's or £300 a day in 2000.

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Childcatcher

Re: This appears to be a growing trend.

"Isn't this called an internship?"

...or income tax?

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This post has been deleted by its author

I'd have gladly done it for beer and free tickets.

Then again, I have no musical talent and at school was never allowed anything more challenging than a triangle and would probably only give myself a 50/50 chance of holding an instrument the right way round. But hey, you get what you pay for, right?

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Triangle

For a triangle I'd give you 1 in 3... and there's the 'stick' to consider too of course. Have you considered taking up the 'shaker'?

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Then again, I have no musical talent and at school was never allowed anything more challenging than a triangle

Try a couple of drum lessons - it seems to draw the latent musician out of anyone.

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Joke

If you can count to 4 in your head (and occasionally multiples thereof) you are qualified to be a drummer.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

@Fibbles - Downvote?

Obviously downvoted by a drummer who can't count to 4 and hence only plays waltzes?

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Re: @Fibbles - Downvote?

It was only meant as a light hearted joke. It's pretty old though, I guess drummers are sick of hearing it.

FWIW I'm a metalhead and have a lot of respect for percussionists.

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Go and see her/them.

I've seen her twice (at the Roundhouse and at the Edinburgh festival) and always really enjoyed it. Great music, atmosphere, etc. It's all about the art, innit!?

Glad she's paying the musicians.

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It was a bit cheeky after trousering all that cash. I thought she'd end up backing down.

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I'm glad she paid up. It was the right thing to do. If money is no problem she could have done it without pay.

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Pint

Well, you see, times are bad so we don't have much of a budget...

She managed to juggle the finances and, by making huge sacrifices in other areas, come up with a little cash to pay the musicians. (Where have I heard this line before.)

"I wish I could pay more, but we barely cover expenses, see? And you get to get paid to do something you love, that you would do for free anyway, right? Oh. Well that's a pretty poor attitude you have there, isn't it. You're lucky I let you play here, that's all I'm saying. But anyway, this is all we can pay, take it or leave it."

Beer, because you also get "one free draft beer per set."

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Anonymous Coward

It will all go to Sea Org

As her and Gaiman are with L Ron's little cult the dosh will probably go to them. Anon cos I dont want that load of nutters paying a visit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It will all go to Sea Org

"Anon cos I dont want that load of nutters paying a visit."

If you hide how are they supposed to administer your free personality test?

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Re: It will all go to Sea Org

Gaiman denied he was a Scientologist in 2010.

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Mushroom

Steve Albini is God

That is all...

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You spelt her name wrong, its..

Amanda Frickin' Palmer!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You spelt her name wrong, its..

Amanda 'Oh God, these tattooed eyebrows were a mistake' Palmer

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I like Amanda Palmer, but I was with the musicians on this one. I applaud creating new business models, but it's got to be all business. Asking professionals to play for token amounts when work is hard enough to come by is not a sustainable business model, especially when everyone knows you took in a decent pile of cash to meet expenses before the tour even gets started.

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"I like Amanda Palmer, but I was with the musicians on this one"

Er.... which ones?

The ones who were happy to do it, and didn't have a problem? Or the not-musicians who saw 'she got money, ergo she must give money'?

It was a free and open choice. It's not like anyone was being forced to participate for free, you know, with contracts and stuff. Or being told they were being paid, and then stiffed.

I notice that whole 'bit' was taken out. Kinda like how people are queueing up for Britains got no talent, and guess who's raking in the money? Where's the protests about that? After all, they're dangling the prospect of money up front, while Amanda was clear 'beer+hugs' up front.

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Re: "I like Amanda Palmer, but I was with the musicians on this one"

Which ones? Perhaps the professional musicians trying to make a living and seeing work which could have gone to them being done by amateurs instead, despite there being more than enough dosh floating around to pay properly?

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Coat

TL;DC

Too Late; Don't Care. Lost interest in her now.

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Re: TL;DC

And yet you read the article and made a comment. And if you didn't read the article you still clicked on the article, then the comments section just to tell el reg you don't care. If you didn't actually care how did you end up making the comment?

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Facepalm

@daddyhoggy

Didn't you read OP's non-standard interpretation of TL;DC? She's TOO LATE coming up with a plan of not screwing her backup musicians, and her 15 minutes are up as a consequence. Pretty astute, I'd say.

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This is just a reflection of businesses/organizations hiring Interns who sometimes do not even receive travelling expenses let alone a salary/wage.

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Coat

Palmer by name...?

or er...

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Stuff like this is all too common place and needs to be highlighted more.

The dance music scene i worked in for ten years suddenly decided that DJs who didnt turn up with a minibus or coach load of full price ticket paying punters werent worth paying for their time anymore.

This has gone on for around 2 years now and the end result is, the really good up & coming DJs all disappeared and were replaced with VirtualDJ DJs.

"Go cry me a river" i hear you shout.

Well for two scenes i worked in, numbers are now so badly thru the floor, a lot of promoters gave up.

The end result is, there are around 75% less independent club nights happening, and the major ones have all put the prices up.

I'll stop ranting, but PAY THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU!

Just because they are "creatives" who generally jump at the oppotunity of working (little work is better than no work) doesnt mean you should pay them less, or nothing at all.

Disgraceful she thought she could get away with this in the first place. I hope she is paying the artists that volunteered for free and not just asking her mates to come in and play now they are getting paid, which usually happens...

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Do not forget....

Do not forget that Gaiman and Palmer once had a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to fund a poetry tour they wanted to do.

Gaiman and wife may not have any fucking sense of shame at, but they do seem to have a well-developed sense of entitlement.

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Re: Do not forget....

Best not mention the scores of Kickstarters Gaiman backs financially himself, or promotes through Twitter to his 4M followers, or the legal campaigns he supports and fund raises for to help poor artists and writers getting screwed over by Marvel and DC. Or the Open Rights movement he heads or the fact that both he and Palmer release work for free knowing the freetards would never pay for it anyway...

wanted

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Re: Do not forget....

Well bully for him IF they want to give their products away then let them,but don't expect others to go without their due payment.You can't pay your bills with "beer and hugs" even if you are an amateur.As for the free ticket(s) what concert would they be for.

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WTF?

As a musician (I've done it as a job although nowadays I do it for fun) I find the idea of unpaid work of that kind horrific. I've gladly donated my services as a musician for events for charities, community groups and gigs with great exposure and have always been happy to go to jams (where usually only the house band is paid).

I'm all for personal choice, if any backing musician was offered union rate but said "nah I'll do it for free" then good for them!

But professional entertainment isn't free. Professional accountants aren't free, professional footballers aren't free, professional musicians aren't free. Any one of those groups may include an individual who may volunteer their personal services for free, but no group is free by default.

It seems somewhat shameful to me that Palmer essentially had to be bullied into paying her backing musicians. She's no better than those pub landlord types who expect a professional band to play two hour long sets for a beer each, nevermind the fact that a few beers doesn't even match the cost in petrol to move a band and their gear to the venue.

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Unhappy

pub landlords -- I've met the type.

They seem to have the idiotic impression that:

A) the term 'play' means that performing music is your form of entertainment, and therefore, since it's "fun" for you, then payment for services rendered is optional.

B) that since you "play" for an hour, they should be able to pay you minimum wage for that time, ignoring all the time you spend practising, learning new music, etc.

C) Since they can "replace" you with recorded music, there is no reason at all to pay you.

To which I say:

Fuck you very much.

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Pint

Beer IS a recognised currency!

And I can convert it for you!

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Devil

Why hire professionals?

Way back when I was a 20 year old wannabe rock god we played plenty of places for free just to get the experience/exposure. Or just for fun and the love of playing. Musicians union and the luvvies need to get over themselves. If you want paid get a real job in a cube-farm..

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I personally have worked plenty of gigs without being paid in cash: "drink tickets" and free admission ("+1"s) are not without value.

More to the point, I've actually turned down being paid cash at such events simply because it changes the dynamic (for me). If someone is paying me, then I feel I have a duty to them. If someone is "just" giving me an opportunity to perform, then my duty is to me. That may sound unduly subtle, but if I wanted to make money, I'd go and do something high-tech instead...

(I am not a starving artist; I am a well-paid tech geek type who does arty stuff on the side).

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Hack,hack,scank,scank...

Have any of you watched the crap this twit is calling music... garbage is more like it... wouldn't send her a red cent...

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Sounds like

She's as far up her own posterior as her husband. Don't get me wrong, I like his writing but the word sycophant describes him beautifully.

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