Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How To Get A Gig (Or Not)

I have nothing to do with booking bands at the Grey Eagle, (ask and you will find that I love making suggestions), but I do receive phone calls every night and they're all the same: The voice on the other end has/works for a band who is amazing (but we've never heard of), they're guaranteed to pack the place, and would it be possible to get one of the next three Saturday nights for a show? I usually try to be sympathetic with that voice and guide them through the steps to securing a possible gig, and they always sound rather persistent and indifferent to the advice I have given them. So, if by chance anyone stumbling upon this 'review' is considering being that voice in the future, allow me to provide you with this juicy insider knowledge.
1) Anyone who calls during 'business hours' might as well have 'inexperienced' stamped on their forehead. This is like calling a restaurant asking for a job during Friday night dinner. You will never get a gig at this time of night over the phone, no matter how good you are. Never.
2) Sure you may be better than Jimmy Page on guitar, but a music venue needs to know you will draw a crowd. The Grey Eagle has a solid past of helping artists build strong fanbases and careers through opportunity, but you must find a method of ensuring you will draw a crowd. Which leads to
3) Be professional. Send a proper package with a sample of music and a brief bio to the right people at the right address. Jeff Foxworthy and Jimmy Landrum don't live here.
And last but not least:
4) A music venue, such as the Grey Eagle, is booked several months ahead of schedule. Waltzing in and asumming you'll get a Saturday night is a sure way to not get what you want.
So please use common sense and be professional. You are afterall applying for a job. Put together your 'resume,' send it to 185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801, wait an appropriate amount of time, and followup with an email to this is the best route to scoring that gig at the eagle and anyplace else where you don't plan on playing Jimmy Buffet covers.


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