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A money question...

4030 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  SOTSDO
It's looking like we're going to have a top drawer New Year's job this year, and that got me to thinking about the payroll.

I've always paid at the end of the job in every other case since I've started this band I have now, but I am worried about having that kind of cash on hand for the entire job and the afternoon before. I'm thinking of paying at the next scheduled rehearsal to avoid having to be a walking target, as well as allowing us to get out and home a little bit quicker at the end of the night/morning.

All of the groups that I've played for in the past have always paid at the end of the job, including on New Years. What is the feeling on this with the rest of youse guys?
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You can mail me mine!:D

Just talk to the band. Tell them you don't feel comfortable lugging that kind of money around on a holiday night. If anybody needs it sooner, just bring theirs and pay the rest later.
I don't like paying cash. Put it in the bank and write checks. Then you have a record for when you prepare each player's 1099 and when you file your Form C showing payroll expenses.
One guy I play with has written checks ever since the IRS audited him. But don't do what another bandleader just did to by check four weeks after the job. He said he wanted to wait until the check from the client cleared. It was a county arts council. Maybe he knows something I don't.
I often have to wait until the leader gets paid. Sometimes they have to submit an invoice and get into the client's accounts payable system. Some companies pay bills only once a month. Others "age" payables. It's just part of being in business.
In this case the leader was paid that night. It was a big band--15 pieces, two singers. Who knows, maybe he couldn't easily cover the pay until the check cleared. But it's unusual to handle it that way around here.
From the "band" perspective, I'd want a check at the end of the gig. I've been stiffed one too many times from stupid bandleaders saying they'll pay me at the next rehearsal, or mail it to me. I never got called for the "next" rehearsal.
What I would do it get certified checks and hand them out at the end of the gig. Keep a record (in a separate place) of all the appropriate numbers. Your bank should be able to handle this easily. I know that most banks charge for this service, however you can usually get some kind of add on package that costs far less. Get the service for a month and then drop it. Take whatever you had to pay for the service out of the payroll monies.

The reason for keep a record of all the appropriate numbers is so that if any check(s) get lost or stolen, you can call your bank and have it cancelled and the funds will be replaced. Might take a little extra time, but you won't be out any money.

The other option.... paypal. ;)

Chris S
When I got paid by check once, I didn't have enough cash on hand to cover the guys that night. I did actually Paypal my guitar player, who is from out of town. I don't think most guys would like the idea as a regular practice, although those perceptions are likely to change over time. I rarely have cash in my pockets any more. Maybe all the guys could just get one of those card readers and duct tape it to their cases. Then I could just swipe my checkcard as they leave.
Sotsdo, you could rent an armored truck, complete with guards & guns!

Or, just write a check for each member. I usually pay cash to the other players when it's my gig, but then I only have a 4-piece band and our gigs don't pay as much as I'd like. I rarely have to carry more than $500 or $600 in cash to cover it. And I get a nice warm feeling with that much cash in my wallet, even if I have to hand most of it out. Wish it was more! Congrats on the big gig.
As a player, I always appreciate getting paid at the end of the gig. As a leader, I always pay my guys at the end of the gig. If there is a problem with the client money-wise, I feel my job (when I am a leader) is to deal with that end of things. The guys have done their part, and in my opnion, should be paid since their services have already been rendered. BTW, I pay by check.


My main concern is being there with about ten grand cash in my pocket (in case of overtime), between the money collected that night and the money brought for payroll. Not an insignificant amount. On the other hand, security will be excellent (what with the private club bit and the usual presence of a couple of peace officers (very common where booze is served down here)).

I have always paid in cash, and have always been paid in cash, and that's what the sidemen are expecting (local tradition; there are some bands down here that screw people over, and I have no intention of joining that fraternity, thank you very much). But, the last time that I had to tote this much cash around, I had a cal .45 on my hip doing the payroll down at Ft. Knox, so it will be a unique sensation.

Anyway, I get paid the big bucks (leader's share plus the business profits) so I guess I'll have to shoulder a little more risk...
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Terry, Your guys all your regulars that work with you all the time right [and maybe some regular subs]? Just talk to them before hand. Heck, you're giving them 5 months notice. If they don't know by now that they can trust you... well I don't know what to say. I bet they'll be fine with it if you tell them this far in advance.
Sounds secure enough, Terry. It's not like you'll be strolling down a back alley somewhere in the big city at midnight, right? I like cash, myself. It has a nice texture to it.
In the same vein as the above, today's mail brought the monthly newsletter from the union local. In same was a huge notice that so and so had been kicked out of the union for non-payment of wages for last year's New Year's Eve job. Not the biggest local name, but certainly not the sort of company that I would want to keep.

All in all, it just shows you how true the Hunter Thompson quote about the music business is...
You are in Texas, just take a couple of 1911's with you...
Seriously, 10 grand in cash!!!

Start a new local tradition and pay by cheque. Does this gig pay in cash? That's one thing and if so, then pay the guys in cash when you get it. But, to have that much cash on hand is ridiculous. Surely the guys in the band can understand for one gig.

And, as someone noted, what do you do if you get audited? No paper trail. No record. I'd hate to have to pay taxes on behalf of everyone in the band.

Make like a busines and pay by cheque. How many businesses do you know that pay in cash - no, I don't consider drugs a business.
SOTSDO said:
My main concern is being there with about ten grand cash in my pocket (in case of overtime),
Where is this gig again?
I have a record of who receives what (sign out sheet with signature, date received and SSAN, something that has passed more than one IRS audit in the past (with other groups), so that is of little worry. The ten grand approximation comes from having the cash to pay the group plus the second half of the money from the client at the same time (in case the client shows up with a certified check instead of cash).

(The payroll would eat about two thirds of the total, for what it's worth.)

In any event, I have decided to pay the payroll at the subsequent rehearsal, rather than be a walking bass saxophone money equivalent for the whole night.
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