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In the 1950s. Playing trumpet in a 5-piece dance band at the American Legion. We were all in high school. We got $5 each plus cokes from the bar.
 

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I did a gig for free at a venue called "The 23 Club". Johnny Cash played there in it's heyday, in fact, he used to use the garage of my neighbor's house (according to some sources) as a practice room. My first paying gig is coming up July 6-9th, at the All Star Fanfest. The All Star game is coming to town, and I get to play at the fanfest, which is huge to me.
 

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My first paid gig was in the mid eighties when I was teenage guitar player in a truly appalling goth/punk/rock band called Maliscious Damage and we did a Saturday night at an out of season holiday camp on the Isle of Wight. I seem to recall our lead singer set fire to the gents toilet for some reason. We were banned from playing there again, but for some reason we still got paid. God we were awful :|
 

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I played 2nd oboe in the El Dorado Kansas Municipal band the summer after I was in eighth grade. That would probably make it 1971, and I would have been 14.

Pay: $2.00/service

Recommended by my junior high band director.
 

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Tenor sax in the Jersey Blues big band in Asbury Park, NJ - 1973, I was 17. How it happened, I don't recall. That was a while ago.
 

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Oh, yeah, we're supposed to say how we got the gig. My dad was Post Commander of the American Legion. He booked us. Nepotism.

I still have a snapshot somewhere of the band. Piano, drums, trumpet, sax, trombone. The piano player works now as a musician/photographer in Dallas. The sax player died a few months ago. He was a highly regarded doctor of music in the Alabama university system and, coincidentally, had been one of my sax teacher's college professors. I lost track of the other two guys after we graduated from high school in 1958.
 

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hakukani said:
I played 2nd oboe in the El Dorado Kansas Municipal band
Small world. That's where I was born. We moved when my father returned from the Pacific in 1946, but I had family there for years after. Delightful, but fragrant, town.
 

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Yeah, fragrant is right. I'm actually from Augusta. They closed the refinery down there.
 

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I can't remember for sure (seems like I should), but it was either a place called the Dakota Club on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, or a small bar on Telegraph called La Salamunda or something like that, back in the early '70s. Both places are long gone. I do remember getting paid, but it wasn't any better pay then than it is now. Don't remember how we got the gigs. The usual way, I guess, by bugging the owners.

Hey Ianhart, I played the 23 Club with my band two or three times a couple of years ago. They paid us, but there wasn't much of a crowd there. I think they need to do some promotion or something. It's pretty well off the beaten path.
 

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JL said:
I can't remember for sure (seems like I should), but it was either a place called the Dakota Club on San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, or a small bar on Telegraph called La Salamunda or something like that, back in the early '70s. Both places are long gone. I do remember getting paid, but it wasn't any better pay then than it is now. Don't remember how we got the gigs. The usual way, I guess, by bugging the owners.

Hey Ianhart, I played the 23 Club with my band two or three times a couple of years ago. They paid us, but there wasn't much of a crowd there. I think they need to do some promotion or something. It's pretty well off the beaten path.
It's hard for me to remember the '70s, too.;)
 

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My first gig was playing electric guitar in a country band in a bar in Portland Maine in 1973. I think I got $25.00 for that. I got that gig because a lady in the place I lived in heard me playing and her boyfriend's band needed a replacement for one night. My first sax gig was back in '75. It was on the roof of a small church in Glendale, AZ. They passed the hat and collected $6.00.(That's the only time I got paid for a church gig):) I got that gig because a janitor in the school I worked at heard me playing and invited me to play in his gospel group. I told him I was Jewish but he said it was okay. I eventually became a Christian.:D
 

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My first gig was playing in a Tejano band playing a Quinceañera (which is like a debutante ball for Latinas who are 15). It was in the San Joaquin Valley in Stockton, CA. It was July and hot. The gig was fun. I was 14 and got to drink a beer on the break with the rest of the musicos. It was exactly what I thought being a musician was all about; lots of fun, parties and good looking girls. Well, I guess I shouldn't have become a jazz musician if I wanted that life style.:D
Oh yea, I 20 bucks and quit my paper route the next day.
 

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Chicken 'Lil said:
Oh yea, I 20 bucks and quit my paper route the next day.
Shoulda kept the day gig, eh? ;)
 

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Dr G said:
Shoulda kept the day gig, eh? ;)
Nah. I played a lot of those gigs when I was in HS. This was was back in the early 80's, mind you. So twenty bucks bought me two LP's and some recreational, um, items. Mostly, it prepared me for site reading and playing really difficult charts written poorly in concert. Which is to say all gigs not lead by a horn player. Also, everything was in 2 and the gigs lasted forever. By the time I got to school I could practice 8 to 10 hours a day and not be tired.
And it beat the hell out of getting up in the morning to deliver papers.
George, you must be a valley boy too if you went to Davis for all those years. You know what I'm talking about those hot Stockton days.
 

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My first gig was with a funk-rock band at Yaga's in Galveston, TX in February 2001. I joined the band during a rebuilding phase after they were getting label interest but the singer couldn't handle it and quit. We split the bill with a ska-reggae band that ended up offering me a spot with them. I played with both bands for a while and left the first before it finally imploded. I left the second one when I transfered colleges.
 

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On the first day of summer vacation after 10th grade, the phone rang at 10am. On the phone was a guy with the same name as the drummer for the high school stage band who had just graduated, but it was his father. He said that he was a better drummer than his son and wondered if I was interested in playing with his band. I was 14 and filled with what I already have, so I said "sure, when?"

He told me to show up at the Beachmont VFW at 8:30 Thursday night ready to play. I asked "what should I bring?" He said "Bring everything you've got!" I asked what kind of music, he said "everything."

I was part of a four piece including drums, guitar and Farfisa organ. We played all requests and kept them dancing all night. In one set I played the Hustle, YMCA, and My Way.

I got $85 under the table, all the drinks I could drink and a few squeezes from the waitress. That was the beginning of a fun summer!
 
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