Gigs: With Children

For a year or so after we started the band,
we had older teens at home eager to earn a
buck for watching the “little kids”….

…then the elders aged out and left home.

 

Thereafter, when we had gigs we either had to pay more expensive
outside babysitters (when the gig was in a 21 and over bar or club),
or pack the kids up along with the equipment and bring them with
us.

As time marched on, the bars and clubs were out of the picture for a
number of reasons (pitiful compensation, smoke-filled interiors and
expensive babysitters…).

There were a few gigs in places that served beer – but since they
were also restaurants, kids were allowed. The kids were into it for the
sodas and snacks, not so much for the show. But when we were
actually on stage, they’d just keep ordering more stuff – correctly
assuming we weren’t going to stop the show to deal with it. We lost
money at that one.

Then there was the time the kids asked us if they could sell our CDs
for us. It turns out that small, cute entrepreneurial CD-selling
children do a phenomenal business…then spend all the proceeds on
sodas and snacks while we are onstage! We lost money at that one,
too.

We actually got an audition gig at a coffee shop/frozen yogurt
business right nearby home. There was no pay involved but the band
members could have a coffee of any type. At that show it was just
Susan and I playing – and our loop pedal “Sparky” handling all drum
duties.

The kids were very eager to attend – because frozen yogurt. The
treats for the kids weren’t complimentary like our coffee, by the way.
And the big draw for the frozen yogurt was really the endless
assortment of toppings. We told the kids we’d buy them each one
frozen yogurt, but they wisely made up for that by adding mountains
of toppings. It turns out these frozen yogurts are sold by weight – like
at the supermarket salad bar. We definitely lost money on that one.

As the kids got older and as the novelty of going to their parents’
gigs gradually wore off, we faced the ultimate in diminishing returns:
the bored and angry kid at the gig. This actually leads to impromptu
unrehearsed musical adventure! We sometimes found ourselves in
the middle of a song, suddenly “jamming” with a kid who just
decided to walk up on stage and a) ask Momma for money for snacks
and sodas – again, b) complain to Momma of a headache, ear ache,
belly ache, sadness or their sister’s behavior, c) ask when we are
going to be done – again or d) demand to go home right now. I do
have plans for adding kids to the ensemble…but those plans include
the actual playing of music.

So, anyway, we’re done with bars and clubs and the kids are over
coming with us unless there is some other irresistible draw for them,
so we just factor in babysitting expenses as a cost of doing business.
We’ve had some amazing shows in this post-bar, non-kid-ular era.
Mostly outdoors and private. But they’ve all been relatively
predictable, they’ve all lacked that randomity factor that gigging with
kids provides so well.

These days, in order to keep our performance chops sharp and also
provide you with that live rock and roll vibe, we want to do more live
broadcasts. We have the drums set up in our bedroom (still) and
could put on a 20 or 30-minute show at almost a moment’s notice.
We plan to run these broadcasts through Patreon using YouTube
Live. At first, we’ll open them to the general public. Eventually, we’ll
be making more of these live events Patreon members-only perks.
We would encourage you to check out our Patreon page – and also
tell us what you want to hear in a live broadcast…we reply to emails
you know!

CLICK HERE fort our Patreon link:

https://www.patreon.com/themerryjaynz

Peace!
-Tom

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