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  • Henry Paniccia

Pay Day

A couple years ago I was talking to a musician associate of mine who knew the bassist for a VERY big name in rock. When I say BIG NAME, I mean a band that doesn’t get out of bed for less than 500k per show. A band that at one point I would argue was the largest name in rock music.

The bassist, from what I heard, makes $40,000 a year.

Doesn’t seem like much, does it?

But when we take into consideration the complete tour expenses are covered, plus his equipment, plus his rider, plus his travel, it doesn’t seem so bad.

See, the days of living large as a rock star are gone. We won’t see a rock band with a similar lifestyle to Motley Crue again. That is reserved for pop stars, rappers, and some country. Simply put… rock just isn’t as popular as it once was.

Now this isn’t to downplay rock as a genre. Continuously pushed aside, rock has continued to show that we have the most loyal fanbase of any genre. People who listen to rock and metal still buy records. People who listen to top 40 artists do not. It’s just the truth.

So don’t be in this for the payday. Chances are it won’t be what you expect. Your goal shouldn’t be the money anyway. Obviously you will want to make a living doing what you love but chances are it won’t be a million dollar payday. If one of the biggest rock bands in the world has a bassist pulling in 40k a year, you probably will do the same, or less. But when you hit the road, all expenses are paid, and you get to go on stage and play to fans who will come to worship you.

Not a bad trade off if you ask me.

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