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half a pizza express

aldevis

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After my lovely gig on Sunday at the Ivy House, yesterday I went ad see a friend of mine™ playing at the pizza express in Soho.
This friend of mine™ knows that Pizza express sports the most unpleasant managers ever seen in a jazz venue but had to take the gig anyway for few good reasons.
To give an idea about the managers, a couple of years ago, a waitress gave the band a half empty bottle of wine left by some customers and got disciplinary for theft.
Normally members of the band gets a (1) pizza and a (1) beer. In the old good days in the country where pizza was invented, this would not have been considered an appropriate treatment for the artists, but this is a different story.

Yesterday the great idea: Coke or mineral water and one pizza to share in two. "You must pay for the beer!" said an irritant waiter.

How cheap is that?
Even for a big band, the cost of 20 pizzas and 20 beers is probably less that £50 (a pizza express manager once told me that pizzas cost almost nothing). Keep in mind that there was a full house, tickets and food, so they were not struggling to make the night.

An interesting implication of this company police I noticed few times this friend of mine™ played in PE venues, is the migration of musicians during the interval: a bunch of people stepping down stage, exiting the door and crossing the road to get to the pub or look for a coffee anywhere else.

Despite the bad mood pervading the band, the gig was great and the audience warm and welcoming.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
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Berkshire, UK
My pal's son is the manager of the 606 in London. Always willing to make an introduction if it helps your pals.
 

aldevis

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My pal's son is the manager of the 606 in London. Always willing to make an introduction if it helps your pals.

That is a different story. I did few gigs there. Steve (mr. 606) is a saxophone player, he knows musicians, always kind with them, even if he has a full big band squeezed in. Waiters know when they can give you an extra free glass of wine and when they have to charge you. Smiles all over the place.

Congratulations to your pal's son then. (My last visit was about 6 months ago).
 

aldevis

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Update:
The friend of mine™ has been booked by the same bandleader for another gig. This time the agreed fee (decent money) will allow him to buy a whole pizza by himself.
Shame the gig is outside the M25. I hope nothing happens to him.
 

thomsax

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Sweden
I use to give the muscians the same food as the other guests. No pizza and hamburgers! But I just serve them non alcoholic drinks. They are on work. I don't drink wine or beer when I'm working, so why are muscians drinking? This has nothing to do about not be able to do the work. If you give a person alcohol and something happens you might be responsable for that. And I also think that saxplayers just should drink water! Coke, beer ... and other drinks with lots of sugar, is not good for your sax. Sticky pads! A saxplayer with sticky pads is not my first call ;}.
 

aldevis

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I know few musicians (mostly from the States) that without hamburgers and beer could cry in despair half way through the first set.

There are worst things though. Some musicians used to inject stuff in their veins. I remember a bass player that could sleep while playing. Or at least he looked like. Any trip to a gig with him was a nightmare: a police check (quite common in Italy) and we would have played a bass-free gig.
 

Clivey

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Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
In the Late 80`s.The band was in used to go on little 3 /4 day tours in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland which were paid for by the big brewer "Tennents" .
It was contracted that we got a Crate of beer at every gig in addition to our Fee and our B&B.. The only problem was that the Crate did not go far as there were 7 of us in the band. LOL. A duo would have become alcoholic in weeks.
 

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