It begins with a simple but unsolicited communication. (Oh, I should note that I have not attempted to clean up any of the grammar, misspellings, or otherwise trample all over the flowery prose you are about to read.)
Hello,This is Franklin [NOTE: Not his real name] I spoke with you earlier about booking some show's with you. These are the bands I am booking and promoting. [Band 1] and [Band 2], [Band 1] is Celtic rock and Gypsy Jazz and [Band 2] is Jazz fusion. I am looking to book show's for Sept. through Feb 2014. If this looks good to you let me know and we can discuss date's ect. Below are some sites with sample's of music. You can also find track's on youtube. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.. Regard's; Franklin
[link to Band 1’s web page, but not Band 2's, plus two YouTube links]
Two bands I’ve never heard of plus a six month booking window? Looks like the first act is an out of towner. I can’t tell with the second band, because there is no webpage. And who the hell is Franklin? I return the serve:
I don't see any record of you emailing before.
Also, I have questions. You didn't send a link to [Band 2]'s site, and my googling found next to nothing. Where are these bands from? Why do they want to play the Blue Moon? Where else in Seattle have they played? What is their average draw? This info will go a long way towards helping.
These are all important questions, but all we need to do to move things along is to get some answers. Ah, if only it were that easy. Here’s what I get in return:
Try Facebook. [Band 2] has there own page.. The are a new group with massive potential.
If I had been interviewed for Madden’s piece—hey, thanks a lot for reaching out guy! (j/k lol bff)—one of the big no-no’s I would have addressed is bands or representatives who email me and advise me to do a search for a group’s webpage. If, indeed, booking a gig is like applying for a job, then this would be like showing up to an interview without a resume and saying “You can google me.”
Franklin has also committed two other cardinal sins: attaching an mp3 (pointless) and using a cliche (“massive potential”) to describe the group. Such a phrase is both vague and itching to have “to suck” set up camp to the right of it. I reply:
Why dont you send me a link if youre looking for them to play here? Seriously, that should have been in your first email.
OK, that’s pretty clear. Surely, Franklin will now be sending the link in his next message, which simply reads:
If you look on [Band 1’s] Web site you will find his callender. It will give you an Idea of where he has played and news and media review.
I have no idea why he both dodged the question and underlined half of his message, but I still write back. Some people teach gorillas sign language, others try to figure out what dolphins are saying, and I try to translate Musician into English and vice versa.
Again, you have yet to send a link to the other band, and you also haven't answered the questions I asked in my first reply. This does not bode well, but I will give you one more chance.
Franklin replies... with a link to Band 2’s page! And the following message:
[Band 2] is a new band. All they have is a FB page. I will shoot you that link. Allthough they are a new band they have increadible music and are well versed.. [link to Facebook page]
...but before I can click on it, I get another happygram:
If you like us fine if not stop badgering me. Thank you and have a nice day. I have given you what I have at the moment which should be sufficient.iewebsites, links to you tube, and aFacebookpage....
I’m not as surprised by him claiming that I am badgering him as I am shocked by the fact that he spells “badgering” right. But really? The guy who contacted me, who (for some reason) I’ve been trying to help while macheting my way through the thickets of misspellings, is crying foul. Or badger. The fun is over. I reply:
I’m gonna pass. This is more trouble than its worth.
Franklin responds with some choice words (which are best read when accompanied by this piece of music.)
No my friend you are making it more trouble than its worth. Its called snob apeal..I dont need those sorts. Ive given you an excellent couple of potentials for you establishment and all I see from you is snooty badgering. Thank you very much I hope your business prosper and has an abundance of sucess. But I will have to pass as well. My guys deserve better. Thanks again..
Well, I know when I’ve been told what’s what. Time to put this one to bed:
I am asking the questions anyone in my position would ask. You didn't answer any of them. Between that, the attitude, and the poor spelling/grammar, I am ok with your decision not to press forward on this. Thank you and best of luck to you in the future.
Im not the one that started the attitude. I gave you what I have.
OK, it’s just gonna get ridiculous, but maybe I should try some of that empathy that I’ve been hearing about. I ask if he is new to the world of booking shows. He responds:
Well then fill me in and give me more specific detail.. Ive given you everything you asked for. I want 10k for [Band 1 and Band 2]. Is that what you needed? I thought we could discuss that when you decided on headlining my events..
(spits out coffee)
$10,000??????? OK, sure, I don’t know either of these bands. For all I know, they’re worth every penny and more, although probably not at a bar with a legal capacity of 99 people. What I do know, though, is that if you’re going to be representing acts while also asking for that level of scratch, you gotta learn a few things, which are the same things you should use at any level of the music game.
Like proper spelling and grammar.
Like doing research on which venues you’re contacting.
Like presenting all the information up front in a concise manner.
Franklin goes on to tell me that Band 2’s members have played with some known prog-rock folk, and yes, I do recognize the names. I want to think that I am dealing with someone out of state who is unfamiliar with the Blue Moon or other Seattle venues, so this is just a spam gone wrong. But according to Google, Franklin lives not too far from here. Out of town, to be fair, but not THAT far out of town. I kindly suggest he do a little reading on which venues he is contacting. He replies:
I am sorry we got of to a rocky start. I do have some research and homework I have done on the bands,Of coarse. I also have done some reserch on your venue as well. Again thank you for your insight. I will take what is needed and pass on the rest.:) I have also been up for two days with my other two job's so I am kinda tired. I was not planning on getting back with you until tomorrow. So yes the typing,spelling and grammer are going to the way side at this point.