since my birthday show at spaceland in may i started a numeric rating system (1-10) under the category “dressing room and rider wrap up” in our show report blogs to sum up my overall experience with the clubs we play. going forward, in order to be less arbitrary and more objective/credible im changing this rating system to the classic school grading system:
A = Excellent or Superior; (90 to 100)
B = Above Average or Above Average Expectation; (80-89)
C = Average or Average Expectation; (70-79)
D = Below average but passing; (60-69)
F (or E): Failure or Exceptionally Poor; (0-59)
the 100 pt scoring system consists of 5 categories (20 points each) clearly defined below. a letter grade will be assigned based on the club’s grand total:
1. the facilities – is there a dressing room, is there a shower, is there laundry, is there wifi, is there a backstage area, does it smell of vomit, is there a separate bathroom for us to take a dump in, how is the parking, is load-in brutal–all of these things matter. bigger clubs like the house of blues usually coast through this area – smaller clubs sometimes have problems but a place like dantes in portland or hotel congress in tucson make up for this in their layout and ambiance.
2. rider/amenities – this is a real tough category to excel in for the smaller venues. it really depends on the effort….did the promoter read the rider (it’s ok if they read it and laugh at it because i get a kick out of telling them why socks are on it) . as of now the holy grail on our rider is the bottle of heidsieck and co monopole rose champagne although the socks arent too far behind. if they read it and make some sort of effort to accommodate points are rewarded. a pack of gum or a fluffy towel dont go unappreciated. sometimes clubs will just give us cash for dinner…hey that’s cool cos we are always starving when we get to a club. it’s the thought that counts. having to pay for our drinks is never a good sign. a note on the champagne…heidsieck is roughly the same price as veuve clicquot but its way better. if you are gonna get champagne…make it french, make it rose and make it over 30 dollars and you’ll do just fine.
3. stage, sound, lights – these are the nuts and bolts of a show. is the stage big, do they have lights that work and change, is the sound decent, do they have monitors, do they have enough gear.
4. promoter – basically describes what the promoter did to promote the show. were there posters in the clubs, was it advertised at all, did they provide loaders, did the promoter show up? did they read this blog? sometimes promoters are right there for ya like ted wigler in ocean beach making sure everything runs smoothly.
5. staff – this includes bartenders, door man, sound guy, door people, loaders etc etc. sometimes its as simple as these people just being nice and not treating you like you are the inconvenience. its amazing how one dickhead can sour things. michael and the staff at the troub in la always score high for having their staff treat you with respect – they are very helpful.
intangibles – does the club let me bring tony in during sound check and load out at the end of the night? after the club closes do they let you hang for a bit or try to immediately kick you out? usually if the club/owner are cool everything goes smoothly and we love ya. scott from the saint in asbury park let our crew chill out and drink after hours. stuff like this never gets forgetton – it was the perfect way to wrap up a long day and have us leave with smiles on our faces.
i feel that writing a blog is about being honest. with that simple fact stated, i dont believe in always having to, or trying to put a positive spin on what happens with the band. in the past some band members have frowned upon me voicing this honest opinion in fear that it would hurt us because the club wouldnt want us back. my response…fuck that….if the club sucked that much in the first place then why would we want to go back and play there right? hopefully other bands will find this part of the blog interesting because its a side of the business that i never see discussed in other journals/blogs.i hope club owners and promoters will take note because often times you have bands by the balls never really expecting them to call you out if you do a shitty job. this isnt just about calling you out though because if you do a good job you get praised. this is actually a big deal to a band that spends most of its time working their ass off for little or no money when it’s all said and done so these details can help make or break an evening for the band. this should be fun, read it and weep. F10
our official rider: (motto – it never hurts to ask aka ask and ye shall receive)
Dinner – 7 hot dinners to be available 30 minutes after sound check, or $100 cash buyout, payable at the beginning of sound check. NO FAST FOOD PLEASE!!
Dressing Room setup (must be available immediately before sound check)
1- Case of bottled water (Fiji is preferred, not chilled)
Assortment of bottles of juice (preferably Cranberry & Pineapple)
1- case of Heineken
1- Six pack of Miller High Life
1- Six pack of local Micro Brew
1- Bottle of reasonable quality red wine
1- Box of Throat Coat Tea with honey and lemon
2- Bottles Kombucha Tea (found at Whole Foods)
1- Deli tray consisting of Turkey, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato and Vegetables with condiments (mayo and must)
1- Loaf of wheat bread
1- Bowl of Fresh (organic) Fruit consisting of mainly apples (at least 4 green), bananas, grapes, oranges
2- packs of sugarless gum
5- Bath size fluffy towels
Ample and continuous supply ice, cups and napkins
1- Bag of Tortilla Chips
1- Jar of Salsa (medium)
Assortment of sugarless gum (various flavors)
1- Pack of White tube socks (men’s sizes 9-11)
1- Bottle of Champagne (Heidsieck and Co rose)
1- pack AA Batteries
1- pack white tube socks (men size 9-11)
1- package of Pita Bread
1- tub of hummus
Assorted Clif bars
1- Bottle of Ketel One Vodka
1- Bottle of Tonic Water
1- Bottle of Soda water.
1- travel size toothpaste
i know you’re asking “what’s with all the alcohol?” but theres at least 8 of us and we like to entertain and have guests after the show.