Music Exchange: Who let the “shlebs” out?

Music Exchange: Who let the “shlebs” out?

Household name, or celebrity? This was a topic of vociferous debate this week. I attended a number of events last week only to see the “shlebs” prancing around with the “do-you-know-who-I-am?” syndrome.
No, I don’t know who you are, so please enlighten me. Oh, you are a TV presenter and you are a Radio DJ…heaven help us, you must be a celebrity!
No, really: is this what it has become? One minute on TV, or three hours behind a mic, once a day for your show, and you are now a celebrity and you speak as an authority on all events – be they sport, the political debate of the day – never mind DIY tips or anything else that may come into your mind.
The PR agencies fawn over these people and perpetuate the cycle of so-called celebrity. Why?, I ask myself. What have these people done to deserve this so-called status in society? Almost as if they breathe a different air to us “normal” folk…

By Martin Myers

By Martin Myers

I ask this question, as this is the season for ‘shlebs’ to be everywhere and anywhere, even for the opening of an envelope. This is also the season for bands, to work like mad, but please listen to my call – get the money before the event!
Only last week did I get a call from a dear friend of mine that went something like this: “We got 50% deposit, did the show, it went well and now the promoter can’t pay the balance.

Now what? The balance is only a small amount. Can you help please?” The artist can’t sue because the legal fees would be too high, so the promoter just strings the poor band along until he can pay. Now this must stop. Bands and artists need to believe in themselves that they quote a fee of ‘x’ and it must be paid in full prior to the event .The promoter wants you, so let them pay the full amount. If the event goes belly up, you have little recourse, and recourse can be expensive. If the event makes loads of money you as the band suddenly note getting a larger fee. Artists need to stand tall and not undermine one another .If the fee is too little for you and you don’t want to do it them walk away, but if you agree then get involved one hundred percent.
It is the only way! Be firm and fair, but don’t get walked over, ever.

Gig of the week
He has been around for ages and during his career as the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls and subsequently as a solo artist, Arno Carstens has released 11 studio albums: five as the lead singer of the Nude Girls, one as half of the Electronica project, Bell Tower, and five as a solo artist. He has had over 20 top ten singles, won five South African Music Awards and opened shows for U2, The Rolling Stones and R.E.M..
Arno is almost rock royalty, if such a thing exists, and he plays Kirstenbosch this Sunday, from 5.30pm until 7pm. Take a blanket and some snacks and chill and listen to some music. Gates open at 4pm.
Book at www.webtickets.co.za.
(Picture: Arno Carstens – Photo by Justin Dingwall