Let her R.I.P.? When does the band (or song) die?

TheFormerDrummerHenryThomasSometimes it’s pretty obvious when to put the band to sleep:  John from the John Doe Band decides he would rather sell real estate.  Artie, who’s mom bought the PA system, is moving to Las Vegas.  The brass section was involved in a bizarre smelting accident.  Or another drummer spontaneously combusted and the trauma is still just too fresh…

Those are all very familiar, right?  But suppose for a moment that your band is operating like a business.  This company probably has multiple partners, and every one of them brings different skill sets to the mix.  Do you just throw it all away because one of your partners needs to enter rehab?

Founders, Keepers?

Many times it is assumed that the founding members of the band are the torch-bearers.  They probably named the gig, figured out an initial set list, talked on and off about marketing strategies – stuff like that.  They may have invested deep.

They might ask for some reimbursements if the brand is strong enough.  If they have a clue, they will already be keeping some of those residuals for any tunes they wrote.  But if the rest of the band carries that torch, the founders might see some pay off down the road too.  They might even rejoin the band; we’ve seen that sometimes hell does freeze over.

Mediation is the key

It’s been said, “the best way to win in court is stay out of court.”  So much truer for the majority of musicians that live below the poverty line.  So use your communication skills and put away that axe.  Talk about the best departure steps and let everyone live to see another day.

There will also be less discussion if you took the time, way back when, to create a written exit strategy for members of the band.  This plan could be as simple as “we all go our own way.”  It might involve some payouts or an agreement that, no matter what happens, the singer always gets to decide what happens next.  🙂

Music & Karma

Ultimately, all songs come from the Void – that empty, creative space songwriters dive into.  And the Void is where we’ll all return in the end.  If you have an abundance mentality, that space is always accessible and productive.  If you dwell on a scarcity model, the Universe is going to be pretty stingy right back at ya.

Songs are kinda like real estate – when you own a chunk of land, do you own it clear down to the core of the Earth?

So…if you wrote a song with someone else, share the credits and any rare income that follows.  Be generous and open to all win-win scenarios.  Don’t let another tune be buried in an early grave…


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