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AnythingNow
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xx Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Thread started on: Oct 15th, 2014, 12:43pm »

Every now and then I watch a Muse concert on Youtube. The three guys in the band are truly amazing. Or, wait a minute, I see someone hiding in the shadows. Oh, yes, there’s a fourth member of the band – and he’s playing keyboards! Wikipedia tells me it’s Morgan Nicholls. During the whole concert I think he’s visible for about twenty seconds, and he’s not acknowledged in any way (at least not in the concerts I have seen).

That makes me think of how generous Genesis have been in acknowledging Chester’s and Daryl’s contribution when it comes to the live experience of Genesis. They were introduced properly and very kindly by Phil on every concert and on concert films they seem to appear as regularly as Tony or Mike. (Phil probably more featured than the others as singer and showman.) In the artwork for the live albums Chester and Daryl are featured, as well as doing the “I can’t dance” walk on the cover of The Way We Walk. Their names are featured prominently in the booklets of the live albums. They have been part of interviews and photo shoots. Etc. And I as a Genesis fan value their contribution to the Genesis live sound. When watching a concert film I am equally interested in what they do on stage as what Tony, Mike and Phil are doing. They have become integrated members of the Genesis family, I think it’s fair to say.

So with my background as a Genesis fan I find it very odd that Muse hides their hired-in keyboardist in the dark of the stage. Surely he’s not an official member of the band, but still he plays with them on stage – and has done so for eight years! At times when the keyboard sound in a Muse concert is very prominent, I think it’s strange not to highlight the person creating that sound!

What do you people think? How do other bands treat their hired-in musicians?
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15th, 2014, 1:28pm »

I've heard of Elton John having a tour keyboardist under the floor of the stage who plays a living room filled with tons of keyboards while above him Elton sits alone on the piano with nobody else on stage! cheesy Don't know if that is true.

Anyways, lots of bands treat their sidemen the same way Genesis do. I think it's quite odd how bands try to "hide" their tour musicians as if it was embarassing to have them play along. Sounds like an ego problem to me.
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AnythingNow
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 16th, 2014, 08:59am »

Now I remember having heard of U2 using extra musicians under the stage floor. In fact, when entering "U2 musicians" into Google, it suggests "U2 musicians under stage" and "U2 hidden musicians"! It seems to be a hot topic on Internet! grin It seems U2 have used musicians under the stage since the late 80s.

It's probably an ego problem.
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Witchwood
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 16th, 2014, 09:48am »

I recall some fan criticism being directed to Tony Kaye for making use of a "keyboard technician" at live shows during the Rabin era of Yes.
From what I recall reading, the keyboards were quite layered on those albums and Tony wasn't able to reproduce all those sounds by himself in a live setting.
So he played the main bits and did the solos, while some padding was done using technology or another keyboard located off stage.
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 16th, 2014, 1:12pm »

on Oct 16th, 2014, 09:48am, Witchwood wrote:
I recall some fan criticism being directed to Tony Kaye for making use of a "keyboard technician" at live shows during the Rabin era of Yes.
From what I recall reading, the keyboards were quite layered on those albums and Tony wasn't able to reproduce all those sounds by himself in a live setting.
So he played the main bits and did the solos, while some padding was done using technology or another keyboard located off stage.


I remember David Paich from Toto used to have that kind of "helping hand" too before Greg Phillinganes joined. I don't remember the name of that guy, he was on stage but somewhere in the back and out of the spotlights in the dark.
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16th, 2014, 9:51pm »

It all depends on contracts, session musicians agree to contracts that will pay their bills, and they perform with numerous bands and musicians..they make a very good living doing it...they don't do it for glory, they realize that's not their calling in life...and they also know that professionalism, means staying out of the limelight, playing their parts well, and providing top level support for the main entertainer(s)...if they break that code, they will be out of work quickly...they are treated very well and highly thought of behind the scenes, those that can live by the code, live well, those who can't, don't last...While it's true Daryl and Chester were sidemen, they were of a different variety, the band was looking for people who could be a part of the band so to speak, and not just supporters
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 17th, 2014, 02:43am »

I recall seeing a drummer, complete with kit, behind the stage of a Fleetwood Mac concert 4-5 years ago. He didn't drum on all of the songs.
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 17th, 2014, 05:21am »

Hi there


Using additional musicians on stage is fine but hiding them behind screens or under the stageand not acknowledging their presence or contribution is tantamount to cheating in my book. I guess the musicians themselves aren't really bothered after all, a gig's a gig, right?


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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 17th, 2014, 07:52am »

The Moodies have used extra people for years, but always give them credit, including the extra drummer, who is very much an integral part now.

Steve H of course, always makes sure his band get the credit they deserve. It's the gentlemanly thing to do!
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 17th, 2014, 08:05am »

on Oct 17th, 2014, 05:21am, alanh wrote:
I guess the musicians themselves aren't really bothered after all, a gig's a gig, right?


Certainly not. It's a job to do and as long as you get paid you do what the boss wants.
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #10 on: Oct 21st, 2014, 12:16pm »

I don't have a problem with unacknowledged musicians. You go to see band x - not band x plus Joe Bloggs. Which is the opposite of Brand X plus Phil Collins I suppose. grin

Now using tapes - that's cheating.
« Last Edit: Oct 21st, 2014, 12:17pm by vc10 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 21st, 2014, 2:22pm »

This thread reminded me of Queen's unsung sideman Spike Edney..


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike_Edney
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #12 on: Oct 21st, 2014, 3:10pm »

on Oct 21st, 2014, 2:22pm, Pete wrote:
This thread reminded me of Queen's unsung sideman Spike Edney..


And before Edney there were Morgan Fisher and Fred Mandel on keyboards.

Edney is introduced by Freddie on the Queen at Wembley album and Fisher is introduced on the Queen on Fire album. I don't think anybody worried that the hired in keyboardist would steal the show when they had Freddie! wink
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #13 on: Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:45am »

Some may say that those musicians are well paid and all. But playing with hidden musicians is still something that causes a general feeling of rejection.
« Last Edit: Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:49am by Kerry95 » User IP Logged

MartinH
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xx Re: Hired-in musicians – how to treat them?
« Reply #14 on: Oct 23rd, 2014, 02:35am »

on Oct 21st, 2014, 12:16pm, vc10 wrote:
I don't have a problem with unacknowledged musicians. You go to see band x - not band x plus Joe Bloggs. Which is the opposite of Brand X plus Phil Collins I suppose. grin

Now using tapes - that's cheating.


Unless it is OMD and their reel to reel machine “Winston”. grin

Used to augment their sound on stage in their early days, “he” was really treated as an extra member of the band and given more credit than a lot of the musicians on this thread.
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