Here's an article from the inventor of the L1®, Cliff Henricksen.

When I was a full-time musician playing in restaurants and clubs in the early 1970's, I and everyone else doing the same were making $50-$100 a night playing in bands, 4 or 5 piece. I also played in a rock and roll duo with a big PA, singing drummer who occasionally played left-hand Rhodes bass. It was a musical circus, sounded good and we made even more money than most individually. My musical colleagues all nod in agreement to this level of income figure. It is a very good indication that live music performance is dramatically devalued (by its customers) since 1972. This makes me very sad, and it is indeed a "sad situation". The music performance is devalued, but not the musical instruments, the equipment,the transportation costs, clothing or anything else. That's all gone up. But we are still in a time warp on pay.

Today, club gigs pay about the same and the better or perhaps more "connected" players (the ones with long-time local connections) might get $200. Party, wedding, bar mitzvah, corporate and the like gigs will pay more, but they always have. Such gigs require production rivalling big pop concerts (including costumes, sets and big sound systems), a wide variety of musical styles and typically require pro-level performers who often are required to travel extensively. On these shows, original music is basically out of the question. In general, it's rare that a musician in 2006 can make a respectable living simply by performing music in local venues. You must have other work. It seems that inflation has passed most musicians by, indicating that the services of musicians have declined steadily since the 1970's. Why would this be? Here are some possible reasons:

Continue reading here: Making a Living with the L1®
Original Post
Thanks, ST and of course to Cliff.

It seems I ran across this some years ago and was totally blown away by the accuracy and spot-on-ness.
I agree with 99 and 1/2 percent of this and think it should be a must read for we boomers and noobs alike, although the road worn muso's will get most all of it.

I wouldn't dare try to discuss this piece as it's just too wide sweeping, but thanks again for posting or re-posting this, it's quite a read.

Leo Dean
Brunswick/St. Simons Island Georgia
Thanks, ST, it was good (and helpful) to read it again.

Although I already knew and agreed with all or most of it, Cliff had some very good (and convicting) points regarding a musician's performance aside from the L1 itself...things I need to remember and increase my discipline of.

Due to several factors including our local economy as well as the times, I've had to basically give up any "career" in music, at least as far as bars/restaurants, etc.

I've recently started trying to play art faier folky places where they usually don't want to hear the hits, but some original or obscure music. We'll see how that goes (that's my kind of music anyway), but it's definitely the Bose system that allows me to do so in those type of physical environments, and to the great degree of quality those gigs require (or should, anyway).

Bottom line: without the L1, I wouldn't still be playing music.
I worked from high school through college full time as a keyboardist but these past few years I have made a living as a soundman. I live in the Orlando area and worked for Disney World doing sound for quite a few years, but currently do sound for a couple of Churches: one with a Saturday service and the other on Sunday mornings. In the process of doing so much live sound, I have lost quite a bit of my high frequency hearing in my left ear. Now I'm working my way back into being a musician since the hearing loss doesn't affect that nearly as much as it does doing sound.

The L1s are revolutionary to me. The one church I work has about a 100k worth of sound system in a large room that can seat around 500. The sound system sounds wonderful of course, but I am amazed at how much the Bose system can compete. Can it get anywhere near as loud? Of course not, but if I went very far beyond the occasional peak at over 90db I would be looking for a new job.

There is another thing I have come to realize. In a large church or similar venue, hiring a sound tech is a major expense. If I come in and do a job with the Bose, they don't need to hire a separate soundman, and that saves them quite a bit of money. This next year as I transition from sound back to music, that is going to be my main selling point.

The Bose L1 model 2 is perfect for worship situations. The maximum audience size of 500 is a real figure with polite people sitting down and listening to a performance. It is not in a room full of rowdy people screaming at each other.

As I mentioned, I have a lot of hearing loss in one ear. Not only that, I have loud tinnitus constantly on several frequencies. That has given me a real aversion to loud monitoring. As a musician, the two setups I feel comfortable with these days are in-ear monitors and the Bose L1s. A floor monitor with a horn several feet away drives me absolutely mad!

Back when I used a traditional PA I worked full time. I didn't need to worry about how much space my sound system took up in my home because it was always set up at a club.

Now with music becoming more of a part time situation, how much space the sound system takes up in my home is a major factor. So is what kind of transportation do I need to get it to a gig. So is setup ease and time.

A several hour setup for a two week gig makes sense. The same setup effort for a gig lasting a few hours does not. Like many people here, the Bose L1s (or a system like it) are what makes continuing to play even possible.

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