Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AFM

Bob Popyk



How Accessible Are You?

How accessible are you? A good musician who gets lots of opportunities is usually one that is easily available to get in touch with. So are you accessible?

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Show Me The Money: More Examples of Memorable Gigs

There are definitely some memorable gigs that the people performing will never forget and here are just two more examples such strange gigs.

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Local 257 All Stars a Hit at Nashville Summer NAMM

The National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) held its summer trade show at Nashville’s Music City Center in July. NAMM, comprised of 9,200 member companies from 99 countries, is no small venue, and there were almost 500 exhibitors, 1,600 brands of instruments and accessories, and talent beyond belief. This year more than 13,000 people attended, including […]

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Hanging Out with Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

There’s a little theater/showroom off the beaten path in Weirsdale, Florida, called the Orange Blossom Opry. It’s a small venue that hires a lot of union musicians, including many classic country artists who have had strings of hits throughout the years

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Your Best Gig Could Be Your Next Gig

Over the past few columns I’ve talked about crazy, memorable, and terrible gigs. That’s life as a working musician. I appreciate all the letters, calls, and e-mails about out-of-the-ordinary playing jobs. They are too numerous to mention here, but I am retaining many of them for future columns.

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Crazy Gigs Can Be Learning Experiences

Thanks for all the e-mails about the memorable, out-of-the-ordinary, and crazy gigs. Many of these events become learning experiences for the musicians involved.

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Get It in Writing

I think the best way to deal with a botched verbal contract is to avoid the whole mess in the first place. Get it in writing. I personally learned this the hard way.

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Crazy and Memorable Gigs

For the last couple of months I’ve been writing about awful gigs. I know that, as an AFM member you’ve also had funny gigs, crazy gigs, and memorable gigs. I’m sure that, as a professional musician, you’ve played them all.

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Awful Gigs Some AFM Members Have Experienced

Last month I wrote about Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld talking about awful gigs. Jay talked about a bad gig he had done, and Jerry said, “Hey you got paid didn’t you? Don’t complain.” Well, in that respect he’s probably right, but some gigs are definitely worse than others. My e-mail inbox filled up over the past few weeks with your stories about bad gigs. Here are a few examples:

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Had Any Awful Gigs Recently?

Jerry Seinfeld does a show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. You can find it online at: ComediansinCarsGettingCoffee.com. The basic format is that he picks up a well-known comedian in an old classic car, and they talk and joke on the way to a coffee shop. They banter back and forth when they get there, […]

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