2012.09.19-blog

what we’re doing about the crowdsourced musicians. also: we charted at motherfucking #10.

hola dear comrades!!

it’s been a week since my cell phone rang backstage in NYC on the opening night of the Theatre is Evil world tour. on the line was a NY times journalist I’d never spoken to. what followed has been a week-long fervid – and at times vitriolic — discourse about the nature and value of art, energy, time and money. i said in my last blog, we’ve clearly hit a huge cultural nerve with this whole “crowd-sourced musicians” kerfuffle. we didn’t expect to hit that nerve, we did, and now we’re dealing with it.

a few of them (the cowards, the trolls) threw some pretty nasty stones. but most of you brought well-articulated views, along with your personal stories and experiences. 
steve albini called me an idiot, then apologized for calling me an idiot, then called me an idiot anyway. 
a lot of my musician friends (including zoë keating, and nataly dawn from pomplamoose, who’s been having her own double-edged success with kickstarter), took to their blogs to explain the eco-system of playing for reasons other than cash money. i thank every one of you who spent the the time to explain it to people. 

lots of the musicians who’d initially volunteered (even some who didn’t get chosen to join us) posted really intelligent blogs defending your decisions.

as a result, we’re inundated with excited offers from musicians for the rest of tour, and we’re psyched. the shows so have been sick, glorious, communions of awe.
the musicians have been amazing, and generous, and brave.

this is how we be the media.

i’m sad to realize that our creative intentions of crowd-sourcing – something that i’ve done for years, and which has always been an in-house collaboration between the musicians and the fans, never a matter of public debate or attack – are getting lost in the noise of this controversy.
an editor tweeted me last night to PAY MY BAND. good lord.
to be clear, i have ALWAYS paid my band, who are on SALARY for the entire year (and will be next year too), even during the weeks/months we’re not touring.

this sort of shit sucks to read. but truly? i’m blessed: i’m a financially successful musician working in a culture where support for musicians is in a state of terrifying flux. nobody knows this better than me and my friends, all of whom are trying to navigate their own creative ways in the murky waters of a new-digital-music-future during a recession. people see me as powerful. it is – by its nature – going to bring more attacks from the world when it disagrees with my artistic and business approaches. i doubt it’ll stop anytime soon.

we’re ready.

and as usual, i wouldn’t want it any other way. this is the cost of being transparent.

the fact that we all have access to each other and CAN discuss this stuff in realtime is what has MADE my success possible, even if it means i’m tied to the stake every once in a while. i’ll take it.

for better or for worse, this whole kerfuffle has meant i’ve spent the past week thinking hard about this, listening to what everyone was saying and discussing. i hear you. i see your points. me and my band have discussed it at length. and we have decided we should pay all of our guest musicians. we have the power to do it, and we’re going to do it. (in fact, we started doing it three shows ago.)

my management team tweaked and reconfigured financials, pulling money from this and that other budget (mostly video) and moving it to the tour budget. 
all of the money we took out of those budgets is going to the crowd-sourced musicians fund. we are going to pay the volunteer musicians every night. even though they volunteered their time for beer, hugs, merch, free tickets, and love: we’ll now also hand them cash.

i hope this does two things: i hope it makes the volunteers surprised and happy (they’ll be getting some dough they had no idea was coming) and i also hope it makes our family circle feel good about speaking out.

when we handed the musicians their surprise cash backstage in new orleans the other last night, they laughed like mad and said “after ALL THAT, you’re going PAY US??!!”

moreover: i feel like we accidentally put ALL of our volunteer musicians into a weird situation that they didn’t bargain for….they unwittingly signed into a kerfuffle they never asked to join. all they wanted to was to hop on stage, rock out, and drink beer with us, etc.

so you all know: when this all started going down last week, jherek sent an email out to his current list volunteers telling them that we totally understood if all this controversy was weirding them out. and we gave them an opportunity to pull out, no hard feelings.

since this started, not a single musician has pulled out.

for their bravery, i also consider our payment to them a fucking thank you for standing their ground and standing in solidarity with us and our philosophy.

we’re also retroactively sending a payment to the folks who’ve already played with us. SURPRISE!

i really appreciate those of you who came to the table and made your voices heard. despite a few of the haters who were just along for the fun, i really value your various points of view, and into conveying your thoughts – even if we don’t all agree. this is how we grow. we are the media, and we are a peaceful community who communicate with each other. this is how we do it, this is how we’ve always done it.

and i feel good about doing this, because i feel like we’re doing this together. that’s the point. always.

i’d like to offer a giant especially-given-the-circumstances round of applause to all the musicians who have rocked out with us thus far:

David Fishkin, Kirk Knuffke, Sam Kulik, “Moist” Paula Henderson, Toshi Chun (and his sister, Keiko, for telling him we were looking), Austin in atlanta whose last name we don’t know because you showed up so incredibly spontaneously, Ashley Shab-an-kereh, Hannah Krieger (and special thanks to Alexandra Scott for sending us EVERYONE in new orleans!), Catherine Piacente, Justin Sabe, Jessie England, Alec Spiegelman & Kelly Roberge of Ronald Reagan (Boston’s Premiere 80s Pop Saxophone Duo!), Jerry Ochoa & Jo Bird & Debra Brown & Margaret Lejeuneall (all members of Two Star Symphony who have an incredible show coming up in houston this friday where they’re going to be attached to heart monitors and play along to the beat of their own hearts, YES!!!!!!), David Bloom & Finnegan Shanahan &Josh Henderson & Dylan Mattingly & Mariam Parhizkar who played with us at bard and are all members of contemporaneous.org, Daniel De Jesus, Brian Fitzgerald, Timba Harris, Alex Weill, Francesco in DC, Maggie Dziekonski, Natalie Spehar & Nick Montopoli (both members of classicalrevolutiondc.org), Tim Martin, Elliot Anderson, Laura Hubbard, Omar Luiz-Lopez, Sam Craft, Jack Craff and Mary Petro. (…and if you’ve played with us and we missed you or your last name, tell us in the comments! there’s a ton of you!!)

you guys have been BRILLIANT, every one. your support, energy, musicianship and “AMANDA WHERE’S MY FREE FUCKING BEER” & “WILL i BE TIED IN THE VENUE BASEMENT WHILE WE’RE WAITING TO GO ON??” jokes with us at the last few shows (especially under the circumstances) have kept us laughing and breathing.

thank you all for talking to us backstage every night about what’s really going on, how it feels….about the shit that’s important to you, and what you really think is going on here.

and a huge thank you to chad raines (@radchaines) the GTO guitarist, synthist, and horn arranger/conductor/wrangler, and to jherek bischoff (@jherekbischoff) the GTO bassist & string arranger/conductor/wrangler….they’ve braved this kerfuffle with ultimate CLASS.

thank you ALL for making us possible, again and again and again. onwards, onwards.

also, if you missed the news, the first week of sales of “Theatre is Evil” are IN.
we’re #10 on the billboard charts.
TEN. not a typo. TEN. we’re in the top ten of the motherfucking BILLBOARD CHARTS.

in with the old, out with the new, on with the new, off with the old, up with the down, down with the motherfucking up!!!!! whatever the fuck it means, we’re doing some SERIOUS DAMAGE, MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
we fucking did it together. and this is just the beginning.

here we fucking go, people…..

PROST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

love & everything under the sun,
AFP & GTO


(video still by sarah lasley aka @slazzle: hannah kreiger on trumpet, alec spiegelman on sax, kelly roberge on sax, ashley shab-an-kereh on trombone, yours truly, matt “@eclectictuba” owen on tube….the other night at @tipitinas in new orleans).

p.s. many of you are asking to join up with the orchestra: YES! we’re pretty set for the states and europe is coming together but we still need people in a few cities. and YES – we’re about to put the call out for australia and new zealand. watch the blog, we’ll be announcing protocol and tour dates very fucking soon!

p.s.s. if you’re wondering how the crowdsourced musicians experiment is ACTUALLY WORKING out in realtime…..here’s a video from new orleans. judge for yourself:

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  • http://twitter.com/LinerNotes Rick Damigella

    Congratulations to you and everyone involved with the GTO in cracking the Billboard Top 10. In a world obsessed with numbers that is an undeniable measure of success for any musician.

  • Dave

    All of the haters seem like they’re either not musicians and don’t really “get” anything about it, or they’re union shills that somehow think this is going to bring them money.

    It’s good that everyone’s getting paid, but I don’t think it was a necessary thing just to stop the hate from people who would have never cared in the first place if it wasn’t for their vast and deep understanding of hauling in a million bucks through Kickstarter.

    • Dave

      also fun: haters who are downvoting my comment without proving me wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

        gotta love those keyboard warriors. oh so brave now they don’t have a leg to stand on. ;) don’t worry, @Master_Dave:disqus. I’ll cheat too and get all *my* mates to up your posts. oh wait, I don’t need to. I don’t feel a need to change my story when it suits me or hate things I don’t even attempt to understand or even think about. don’t need to play those games. I’m here for the long haul, whatever anybody says or thinks.

        you guys may be able to post awful things here, but you’ll never make us hate with you! free will, biatches! that’s where it’s at, and that’s what we’re all about. :) WE ARE THE MEDIA and this just proves it. xoxo <3

      • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

        hehe, case in point. :D

      • Son of Akira

        Just look at the post right above yours.

    • mitsukurina

      “Union shills” eh? You could win a plum spot on the Romney campaign with your choice of imagery!

      • Dave

        I’m as liberal as they come, but when people who don’t even listen to Amanda’s music, have absolutely NO idea what’s going on and are just full of nothing but hate for everything because someone isn’t getting paid, what in the world can you call them? They’re not fans for sure. They wouldn’t have even known anything until the kickstarter thing because Amanda’s been doing this for YEARS without anything being trumped up.

        I mean it’d be one thing if someone who had volunteered for one of these things had been outraged that some of the people were being paid and other weren’t, then there’s a story. Instead, it’s a third party getting a fourth party involved in a situation that wasn’t even a thing.

        If there’s not someone from the music performers union involved, I’d be absolutely and completely blown away.

        Meanwhile this has all proven a single thing: It’s way easier to throw money at people to get them to shut up, than it is to present a well-reasoned argument and facts to angry people who don’t care who you are.

        For that, we all fucking lose here.

        • Son of Akira

          This is just… surreal.

          Some of the most vocal and thorough people making comments in these blogs, that have disagreed with Amanda, have been long time dedicated fans. Unless you’re calling these people liars I’m not sure what to say. One of them even made a detailed explanation about why this crowdsourcing for musicians was radically different from the times in the past.

          And no man, you’re not a liberal. Aside from the union-shill comment (lol) every manner of wrong committed against a group of people in history has defended with exactly your reasoning, the stuff about “it’s not your business, you don’t know what’s going on, and why do you care anyway?”

    • http://twitter.com/dogunderwater KO

      Did you miss the astonishing number of comments from musicians on the previous posts? Union “shills” who were protesting were trying to protect the professional interests of…musicians. Weird.

  • jon

    well done. i can’t help my cynicism but i’m glad you’ve made this decision.

  • http://twitter.com/Pray4Brain Mustafa Stefan Dill

    Brava. You’ve done the right thing, and hopefully youve won back the respect of the detractors. Youve certainly won mine. Peace and blessings.

    ( I still think your tone is a little spin-happy and full of Self — but thats ok. :) )

    Truly, I wish you the best of luck as you sally forth. Onward!

  • Hegro

    This is reasonable. I hope the amount you’re paying the musicians is reasonable.

    • Hegro

      why is this the kind of thing that should be downvoted? I… shouldn’t hope that she’s paying her musicians a reasonable amount? The number shouldn’t concern me? If she’s tossing them a twenty, that’s cool? No, that wouldn’t be cool.

      • Luci

        I realize from your question that you’re genuine, but I suspect it might be because you’re comment could be viewed as:

        a) unneccesarily negative under the circumstances (“this is reasonable” immediately followed up by assumed criticism which belies the former statement)

        b) as if you have an assumed right/entitlement to know details and specifics about finances

        judging from your confusion at people downvoting though, I don’t think this is how you intended to come across. But then, what do I know. That’s just my interpretation. People simply might have downvoted you for saying it’s reasonable vov

  • sandbridgekid

    Now the Haters and jealous cry-baby ‘artists’ will say you caved. If I were your guest musician I would donate my cash either to your merch table or a music charity. Those ranting the loudest are either the ‘failed’ artists, that we call ‘critics’, or the ‘artists’ who cling to old marketing models who will be left behind and trampled in the metaphorical creative dust. The ‘we must be paid’ argument is why there’s almost no art in schools or the wider community. It is also why the Corps still control art. I believe in a fair wage, but admission costs keep me away from symphonies and arena concerts. Fight the Power. Fuck the Man. Pwn the Fascists. Screw the 1%. We are the Media

    • Hegro

      She is the 1% you ninny.

      • Rutabaga

        right, let’s not forget about about how Amanda Palmer, inc. screwed all those stock holders and then bathed in the blood of occupy protesters.

        • Hegro

          let’s not forget that she doesn’t have to work another day in her life and that she would be FINE with paying people with the privilege of her company. It’s not as clean and lovely as it gets summed up in her blog entries. It’s not a love-fest when the artists supporting you are making you money and worrying about rent.

          • Luci

            *blinks* she could only not work another day in her life is she had absconded with the kickstarter money, and done a runner with the funds that was meant to be used to make a record.

            (and all the other expensive short run items, like an artbook, during which she funded something like 30 artists?)

            She’s made the record – so that discounts running off with the money or donating it to scientology…

            If she *had* done a runner with the kickstarter money, I would be the first to hand out torches and pitchforks.

      • Luci

        SHE’S A MILLIONAIRE!…wait…

        • Hegro

          MULTImillionaire. Who was vacillating on whether or not she should kick a few bones to artists who contribute to her abundance. As good as these new corrective measures are, people shouldn’t lose touch or sight with the fact that, as a multimillionaire, Amanda was going to commit a moral crime of capitalism by saving money on human resources.

          • Luci

            How is she a multimillionaire? She raised $1.2 million which fans donated to fund her album/pre-order the album (now released) – she has published a breakdown of where the money went and whether you like how she allocated funds or not (someone earlier didn’t when I linked it) that $1.2m just isn’t there anymore.

            It doesn’t exist.

            Sure, she’ll make money from tickets and album sales in the future, but right now I fail to see how she’s a millionaire, let alone a multimillionaire.

            Unless you’re factoring in Neil’s money as well, which is, y’know…his. (and weird how people keep bringing him into this, as if he’s the breadwinner and Amanda is a home-maker for him. I’m not going to claim to know how their relationship functions because it’s personal – even close relations with fans only go so far – but they don’t live together so it’s obviously not a ‘traditional’ marriage…)

            Also I cannot agree with you at all that asking for volunteers is in any way shape or form a moral crime. Both on the moral part and the crime part. If Amanda was penniless and a millionaire volunteered to play on stage with her, how would that effect the parametres of your argument?

      • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

        By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.Oscar Wilde

        • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

          wasn’t Oscar amazing? I like Nietzsche’s take on things, too. especially his thoughts on art.

          “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

      • kneelbeforetigers

        Word!

      • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

        Your planet has different math than my planet.

    • CraigStern

      Are you seriously arguing that professional artists are the 1% because they want to be compensated for performing? Do you have any idea how dumb that sounds?

    • disheartened long time fan

      WE are the media, that doesn’t mean we’re all gonna agree. Also in terms of being someone who complained, not an artist, not in the same field as Amanda, and I think her success is awesome. I think paying it forward it awesome too. We’re not all jealous haters, a lot of us are fans. jesus.

    • watchmeboogie

      You might’ve missed an overbaked catchphrase or two or invalidating group label, there. Musicians deserve to be paid for their craft just like technicians do. Amanda is the best for changing course on this.

      Sorry you can’t afford the symphony. Maybe you can get a job and save up for the thing you want, like all the rest of us. PS I can’t afford the symphony either. PPS Amanda is actually a millionaire, you know.

  • Y-Not Radio Josh T. Landow

    For shame Amanda! The true scandal here is in this very first sentence: “it’s been a week since my cell phone rang backstage in NYC on the opening night of the Theatre is Evil world tour.” Don’t forget about all of us who love you and were with you for the real opening night in PHILADELPHIA! Half kidding here, but seriously congrats on the success of Theatre Is Evil.

    • honneylove

      Hegro, we kind of sucked. I mean, she couldn’t get past the first 3 rows of the pit during Bottomfeeder, and that made me sadder than sad in the 9th row.

      • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

        I am SO glad Amanda didn’t give up after the first night in Philadelphia and attempted that epic crowdsurf again the next night in NYC. At first, I thought perhaps I went a little ~too~ overboard with the seemingly endless chiffon train, and it would just be physically impossible ~ too heavy, too long, too cumbersome, but Amanda had faith, tried it again (on the night of their webcast no less!) and it’s become something truly beautiful to behold. Definitely a testament to Amanda’s perseverance and belief in herself & others to keep at it, to keep trying even in the midst of an occasional bump in the road, and happily, to often find triumph in the end. :)

        • honneylove

          I’m glad, too…It was magical to see that dress come to life! You did an amazing design job, as usual! And I spotted Trillian wearing one of your designs at the Philly show. :)

  • Granas

    So goddamn happy for you, on so many levels.

  • Rutabaga

    I love you so hard. I don’t think many other people could have handled this as gracefully as you have. I’m firmly in the camp of doing things you love for kicks when you feel like it, but it’s nice that everyone is getting bonus cash on top of the joy of getting to rock out with you for a night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/javispa72 Javier Aladren

    I wish you well on the touring! I’m not exactly sure how I feel about you paying the musicians, but I respect your judgment. Also one of these days you’ll come to Ohio, yeah?

  • http://twitter.com/ian_atrus Ian Atrus

    So since the musicians are now getting paid with the video budget, I expect the haters will now start to complain that we don’t get enough videos and Amanda is a shitty artist for not keeping enough money to pay her directors and cameramen. /s

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61010465 Brian Hutchison

      I think this “haters” spiel isn’t helpful to anyone, sure there are some people being total dicks about it but there’s a lot of people who are prepared to disagree and debate their point with, hopefully, a degree of respect and understanding.

      Personally, all I was doing was holding Amanda up to standards I expect all artistic endeavours to adhere to. I expect that artists shouldn’t be asked or expected to perform for free when the performance is ultimately for the financial benefit of a person or commercial enterprise*, and when there are sufficient resources available to pay them a fair wage for their performance.

      (* with obvious caveats about charitable causes, e.g. buy Billy a new wheelchair = cool, buy Billy a new mountain bike = not cool)

      • http://twitter.com/ian_atrus Ian Atrus

        And why would you think that I would label anyone who disagreed with Amanda ‘a hater’? If you debated your point with respect and understanding then I clearly wasn’t talking about you. It’s however undeniable that a lot of people (not just ‘some’), even famous people, journalists, and so-called professionals, have been spouting abuse at Amanda and the volunteers, thrown childish tantrums and even sent death threats because of what they perceived as one mistake. If that’s not hate, then I don’t know what is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61010465 Brian Hutchison

      Oh, and please don’t take the “haters” bit too personally, there’s a lot of people making characterisations about “haters”.

    • disheartened long time fan

      this haters spiel is getting old. let it go, seriously, you’re causing more “drama” than people who weren’t psyched about the backup musicians getting paid.

      • http://twitter.com/ian_atrus Ian Atrus

        Really? With one single comment I’m causing more drama than those saying Amanda is a terrible artist, a scammer, an idiot, a horrible human being, that she deserves to die, that everything good she’s done in the world has been obliterated because of one (supposed) mistake? More drama than those saying that volunteer musicians deserve to be paid while all the other volunteers don’t? More drama than those sending insults to the volunteers and the other musicians defending Amanda? Wow. I must have some power.

  • Mthaytr

    I would have defended you to the death if you had decided to continue with the original plan, but I also think that paying the musicians silences the critics and ends this (for the most part). I’m very happy you are, if only for your own peace of mind. The detractors made some good points, though, and I think it was the right thing to do all around.

    I’m just glad you were so sane and nice about the whole thing. I don’t think I could have managed in your situation!

  • http://twitter.com/Olphas_DE Christian Könemann

    Still confused about this whole affair. I’m a musician in my spare time because I love making music. If I had the chance to play with AFP or any other band I love for just one amazing gig, this would potentially be the greatest day ever and definitely the most amazing gig I could ever play. To get payed for that opportunity is the last thing I would think about! In fact, I’m not sure I would want to be paid for something like this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

      exactly that. I was reading that and thinking how I’d react? I’d give it back or buy the band something useful! like a nice dinner, a beautiful fruit basket or a lapdance. ;) you know! something to bring as a big a smile to their faces as they bring to mine by just being there and being a part of it. :D

    • watchmeboogie

      You should always get paid for playing an amazing (paid-ticket) gig! Why not? All the technicians etc. should get paid, but not you. Why? Because you’re having fun? Psst: it’s possible to get paid AND do what you love. Just not for most musicians – yet.

      • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

        I think it’s such a weird attitude that enjoying the act of making music means it’s okay not to get paid for it. It’s not like technicians don’t enjoy their work.

        (Granted, I’m sure some don’t, but there are people who hate their jobs in every line of work.)

    • http://twitter.com/rcsheets Charley Sheets

      I’m confused too. I can certainly understand someone saying “I would not be willing to do X without monetary compensation,” but I have a harder time with “no one should ever be asked to do X without monetary compensation.” Maybe I’m misunderstanding the claim I’ve attempted to paraphrase. If so, I’d be happy to be corrected.

    • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

      But that’s just it, isn’t it? You’re a musician in your spare time. What if you were a pro and you had the choice between taking a paying gig or an unpaid gig for Palmer? Having to pass up what for you could be an amazing opportunity because making music is your beloved job and not a beloved hobby is a shitty position to put someone in. Beer and hugs are great, but they don’t keep the water on. A star’s autograph is great, but unless it’s on a check it’s not going to help you put gas in the tank so you can drive to your next gig.

      Honestly, crowdsourcing guest musicians is a great idea; if you want enthusiastic participants you can’t do better than to draw from your own fan base. (Palmer has the right idea there!) But recruiting that way should not preclude payment. Being someone’s fan shouldn’t mean you’re obligated to work for them for free because just basking in their presence ought to be enough. If your enthusiasm is enough to carry you, that’s great, but most people who are gigging musicians don’t have that luxury. They don’t love making music any less than you do and they certainly aren’t lesser fans if they’re pragmatic enough to choose a paying gig over a volunteer gig, especially if said volunteer gig is part of a tour intended to make a profit.

      That said, musicians aren’t exactly known for their pragmatism, which means even though they know Palmer has quite cheerfully admitted to trying to profit financially from this tour, they’d still probably play for free. She knew that going in and it was kind of shitty of her to take advantage of that, especially considering how everyone else she’s involved in the project was to be paid. After all, Palmer pointed out quite firmly that her live band are on salary. She stressed that the visual artists involved were compensated for their work and that it made her “feel very good” to pay them. So why didn’t it occur to her to pay the guest musicians she crowdsourced? Why wouldn’t it feel just as good to pay them?

    • Tottal

      My friend, you would be absolutely encouraged to return any fees you received to the artist if you didn’t feel like you wanted to accept them. However, the point is that your experience has value, ESPECIALLY when tickets and merchandise are sold for a gig. You should be offered a fee regardless of whether you want it or not. Then you can decide whether you want to keep it.

    • http://twitter.com/theGrypo Grypo

      Maybe that is why you’re a musician in your spare time? How about musicians and other artists get paid for their work unless they’re collaborating with someone who isn’t in a position of power over them “if you don’t do it for free I’ll find someone else who will.”

  • Luci

    Congratulations on the #10. To you, and to everyone.

    From the video: it looked like everyone was having an absolute blast.

    “an editor tweeted me last night to PAY MY BAND. good lord.

    to be clear, i have ALWAYS paid my band, who are on SALARY for the
    entire year (and will be next year too), even during the weeks/months
    we’re not touring.”

    I saw that. It was stupid. And a good example of someone taking a swing without being even remotely troubled by the facts.

    “moreover: i feel like we accidentally put ALL of our volunteer musicians into a weird situation that they didn’t bargain for…they unwittingly signed into a kerfuffle they never asked to join. all they wanted to was to hop on stage, rock out, and drink beer with us, etc.”

    I don’t think you did put them into a weird situation, tbh. Yes, they didn’t sign on for the kerfuffle, but neither did you. You had no way of knowing this would blow up the way it did, and I would argue the people putting them into a weird situation were those accusing them of being scabs and trying to intimidate them into not doing it.

    Still, I think was handled well and a good compromise – pay the musicians. for being brave and doing it anyway.

    • http://twitter.com/Pray4Brain Mustafa Stefan Dill

      “You had no way of knowing this would blow up the way it did”
      Now that its all said and done, wished well, etc, I do have to disagree with this aspect. Good mgmt and PR people in place would have seen this a mile coming, even if Amanda didnt see it herself.
      But happily, its moot.

      • Luci

        Possibly. And you’re right, it’s moot because we’re now wobbling in dangerous hypotheticals. But personally I think it wouldn’t have happened at all without the NYT article – as many people didn’t seem to know who she was, and that was all they had to go on.

        It’s the only way I can explain it, anyway, as it seemed at times to be something of a culture clash and as she says – she’s been doing it for years. But then again, the more…I don’t wish to say ‘mainstream’, but perhaps the more exposed you become the more scrutiny you recieve.

        I certainly didn’t see it coming, anyway.

        • Liz

          I think that the difference also can be seen in the money issue and the way Amanda reacts first. She has made an remarkable amount of money with kickstarter, everybody knows, and she keeps telling it to the world. When she first was askes to pay them or why she didn’t do it, she said she couldn’t effort it. So why she previously explained that the extra money is going to make the shows bigger and better. The bigger and better also can be pointed out in having more musicians on stage. To pay them – even if they would have done it without financial compensation – is just fair.

          • Luci

            “She has made an remarkable amount of money with kickstarter, everybody knows, and she keeps telling it to the world. When she first was askes to pay them or why she didn’t do it, she said she couldn’t effort it.”

            In fairness, she also told the world how she was spending it: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/amanda-palmer-the-new-record-art-book-and-tour/posts/232020

            (which does explain why she couldn’t afford a touring horns and strings section)

          • Liz

            Of coure she can afford. She’s already doing it.

          • Luci

            Sorry – misunderstanding there. She’s not already doing it; she’s paying the volunteers something for the night they play. That is not the same thing as what I said she originally stated she couldn’t afford – taking an string and horn section *on tour with her*. I perhaps could have phrased that more clearly.

          • Just No

            She could afford to pay them, she just didn’t budget for it. She makes that clear in this very post. She didn’t value those musicians enough to pay them until this became a big deal. I’m glad she changed her mind, but I have no doubt that the fact that other musicians, including Steve Albini who she referenced when she gave her accounting for the money, said she was full of shit about how much things cost, heavily influenced her decision. She didn’t just piss of unions and small-time working musicians. This was bad press and she knew it.

          • Paul Janke

            Really????? Give it rest. She thought about it made changes and accommodated. Any of us, any time could re-evaluate and change our financial priorities.
            By the way could you teach the trick to reading someone’s mind ? i could really use it. I’ll pay for it……..

          • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

            There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.-Oscar Wilde

          • Agreed

            THIS

          • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

            Amanda clearly read her dissenters and tried to see things from their pov. Can you not do the same? You really persist in the idea Amanda does not value the volunteers?

          • Phil the Tremolo King

            With all due respect, that budget breakdown is a joke. Anyone with even a tiny amount of knowledge of the music biz sees ‘waste’ written all over that budget. Also please don’t forget she is married to a very famous and wealthy writer. The ‘I can’t afford it’ line was almost more insulting than the act of not paying itself.

          • Luci

            depends, really. what she wanted to do was a great big thing – with fancy shmancy limited edition art books and paid artists, vinyl releases etc…sure, from a purely economic standpoint that kind of stuff is wasteful – but it all depends on what you want, doesn’t it?

            and again: it’s worth noting that the “can’t afford it” line was to take a horn and string section touring with her – which is probably quite true (therefore I’d struggle to find it insulting objectively).

            anyways, her changes might have been wasteful depending on your point of view/taste, but the budget breakdown does point out that (for a variety of reasons) she hasn’t simply pocketed a million dollars. I’m not sure why people think that, but many seem to.

          • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

            Yeah I read the criticism of the pricing. They priced CDs in jewel cases. Not beautifully designed hardcover books with cd sleeves!

      • Liz

        Why PR? To pay people that are working for you adequately should be common sense without need of someone telling you what to do best for good reputation.

        • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

          I don’t think there *is* PR. I know she has management, but I know that a lot of the time, Amanda does her own junkets.

      • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

        Notsomuch. There’s never been so much as a peep before so why expect it now? To us, it’s just more let’s make art together.

  • Chris

    First congrats on the Billboard Top 10, very much deserved, I LOVE the album. Secondly I never thought you were in the wrong; you asked for volunteers and they knew what you were asking (they weren’t forced into it). In any case I hope this all ends. Lasting note, I’m gutted I won’t be able to see you in Manchester (UK).

  • Liz

    I’m glad you did this, really. Not only the payment, but also that you listened and read the comments (I hope you did). Because: I wanted to go to your show, bought tickets. But was quite like: “I want to give them away, I just can’t support this” since this controversy and your ignorance to deal with the issue. If you’re truely stand behind this post, it shows that ou still are able to grow and learn, together with others. That’s strength.

    • Luci

      “and your ignorance to deal with the issue.”

      Hm. Not sure I agree at all, there.

    • http://twitter.com/JLWakefield Jason Wakefield

      She has directly addressed the issue in several blogs and interviews, and has now altered her payment model to account for the criticism she’s had. This is definitely not ignorance to deal with the issue.

  • lindaaargh

    You know, you’ve handled this whole “backlash” about asking for volunteer musicians with nothing but class and I have the utmost admiration for you. I understand where the backlash comes from, as classical musicians are struggling especially hard to make a living doing what they love these days, but the people railing against you have obviously never seen you perform. I’ve seen you perform 4 times and you have NEVER FAILED to thank and acknowledge every single musician onstage, as well as the venue and the fans. When I read that you were asking for trained musicians to volunteer to perform with you, my first thought was, “That’s so cool! I’m so bummed I gave up the violin in 10th grade!” Because performing with you and getting to be part of the music would have been a dream. That’s why musicians are volunteering: To be part of something they love and believe in, for an amazing experience. How many people get to play with their musical heroes?! I had no doubt that the musicians lucky enough to play with you would be treated with respect, and thanked properly.

    And the fact that you’ve listened to and read all of the opinions on this matter and discussed it with your band and rearranged your budget so you can pay your volunteers? RETROACTIVELY?! That is fantastic. Keep on truckin’, Amanda. You’re doing an amazing job and the only reason you find yourself in so many kerfuffles is because what you’re doing is revolutionary.

  • Antonia

    The way I see it, you can’t please everyone, and the harder you try the further you will falter because, as I said, you can’t please everyone. Now, that you’re paying, people will be asking, “How much?” And, “Is it enough?” Musicians will still play because they want to, but they will do it for the money too, and they will compare themselves to other musicians an what they make, and they will tell their friends, who will tell others, and soon everything will sound the same. The media that misinformed the angry “professionals” who then attacked your intentions, will grunt their “I told you so’s”, because the real reason any of them were mad in the first place was because they weren’t the ones being invited to go onstage, nor were they the ones who got your invitation for volunteers. The truth is, all of this became as big as it did is because of resentment. Resentment that you are good at what you do and because of this you are allowed to create your OWN rules. People who follow rules dont like new rules, especially if they make sense but don’t apply to them. You know this. Why not stick to your guns? Why not be proud of creating your own art, and your own rules? You didn’t dip into the pockets of the people that donated. They donated because they wanted to, and you gave back in the best form possible, the chance to partake in the show that was funded. What’s better than that? I wouldnt want your money. I’d want you to be and know that the money I gave helped you change the rules a little.

  • Brian

    Does the fact that I’ve now sold out and bought my first Top Ten album mean that I can’t be a misanthropic hipster when I grow up?

    I was already in the “Nobody is putting a gun to their heads” camp, but I still think this shows a really impressive amount of integrity.

    • http://twitter.com/lizzers_ lizz

      “Does the fact that I’ve now sold out and bought my first Top Ten album mean that I can’t be a misanthropic hipster when I grow up?” — Nah, you can always say that you liked her before anyone else knew about her… :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

      “Does the fact that I’ve now sold out and bought my first Top Ten album
      mean that I can’t be a misanthropic hipster when I grow up?”

      HAHAHA! I know what you mean. I’ll have toss out all my books and… nah, that’s a stupid idea, already! ;)

  • NotonTwitter

    Well done, Amanda. Paying the horns & strings is a good decision. Although it might have been nice to hear a bit more in the way of acknowledgement that what you were doing was wrong (inadvertently or not) and you’ve now realised that and made amends.

    This was an opportunity for you to show the new way, to not screw over musicians who aren’t as lucky as you, to not play the “I had to do it, so they do too, even though it isn’t fair” card. Those are the OLD ways, and you’re better than them. Thank you for proving it.

  • Dr. Teeth

    I’m glad to see you’ve had a change of heart. I hope some of your fans realize, like apparently you already have, that not everyone criticizing you was a mindless “hater” who just wanted to shit all over your success. Most of really care that people are properly compensated for their work, and I can’t tell you how offended I personally was by some of your fans calling that idea “greedy” and “entitled”. I hope everyone is able to step back now and see that this issue is much bigger than Amanda Palmer and her fanbase.

    • Luci

      Hm. You are aware that it did work both ways, no? The idea of people being properly compensated for their work isn’t greedy or entitled. But at the other side of the table, calling amanda ignorant for asking her fans to volunteer and the fans themselves scabs if they took her up on it, was also somewhat offensive. Neither side was particularly angelic; all sides really cared (sans trolls).

      But personally, I thought that was one of the main problems – people taking something that WAS specifically between Amanda Palmer and her fanbase – a small issue – and taking it out of context and making it a big issue. but that’s just me…

      • Dr. Teeth

        I’d be slightly more open to this if there wasn’t a comment down thread about how the complainers were “union shills” who only cared about making money. I didn’t like the trolling on either side, and I don’t think it was wrong to point out that this was a microcosm of a much larger political issue. Amanda has never shied away from making political statements with her work, so I’m not sure it was wrong to point out that this is a political issue too.

        • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh jason quackenbush

          Exactly. Treating labor fairly is an important principle and it matters even symbolically when people don’t do so. I’m less than thrilled with Ms. Palmer’s decision to minimize the issue by calling it a “kerfuffle” and making it out like the people raising concerned were not raising issues about a serious problem. That said, she’s doing what’s right now. If she’s paying scale. As far as I know there’s no confirmation on that point yet.

          • peregrine

            It was actually the New York Times that called it a “kerfuffle”…she and others are fancifully repeating the word.

      • http://twitter.com/MrsSheaWong shea wong

        I don’t think at this point, with 25,000 backers on Kickstarter, it can be just an issue between an artist and some fans. It becomes a pretty large issue by the virtue of people and money involved. There were 1.2 million reasons why this stuff needed to be transparent, and paying skilled artists goes a long way towards true transparency.

        • Luci

          …you know the 25,000 backers on Kickstarter were her fans though, right? It was between an artist and some fans. 25,000 of them.

          Also, I’m going to have to disagree. I think she *was* extraordinarily transparent in offering a breakdown in where the money was going/has gone – she was under no obligation to do that (though I’m glad she did, and frustrated when people haven’t read it and assume that she just has a million lying around…)

          The main reason why there’s no obligation to be as transparant as she was (towards her kickstarter backers) was because they backed her for a reward – digital download for $1 at a minimum. Provided they recieved what they pledged for, she needs offer no more information.

    • Katie

      I think you’re absolutely right, in the sense that name calling is wholly inappropriate in any case. The discourse on this, like in most issues nowadays, is so totally geared toward one side or the other that there is no reason/logic. By the same token, I’ve never been more disheartened by the comments I read on various articles, by people claiming to be musicians/artists, using the words “bitch” and “slut.” It disgusted me to a level I can’t even describe, and made me doubt a community I really respect – and consider myself a part of. Just as people went the “greedy” route, people went the all-out sexist route when they came down on the other side. There were a lot of well-articulated, thoughtful comments, but I have to say, it’s disappointing that something that is, what I consider to be, an important issue in the arts was so quickly reduced down to obscenities by both sides – and by many “artists” themselves, no less.

      • Dr. Teeth

        I hate the sexist slurs that have been thrown at Amanda. I think it’s disgusting to degrade someone because you don’t like what they do or represent. I had trouble supporting Amanda after she staged her prop 8 protest where she pretended to gang rape a Katy Perry look alike. I think that sort of degradation, that’s pointed almost exclusively at women, makes it very difficult to have an honest conversation about any issue. I don’t support that behavior from anyone, even if they support an issue I believe in.

        • orixayansan

          Musicians pretend to kill others on stage (GWAR, Rammstein [fan lit on fire] etc.) and that’s not considered “degrading” or immoral. It doesn’t mean they support murder. Similarly actors pretend to kill or rape and they aren’t proponents of it. What ridiculous logic.

      • http://twitter.com/CharliNye Jennifer B

        Katie, I concur. This was my biggest issue with the whole situation. Instead of having a reasonable discussion on these magazine sites, people were downright horrible in the names they hurled towards her. I never can understand why people think it’s ok to tear someone else down just because they disagree with how they conduct their business.
        Have an opinion, don’t insult.

        • http://twitter.com/theGrypo Grypo

          Do you know what tone policing is? You invalidate criticism because you don’t like “the way it was presented”, but it’s quite obvious that if no one had gotten ugly mad at the situation then AFP could have just continued to not pay her guest musicians and say it’s just a matter of different opinions so lets just let that slide.

          Even the people who were rude had LEGITIMATE criticisms to make. Their rudeness does not cancel out AFP’s unjust treatment of her guest musicians.

  • Emily

    I think it says something to the quality of People [nevermind musicians] that despite the controversy, everyone who signed on, stayed on and sloughed through it. Kudos to all the musicians who were doing it for free, and for the love of it, and integrity of the show, and I trust that AFP and GTO will weed out the people who sign on now just because it’s a $$ paying gig rather than an emotionally fulfilling gig.

  • Kelley

    I think you’ve navigated all these uncharted waters marvelously. That said, I think I would prefer a beer with you than money from you any day of the week.

  • Anmorata

    When I attended the show in Carrboro last week, I watched the guest orchestra closely. I can honestly say that every single one of them had ridiculous smiles on their faces. I realized then and there that everyone was pointing the finger at AFP & the GTFO, and no one was asking these musicians their opinions on it. Well, if their opinions were reflected on their faces – and I’ll bet they were – they looked to be having a really smashing time. In following along with all this hullabaloo/kerfluffle, that was one of the most important things for me to see.

  • http://twitter.com/ognightmix Ted Vossen

    Any possibility of posting where you are completely full up on volunteers? I had volunteered for the horns about a month ahead of the Denver show and never heard anything back aside from the automated message that’s immediately sent back and the show’s two days out. I’m assuming that you guys got it taken care of but it would’ve been nice to have more of a heads up one way or the other.

  • Mel

    I was one of the critics. Thank you for changing your mind. It’s important to pay people for their labour. The increasing reliance on unpaid labour/volunteers across the arts world means that only people with a certain amount of free time (or with support of family/friends) can gain access and experience, and this ultimately reduces the pool of people who can become professionals. I’m grateful to you for your change of position here and your transparency.

    • Mel

      And, incidentally, I am involved in music as an educator and as a jobbing musician. Most of the people I know who were upset by the unpaid labour issue are people who are trying to get by from their music, happy to break even from recording ventures but keen to feed themselves and their families. Most musicians are far from wealthy. I was critical of Amanda Palmer’s stance, but most certainly not a hater: I deplored the sexism that many coupled with their critique of the labour issue.

    • Really?

      Well said.

    • Nothing

      As one of the ppl that worked for free for you in the past, I also appreciate the fact that you took the time to figure out someway/somehow to at least pay for the people who make you look good on stage during your performances. When a performer or a band grows in popularity naturally it’s the right thing to do when you can obviously afford it these days. Goodluck with your tour.

      • http://twitter.com/gickgickgick gickgickgick

        Exactly. Things you can do when you are starting out are different when you are now, in effect, a business and an employer.

        Every argument Amanda made for not paying her de facto employees has been made by mainstream businesses in the past and present. And I’m sure those businesses felt just as affronted when they experienced organised actions by labor groups.

        • http://twitter.com/TrustMeScience TrustMeI’mAScientist

          Exactly, gickgick.

          What seems charmingly “DIY” at one level is called “being a horribly exploitative boss” when you take it up to a new scale.

          Almost no one plans on becoming “The Man” or “The Establishment.” But you wake up one day and BAM! There you are.

          That’s the position Amanda is in now. She’s a legitimate, cash-rich entertainment businesses now, and a thriving one. *People* helped her get there, and *people* deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

          I’m glad to see her doing the ethical and sustainable thing. This is great decision! (Although based on all the press and uproar, perhaps this was the only one she really could have made.)

          At any rate, thanks Amanda. Very, very happy and hopeful because of this.

          Musicians advocated for their profession, and it worked. I hope that this emboldens more creatives to value themselves and to demand that those who profit from their work value them as well.

          On a micro-economic level, this was a success for everyone involved. On a
          macro-economic level, if a larger pattern of events like this one were
          to emerge, our entire economy would be better off for it.

          • Sam

            If people are still hating on Amanda Palmer at this point eventually it will subside. She has to understand that people have a right to feel upset about something like that, esp when you make that much money on kickstarter. To not pay your employees on stage with you is just a load of crap.

  • katie

    I have to admit. At first my thought was, “Oops. Yeah. They should be paid.” And the more I read into it, the more I thought, “Wait. No.” Here’s the thing: Unless you’re demanding child musicians to play with you and I missed that aspect, these are all adults, capable of making their own decisions. If someone wants to do something that doesn’t hurt anyone else or themselves, and would make them really, really happy, they need to do it. Not that they should, but need to. Nobody has the right to tell you what to do in your own life decisions. And a lot of these musicians, I think, pick on AFP because she’s accomplished a lot in a short amount of time – easy target. Just BAM! and there she was, to a lot of people. The problem with success is that everyone is now looking for a hole in the armor. Meanwhile, anyone who has follows AFP for any length of time would understand the thought process behind the whole thing. I can’t know it, but I assume it went something like, “Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if we just got fans who are musicians to play with us at each gig? It’d be, like, interactive and community building!” And then musicians were like, “Fuck yeah!”

    But when you write it like that, I guess it doesn’t make as good of a fodder.

    I wonder if you replaced, “Amanda Palmer asks local musicians/fans to volunteer their playing at gigs” with “David Bowie asks local musicians . . .” if it’d be this big of a deal. Nah. People would be lining up, salivating over the opportunity. Not because he’s “better,” but because people would have felt he “earned” it. And what we need to realize in the artistic community is . . . we’ve all “earned” it. Whether you want to play with Bowie or AFP, you’ve earned it. Whether you’re AFP or Bowie and think it’d be a nice idea to have musician fans play with you, you’ve earned it. We’ve all, up until this moment, done something to practice our art, whether it’s a half hour a week painting goofy things with friends, or spending 15 hours/week for 15 years practicing the cello. If you want to play a gig, play it. If you want to paint a picture in your living room while watching “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” do it. I hate to be cliché in repeating it, but . . . Stop pretending art is hard. And that’s exactly what the negative reaction is all about – making it harder than just simply playing a gig you think would be fun.

    • Iva

      Nooope. David Bowie is a fucking kajillionaire. I’d expect him to compensate people who were providing a service that brought him revenue.

      • Hegro

        Amanda is a multimillionaire.

        • Iva

          Right. I should have been clearer. I think getting “volunteer” musicians to play at a show (that you *need* them for) is some bullshit. Artists should be compensated if their work is making someone money. For example, if I asked a friend to do some illustrations for a book, I wouldn’t publish their work and then say, “Oh, hey buddy. Thanks for the illustrations. Have a hug and a copy of my book…that I just got a revenue check for.”

          • Hegro

            And that’s what’s still kind of yucky about this. Like, she could still be incredibly cheap. She could still be hoarding cash and not providing a proper living wage to artists she’s making big money off of, all the while issuing sweet missives and propagandist films about how happy everyone is to be poor yet fortunate to keep her company. It’s still kind of wretched.

          • Iva

            Yeah. I’m not disagreeing with you.

          • Hegro

            haha, I hear how my impassioned continuation of your point sounded like an argument. I hear you. :)

    • kneelbeforetigers

      The Bowie vs AFP argument is moot… as AFP mentions herself above, she is a very well-off musician, so she’s doing better that 65% of the struggling-for-a-gig folks out there. People need to be paid for their work, point-blank. There’s no way to justify having the most successful music-based Kickstarter campaign ever and then asking people to give up their time, mental creativity, and labor for free. But yes, I respect AFP for coming forth and paying her temporary players….

    • Hegro

      Amanda didn’t come by her success quickly. She’s pursued music and performance consistently since she was in high school. Anyone resenting her artistic success or achievements is being myopic. People resented her saving money on her touring budget by not paying the skilled musicians who were backing her. It was cheap. My hope is that the amount she’s kicking these artists now isn’t laughable. People I know who have worked for/with Amanda in the past have all talked about HOW cheap she is and how little they were paid relative to their contributions. This is a conversation about capitalism and budgeting and one person’s greed.

  • FannyVonB

    I still don’t think you did anything wrong and if I was ever good enough to join you on stage I’d donate any given money to a music charity. The pleasure of playing with an idol is currency for the soul and you can’t put a price on that!
    And fuck yeah – number ten! We are the media…I hope the other media is scared!xxxx

  • http://www.facebook.com/martin.ohare.35 Martin O’Hare

    this video ilistrates ur points beautifully. love, music, art performance beer. and now personally i didnt give a fuck. i dont play an instrament if i did, i would have fo shiz volunteered my services and probably streakedthe stage in joy at the thought of perfoming on stage with my fave singer/band. oh yea and number fucking 10 motherfuckers. so pleased congrats. well deserved. xxxxx

  • stc

    I cannot overstate how inspired and in awe of you (Amanda) I am. You have driven (yes, driven) me to pick up my guitar and pour myself into art. I can’t thank you enough. Keep up the fight, our valiant muse.

  • lentower

    rock on!

    with your usual CLASS!!!

  • http://twitter.com/witchbyrd roxy l

    glad you decided to do the right thing, even though you still don’t understand why it’s the right thing.

  • Frieda

    Bravo Amanda! You’ve handled the whole situation with tact and grace. I’m glad this was all worked out (for the most part) amicably. Kudos for being flexible and listening to dialog openly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/safathemonkey Safa Shokrai

    Well done Amanda! Thank you for hearing us and making this choice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cpridmore87 Chris Pridmore

    At first, I was disappointed that you caved. I was taking the stance that you should stick to your guns, and those that want to join in will do so… but then I remembered what you taught me… what you’ve always taught us… Just not to get worked up about shit. So now, I’m fine. Ultimately, it doesn’t affect me. I’m not volunteering. I know some people want payment and some people don’t. It’s important to acknowledge that we can’t please everyone. Some people have a similar mindset to you, some don’t. That’s just what it’s like to know more than one person. That’s life.

    Although, as a fan, I’m disappointed you took money out of the video budget!! Videos last forever.. a tour doesn’t.. But I have faith that you will make the best of what you have. You always do. This is why we all love you. All the best. xx

  • Benjamin

    This made me smile. Made my day.

  • http://twitter.com/davidwitteveen David Witteveen

    Congratulations on the Billboard Top Ten!

    I’m glad you decided to pay your volunteer musicians. It feels like the right choice.

    I get your crowdsourcing philosophy, and I get that many musicians are happy to volunteer for free.

    But there’s a certain amount of attention that comes with a million-dollar Kickstarter campaign. And this decision sends the clear message that musicians are valuable.

    So thank you for thinking about these issues, and thank you for having the strength of character to change your mind. It’s often seen as a weakness, when in fact it’s a great virtue.

    • http://twitter.com/lizzers_ lizz

      Agreed – I think AFP crowd sourced everything pre-Kickstarter, and this was just a natural ask from Camp AFP. The backlash was strange, I thought, but not entirely surprising. It’s interesting to be able to watch this from the sidelines and I’m mainly glad for the musician payment because now the musicians can just play without it being political.

      • Laurie

        I don’t think it is really so strange to want to pay for your employees on stage with you. Amanda still thinks like she is this small time musician with small time gigs and stuff, but that just isn’t the facts anymore.

        • http://twitter.com/lizzers_ lizz

          I didn’t say it was strange to want to pay your musicians, I said the backlash was strange – meaning a request that would have gone out to her fans was picked up by a larger audience and made available for commentary (mostly by people who couldn’t give one shit about her music in the least). And such as it is — she’s gotten more exposure, and might not be able to source things the way she did before…. and thus the resolution. She isn’t a hero for offering payment, but I imagine it was a bit of a shock to hear commentary on her crowdsourcing when all she’s done is crowdsource everything – even before Kickstarter.

          • Brian Visel

            This. Thank you. Many people (not all) who were bringing this issue up had no idea of the history here, nor the motivations involved (which she stated clearly in response, but weren’t, generally speaking, believable by the people voicing their concerns).
            For those who see greed, the reality is just that she’s moving from being relatively unknown to being very known and very visible, and she’s used to an open, sharing community, whose primary interests within the community (including her own) center around enjoying each other and living fully. Honestly, there aren’t really *better* reasons for anyone to have missed the fact that some others would be offended.
            For those who see naivety, the way she handled it is reasonable even just from a business perspective. It’s rare (if it happens at all) that there are no scaling issues as a business goes through that kind of transition from a smaller base to a much larger one. But this was handled well — the issue was brought up, she voiced her views in response, they weren’t accepted by the people who brought it up, and so she adapted to accommodate, which was the best choice, given out current cultural an financial climate.
            Personally, though, I find it sad that financial issues trumped community ones in this case. I feel a small, but significant piece of the community was lost in this somehow — the same thing that’s lost when a friend does you a favor, and you try to pay him for it, because he does that thing for a living.
            That said, paying the musicians (including the retroactive payment of earlier volunteers) is the right response financially for professional musicians as a whole, particularly because it sends the right message to other potential employers. Overall, afp is moving things in such a solid, heartfelt, and right direction that it’s still a net gain on an emotional and spiritual level. We’ll recover that small piece that was lost in other ways, other times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

    So, just so I understand, no-one was forced, in any way, to do anything they did not want to do for free, yet asking them if they’d like to do so is somehow evil?

  • Emily

    I’m really happy you’ve come to this decision, although, like others have said, I could have done without the attitude. As I’ve said many times in discussions about this over the last week, as a professional musician I’m happy happy happy to give my time and work for free and frequently do, but when it’s appropriate, ie, when the show would not happen without the free work.
    To those to like to call me and people like me “haters”- I’m not “failed” and I’m not “jealous”. The fact that Amanda Palmer is great and you love her does not mean she’s above moral common sense, or that being in her presence qualifies as payment for work.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

      1. To perform or offer to perform a service of one’s
      own free will.

      2. To do charitable or helpful work without pay

      • Emily

        Ever heard the word “undercutting”? This is a clearly professional context and not paying musicians sends a message about the value of art and the legitimacy of music as a profession. This is way more complicated than if-you-don’t-want-to-don’t-do-it.

        • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

          See, it really isn’t. I mean, boo undercutting, but this ain’t it. I understand that for a lot of people that was the issue, and without understanding the context you might think this quacks like a duck so it must be one, but why do you suppose this became an issue now when it’s been Amanda’s approach to art her whole career? Did it only just become wrong to include your fans in your art and make them part of the performance?

          • peregrine

            “See, it really isn’t. I mean, boo undercutting, but this ain’t it.”

            It *was* it, and now it’s not.

          • AntaBaka

            It really isn’t unless you are thinking about a union where every musician automatically becomes a member and is not allowed to play anywhere with anyone unless the minimum fee set by the union is paid – essentially contractually forbidding volunteer work. I understand that the hollywood screen actors guild works something along these lines. But are volunteers in an old people’s home undercutting? Are volunteers at an animal shelter undercutting? Are volunteers selling cake at a church festivity undercutting? Sounds rather ridiculous to me.

          • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

            Right. Or, to get wildly hypothetical, what if Al Gore decided to do a series of environmental teach-ins across the country, and to supplement his traveling troupe, called for volunteers to come to each site and share what they know in a TED-like format. Al Gore is rich as fuck, but the decision to reach out to volunteers wouldn’t be based on trying to exploit people. My imaginary Al Gore would be thinking, what experience do I want to offer people? What level of engagement do I want them to have? How do I want people to feel, both presenters and attendees? What sense of community and spontaneity and “omigod look what we can do together” do I want to generate?

            If my Al Gore did what Amanda has done — pay people *after* they had enthusiastically agreed to volunteer, then he could still find a way to have the experience he wants to create and also reward people financially.

            But I hope you’re never too rich to be allowed to create that kind of uniquely inspiring experience for people. That’s what Amanda does. That’s why I have walked out of every performance feeling more alive than when I walked in.

          • peregrine

            No actually, it really is undercutting, even in a system without organization like a union.

            I know some of the fan-denizens here have settled on this all being a union matter, but union jobs in music are in the vast minority. Most professional musicians gig and teach for a living. They’re getting $50 here, $100 there, *before taxes* and with no benefits. And yes, when you live in a community where there are 10-20 students who offer to do weddings for 50% the market rate, their presence, promotion and activity ends up driving down the rates for everyone in the market. Devaluation is a tangible reality for gigging musicians. We actually do have to reckon with this all the time.

            And since unions only control a minute fraction of the work available, there’s nothing we can do to prevent people from ‘undercutting’ except beg them not to,

          • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

            I’m one of the ones who keeps referring to it as a union matter so I just wanted to clarify. A couple of blog posts ago, I was way confused by the volume of contextually mysterious comments that didn’t seem to know who Amanda was and were political in tone. Then I read in the NYT article that at least one union had tweeted for its members to post on Amanda’s blog, and I had an “Ooooh!” moment.
            I know not all dissenters are representing unions, not all believe Amanda is a multinational corporation with $1.2 million in her pocket, and many are fans who just feel strongly that if you can pay people, you should. I’ve been directing my comments at the union people who don’t really know Amanda, because I believe in unions, and I’m hoping there’s some room for nuance in their stance against the concept of voluntary performance.
            I would hate for a young artist to be afraid to follow in Amanda’s brigade footsteps for fear of being attacked or blacklisted somehow. I want performance artists to continue to be free to create whatever kind of participatory experience they want for their fans.

          • Tottal

            I’ll just state here that at the precise second Ms. Palmer, or her agent, decided to sell tickets to her tour performances, she became a professional musician. From that moment forward, she was morally obligated to offer all of her supporting artists financial compensation.

            In union towns, that is also a _legal_ obligation. You’ll note, though, that no musicians’ union is actually talking about attempting to recoup dues and venue fees for Ms. Palmer. It’s not the 1920s and there’s no way for the union to prevent non-union shows any longer.

            However, it is unquestionably the “right” thing for an artist charging for her performances, and booking 1000+ capacity venues like The Fillmore in San Francisco, to offer financial compensation to their musicians. Ms. Palmer is not performing charity work. She is not donating _her_ profits to a worthy cause. She needed to pay all her musicians right from the start. And now, she is. Good for her.

          • bobloblaw

            no she was a professional musician because she supports herself through her work. non professionals can charge tickets to performances, for example community theatres.

          • FickleBitch

            Esmertina’s living in a fantasyland! This is why people like you get voted down. Face it. You lost your argument this time. Quit your sour grapes malarkey and just be fair with everyone involved.

      • http://twitter.com/TrustMeScience TrustMeI’mAScientist

        @facebook-100001736346749:disqus Since you’ve posted this twice, I’ll post this twice:

        “Volunteering” is something that is done for a charity or non-profit.

        When it’s for a cash-rich for profit, it’s not “volunteering.” It’s
        “being exploited by someone in a position of power.” Hence her change of
        heart. Nicely done Amanda!

        Ronn, if you’d like to better understand the musicians’ position (as you are likely to hear it again in the future) I recommend this read:

        http://justincolletti.com/2012/09/13/in-response-to-amanda-palmer/

        • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

          I don’t agree with your distinction. I own my time, and I can choose to volunteer it to anyone.

        • TrustmeI’mADoctor

          Clearly your “science” education didn’t include English. Fortunately mine did…you are just wrong both in your definition and your understanding of this situation.
          Please look up “volunteer” in a dictionary and give us your definition of “cash-rich”

          • Bob

            I think Amanda should just take the million dollars and just leave the country, and skip the entire tour at this point. The jig is up. The button has been pressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

    Also, just for my understanding, and anyone else who might benefit…VOLUNTEER: Verb:
    1. To perform or offer to perform a service of one’s
    own free will.

    2. To do charitable or helpful work without pay

    • http://twitter.com/TrustMeScience TrustMeI’mAScientist

      Yes. For a charity or non-profit.

      When it’s for a cash-rich for profit, it’s not “volunteering.” It’s “being exploited by someone in a position of power.” Hence her change of heart.

      Nicely done Amanda!

      • http://twitter.com/fmailhot Fred Mailhot

        Scientist or not, you don’t really get to refine what “volunteer” means (or rather, you’re free to redefine it as you see fit, but the rest of us will go on using it the way it’s historically been used).

        Neither of these:

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/volunteer
        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volunteer

        makes mention of whether or not the volunteered activity/time/what-have-you is in the service of an entity that is for-profit or not.

        Now if said entity were the *only* such entity (e.g. if AFP had the only touring band in the world and complete control over the music industry, such that the only way to get a foot in the door was by “volunteering” with her band), then you’d definitely have a point.

      • raliel

        um no that is just the second definition it does not overrule the first definition…..

  • http://twitter.com/JLWakefield Jason Wakefield

    Is there a policy that would allow me to refuse your money, Amanda? I would volunteer if I could play brass or strings, and I’d grateful for the offer of payment, but I would be more grateful for the opportunity and I feel money would de-value the experience. (I do not in any way judge others for taking payment for their services – this is just my personal standpoint, and I think everyone is entitled to one).

  • Mugwomp

    I am very proud of you and I love you like a sister Amanda. I think that if you watch people they’ll show you who they really are eventually. I accused you of being a big hearted girl some time earlier. May this repay you and yours five fold for chosing to go this way with it. Rock on, babe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.quinn Ronn Quinn

    And, sadly, now that money has been appropriated form the video budget, the Critics can star planning how to malighn the quality of the video’s due to… “The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.”- Oscar Wilde

  • Pikapika

    Yes, but are you going to pay all those people who jump on stage to dance with you during Leeds United?!?!? #justkidding

  • http://twitter.com/Cecilyk Cecily Kellogg

    The ability to sort cruelty from constructive criticism is rare – Thank you. Really glad you changed your mind on this, even though I don’t really believe it was anyone’s business but yours and the musicians.

  • http://twitter.com/Patmcc19 Patrick McCracken

    Link to the acapella Map of Tasmania? Google fails me.

  • http://twitter.com/badgerwrangler kristina waters

    why are over half of the comments from “jon”?

  • insignifikunt

    CONGRATUFUCKINGLATIONS ON THE TOP 10!!!

    Theatre Is Evil is superb and it’s what we all should have been discussing these past couple of weeks.

    hopefully now we can!!!

    LOVE

    p.s i near vomited with excitement at the mention on OZ/NZ dates! BRING ON 2013!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

      IKR?!?!? I’m super excited. I might even take up a horn just to be up there! could prolly do it, my partner plays…

  • disheartened long time fan

    I was a vocal critic and this makes me really happy to see. While I get and respect your idea that “Art is Easy” in theory, making a living as an artist isn’t, and it’s awesome that you were able to make this work for the people giving you their time. Really. It’s great to see that I was wrong about the discourse not going both ways.

  • Grant

    You are a great leader, Amanda. A shining example of the power of art and a role model for artists of all kinds.

  • http://twitter.com/GonzoChicagogo Gonzo Chicago

    See, people? As someone on the EA boards just said, public shaming still has its merits.

  • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

    YOU, lady. You have managed to put this issue to rest AND stay true to your vision. I’m so pleased! Everyone you’re paying had volunteered already, so you know you’ll be able to put on the show you wanted to (and we wanted to see) with beaming delighted oh-god-pinch-me faces on the horns and strings.

    I didn’t have enough faith in you. I thought changing your strategy would mean giving up the Brigade-style performances because now you’re in a different tier (the fucking billboard top ten tier baby!!)

    As I’ve said before my dad was the contract negotiator for our teacher’s union, and I was weaned on fair labor practices. But I still believe the unions who were fighting you on this had created an enemy out of an ally. My dad’s union never prevented him from volunteering to teach in ways that reminded him why he loved teaching. They didn’t prevent him from creating a Wilderness Club, taking high school students on annual backpacking trips and teaching them first-hand about ecosystems without being paid (and largely at his own expense). I hope the union folks also read and digested everything on your last few blogs, and that they come away with a more nuanced set of criteria for defining exploitation — one that allows them to focus their (demonstrably significant) energies on the real foes out there.

    Have an amazing tour, thanks for an amazing album, and keep being true to yourself!

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    The fact that the news of your #10 Billboard ranking ~ something that’s a major milestone in your musical career ~ is practically a footnote here at the bottom of the post, taking a backseat to you wanting to address other people’s concerns is a huge testament to your personal ethos Amanda.

    That said… CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Spinal Tap had it all wrong… in this case, 10’s way louder than 11 ;)

    I love you my chiffon-sister!

    • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

      ^ THIS. Thank you, Miss @twitter-41954247:disqus. Been a big fan of your work for a loooong time but that aside, that’s what I only ever tried to get through. Amanda is worth trusting. she doesn’t bullshit anyone. it’s time-consuming, unnecessarily hurtful and too difficult to keep up with what you’ve told everyone!! besides, the public eye make up enough gossip, anyway. no need to spread rumours yourself when there are so many already flying around!

      keep making beautiful little things! hopefully one of these days I’ll actually be able to get some. ;)

  • Glenn

    Nobody expects cash for stripping naked for Spencer Tunick or for helping Christo cover a landmark. They will still ten years later reflect proudly on their involvement

  • http://twitter.com/bbofun Andrew Horn

    First of all- love you, love the album. I came to know you because of your flamingo-y husband, and am now a fan of you- not just your music, but you. Now, what I’m going to write may be wrong (and please correct me if it is)- but I think it’s a good explanation many people on both sides of this argument haven’t considered.

    When Amanda started all this, she wasn’t planning on raising $1M- IIRC, the original goal was $50,000, with the plan for that to be enough to make the record, and do a small tour. As the money came rolling in (thanks, Tim Rice), plans were expanded. But when budgeting and planning for the tour was finalizing, the mindset was still that of AFP, not “BIG-TIME RECORDING ARTIST”. So, crowdsourced musicians and food were all part of the package- it just meant more dates could be added, and some worries put aside. The tour was just a larger version of what was always done, bringing the experience to more people.

    Now, could, instead, the thought have been “let’s make each of the original tour dates larger, pay more musicians, bring in caterers?” Sure- but, instead, the thought was to bring the music to a larger audience (not incidentally, promoting sales).

    Next time around (and I hope there will be a next time), planning will probably be done differently. Is that a good thing? Maybe. I support paying musicians- as an actor, I understand the worry about having your work seen as a hobby, not a vocation. But, as an actor, if Ian McKellan or Edward Norton came to town and needed some volunteer actors for a night or two, I’d be up 2 hours before dawn to stand on line.And that would be my choice.

    • Hegro

      It was always the plan that the kickstarter would make a ton of money and make a lot of noise. Don’t be naive.

      • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

        I know I shouldn’t shake the Troll Chow box, but .. you do know the difference between a hope and a plan, yes? And @twitter-287901387:disqus, I do hope Ed and Ian call on you someday :)

  • Colonel JP

    I feel bad for you. You have championed so many people and projects, and these classical musician nazi’s have messed up a cool thing. “sitting in” with someone is not the same as touring full time. These fools may have just kept a lot of musicians from inviting people to sit in for fear of this whiny backlash. Keep fighting the good fight, and I hope financially this isn’t a burden. What a mess. I totally back unions, but this stuff gives unions a bad name. Congrats on your success. Hopefully these trolls will find a bridge to play cello under.

  • DBlume

    Good on you for doing the right thing!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

      “right” and “wrong” are subject to the person. not just yourself and what you believe.

  • Mr. Danny Boy Parker

    You still fucking suck.

    • Dr. Professor Dick Penis

      Stankin ass no eyebrow havin ho.

      • http://twitter.com/_meanwhile Meanwhile …..

        You may be Professor Dick Penis, but you’ve shown that you most certainly have no balls.

  • http://twitter.com/TrustMeScience TrustMeI’mAScientist

    Well done, Amanda!

    I’m thankful that musicians advocated for their profession, and I’m thankful that you made the ethical (and sustainable) decision.

    Kudos to you and your players. Heart = Officially Warmed.

  • JitterBug

    Good show, Ms. Palmer. Good show.

  • @kellyroberge

    thanks Amanda!

  • brian

    Hope the tour goes well. Incidentally, audience participation is a long standing tradition in Las Vegas shows. Also, Andy Kaufman played the audience pretty well on occasion. Looking forward to your strictly MUSICAL innovations! Best wishes.

  • KazumiZ

    I am glad, happy, and grateful that you have changed your mind. (^_^)

    I remember you were saying “I’m not embarrassed to ask for money, just because I’m an artist, it doesn’t mean I work for free!” type of thing years ago, and I think those local artists should, too. Artists can touch people’s hearts, challenge their minds, broaden their views, move them or shake them in an unexpected way.

    That takes years of training, focus, dedication, faith etc and the learning never ends. You can pay them with love and beer, if that’s all you can afford (I understand because I’m an actress and some gigs just simply don’t have the budget), but if you can pay them, pay them. You are a successful musician with enough resources at this point.

    I also respect how you listened and responded.

    Thank you for keeping your mind open and your heart vulnerable. That would make a successful person and a great artist! (^_^)

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.gardner.7165 Shannon Gardner

    I find this whole debacle from the “fans” disgusting, and so lacking in perspective it is mind boggling.

    I only wish I played an instrument that would qualify for stage time at an Amanda Palmer show… and I would do it for FREE. If only she’d asked for something simpler, like Art. You’d be damned I’d trade that for beer and pizza too.

    Why?

    I care far more about a place in history, the ability to say “I fucking DID THAT” than I do a few paltry bucks for one night of fun.
    I care far more about the music, creativity, and output of this band, and would work for beer and pizza if not just for ONE MORE awesome music video that I can enjoy online forever.

    I’d GLADLY do things for free JUST to see MORE output from this band because it is that goddamned amazing.

    In case NONE of you noticed: MUSIC IS DEAD.

    There is NO money in music anymore, and pretending that is not the case, is like stopping people from illegally downloading your stuff.

    In other words YOU CAN’T.

    A million bucks is NOTHING when you are touring, and creating product.

    Even in the 90’s in the last great Golden Age of music… musicians were making dick, because most of their “million dollar contracts” were going to touring expenses. Actually Peter Steele of Type O Negative once said he made more as a garbage man than he did as a singer. I wonder how many of you that would shock. Probably as many as those who get shocked when a famous musician can’t pay his medical bills, and asks for donations. Or when a famous musician dies, and the family lacks the funds to give them a proper burial.

    Aside from about .0000001% of musicians, that part about music is OVER.

    You people are just so goddamned uninformed about the reality of the industry. Or…well what is left of it….

    Making music on stage for one night, with a band that is in town, and chilling with said band after… being a part of creating something… that is not “labor” that requires compensation.

    That is absolute magic.

    …and THAT is priceless.

    ~S.Gausten
    Effectionhate

    • brian

      Have no fear artists will never stop finding ways to get people arguing to wrangle your cash ;) Then when you’re tired of it all, they’ll sing you a lullaby. All in a days work.

    • watchmeboogie

      You’re very condescending for someone who is so wrong.

      LET ARTISTS GET PAID TO DO WHAT THEY LOVE

      • Ophelia Millais

        You forgot the “e” in “artistes”.

        Maybe payment should’ve been an option from the outset, and maybe “professional-ish” shouldn’t have been a qualification…but if there are players (“artists”, if you prefer) who want to volunteer, then FFS, let them volunteer! You don’t have the right to tell them they mustn’t accept such a gig. Likewise if someone wants to ask for volunteers, they should not be forbidden from doing so, nor pilloried for having offered the option of volunteering.

        If I ask for volunteers to help me move or paint my house, there are certainly going to be some who ask “what’s in it for me?” and won’t do it if they aren’t getting what they feel is adequate compensation. I know that when I make the request; I’m deliberately excluding professionals. I’m not disrespecting the moving and painting professions, I’m not trying to drive them out of business or give them the finger. Maybe I can’t afford it, maybe I just didn’t try hard enough to budget for it, maybe I’m just a cheapskate, or maybe I don’t want people who are only in it for the money, or maybe some combination thereof. It’s none of your business what the reasons are; if your services are worth it, then it’s your prerogative to only accept paying gigs.

        And you seem to believe otherwise, but the ranks of “professionals” are rife with people who may be quite competent but who aren’t doing what they love, whereas volunteers are far more likely people who simply, truly love to do those things. Should I not be allowed to ask for their help? Is it not my choice to ask? I’m not holding a gun to anyone’s head. It’s not “wrong” for someone to want to volunteer, or to allow them to do so.

        • watchmeboogie

          Well, I’m not basing the vision of an equitable, encouraging new music industry on the inevitable small percentage of people in any industry who should be working a different job. It doesn’t really follow.

          As to volunteering: actually, yes, there are ethical standards involved with asking for, and using, volunteers in a for-profit venture.

  • Jimy

    I also defended AFP, but I have to say she did the right thing even though she was never wrong to begin with. I think if it was just the journalists she might have held off, but when a huge chunk of her blog comments and twitter comments from fans were against her, I see it as another way that social media and being in control of your interaction with fans is flawless.
    When the majority of your social media is asking you to do this and you comply, it really just shows how much respect she has for her fans and her interaction with fans.
    I’m glad everyone is happy, now. And I hope the top 10 debut is the headline, now.

  • taittinger

    so, i’m assuming you’re now paying at least SCALE wages for your all your musicians…right?…given that your album is #10 on billboard and that you’ve been shamed all over the media for exploiting them…

    actually, i’m curious as to what you are now paying the string players and horn players who are, apparently, an essential part of your show? it’s so charming that you managed to budget for a tour bus for yourself but not to actually pay musicians…if you really are all about the hugs and the high fives as remuneration, why don’t you just settle for that from your audience, rather than cold, hard cash?

    • http://brassycassy.deviantart.com BrassyCassy

      If you haven’t noticed, AFP is giving away her album for free:

      http://www.amandapalmer.net/shop/pay-what-you-want/

      • taittinger

        giving away her album? i think, actually that amanda palmer would have to pay me to listen to her music, or sit through a show…but that’s not really my point…it’s great that you guys all are TOTALLY invested in her tired steampunk aesthetic and her incredibly cynical and narcissistic schtick…my point is that she should PAY HER FUCKING MUSICIANS SCALE WAGE! it’s not that complicated…many other artists manage to do it…it’s a question of actually respecting other people rather than exploiting them…and it’s especially unforgivable since she’s achieved notable financial success, and is currently crowing over it in the media….

        • http://www.facebook.com/mika.cooper Mika Antonia

          I wondered whence you derived the jarringly inapt phrase “steampunk aesthetic,” but then I realized it came wholly fresh from your ass, since, as you openly admit, someone would have to “pay [you] to listen to her music, or sit through a show.” Wow! Way to hand down judgment over something you plainly know not the slightest thing about! You would have no idea what a “steampunk aesthetic” would look like if it smacked you in the nose! Nor why that phrase is exquisitely ludicrous in reference to Amanda Palmer! Until her recent Kickstarter, Amanda was often touring hand-to-mouth. Many of her tours recently have crucially depended on couch-surfing, donations of food, & loans of instruments. From the beginning, The Dresden Dolls fostered performances by volunteers known as the Dirty Business Brigade (i.e., fans with skillz) in each city they visited. Each show was thus a community project with unexpected surprises. Few of Amanda’s tours would have been possible without many people’s banding together to contribute to them. Her crowdsourcing of volunteer musicians was simply in line with how she’d been working for the past few years. I’m glad she’s now paying the musicians, too. But the old Brigaders were, & todays volunteers have been, always gleeful for the chance to help create a night of awesomeness.

          • taittinger

            oh, sorry! guess i just should have used the phrase “tired goth aesthetic” then. the fact remains, that, regardless of her past history, amanda palmer managed to be concerned enough about her personal comfort to budget for a tour bus for this current tour, but not to pay musicians.

    • http://brassycassy.deviantart.com BrassyCassy

      Also, ever heard of her world-renowned “ninja gigs”?

    • http://twitter.com/_meanwhile Meanwhile …..

      She quite often does.

  • peet seeger

    Thank you for paying your musicians.

  • taittinger

    i am just still a tiny bit curious as to why amanda palmer has to be remunerated in cash, while everyone else can make do with beer or hugs or high fives or whatever. is amanda palmer the mitt romney of music?

    • http://twitter.com/_meanwhile Meanwhile …..

      Read first, then comment?

  • disheartened long time fan

    the only thing i will say, and then for real i’m going to let this rest because i am genuinely happy with the outcome, is that i feel like the whole thing has sort of been minimized by the incessant use of the word “kerfluffle” which really is not that big of a deal, but i do sort of feel like it could come across as sort of patronizing. THAT SAID, again I think it’s fantastic the budget was freed up for musicians. I think it’s a great message to send your fans that you value our opinions, and to the musicians that you get their struggles and value their time. Obviously growing pains are no fun, especially when they’re done in the public…so onward and upward!

    • Son of Akira

      Ha, I was actually thinking that same thing, and i’m not a disheartened long time fan, just an unbiased 3rd party observer. There does seem to be an air of patronization and disdain not only in this blog post but many of the comments, a big part of that being still refusing to acknowledge that many of the most vocal and upset people WERE long time fans.

  • http://twitter.com/Xanthrax_ Xanthea O’Connor

    FUCK YES, #10!!! So very well deserved.

    I wrote a song as requested on Twitter. We are the Kerfuffle.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed5plTOSQtk&feature=plcp

  • FannyVonB

    thought I’d come back this morning and check how the debate has been going, all the support is great, but for the stuff that makes no sense: Firstly I don’t understand why if you don’t like Amandas music your even here, energy best used elsewhere maybe! Secondly Amanda is not some massive millionaire, she’s successful, that does not mean loaded (creating, publishing, touring, publicity, is fucking expensive). Third, she is an independent woman, marriage does not equal a joint bank account! lastly this does all boil down to choice, you play for who you want for, even if your amazing you may never make any money because unfortunately music is a fickle business, if Amanda gave you the option to play on stage and at least once feel appreciation for your talent with the possibility of creating your own loyal following and have the backing of a hard working musician (who no doubt played many a gig for free herself before finding success) then that’s fine, keep going and good luck, but I know which I’d choose!

  • arikol

    I’m happy to see your change of heart. I considered you an interesting artist before, and I will continue to do so, but your willingness to back down and change your approach shows excellent quality of character. We all screw up (you somewhat more publicly than most, seeing as how you create your works in the public eye) and learning from experience is really the mark of the best of people!

    Good luck on the tour, blow the roof off!

    • Ophelia Millais

      Backhanded compliment much?

  • Cassidy Queerface

    I adore you, always have, and being put off that the musicians weren’t being paid was the first time I think I’ve ever disagreed with you. Thank you for listening to the non-trolls that had concerns and handling the situation with transparency and grace. I admire you even more than I did before.

  • KDLM

    Yay! As a musician, thanks Amanda, for telling everyone that musical training, skill and hard work is worth paying for. It’s a great example to set.

    All those who don’t need or want the fee can always turn around and sink it into your projects, or donate it to charity. All those who do need it will feel affirmed and be able to pay just that bit more of the rent. In a way, this enables all musicians to come and support you, where we couldn’t all do it before, and to make our own choice about whether we can do it for free from a position of total security and happiness. Being paid actually allows artists to make the choice to volunteer freely, without any pressure. Awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/obscuremetaphor Andrew Leeke

    Getting paid means you get taxed. Getting beer means you get drunk. you take a chance either way.

    You didn’t nothing wrong and everything right, since you’ve discussed and listened.

  • watchmeboogie

    I’m so thankful that you listened and considered and did the fair thing. Because *tug tug tug at your sleeve* a new music business model HAS TO include a system where artists get to work with joy AND make a living – and not just the ones who already have a name and a following.

    So many of us, myself included, were raised to believe “you’re not supposed to love your work, that’s why it’s called work. You’re supposed to hate your soul-sucking job”. And I swallowed it whole and believed it like a sucker for two decades, until my helpful shrink pointed out that there are people who love – LOVE – their jobs. It’s not written in stone that getting paid means you hate what you just did. I looked at him like he was the crazy one. But you know what, I switched careers based on what I enjoy that can also make money, and – holy shit, he was right. I can’t believe I get to pay my bills doing what I love. I’m not rich at all but I’m not scrambling to decide which utility doesn’t get shut off this month. It’s brilliant. Musicians deserve that option too.

    Keep changing the world with music and changing the world of music. Let it be a world where art, and artists, are valued and able to make a decent living at their craft. Brilliant artists shouldn’t have to have a shitty day job (unless they want one). And no one should work for free when they have bills to pay – that’s for charity, for off-the-clock fun, and for when you’re swimming in dough and it’s easier to just take the beer than complicate your taxes.

    • watchmeboogie

      And just as a business-y aside, you also just made a great investment because this fan here is a major big-mouth about your music to any- and everybody (and purchaser of music,tickets, merch, etc. etc.). So, back to promoting the amazing new record like I’m being paid or something ;D There are probably hundreds more like me.

  • http://twitter.com/FractalGeekUK Mike S

    Still very much in two minds about this one, but on balance, I think what you have done is more ethical.

    We volunteered to help with some (non-musical) stuff at the shows, and were very happy to do so. Doing so cost us time and money. Were we or are we now expecting to be paid cash money? No. We also turned down the offer of a ticket we had already purchased, as we weren’t going to take money back for wanting to help make the show greater and easier on the crew. OTOH, I also entirely accept that musicians being compensated for their time and effort is a principle that should be upheld, especially given the number of venues that don’t. There does have to be a line somewhere, though – if the whole crowd brought Ukes, for instance, you wouldn’t pay them (and check your tickets here folks, almost all venues say you give up your rights by buying a ticket)

    Can you please publish updated accounts, showing what has suffered along the way, and an indication of whether this will restrict your intended levels of participation in future?

  • Kris Ball

    So, for the past… six(?) years I have played Rebellion Punk Festival, and never asked for payment, for me, the free entry to the festival is payment enough. I get to see fanfuckingtastic punk bands I love, I get to see friends I only get to see once a year. So I can understand why the musicians volunteered their time. It’s a great experience that you would happily do for free.

    However, when so much money has been raised (12x your original target) I think paying the musicians is the right move.

    Best of luck with climbing up the charts, being a success and making awesome music. I’m loving the album, and glad I backed it (ok, only $1, but I’m poor and unemployed)

    -Ukulele Kris

  • David

    I’m disappointed that Amanda has caved in to bullying. If she didn’t want to stick to her guns, it would have been better to cancel the whole ‘volunteer musicians’ thing, though no doubt that would also have disappointed people.
    I don’t see anything wrong in principle with inviting (sane adult) amateur musicians to take part in ‘commercial’ musical performances. Most classical choirs consist of amateurs, who perform for fun and ‘socialising’. When choirs perform in concerts or on records alongside professional orchestras and conductors, the choir may get a contribution to its funds, but I don’t think the individual singers usually get paid, except sometimes for expenses. Is this ‘exploitation’?

    • watchmeboogie

      So now you’re going to bully her because she got bullied? That makes lots of sense!

      • Luci

        I don’t think she caved to bullying. I think she reached a compromise. Note that volunteer musicians are being paid within the framework she created – it’s still not paid work, it’s still a volunteer gig; the money is compensation for being involved with a controversy not of their making.

        That way, volunteers can still be volunteers without caving to intimidation of being “scabs” – so the “stand up for artists rights to choose” people should be happy.

        But the musicians are being financially compensated for their time regardless, which should make the “musicians should get paid” people happy.

        Well, as happy as either side can get, anyhoo.

    • brian

      When did saying what you believe to be just and fair in a civilized fashion become bullying? I’m afraid the rhetoric is changing so fast that the human race will soon be incapable of communication.

  • Cat

    I have learned throughout this kerfuffle that Amanda Palmer’s fans are often amoral idiots. Also, kudos Steve Albini.

  • http://twitter.com/jfqbsh jason quackenbush

    The album is excellent and I’m glad that you have had such success with it. I haven’t stopped listening to The Killing Type for a couple of days now. But more importantly I am thrilled that you made the right decision here and I hope that now you’ve figured out that it can be done, you start paying the people making food for you as well. It takes a great deal of courage to admit when you’re wrong, and even if you can’t do that, the next best thing is to not admit you were wrong and fix the problem anyway. Kudos. I’m very impressed.

  • Steve

    I never heard of you until now, via another blog. But having read your comments, I’m impressed. What I like in particular, is that you appear to want to hear what you think you probably should hear, rather than just what you’d like to hear. That’s always a good sign. Cheers

  • Gabe Langfur

    Good on you. It’s refreshing when somebody has the courage to change her mind.

  • Elasticlad

    You’ve said that there were critics who have chosen to respond to this issue by being rude and venomous. And I’m sorry that these people decided to shoot from the hip rather than engage in a meaningful dialogue.
    But I’m thrilled to see that so many concerned fanscriticsfellow musicians decided to raise the level of discourse, not just here but across the entire Internet. I’ve never seen such a hot button topic approached, on the whole, so maturely and with so much respect.
    I think that this just goes to show what great fans and what a supportive community you’ve built up over the years. There aren’t many creators who would be this open and honest about such a contentious topic.

  • Allie

    Thanks you for changing your mind and turning out to actually be the person I had always thought you to be. We unfortunately live in a time where playing for free has become extremely commonplace and it hurts musicians across the board who are trying to make an honest living. You have an opportunity here to (very visibly!) help to reverse this trend and show the world that musicians are worth being paid for their professional services and I am very pleased that you are taking it.

    For better or worse, I’m glad we opened this dialogue. I’m people in positions to pay or not pay musicians are thinking about this. I’m glad MUSICIANS are thinking about this. When it comes down to it, musicians decide what musicians are worth.

  • http://twitter.com/dogunderwater KO

    Well this semi-pro musician would like to say, ‘hey, thanks!’ on this, especially for retroactively paying your musicians AND giving them exposure through your blog. Like you say, you have the power to do it. I’m glad you’re using that power to continue to fight against exploitative practices that have become the norm in the music business.

  • http://twitter.com/shedonista Amanda Shedonist

    Congrats on the #10 spot!!! Also, you forgot to mention Chris Baum who played with you in Boston – i.e. the “Hot Strings of Boston”.

    • http://twitter.com/shedonista Amanda Shedonist

      Also, I completely understand not being able to pay for another bus and rooms to bring these extra musicians on tour with you, but I think it’s great that you are at least able to pay them for a night’s work. And bravo for also going back and paying retroactively!

  • Lilian

    Amanda,
    Thank you for listening. This is so important, and I am so glad you’ve changed your mind.
    Lilian (violist in Montreal)

  • Sordel

    I was also one of the critics (although you wouldn’t think it, since I seemed to spend most of my time actually defending you!). I think you’ve made the right decision … and you’ve also made a very good album, which should be the real subject of future discussion.

  • Lydia

    I think the way that you’ve dealt with all this has been amazing.

  • Drew

    Thanks for doing the right thing. I might not like you, but I respect the ability to admit you’re wrong.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKarter Jeffrey Karter

    All for the love of money….
    To me, that’s what the whole kerfluffle is about. Most of the local ‘volunteer’ musicians were already being compensated with things other than money, and some were *also* being compensated with money, probably because they were being asked to do more than the non-money people. I think it would have ended there, except for that little issue of the Kickstarter funding, because MONEY. There was a lot of it, so there must be a lot to share, and… MONEY. For a lot of the people complaining, it’s all about the money, and only the money. That’s why it blew up like it did, because it was the Internet plus MONEY.
    (Buried in the kerfluffle was the real issue of paying people for their labor, and increasing the compensation to include that payment was a good thing. “Can” leads to “should” and all that.)

    Yet another example of money making people a little crazy, I guess…..

    Maybe AFP could cover “For The Love of Money” as a ‘tribute’ to this whole mess… (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qui-bAE8_fI)

  • Patrick Faucher

    I’ve been following the whole ‘kerfuffle’ over paying the volunteer musicians and had to laugh myself at the final outcome, because I know exactly why the musicians laughed when you handed them cash they didn’t (ever) expect to get for playing.

    I have been a professional musician and horn player my whole adult life and can attest that I have easily played more gigs where I didn’t get paid than ones I did and that was MY CHOICE, 100% of the time. I’d play a paying gig with my regular band and then head over to another club where another band is playing that I loved and would be glad to sit in on a set for free. Other times bands would be coming to town and get a hold of me because they needed a horn player and I would shed the parts for a week and then sit it and in NONE of these cases would I expect or even CARE if I got paid. Sometimes I might get a little cash, but most times it was beer and high fives and a great time and that was just fine.

    Why? Because first and foremost playing music is a fundamental expression of who I am. It is the simple joy of creating music and the connection it makes with those in the room at the time that drives me and any other musician to do what we do. In the context of sitting in for a night, especially with someone you admire, it’s not about getting paid. Sure, if I am going to commit meaningful time and effort to a project and go on the road, etc, I would expect to get paid for that professional commitment, but not for sitting in voluntarily. That’s just plain silly.

    So, kudos to you Amanda for sticking to your guns, and then paying the lucky volunteers something anyway, just to spite the people that don’t get it.

    And to those fortunate players that get to sit in some nights and enjoy the bonus of a little cash for the effort, I share in your mirth.

    -psf

  • http://twitter.com/DaisyRenegade Rebel-Ramashka

    As someone who was also a critic of how things were handled. I am happy to see everything has worked out. I’m glad that taken a bit of time, there was a ability to find the funds to make the musicians.

    To make it clear, my issue was, is that you preach this idea that musicians should get paid. That their work is important, that this is their bread and butter, thus they deserve to get paid. But at the same time, you mocked your own idea you have fought for. As you said, you were a street performer, you understand the struggles of a musician. So it really baffled me as a whole concept.

    I feel perhaps, this was just bad business planning, and that’s okay. Those things happen. But it’s nice to see that things worked out for everyone in the end.

    • Sally

      It’s not bad business planning if you are a scientologist. Slave labor is the norm. Duh.

      • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

        All this time I’ve been wondering where the scientology accusations were! There you are! Now the blog feels like home again!

  • Joshua Normal

    I’ve been a fan of yours for years and remember submitting a design for a tour shirt when you were with the Dresden Dolls and held a contest to crowdsource your tour shirt that year. I watched in awe as The Danger Ensemble performed with you four years ago and put money in their hat to help pay them for touring with you when you couldn’t afford to because I will never get the image of their performance during drive from my mind. You have always involved your fans and other artists in this way and it is one of the things I have always found most respectable about you. I’m sorry to see that the media has twisted this to cause such a scene. Never stop involving the artists who do what they love for the love of it and not the money or fame.

    • Hegro

      We’re not talking about artists who are trying to make a fortune. We’re talking about artists who should get to have a decent meal or pay a bill or be a little less stressed about making rent. You can’t mail your landlord love.

      • Ophelia Millais

        So what? To restate what Joshua said, it’s AFP’s prerogrative to allow volunteers to participate—volunteers being, unlike professionals, guaranteed to be doing it for the love of it. Ideally, it shouldn’t be to the exclusion of professionals, to the extent it’s self-serving and to the extent she can afford them. But any “artist” who insists on getting paid has no right to tell other “artists” that they shouldn’t be allowed to volunteer, or that AFP should only recruit non-volunteers.

        In any other line of work, a dearth of paying gigs and an abundance of highly-qualified volunteers would be regarded as market forces in action, telling the professionals that they need to find alternate sources of income. But when it’s your profession, suddenly it’s immoral to be willing to volunteer, or to solicit the services of volunteers…

    • screamo

      And again, with the “if you were doing it for the love you would never ask for money” snark. AFP herself refuted this, though she barely seems to remember.

      • Luci

        You can do it for the love and still need the money. It isn’t wrong to ask for money. But it’s not wrong to ask for volunteers, either.

        I don’t think she has forgotten her “why I’m not afraid to ask for your money” speech (nor her career as a street performer) but I don’t find it incongruent, inconsistant or hypocritical of her to ask others for time and skills. Or food. Or lodging. Or money. Or props. It’s an extention rather than a contradiction.

        (and it’s not all the fans give and Amanda takes – she’s done free stuff for us as well).

        edit: but this argument has been rehashed a million times by now, so I will do my very best to sit on my hands from now on!

        • peregrine

          “It isn’t wrong to ask for money. But it’s not wrong to ask for volunteers, either”

          It’s wrong to ask for volunteers when you don’t need volunteers. It’s wrong to ask for free food when you aren’t starving. It’s wrong to beg on the street for change when you are a millionaire. The money, the food, the labor you end up consuming could have been applied to causes that are actually *worthy* and *needy*.

          • Luci

            I’ll just agree to disagree on what’s right/wrong and who’s worthy and who isn’t.

          • Ophelia Millais

            …but it doesn’t follow that it’s wrong to volunteer for someone who doesn’t need volunteers, to offer food to someone who isn’t starving, or to give some money to someone who has a lot of it. If you are only generous to those who you feel are truly entitled to what you offer, then you’re not as generous as you think you are.

            Even if you only limit your generosity to the entitled, you seem to falsely equate any form of asking with feeling entitled to receive. I don’t think AFP came off as feeling entitled to receive the services of volunteers, just because she asked for them. But if you view the world through lenses which cast everyone as either entitled to your generosity or as freeloaders and robbers, I can see how you might feel otherwise.

          • peregrine


            but it doesn’t follow that it’s wrong to volunteer for someone who doesn’t need volunteers, to offer food to someone who isn’t starving, or to give some money to someone who has a lot of it.”

            It doesn’t have to follow- they’re not necessarily related. Someone who gives change to a millionaire on the street likely has no idea what they’re doing. But someone who gives away hours of labor to someone they know doesn’t need it can absolutely be doing wrong, even to the recipient.

  • Phil the Tremolo King

    If you’d done this in the first place, none of this would have happened…But then all the publicity has probably helped you anyway. In any case, thanks for doing the right thing. Because that’s what this is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=525591136 Angelique X Stacy

    Very brave to stand up to your critics and do what you feel is right.I commend you for re working the budget and address the issues it brought up and doing it so everyone can see. The San Franciscian puppetry troupe I was involved with and the people in that troupe, were all very appreciative of the chance to support the Dresden Dolls and AFP and all incarnations of your work. Now even more so as you navigate the waters of success, thank you for uplifting the people that have been along for the ride and showing respect for their time and efforts. Before I was able to help out on any show, such was the support of my family and day job, and now I have a daughter and what I am able to do has to depend on how it will benefit my family. Priorities, ya know. I hope that this be an example that others will follow, including the clubs /venues we’all brought the patrons too!

  • Hegro

    I want to know what she’s paying.

  • http://twitter.com/fadersolo Scott McDowell

    This is really awesome! It takes true strength and courage to listen to critics, especially when things get as heated as they did this past week. AFP has shown (once again) just how amazing she is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.bassford Andy Bassford

    It takes a big person to open one’s artistic and financial decisions up to public debate, take criticism gracefully, reflect on it, and change one’s behavior accordingly. I’m glad you see the significance of paying workers for their labor, particularly in the current political and economic climate. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/LaurenEldekvist Lauren Eldekvist

    I can see both sides of the argument in this. There are a lot or parallels with getting work and getting paid for it as a musician and as a photographer (as I am). Although there are many good points raised about artists struggling and being paid for labour I still think it’s at the individuals discretion as to wether it’s something they want to volunteer for or not. On top of that I think HOW it is asked is very important as well.

    I’ve been asked directly before to work for free on unimaginative, totally normal projects that usually involve a lot of expense on my part (travel etc.) and been told it’d be good experience or will boost my portfolio etc. (this is very, VERY common in the photography industry) and offers like THAT are downright rude, you can tell right away all those people care about is getting a professional result without paying someone to do it.

    If a general call out was made for a really cool project? Something different that I would probably pay to go along to anyway but I get to go for free and be involved creatively?! That’s a different ball game! If I’m not interested I can ignore it, if it’s something I’m really into then I can go for it. If you’d hunted down people or cold called saying ‘Come play for me! It’s be good experience!’ that would be a shitty thing to do, throwing it out there publicly and saying ‘if you’re into what we’re doing here let us know!’ is so, so different to me.

    So, as an example to a flailing industry, it was probably better to pay the people playing with you.

    I don’t think that’s necessarily the ‘right’ thing to do, I don’t think either option is ‘right’, they’re different options and if this had been a smaller project I don’t think it would have mattered so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.bassford Andy Bassford

    My son, who also has been following this affair with keen interest, points out that if you are going to crowd source your funding, your crowd feels entitled to tell you what to do with it, and rightfully so. Whoever gives you money to do your thing, be it your fans or Universal Music, is going to expect a say in how you spend it. You can argue with your A&R person, or your audience, your choice!

    • Dionne Simone

      But the crowd funding in this instance was done as a Kickstarter project. Those who funded it bought a specific product. For many, this has been fullfilled.

      I bought a CD. There were no promises made about what would be on that CD or how it would be presented or shipped. She could have sent me a home recording of her band yodeling in her bathroom, wrapped it up in a paper lunch bag, stamped the words thank you on it and shipped it USPS economy to fullfill her obligation. She didn’t do this because she cares and would like to have us buy amazing goodies from her in the future. I have every right to comment about the item that I purchased. I never need to purchase from her again, if I am unhappy with the product delivered. However, this purchase does not make me an investor/shareholder in the Amanda Palmer “brand”.

  • http://twitter.com/bevula Beverly Melven

    Way to navigate the kerfuffle – go AFP & GTO!
    I think Seth Godin might be weighing in on the volunteer/professional debate in this column (since he mentions ‘rock star inviting volunteers on stage’). Nice breakdown from a freelancing professional standpoint.
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/09/if-you-want-to-get-paid.html

  • Dionne Simone

    This makes me so sad. I admire you and your staff for finding the funds to pay your volunteers. The fact that it feels like you were bullied into it, angers me. I did not hear them when you were doing ninja gigs.

    Others have no right to dictate whom I give my time & gifts to!

    The experience gained by performing on stage has a value. The opportunity to meet & greet a favorite musician has value. The entrance into the venue has value. Learning from seasoned professionals has value.

    • watchmeboogie

      I’m going to guess that it’s not so easy to bully Amanda Fucking Palmer, and that rather, she carefully considered all sides and made the smart decision. Give her a little credit :)

      • Dionne Simone

        My statement was not meant to discredit her. It is obvious to me that she considered the sides and made her own decision. It was for the individuals that decided that they get to dictate how she handles business.

  • Kathleen Dittmar

    Congratulations on the success of the new album, may it continue to grow. xx

    • Lonnie

      Perhaps a bit less blood on the next video. I could barely watch it all the way through. Gross!

  • BolshoiYezh

    First let me start by saying that I saw the show in Atlanta and it was, as all your shows are, f’n brilliant. Like many, I’ve grown to love you and the great thing is that with you, it’s not unrequited love. You love us back and that’s a awesome feeling for all involved.

    OK, Kerfuffle comment time. ( I love that word, its just fun to say )
    I come from a rock/blues background and when I came across this issue I was really confused at first. The attitudes expressed by some of the critics seem just alien to me. The unsaid theme of their arguments seemed to be along the lines of that the artist needs to answer to them in the way the artist conducts business.

    And then it hit me. If the band was called “Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Organisms” and she said “Heya folks, I want volunteers to bring their ukuleles and play on stage with us for a few songs” then no-one would have said a thing. Instead “Orchestra” and classical instruments seems to have set off a alarm with a number of people who are either supporting or are musicians that play classical instruments.
    They mention that using volunteers is undercutting professional musicians. I would ask what they feel fair compensation for gigging would be? I have a feeling that the result would be whatever union scale hourly is.

    I think Amanda made the right move in this case but if it was me I would make a point of learning from this issue and not using classical musicians in the future. Then there wouldn’t be a problem at all.

    That being said. The folks who volunteered at the Atlanta show were just awesome. They were all having a blast and it showed. I don’t know how the tuba player could play while grinning so big. It’s great to see people having the time of their lives on stage.

    • screamo

      HORSESHIT. Here is the issue, put simply: Amanda Palmer’s request for free backing musicians was not the first ever made, nor did it occur in a vacuum- record labels have been exploiting local free labor to supplement their touring musicians for DECADES. It has become standard industry practice to fuck over backing musicians. When the LABEL does it, you can look at it as an abstraction, sympathize with the artist and say “yeah, we know you’re probably getting fucked by the big bad capitalists too…so we’ll go ahead and help you make your songs sound good”. But AFP isn’t a label. When she posted her infamous blog post about “taking your money”, she lost whatever entitlement she may have otherwise had to industry-standard, musician-fucking practices NOW AND FOREVER.

      The word of the day is ‘hypocrite’, my friends.

      • BolshoiYezh

        Sorry your so angry. Everything you’ve just said and the way you’ve said it now has me convinced that this is a Union issue.

        Amanda elected to pay them. I would have just stopped using them.
        You should be happy. They’re all getting paid now.

        On that note, I’m going to stop following this thread. It’ll work itself out anyway.
        The many people that love and support AFP will continue to do so and the people who don’t will continue to do so also. I’ll continue to support her and the wonderful art and music she makes. Nothing you’ve said would cause me to do otherwise.

        Oh and by the way, the word of the day is circumambulation.

        P.S. Friendly advice – your hostility is working against you.

  • Tal Kirk

    Honestly, I think it’s sad that there was such a controversy over this. I personally would have loved to be up there, rocking with you guys here in New York. In fact, I would have paid YOU for that opportunity. I think you’re handling this well though, and I hope that your critics get over themselves now that you’re forking over the money that they seem to value more than the art and the amazing experience that performing with you must be.

    Oh and by the way, congrats on making it to #10. You EARNED it with this new album, and I’m pleasantly surprised that more and more people seem to be recognizing that. I’ve never been prouder to be a fan! Keep up the fantastic work.

    • Cat

      It is terribly sad that she has to pay musicians money for their labor. On the plus side, I wonder if my landlord would take hugs for rent. Maybe high fives all around.

  • http://twitter.com/idefyy0ustars Angie Whitehurst

    All those artists and Daniel DeJesus also? It’s always amazing when musicians I adore work together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stravingus Gee Gee Gallegos

    That’s what I’m talking about. The bandleader gets a check, the cats get a check.
    I’m sure the cats appreciate the shout-out, as well as the dough.

  • Bob

    Amanda, Thank you for thinking this through and coming to this conclusion. I think it’s the right thing to do. I hope the rest of your tour is fantastic! I think you have much more material for a TED talk after Kickstarter and now this! :-)

  • Judd

    I’d hate to be the guy handling all the paperwork to pay all these musicians!
    My thoughts are with him. :)

    • watchmeboogie

      Maybe he loves paperwork as much as they love playing? Anything’s possible. ;)

      • peregrine

        Exactly. He better perk up and get to high-stepping or he might find his position “crowd-sourced”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dorothy.braker Dorothy Braker

    Thank you for changing your mind…it’s almost as good as having done the right thing to begin with…if you had the $ there was absolutely no reason for asking those same musicians working in a culture where you describe that “support for musicians is in a state of terrifying flux”. You knew better and yet chose to do it that way anyhow. Again, however, thank you for changing your mind.

  • Guest

    Not to turn this into a you-can’t-win situation, but did you let others bully you into doing what they want? Do you really believe in paying volunteers or are you doing it because not paying is not worth the hate that might eventually cost you more? That’s a legit reason, too, though. Anyway, I love you. but not because you’re paying guest musicians. just because.

  • brian

    I am very grateful to have the ability to play music and recieve joy from it and share it with others. I endeavor to never take it for granted. Sometimes this joy is used by a prospective client as a bargaining tool. It can be emotionally draining. I ask that people please consider this carefully when choosing their words. Myself, I’ll try to keep things in perspective.

  • R is for Redeemed

    Respect restored.

    I too was one of the long-time fans posting criticism on here. Thank you for doing the right thing.

  • Tottal

    I also would like to state my appreciation that you, as an artist who has hit the Billboard charts, have decided to compensate your supporting musicians financially. I have no negative words about that decision.

    The tone of your post is more than a little “sour grapes,” though. Calling people who disagree with you “trolls” and “haters” is not the most gracious way of admitting that you were wrong, which you- whether you intended to or not- are doing with your actions here.

    Also, telling us that you’re a “financially successful musician working in a culture where support for musicians is in a state of terrifying flux” and then, only begrudgingly, offering financial remuneration to your supporting musicians doesn’t actually show you in that great a light.

    You made the right decision, though, and from one professional musician to another, I wish you all the best on your tour.

    One final note: when you state, “an editor tweeted me last night to PAY MY BAND. good lord.

    to be clear, i have ALWAYS paid my band…” I must point out to you that your band consists of all the musicians who are performing with you on a given night.

    You may have a core group that is salaried and then local musicians who are engaged for a single evening, but regardless of their permanent or temporary status, _all_ these folks are your band. And the very second you decided to sell tickets for the shows, you should have offered payment to all the members of your band. Perhaps the next time you tour, you will from the start. Thank you, though, for doing it belatedly, and retroactively.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesuszilla Bryan Mendoza

    Loved the locals mixed in, It was a great show. Loved the 80s feel (Jaggeresque) from The Simple pleasure. And Jheric killed it on that bass solo during his set. Can’t wait for the next show!

  • @ianlsmith

    I must say, reading this from afar (both geographically and sociologically) I struggle to understand what all the fuss is about. I’m a medium sized AFP fan, I very much admire much of her work, other things leave me cold, I’ve laughed myself silly over The Vegemite Song and I’ve wished sometime she wold stop retweeting everything said about her. That said, I frankly struggle to give a rats arse about much of this debate.
    Lets get a a few things clear – Amanda invites fans and musicians to get involved, offers remuneration in the form of Beer, Pizza and – let’s be honest – Time spent in the company of your Hero. Many many people gratefully accept the offer and jump on the Rollercoaster. I’m not aware of any complaints from those who signed up, yet the press and others see this as some kind of moral crusade.
    A moral crusade with Amanda Palmers as the enemy, come on guys are we serious? I imagine that the majority of this debate is raging in a country where, at present, 50% of the population are seriously considering electing a republican and where the concept of fair health care is considered a social evil. I appreciate I’m maybe off topic here but could we perhaps get some effing perspective.
    I admire Amanda for giving back to her fans, but as someone who was genuinely frantically trying to raise the funds to buy a kickstarter home gig for $5000 (50 friends $100 each I reckoned) I would not for one second feel that I deserved a venue fee after such an event. Sure I’d be paying someone a massive sum of money but I’m a big boy, I know what I’m doing.
    Amanda Palmer should not be attacked for making a huge success of a relatively new model, she should be applauded for doing so and adapting so quickly to the changing environment – those who are on here applauding her for backing down, should acknowledge that as far as we can tell, she was never taking a stand in the first place. The fact she was more successful than she had imagined possible is not something worthy of attack. More power to her!

  • Uncle Dave

    Interesting. I am a Union musician, and work hard at playing at a high standard. It is fun and rewarding, both mentally and financially. That said – I still play a couple of gigs a year for the fun of drinking and hanging out with the band. I do it for a variety of reasons, mostly summed up as “I am not part of your group, but I enjoy the opprtunity of making music with you for an evening.” In one annual event I do this at, I actually pay the cover on the way in, and for all my drinks for the rest of the day. And we usually play about 5 hours for two days of a weekend. Should I be paid for this? Not on your life – it’s too much fun. I’ll make my money next week with the symphony.

    • peregrine

      Lucky you. And you illustrate perfectly why this isn’t even secondarily a union issue…you have one of the rare, choice, salary- and benefit-carrying jobs in music. It’s non-union musicians who depend on gigs like this for money. Do less fortunate musicians a favor and don’t scab them.

  • http://twitter.com/tadjemiii Jesse Markham

    Fascinating and delightful; a window on a metamorphosis. Thank you!

  • Dionne Simone

    This “kerfuffle” makes my head hurt…

  • Chris Siebert

    Bravo! Amanda Palmer has done the right thing, and deserves praise and respect for paying the musicians who contribute to her revenue.

    Palmer seems intelligent, thoughtful, honest, talented and creative. She has some interesting ideas about the music business that are worth listening to, and I wish her well.

    I was one of those who believed that she made a big mistake with her business model, and opened herself up to charges of hypocrisy. She could have chosen to set a great example, but she didn’t seize the opportunity. Now she has, and we should all congratulate her on a terrific decision that will help the larger community of artists that she is part of.

    The discussion since her decision has been interesting, with a lot of misunderstanding about art and commerce from non-musicians.

    Let’s be clear: Those who suggested that Palmer pay her musicians were not the ones who made this a discussion about money. Sorry folks, but it was Amanda Palmer who made this about money by putting out a cattle call asking “professional-ish” musicians to “apply” (her term) for volunteer work.

    The outrage over discussions about money and art was heartfelt, but misplaced. Why? Because no other artist in the music business talks more about money than Amanda Palmer, and and no one asks for it more boldly and shamelessly. If you don’t believe me, check out this post:

    http://www.amandapalmer.net/blog/why-i-am-not-afraid-to-take-your-money-by-amanda/

    Here’s Palmer in her own words:

    “listen. artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art. artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye. artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks. please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money…if you think i’m going to pass up a chance to put my hat back down in front of the collected audience on my virtual sidewalk and ask them to give their hard-earned money directly to me instead of to roadrunner records, warner music group, ticketmaster, and everyone else out there who’s been shamelessly raping both fan and artist for years, you’re crazy…it’s about empowerment and it’s about SIMPLICITY: fan loves art, artist needs money, fan gives artist money, artist says thank you.”

    Amanda Palmer’s fans need to listen more closely to her when she says “artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art”. I hope those throwing around the term ‘haters” will respect her plea: “please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money”. This is Amanda Palmer in her own words. She wants you to honor artists when they ask for money.

    And let’s remember, Amanda Palmer has asked for and received lots of money. Once she raised $1.2 million (not counting revenue from touring and merchandise), she had an opportunity to give money to other musicians in return for their professional services. When she took a pass, it smacked of hypocrisy to a lot of other artists.

    Interestingly, Palmer confessed that she would pay for professional string and horn players in major markets like NYC where she might get reviewed by the press. Like many of her statements, it was a very honest admission, and demonstrated that she agreed, at least in part, with the musicians who pointed out the value of hiring, and paying for, professional, experienced musicians.

    As I said in another post “I believe that our actions should reflect the world we want to create. Amanda Palmer has supported the “occupy” movement, which was, above all, about sharing the wealth generated by large businesses with the millions of people who labor for them. She has claimed to create a new business model that is replacing the old corporate music industry. Such claims invite investigation and criticism.”

    To put it another way, the “Occupy” movement argued that the 1% should be required (through taxes and regulations) to share the wealth with the 99% who helped them create it. Now that Amanda Palmer is in the 1% of professional musicians, why should she be exempt from the obligations that she urged on other large businesses?

    It’s not easy to live up to our ideals. Amanda Palmer has often expressed lofty principles and a world-view that is pro-artist and pro-worker. Her decision is not a capitulation or surrender. It is a great example of Amanda Palmer practicing what she preaches.

    Bravo!

  • Amelia.

    I think Amanda just made the mistake of applying an old model of business for a new situation. That kind of crowd-sourcing and volunteer-based performance works well on a small level to build communities and relationships, but on a larger scale that kind of request just looks cheap. especially in comparison to the amount of money she raised. but people see that much money and they freak out, and the attention that you get for that achievement is less of a metaphorical pat on the back and more of a metaphorical parents-searching-your-room-asking-where-did-you-get-that-money. It’s kind of a hypocritical attitude that plagues our society: musician without money (without making money) is looked down on as sort of a flop, musician who is successful within the system is seen as a sell-out. musician who is successful outside of the system is an anomaly, like amanda. but I think the only bad choice she made was thinking that the amount of money she raised wouldn’t affect how people treated her. it’s too bad that all this hype isn’t about the music.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.vaccaro Thomas Vaccaro

    Amanda,
    I played sax for six years, and when I saw you post out the ad for sax players, I thought about jumping on board, but in the end decided not to.
    My first reason was because I fell on hard times a few years ago and sold my Tenor Saxophone for a paltry $400. The second reason was because having not played in the past 8 years, I thought I would be rusty. Neither of these had ANYTHING to do with money. If somehow you had a spare sax for me in Toronto and still needed somebody, I would pour my heart and soul into playing for you, and if at the end of the night you wanted to pay me, fuck that. Keep the money. I would’ve done it for what I was promised, which was good times and hugs.
    Some might say I’m scabbing a gig from professional musicians and that I don’t understand how business works in that field, but I beg to differ. I am a professional fire spinner for a living, and sometimes that means that I, too, volunteer my skill for good causes or in exchange for services and/or lodging. I’ve gone to random towns to perform where the residents gave me a backyard to camp in, use of their shower, food, and had nothing to pay me but allowed me to pass the hat at the end of a performance… and it’s a truly magical experience to rely on the kindness of humans in this fashion. I’ve LIVED your method of crowdsourcing, and I must admit, if it weren’t for you and your inspiration conducting my business in this manner would never have occured to me.
    On the other side of the coin, I recently was hired to perform for a volunteer appreciation benefit. For this, I was paid $275 an hour, something I found incredibly ironic given that this whole thing was meant to show appreciation toward people who work for free. What I can tell you about the crowd of attendees, which must have numbered in the hundreds: Young people hardly volunteer anymore. The one dude there in his twenties was somebodies son who got dragged along, and he didn’t seem to have any interest in being there.
    My point is, volunteers are the best people to work with because they WANT to be there. That, and young people don’t volunteer anymore. If you have been getting young folks, you shouldn’t see that as anything short of impressive.
    I interviewed you a couple years ago in Toronto on the Evelyn Evelyn tour (I showed you random ink blots and you saw a bunch of penises) and that was a volunteer gig as well, as my editors refused to give me any financial backing for getting to Toronto, (an hour and a half away, and me without a car at the time) truth be told, that was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. I mean, I got to meet and sit down to talk with my inspiration… Fuck, my hero. Nobody has to pay me to do that.

    • Velvet Underpants

      Hero? Good god you must have a pretty low threshold on who gets on your hero list. I bet Lou Reed is on there too

  • Bogonto

    No trace of apology. Your reaction to this just confirms the opinion so many have of you as a self-absorbed quasi-talented attention whore who pretends to be bi and married strategically. The Mitt Romney of music…

    • @boiAnachronism

      The Mitt Romney of music? Really….how low. It’s pretty apparent that you do not know much, if anything, about Amanda. She has been asking people to do this volunteering thing for YEARS, but no one cared until a month ago. Calling someone a “self absorbed quasi-talented attention whore” on HER website is classy. Really classy. You’re little statement is an epic fail. She married Neil because they love each other. It’s obvious. I’ve seen them together live in person, face to face more than once. But you’ve probably never met Amanda….so you don’t know how she is. You just come and call her nasty names and think that it is okay. It’s not okay. She is a human being with feelings.

      • Clement

        I like the word classy. It’s classy. I imagine you are a superfan, given all that stalking you seem to do. I’m going to also guess The emperor’s New Clothes was a story that didn’t make sense to you as a youth…

        • @boiAnachronism

          yep you caught me. Amanda, I’m so sorry for waiting in line to see you, rocking out at your show and then saying hi and thank you when it was over.

  • sally808

    You call others cowards, but then erase every post that might sting. What a sad case of sadness. But not entirely unexpected. You might have a few bucks from a gimmick now, but there’s a lot of life left, and 30 years of living as a forgotten has-been is painful when you need the teat of attention so much as you do. Just ask Beth Orton…

  • Slay them with sound

    Bravo for standing up to the trolls! We need more strong women who exhibit the wonderful tendencies of self-care in this world. I notice nobody is complaining now that you’ve rectified a position I’m sure that you had no ill-intentions over. A fun idea, enjoyed by all who volunteered. Musicians are meant to do it for fun, not money, and the opportunity to appear with such a talent as yours is surely one they all would do again, even if they had to pay for the privilege. I suspect most who comment against you are just jealous of your genius that you share with all of us. Keep up the work! Kickstarter is only the start! Long live AFP!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.woolson Mike Woolson

    It was an interesting debate, and sad that so many got vitriolic about it, but I think paying the musicians was the decent thing to do even if not exactly necessary. So thanks for that, for your transparency, and for being so fucking kewl all around. The album is great btw, I don’t know if anyone’s told you that already.

    But now that we got this kerfuffle out of the way, I think it’s time to move to the next logical step: Paying your FANS. Like many of them, I am part of the 47 percent of Americans who feel that as victims, we are entitled to handouts wherever we go. I have always appreciated that your concerts have been very reasonably priced (or even free sometimes). But, really, is this enough? I mean, my wife and I adore you and talk about you all the time, and we’re clever articulate people so it’s not your run-of-the-mill worship. Ours is very thought out. So, you know, just feel free to cut us a check (four figures or higher please) and ship it along.

    thanks very much
    Uncle Mikey

    ps kidding, ok?? kidding.

    • Johnson Overdrive

      I just assumed that anyone who volunteered to listen to her music was being paid. Silly me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1837273585 Tracey Lee Stokes

    That’s the Goods.I will see you 17th Feb Adelaide.

  • Mugwomp

    Now I know what Vegemite tastes like. Just like too many responses on this blog that insist on being ugly to her for reasons other than what she wanted to discuss openly. It tastes like sadness, batteries (depleted) and asses. If this is you then perhaps you should take some time reflect on your own behavior. Is this really what you want to be known for as a person? I hope not because it doesn’t reflect well on the ideals you espouse.

  • Mike S

    Let’s be honest. The decision to pay her sidemen was an attempt to save face. Nothing more, nothing less. Now she wants to be touted as some “hero for the working musician”. Give me a fucking break.

  • Mike S

    After watching this video, I’m amazed that people pay to see this shit. Amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/ktothewill Kevin Williams

    It’s so awesome that the band is salaried. That’s like hitting the jackpot for a working musician!

  • Johnny Mota

    love what amanda has done in the past with involving all artists to perform together. this is how art should be. free.. the “bleedng hearts and artists” make this music for themselves initially. art and business should never have been associated. i would jump at the opportunity to get on stage and jam with ANY artist whos work i admire. the free beer i would even consider a bonus, but the initial reason i would have been there in the first place is because i love music. theres nothing wrong with an artist being compensated and showered with gifts from people who admire their art, but there IS something wrong with art for the wrong reasons. in my opinion “true art” is art done by a person or persons who do it for many reasons that have nothing to do with monetary gain. among these reasons being self gratification, self expression, political statements, and just plain blues. what ever happened to someone just having a really bad case of the blues and writing a song to help them get through it. arent these really the songs ( the genuinely heartfelt acts of self expression ) that matter? let me sum up my opinion. making music and/or art specifically for the purpose of monetary gain is dispicable. it is rape of the concept of art. “artists” like justin beiber will be remembered along with diamonds in the rough such as Freddy Mercury. why are both of these people considered genuine artists when only one of them fits the definition? i think somewhere along the way people have forgotten the reasons that music and art exist in the first place. put THAT in your pipe and smoke it:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ludo.vici.9 Ludo Vici

    I just read the article on the NewYorker website. First of all, concerning all the work that you did in the last years, the way you built your community and all the fantastic songs and shows you performed. (I think I saw 5 of them) you deserved this success. And your way of publishing should be an guide for many musicians. No word in this article about the way how record-companys treat their artist, how they split profit. This is just an article of somebody, who does not want to realize the change in publishing. The old structures are overcome. It´s people like you, who show that the influence and the power of narcisstic publishers, who think that they are the ones to decide what art or music is, are coming to an end. Your model ist the basis for a true variety in music. Looking forward to see your show in Vienna. Greetins from Munich

  • Alex_L_H

    vol·un·teer [vol-uhn-teer]
    noun1.a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking2.a person who performs a service willingly and >>>>>without pay.<<<<<

    • gingham Andcheese

      I·di·ot [mo-ruhn]

      noun. A person who can’t get that musicians are taken advantage of all the time and volunteer only because they have no choice.

      • Alex_L_H

        [id-ee-uht]

        Yes, musicians ARE taken advantage of, but if they don’t want to volunteer,then when volunteers are asked for, there’s an amazing set of words that can convey your thoughts with a minimum of rudeness and hurt feelings. “no, thank you”. or even better, say nothing.

        Yes she made money, yes she has a regular paid band, she asks for local talent to join the show *of their own free will* at each location, they are under no compulsion to do so. Don’t want to play for the fun of it? *don’t*.

  • Lolly

    I honestly don’t get what the fuss is all about. Did the musicians who volunteered know that they wouldn’t be getting paid? Yes! Did they know that there was money to be made out of these gigs, but still, they wouldn’t be getting paid? I suppose so! Did they still volunteer? Yes! That’s that. Noone dragged these people into some intricate slave-labour scheme, and noone forced them to work for free.

    The musicians that volunteered, and the people who supported her effort on Kickstarter actually CHOSE to support this artist instead of the next one. The reason? I don’t pretend to know. Maybe they like her music. Maybe she’s so damn good at promoting herself and her work. Maybe she’s got that loyal a fanbase. Maybe all of the above.

    What I’m trying to say is that these people are now being made to feel like total idiots for volunteering just because somebody else says they shouldn’t have. That’s sick, and terribly wrong. Sure, getting a little something at the end of the gig would be great and all, but that’s not what (or even why!) you sign up for when you volunteer. Just saying…

    • Grtacious

      sick? terribly wrong? that’s getting a million dollar windfall and selectively paying the musicians you have on stage because you know you can get away with it. get off your high horse

      • Lolly

        I’m not even talking about whether all musicians should be paid, or some of them, or even none of them. I’m no musician, so I can’t have a say on that. But if I had volunteered for something just because I wanted to, and someone came straight to my face and said I’m an idiot for doing so, I’d slap him.

  • topsie

    Amanda I am impressed once again. I am the mother of Keiko and Toshi Chun, and I for one would have never just bought a ticket to the concert, but it was an experience I have told many about and am glad for the experience. Keep doing what you do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vicki.drusetta Vicki Drusetta

    I think that politicising every person’s action is a sad way to live. If people want to get up on stage and play with their favourite band for the joy of it, no one should be able to stand in their way. It all sounds a bit like the Campaign for Equal Heights in Terry Pratchett to me

    • vicki dawhippy

      Probably because you’re not a musician, always being crapped on by people who think they can get away without paying you. When a fellow “musician” does it, it is 10 times worse. I bet you would have made a great whipmaster.

  • gopiate

    What you’ve done is very impressive and has made me gain a lot of respect for you. Thank you for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.tyler.359 Michael Tyler

    This is all because of your success making a record and touring without a record company or hipster blog hype. The record companies and the media feel the need to bring you down somehow. Bringing fans to play with you is awesome. It isn’t like you are expecting professional musicians to play with you. And who is Steve Albini anyway?

  • http://twitter.com/suninabox Someone

    I like how you managed to pull a complete 180 on what you were doing whilst still not admitting any fault with what you originally wanted to do, and only changed because of a huge amount of bad publicity.

    The word “sorry” isn’t in your entire post, and the only time the word “apologize” is mentioned is when someone is apologizing to you.

    If it was always possible to find the money to pay the backing players, why didn’t you?

    You must be either cynically caving to something you don’t believe is right (i.e. you’re paying them now to avoid bad press, not because you want to pay them, or think they deserve to be paid)

    or, you now think it was wrong to try and get musicians to pay for free, but your ego won’t allow you to admit wrongdoing, preferring instead to lather yourself with praise and focus on the people who attacked you.

    For someone who supposedly prides themselves on real interaction with their fanbase, that’s rather disingenuous of you.

    When you get huge sums of money from other peoples largesse, it might be wise to be a little bit humble about it, instead of acting like you can do no wrong.