in what circumstances do you feel it’s okay to ask to be on a friend’s band’s guest list?
claudia the magnetic fields: dating them helps. second best is knowing that they don’t have too many people on the list already. after that, you should be very polite in asking and prepared to pay.
liz clayton: I have small means, and thus, little shame.
james +/- versus: 1. you’re poor and a good friend. 2. you don’t ask every time. 3. you helped them out in some way. 4. you’re poor.
matt shinkansen: guest-lists are un-socialist. everyone should pay.
mike yesenosky: I think you should wait until it’s offered. are you really supporting the band if you won’t pay to see them? I guess the only time it’s ok to ask is if you can’t afford to go and you know they will be allowed a large list. you know, you could offer to help if you really want to not pay. bands could always use someone to load equipment or sell merch.
carrie sleater-kinney: I ask to be on if I have repeatedly put them our guest list or if the show is sold out. I don’t ask if it’s a benefit or if my friends are on tour.
daniel handler: if I’m broke and they’re really my friends.
jennifer o’connor: I always try to pay if possible, because I think it’s important to support working musicians you like in a monetary way so they can continue to do what they do…especially if they are your friends.
david huon/driving past: it’s good anytime, because they want you there but they don’t want you to pay. I’d put the world on my guest list, if I could. if only I could.
robert tono-bungay: under the circumstance that I desperately must get in, I’m feeling brazen enough to ask, and that I have an aching need to be able to lord this singular gift of favor over everyone else at the door who’s patiently waiting on line to pay. or, if it’s any show at the bowery ballroom.
lisa cf: if you see that person’s band quite a bit and usually pay, then it’s fine to ask for a freebie. or if you’ve done them a favor recently.
isaac cf: it’s always ok, I didn’t spend the last 15 years languishing in indie squalor and subsisting on instant ramen so I can pay to see quasi. that’s right janet, I’m talking to you!
andrew eggs / talk it: I try to stay off guest lists unless I’m working or I don’t want to see the band in the first place. I usually ask my friends to take me off their lists. unless they get big, at which point all bets are off. watch your deli tray, too! me hungry!
clarissa cf: I have a job; I can pay my way. if they offer, I’ll say yes.but it is not nice to ask for a present.
jeff aden: you know, I used to be really insecure about asking to be on the guestlist. then I realized that I never get mad at people who ask to be on our list, so I’ve sort of gotten over it. if they don’t have room, they’ll say no. but it’s not like they’ll be pissed at you for asking.
dickon fosca: if it’s a small gig, the band have day jobs and the door price is cheaper than buying a couple of drinks, I think it’s fair enough to pay one’s way in. if the show is a big venue and the band are drinking nectar from the navels of brewer street rent boys between songs, I only go if I can get in free. basic robin hood tactics, really. if the show is sold out and the only way of getting in is by being on the list, then that’s fair enough too.
terry dot dash: I usually just say “look, you know I’m there for you… you know I’m out there flyin’ the flag for you guys 24-7 so how ’bout it? what’s it’s gonna take to get my name on that list? and while we’re on the subject, what dy’a think about a plus-one scenario? c’mon, don’t put me on there all by my lonesome — I got needs.”
stuart moxham: any. also always insist on free copies of new records if they have the need to tell you of them!
don smith: if it’s a local band, it’s not ok to ask to get put on the band’s guest list in most cases. the only cases where this is not true are if financial disasters preclude this or if the band owes you money. otherwise it’s up to the band to invite you on their list — it’s their list and their decision. if you have an interview with a touring band then you can ask them for plus ones. if you have an interview with a local band then you should bring them a gift rather than asking to get into their show. if you are assigned the interview by your editor then you can ask the band for a guest list, even if they are local, by explaining that it’s your editor’s idea. under no circumstances are you ever allowed to ask to get on the band’s guest list for the purpose of freelance photography. if the band is from out of town and their label has more than one paid employee you are allowed to ask the band’s label for anything, including posters and advance cassettes. if you are planning to bootleg the show, meticulously write down the songs played, take pictures and think about the show for days afterward you are permitted to ask to get on the guest list and ask the singer for a kiss. the band in turn, is allowed to press charges.
ld flare: I don’t usually—as a writer I’d rather just call the club or the pr people.
tracy dreamy: most of the time I am organizing the gig… and when I’m not, I don’t feel too bad about asking. if I feel it’s not right then I buy the ticket or I don’t go
Photograph: gail o