The Musicians’ Voice

Volume CI, No. 11November, 2001


To the Editor:

As we all are united in tragedy, I am writing to share some good news. Many readers of Allegro are undoubtedly aware that Local 802 has in its employ a number of dedicated, professional and purely wonderful business representatives. The following information will only reinforce that fact.

On Aug. 16 my band, Manhattan Rhapsody, was contracted for a luncheon/dance on two consecutive Thursdays, Aug. 23 and 30, at a catering establishment in the Bronx. The organization that booked us is affiliated with a senator who is presently running for higher office. The client and senator shall remain nameless, as I do not want to compromise their reputations in any way.

On Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., we were notified of our cancellation due to lack of funding. I immediately attempted to contact 802. Unfortunately it was after hours – but after leaving messages for Rich Schilio and Jim Hannen, both at work and at home, I managed to connect with Kirk Kelly, who was still in. After discussing the situation with me, Kirk contacted my client and successfully negotiated to reinstate the first of the two engagements. Both Rich and Jim later called me from home to advise me on union policy and the action I should take on the day of the performance regarding payment. They assured me that the union would not allow us to be treated unfairly.

At the event prior to performance when payment had not yet been made, Rich Schilio had a telephone discussion with a representative of the senator, informing him of the action Local 802 would take if the terms of the contract were not met. Rich told him that he and Bob Gulluscio were prepared to arrive within minutes with the media in tow. Full payment suddenly materialized out of thin air, Manhattan Rhapsody took to the stage, and a good time was had by all.

Thank you Local 802!

Fran Dana
Leader, Manhattan Rhapsody

P.S. Our band contributed immensely to the success of the event. We were re-hired for the second date and it took place without a problem.


To the editor:

I would like to thank a former union member, bandleader Martha Sanders, for insisting on union wages and refusing to take a job for less. The job was a political rally being organized by a member of the “liberal wing” of the Republican Party. They wanted to pay about half of the minimum union scale. She told their spokesperson, “The musicians must earn a livable wage for their work.”

The spokesperson said they don’t have that kind of money. This may be right – after the cost of mink coats and the upkeep of their stretch limos, maybe they are a little short.

Ron Wolfe

P.S. My brother is a Republican and I love him, and my favorite vibes player, originally from my home town, Louisville, is a member of this afore-mentioned Republican club, so I’m not anti this group – just anti their refusal to pay union scale.