FOUND: A bunch of lost Silver Laughter contracts from 1979

Here is the agreement between the club owner and Silver Laughter.

Here is the agreement between the club owner and Silver Laughter.

As members of Musician’s Union Local 551, our band was able to get contracts when we decided at the end of 1978 to leave Art and manage ourselves… Not so “smart” as I look back on it now. Thinking about it, this is probably how many bands finally break up. It’s called ego. We thought we could do better than a full-time manager could.

While going through old stuff, I found an envelope with a stack of contracts in it from 1979. On February 4th, we entered into an agreement with the Kaiserhoff in New Ulm, Minnesota to play five nights (March 13-17) for $1,450 plus lodging, about $4,585 in 2013 dollars. Remember, if it wasn’t stipulated in the contact, we paid for our own gas, lodging and food off the top of our earnings and then split the remaining amount between 5 members (Jon, Paul, Ken, Carl and myself. Kim was not yet back in the band.) So when we could score accommodations in our contract, it put a lot more money in our pockets.

Here is the commission agreement for that mysterious agency who booked the job for us. It wasn't Art "Smart".

Here is the commission agreement for that mysterious agency who booked the job for us. It wasn’t Art “Smart”.

Vern Bednarek signed on behalf of the Kaiserhoff, and I signed on behalf of the band. Our address was the Ludtke Pony Farm out on West Kimberly Road. We must have gotten the job through an agency, though I can’t imagine who. But the second page shows a 20% commission to be paid to them.

Look how nice my handwriting was back then. You should see it now! I could become a doctor... if I had gone to medical school, that is!

Look how nice my handwriting was back then. You should see it now! I could have become a doctor… if I had gone to medical school, that is! PS, I don’t think I ever got that tape back…

At the bottom is a note I had written to Jon after the band’s breakup. I tried to return the contracts to him and get him to give me back my Pablo Cruise cassette (which the band hated!). After all, he was the archivist who kept EVERYTHING! I believe he returned this to me when he and I met up when I came home to Davenport for our 35 year West High School class of 1968 reunion.

Mick Orton



Categories: History

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