Chapter 7 FB: First of all, a certain number of musicians had to be hired, a certain percentage in an orchestra, like 50% or 60%? AN: Well, no -- full. Let's say at a hotel, your main ballroom - large ballroom, right? So we tried to get at that time at least eight musicians, so your minimum there was eight musicians. So if someone approached me to play a wedding at that ballroom at the hotel, in the ballroom I would have to have at least eight musicians. FB: So you couldn't squeak by with a quintet if it was a big audience. I see. So it was like a ratio of one musician for every fifty ... ? AN: Not necessarily, maybe they did work it that way. I'm not too familiar. The smaller the room; the smaller the minimum. FB: Fair enough. AN: You wouldn't put eight men in the room that only would need three. FB: The union established these ratios, these minimums? AN: Well, what happened, the board of directors would make a resolution and at the meeting -- the annual, what they called the by-law meeting -- they would bring it before the membership, and the membership would vote on it from their experiences, to see what they think. FB: This would be the national meeting or the local? AN: No, every local had their own autonomy. Like Boston had our own autonomy, you go to Lynn and they have their own autonomy. So close, but you have got to remember that when the locals were organized in those days it was horse and buggy days. Today with the new highways, you could practically walk to Lynn in a short time -- of course, I am exaggerating. FB: I see, the hiring practices with a car you could go a 100 miles to a gig and it there might be less call for musicians as time went on. AN: There were a lot of rules a regulations you have to be familiar with. So that was a whole different world, a whole different ballgame. FB: How did the rules and regulations or the structure or the conduct of union activities evolve as the big band era wound down, as recorded music increased, as the economy changed? AN: That is a very strong question. When you mention recordings, you've got to remember everything today is practically on the computer, electronics. Now back, I'm going back sixty years or more, when recordings first started, and back then our national president, Weber, we were concerned about it 'cause every theatre had live music, don't forget. Every theatre, everywhere you went, any city you go to a theatre, you have an orchestra, any sized orchestra; you go to a restaurant you had a live orchestra; you go to a little beer joint, they had one or two musicians playing there. But as records kept getting more popular, they start cutting down on the musicians. So the point that I am getting at, when the recordings first came out, in order to try and help the musicians, on the label at that time they'd put "For home use only." So you go out and buy a record back then, you could only play it in your home, you couldn't copy it, put it on loud speaker, or whatever. They finally got with the radio stations where they have to log every program so the composers and all that would get their residual from it. It branched out into a lot of different areas. But, the theatres, once you got sound in the film, thousands of musicians were put out of work within a short period of time in the theatres, because you didn't need them. We used to play for the acts and for the music to get the excitement of what the scene would be on the screen. They used to have a live orchestra, any number of men, but that put them totally out [of work], put them all out. That became a problem which, as you see today, you don't see any musicians in the theatre, unless you go to The Schubert, if they have a live show, and so on and so forth. Then the other thing, a problem came with radio; now back then if you broadcast a show in New York, you were very limited in going out on your airwaves to a very far distance because they didn't have the know-how with radio to go beyond two or three hundred miles, but as time came on they kept improving so they could go from New York to Chicago. What happened, it was a beautiful achievement, but it was a problem for the musicians because we would play a show, say they were like, Pepsodent [toothpaste] would have a big show in New York with Bob Hope, a radio show, and that would go on say seven or eight o'clock at night, and they would record it on a big record, the whole show. Then later at night because of the time difference to the west coast, they would play it again, but they wouldn't pay any of the musicians. You see what I mean? So it created a problem. But we finally resolved it where they would have to pay, i guess you call it, the 'standby' or whatever. History is a marvellous thing to get with 'cause there is so much to learn from it: why, how things change. Today we take so much for granted; you go home you press a button, you're in Europe, you're in South America just by pressing a button. FB: You could do it on your cellphone, your iPod. AN: Progress. But it's nice to know how that got started. You walk down the street, you think people are talking to themselves, but they're on the phone. FB: Blackberries. AN: Progress. So, you know, that's what happens. FB: Let's get back and talk about the unions a little bit more.