Amanda Palmer Now Paying Volunteer Musicians

By Michael Nelson / September 19, 2012 - 6:40 pm

Our long national nightmare is over. After a week of criticism, rationalizing, more criticism, and more rationalizing, Amanda Palmer has announced that she will now pay money to the crowd-sourced musicians joining her band on stage who were previously being paid only in hugs, high-fives, and beer.

Today, Palmer took to her blog, announcing this decision, and explaining (at Proustian length) her decision-making process. Among other things, she wrote:

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.

That’s just the takeaway, of course. I sincerely recommend reading the whole letter, which includes a final shot at Albini, a shout-out to Pomplamoose (!), and the staunch declaration, “this is how we be the media.”

And with that, we can at last close this ugly chapter in our lives, and Steve Albini can finally update his resume, no longer leading with “the man who engineered roughly one-third of the best albums in the world over the past quarter-century,” but instead, “the man whose half-baked message-board rant inadvertently led to Amanda Palmer spending her fan-sourced money on compensating her fan-sourced backing musicians, rather than spending it on her music videos.” Congratulations to all.