The age old question of how much would you have to pay a famous DJ to play a song you wanted to hear has been solved in a way with Deadmau5 being caught up in a now legal battle over a promised pay out from a Las Vegas high roller.
In February 2011, Deadmau5 was playing his usual bangin set at nightclub XS which is located inside the premises of the Encore Hotel Resort in Vegas. During his set Don Johnson, CEO of Heritage Development and a huge high roller, asked Deadmau5′s agent confusingly also named Joel Zimmerman (wtf!) if Deadmau5 could play Bon Jovi’s living on a prayer for $200,000 during his set.
The negotiation went down like this. Jesse Waits, who is the co-owner and managing partner at XS nightclub met Deadmau5′s talent agency manager (also named) Joel Zimmerman told him that Johnson could be trusted to pay Deadmau5 if the deal went down. So naturally Zimmerman went to chat to Deadmau5 and the deal moved forward as detailed in the video below.
Fast forward to later that night where High Roller Don Johnson could be found playing blackjack and losing badly. When Talent Agent Zimmerman and co-owner of XS Jesse Waits came to collect the money, Johnson asked his security to remove Waits and Zimmerman from his sight. Like a good old fashioned smoke bombing, Johnson was out of Vegas the next day.
Resulting this fiasco, club owner Waits told talent agent Zimmerman that he would pay $50,000 of the $200,000 owed and then Zimmerman agreed the Talent Agency would take care of the remaining $150,000 because keeping Deadmau5 on side is their priority.
Oh but it doesn’t end there with Waits now suing the Mau5 Vegas talent agent, saying the $50,000 was a ‘loan’, rather than a definite contribution to the artists appearance.
Lesson to be learnt here: Formalise a contract as opposed to making it ‘your word against ours’. Here is Deadmau5 and deceptive high roller Don Johnson partying to Bon Jovi. Wouldn’t it have cost him less to just bring him to Vegas to actually play?