Gents, I went through much of what you guys are saying. Finally bit the bullet and shouldered the whole PA, lights trailer etc.... Painful, but tired of the hassles. Lost a couple friends a couple years ago over who "thought" they had earned a part of the gear.... Now I just pull 5% off the top and the rest gets split equally after the show. Totally understand the "LSD" syndrome. (Lead Singers Disease)
Totally agree with you. When guys come play with me I have a full set of QSC's (mains/subs) all wireless shure mics and a full set of In-ears for the guys, with extra buds cause it's a hygiene thing. Totally turn key. 5% is nothing considering they plug and play. Works well.
This is an issue that I decided to put to rest years ago. I own ALL the gear needed to be productive, period! I own enough gear to service two stages at the same time plus the van and trailer to haul it around. We practice at my house as well. The practice gear is in addition to what's in my trailer.
I have been in bands that had junk gear and members that refused to spend a dime on the effort. I have been in bands that had members that were lazy and refused to help. Too many times I watched people buy gear that was purchased on a whim and didn't address the issues it was meant to solve.
This is my situation. My purchases are a balance of, will it last, does it do the job intended, can I handle it by myself physically and finacially. I have the freedom to do sound jobs on the side which often yields more cash than band gigs do.
Is this fair to me? Depends. All the guys in my band get paid the same. When gear needs repaired the band pays for it not me. So in the end, we can gig with gear that sounds good and works very well with minimal effort. If someone leaves, they don't take gear with them. We can be set up inside a bar in 1 hour 30 minutes we can be out of there in 1 hour. That means more time at home!!!!
So, is it fair???? I don't give a rats butt! I play music like I want on gear that works well plus I have tons of options if we take a break or the band splits up.
FWIW....My two best paying jobs are, Columbus Day Parade and a county pageant. Been doing these two jobs for about 15 years.