Re: Grace and aplomb in the face of Gussing and other unpleasantries

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Not to polarize the issue, between the "liberal" and the "conservative" =
view,,I like the balanced view, and the one appropriate to the =
situation, on the subject of gussing.

There may be in the hearts of some the advantage of grace, and what may =
be termed a kind of "largesse", to have the capacity to extend to the =
less fortunate in character an allowance for their particular =
circumstances in life, to be able to tolerate a bit of imperfection on =
their part, and give them a break, a chance at personal recognition for =
the moment. Others, more driven for personal and legitimately gained =
recognition of their own, and the benefit of steady gigs, and a =
dependable income, may choose to exclude with rigor all such amateur =
attempts at stardom from the crowd. It's all good, I suppose. To each =
his own, and each having his or her own reasons for doing so, to exclude =
or include, there is no fault either way, nor does one way or the other =
make one the better man, or woman, except perhaps in terms of character, =
and depending on the manner of delivery, in either situation, in or ex. =
I've seen ample reasons given, and plenty of actual situations afforded =
as practical examples for both sides of the issue.

I had a somewhat humorous (at least to me,,) situation happen at a small =
club I once played at on an open mike night, jamming on harp with a =
house band that went from place to place for jam nights. One of the =
guitar players, actually quite proficient at doing "cover" leads by =
various well-knowns, and also well known for being quite "full of =
himself", felt at one point that I had played too closely to his lead =
solo. I could see him inching across the stage, and having become =
already familiar with the proprietary, territorial types, fairly knew =
what was coming. As he began to lean over my way, mouthing something =
almost unintelligible above the din, he stepped on his guitar cord, =
unplugging himself in the process. Finally getting into range, he =
began,,,"It's not that I don't like harmonica players,,,". Well,,just =
about anything could have fit in to complete the sentence. I got the =
point. He wanted space. I gave it to him. But I couldn't help being =
somewhat inwardly amused at the justice of the abrupt absence of his own =
tonal offerings,, I just thought,,"What a geek,,ya big =
lunkhead,,hahahaha,," He never heard it, fortunately.

I've played with others, who's gig it admittedly was, who had INVITED me =
in the first place, (and continued to do so, at every opportunity,,) who =
took great pleasure in adjusting either the band members or myself as an =
invited guest, onstage, stopping to berate us publicly for having "given =
them a sore throat" or such nonsense for playing too loud, or at the =
wrong time. In time, I've also watched as these same ones have ended up =
as solo artists with fading "careers", with no available band to back =
them up, for lack of any who would continue to tolerate such onstage =
humiliation. Sure, at times there's an element of truth, and adjustments =
need to be made in those situations, but all too often the stage becomes =
a means for egomaniacal personalities to have free reign to unleash =
their abusive traits on others, under the banner of "professionalism".  =
To a lot of people, these are the "dues" that have to be paid, to enter =
into that exclusive club that is "performing". Personally, I don't need =
music, or rather, performing, in my life to that great an extent. I've =
played with performers that I no longer have a desire to subject myself =
to, invited or not. Some people, to put it bluntly, are just no fun to =
play with, and personally, I won't give them further opportunity to =
exercise their freedom to abuse, just for the sake of making THEM look =
good with MY tasty, appropriate, excellent harp accompaniment.
I find the music business, for that matter, rife with ego-monsters. It's =
a given. I knew that from almost the time I was a toddler, with operatic =
professionals for parents. That's why I keep musical performance =
relegated to its proper place in my life, and avoid letting it become a =
priority to the extent that I begin to take on another personality, one =
less forgiving, less tolerant, less inclusive of others. I have my =
priorities. When music ceases to be "fun", and becomes just another =
"job",,,to me it loses the character for which I enjoy it,,as a habitat =
of harmony, both tonal, and social.=20

Having said that,,

I learned to tolerate the onstage rebukes, at times, just for the fun of =
playing tasty harp ANYWAY. And when it comes down to it,,it's all =
relative. I'm certain I could tolerate the verbal misgivings of a =
well-respected band leader with a track record. I just won't take it =
from small-minded men with an enlarged sense of self. It ain't worth it.

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