Re: Music & The American Dream re: [Harp-L] Death of Live Music
Steve, that was beautifully said...that's the beauty of MUSIC you never have
to "Give it Up" and it's always there for you like a loyal Dog, whether it
Part-time, Full-time or whatever it is there to satisfy our MUSE-FUL SOULS.
All of life is a sacrifice we must give to things everyday of our lives.
As life changes so does our technology and taste and yes even the music
scene must change.
We saw a sorry turn in this country for the musicians who wrote their own
music, in the 60's and 70's they got record deals...tons of 'em and then
went out into the venues such as clubs, colleges and concert halls to
perform.....and because of the market for this the bands could "take
chances" and truly not be afraid to play what was in their hearts...
It seems with the increase in Technology that in the 80', 90's and present
we saw record companies take less chances as the MARKET at least here in the
US, was looking for something different.
Combine all that with drinking laws, smoking laws and DJ's and the
techno/rap styles and it brings us to today...when I was going to college
studying Sociology in 1973, lots of my friends were in Music Colleges that
had good JAZZ departments,,,,they were being prepped to be to come out and
pretty much play GIGS, Jazz, Blues Standards, Weddings, Recording work or
My question is this;
Where do these music major coming out of college go TODAY for a gig?
The weddings are 90% covered by DJ's the Jazz & Blues clubs are dwindling
and the cats haven't had a pay increase since 1969, the recording studios
Where do they start??? I guess a different 'playing field' needs to be
developed...using home studios and the internet...
I do know this, because of the obsoleteness of all of the above, those of us
who 'hang in there' may be considered dinosaurs, but we've honed a skill
that not many have..... WE can PLAY Music, REAL music that makes people
smile groove and shake their butts and forget about how tuff life can be at
times.....now that's a skill you can't get in dental, law or med school!!!
I guess what I'm trying to say is we ARE marketable! We just how to keep up
with the times and stay 'creative' not only by as Tom Ellis sez 'listening
to ALL styles of GOOD music, but we must also be creative in how to find the
They ARE out there, trust me, Music is YOURS and it's what you make it...
Keep it fun....respect it....love it, study it....but mostly ENJOY it!
Steve, again thanx for your insights....I'm in Tokyo and and just had some
great Korean BBQ and Beers with Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper....NOW, I'm
ready for tonite's gig!!! (after a nap,-)
PS....if anyone on the list is in in Tokyo, write me offlist and I'll try
and comp you into the show...we'll be there til Sunday Nite....
Harp content: we can walk on the MOON but I still haven't heard a decent
"sampled harmonica".....keep practicing and they'll NEVER catch up to
Love & Peace,
On 4/3/07 2:05 AM, "moandabluz@xxxxxxx" <moandabluz@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> Some words of wisdom in this post below from damienmasterson.
> Reality, as someone once said, is a harsh mistress. Idealism and dreams
> are great, and they sometimes work out. More power to those who have
> that happen.
> From my own perspective, there was a time in my life that I would
> have jumped with both feet into any kind of world that included a
> chance to play music well enough to get hired by any band. But I always
> considered myself lucky that I didn't have the talent to do that.
> So, I have accepted that I will play music as best I can, within my
> limits of talent, time and opportunity. I won't give up on music, but
> I will try to position it in my life so other things can also be dealt
> with. To each his own.
> I have known people with minimal talent who have given up steady jobs
> and meaningful relationships in order to play music. Heaven save them
> from themselves. Then again, if they are happy, who is to judge?
> Music, I think, is a highly personal thing that strikes a different
> chord (pun intended) in everyone. We all have to find the place in
> which it fits in our lives.
> Steve "Moandabluz" Webb
> way too philosophic on a chilly, wet night in Minnesota, but still a
> fool for the harp
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dzm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 6:49 PM
> Subject: Music & The American Dream re: [Harp-L] Death of Live Music
> On Apr 2, 2007, at 11:54 AM, harp-l-request@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>> From: Michael Rubin <rubinmichael@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Subject: [Harp-L] Death of Live Music
>> My belief says you are the obstacle. Argue for your limitations >
> and they are yours. If you want to make a living playing originals > in
> an unusual genre while staying in your hometown, make it > happen. I
> just cannot believe that a clear vision, determination > and hard work
> cannot overcome any of these issues you guys are > talking about.
> That of course is true in theory. And how will we ever know if we
> don't try? What most of us discover is we want more out of life than
> what we can get from being a starving artist.
> I know a good number of people who are working full time as
> musicians. They, for the most part, don't have families, don't own
> property, can't afford to turn down work or take vacations, don't have
> health insurance, etc... Most of them live with somebody and in spite
> of their hard work, are still subsidized in some way. Their plan for
> home ownership is waiting for their folks to die. They live from hand
> to mouth.
> They're not complaining! They're following their dream. If they
> don't get self destructive, they can do O.K., especially if they have
> chops. They are predominantly rhythm section players, especially bass
> players. Everybody needs certain instruments to perform, even if you're
> paring down. Horn players, harmonica players and the likes are a luxury
> many can't afford nowadays. (Unfortunately for us, even if they can
> afford a harp player, they still do it themselves, to our chagrin!)
> Believe me, I spent a lot of time meditating over this "myself as an
> obstacle" factor, which is huge. The bottom line that I came away with
> is this:
> I spent almost 20 years of my life shedding, gigging, traveling,
> spending tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of dollars of my & other
> people's money ALLOWING me to be the kind of musician I thought I
> needed to be. You may love Jason Ricci's playing, but he has to pay
> that band, has to pay for bills and hidden costs, support himself, and
> I guarantee you, that money is coming from somewhere. By the time I
> finished, I was $50k in the hole, had a garage full of CD's that no one
> knew about, and I wasn't enjoying playing music any more. Granted, I
> wanted to be a star, a bandleader, fame and fortune and the likes. If I
> had only chosen to be a good sideman at an earlier age, maybe things
> would be different. Live and learn. Ouch.
> Today, I'm married, have a step daughter and a cool dog. We live in
> a beautiful house which we own. I can afford to take $50 gigs with
> people I like and turn down $300 gigs playing crap. I have faced my
> demons and vices and so far am on the winning end. Oddly enough, today
> I am closer to being the musician I always dreamed of, without the
> stress and pressure of outcome, when the "big break" will happen, or
> when the money will run out. I am very happy. I love music and practice
> constantly. Our family business pays the bills, not music. I'm very
> fortunate things turned out this way.
> Many won't share this kind of info with people, because that "create
> an illusion of success" B.S. permeates through everything in this
> country, or they are still hanging on to their dream and don't want to
> give up. But I have poor boundaries and a weird ego, so there it is.
> Maybe I wasn't smart, maybe I was undisciplined, maybe I failed at
> my dream of being a touring, self sustaining "live musician"... but
> when you peel away the romance and mysticism behind everything, it's a
> very hard life. Many of our idols lead tragic, unstable, broken lives,
> with multiple failed marriages and no pot to peepee in. They drink and
> drug themselves to death, they have no life skills. But we support them
> because we want to vicariously experience our fantasies of that life
> through them. They are mannequins for our dreams of what it would be
> My advice: If you think "a clear vision, determination and hard work"
> are enough to make a decent living in the music business, especially
> the performance end of the business, in today's environment, then by
> all means, have at it. I still have my dreams, too, even if it hurts
> that my wife laughs at me when I tell her I'm going to make money
> playing music... But I'm not going to move to NYC and arm wrestle with
> Gregoire over the few harmonica gigs that Galison would do a much
> better job on. I think I smell dinner being prepared....
> Keep practicing!
> Damien Masterson http://www.damienmasterson.com ;
> or enter my name in any search engine
> http://www.myspace.com/damienmastersonmusic ;
> http://cdbaby.com/all/damienzm ;
> 415 305 7138 dzm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Damien Endorses Hohner Harmonicas and Audix Microphones
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