RE: [Harp-L] Reality check?
- To: <IcemanLE@xxxxxxx>, <bboyd@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Reality check?
- From: "Bradford Trainham" <bradford.trainham@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 12:45:22 -0600
- Cc: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
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I struggle with this question a lot too.
One side of me says that I have ideas, that I've turned them into songs and
that I should own them/appreciate them/promote them and so on.
The other side "gets off" on the sorts of experiences you described with the
Oldies bands and suggests that connecting with other people is what music is
The market obviously tilts toward what the audience wants and I can't
imagine humanity evolved enough to have custom allow for a musician's
creativity once he has "given the people what they want".
(harp content???) I find myself trying to sneak harp into cover songs
where there wasn't any in the original.
Sometimes, as in Eric Burdon's take onSee See Rider, the band will allow it.
But when I tried to get the lead guitarist to trade off riffs at the end of
ZZ Top's La Grange, I was politely told that there wasn't a harp in the
original and that the band tried to play it "just like the record".
In a huff, I inwardly asked no one... "What, pray tell, is at all original
about that song?"..., but fortunately, that one never made it out to the
level of public scrutiny... (Until now, right?)
It seems that creativity would only be honored within a system of patronage,
and, as you pointed out earlier, with the economy imploding and the word of
the day being caution, I don't think we'd better hold our collective breaths
waiting on that well-moneyed patron...
Brad (Somewhere between See See and ZZ) Trainham
From: harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:harp-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Reality check?
Another excellent observation.
As a creative musician, I've always wanted to do what I want to do and
looked down on those "oldie" reproduction shows. However, this past summer I
got to partake in a wonderful free concert series in St. Augustine Beach (I
provided sound reinforcement with two BOSE systems) and witnessed the
phenomenon of the oldies, especially with a great band of musicians calling
themselves "The Falling Bones", led by Rick Levy, who books a few oldies
reunion bands and was music director for Herman's Hermits. "The Falling
Bones" specialize in rock from the late 60's including a lot of Rolling
Stones pre-Satanic Majesty's Request era. The crowds just loved this - the
crowds being 50 years old and up mostly. Watching those older ladies
dancing and singing to the music while in their minds they were young again
is a real trip and treat. It was here that I really was impacted by the
fact that, beyond what I wanted to play or hear as an ARTIST, was a large
crowd of baby boomers with a bit of disposable income (at least until about
2 months ago) who just wanted to be happy for a night and revisit their
I used to look down on those Jimmy Buffet imitation bands, too, but not any
more. In today's crazy world, there is nothing wrong with making people
happy as an end in itself and putting the self involved ARTIST to one side
bit) and becoming a part of it. So what if I have to play "Mustang Sally"
or "Brown Eyed Girl" for the 10,000 time.
In a message dated 11/24/2008 11:48:09 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Or play what most people like and play more often and make more money. I
love playing blues but it really isn't what most people want a steady diet
of. What I have found is people want to dance and sing to oldies that they
remember from the past. Now this is not necessarily for the young people,
except for fraternity parties, but for the most part the older people have
more money and can afford to hire you for private events, fundraisers,
anniversary's, birthday's, retirement etc. kind of parties. And they will
pay more than bars.
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