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  • Wall Street Journal article on cover bands

    There's not too much in the article that most HCers don't already know, but it is kind of interesting to see this type of article in the Wall Street Journal.
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/these...igs-1405564202
    Desperate for work, some aging rockers have taken to wearing spandex and singing at strip malls.

  • #2
    Yes, interesting that that is in the WSJ, but it's nothing we haven't discussed here a million times. But, rather surprisingly, the article gets it pretty much right. Maybe even more so than they understand.

    For me, the issue has always seems rather simple: live rock music in bars worked well when you had young musicians playing young music to a young audience. Bar audiences have remained young. The music and the musicians....not so much.

    Music in bars still appeals to young people when it's presented in a format that they can connect with. Increasingly, that isn't involving live musicians. Older musicians can still do OK when they can find older crowds to play to, but that becomes harder and harder to do with every passing year.
    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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    • #3
      Originally posted by guido61 View Post

      For me, the issue has always seems rather simple: live rock music in bars worked well when you had young musicians playing young music to a young audience. Bar audiences have remained young. The music and the musicians....not so much.
      I don't know, I think with that younger crowd it has more to do with this quote from the article. . .

      "People are watching their own drunken friends, which is maybe more entertaining"


      It's the reality show generation. Everyone wants to be the star, which is why karaoke and trivia do so well. People are involved and "part of the entertainment."


      I saw an "adult trivia" show at a wing joint a few months ago. Basically regular trivia, but every other word out of the host's mouth was profanity, and every third question was about sex. Some of the questions were very lewd, as was the host. I found it be very "lowest common denominator" entertainment and did not enjoy it, but the place was absolutely packed.

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      • #4

        Originally posted by Howie22 View Post

        I don't know, I think with that younger crowd it has more to do with this quote from the article. . .

        "People are watching their own drunken friends, which is maybe more entertaining"


        It's the reality show generation. Everyone wants to be the star, which is why karaoke and trivia do so well. People are involved and "part of the entertainment."

        That's all very true, but I ask which is the chicken and which is the egg here?

        I content that, at least PART of the problem is the aging of the music and the musicians. When that sign outside the bar that says "live music" triggers thoughts of a guy who looks like your dad singing 30-50 year old classic rock songs---then suddenly watching your own drunk friends make fools of themselves becomes that much more appealing.

        The line in the article that stuck out to me was this one: The problem is a paucity of lucrative bar-band gigs (thanks to DJs, trivia nights, karaoke, and changing tastes) combined with a glut of middle-aged musicians who just can't quit the scene.

        When I was doing this back when the live rock music scene was at it's peak, I don't recall competing for gigs with 40-50 year old musicians willing to play for half of what I would play for "just for fun". Those guys either all retired or found other gigs.

        Admittedly, it's been a host of issues that have all combined over the last couple of decades that have dragged down the live music scene so much. There's certainly no one cause here. We've all listed all the various reasons many many times.

        But I think it says a lot that this article focuses so much on aging rockers. Steve Brown isn't making as much money as he used to in the bar scene? OK. But why is that still his scene in the first place? He reigned when he was playing for audiences the same age as him. Now he's trying to play for people half his age and can't figure out what the problem is? Do the math.

        Granted...that isn't all of the problem, but it's certainly part of it.
        Last edited by guido61; 07-17-2014, 10:52 AM.
        _________________________________________________
        band websites:
        http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
        https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
        https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
        http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

        Comment


        • #5
          We were always the cool kids, and by kids I think mid 20's. we were playing for our friends and peers.
           
          NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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          • #6
            I now do sound at a couple venues in town. The one manager asks when my band is going to play there. I always tell her that we are too old and too expensive. They get bands there all the time, and again it's kids playing for kids. We don't belong there, we know our place, and it's not playing for some 18 - 25 hear olds. There's mainly original bands these days for kids. They are writing their own music and in our town there's a pretty decent scene. One buddy said "when a band comes to town, I want to see what THEY can do. If they do covers, I might as well stay home. Here's a couple original bands:
             
            NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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            • #7
              And a couple more:
               
              NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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              • #8
                More
                 
                NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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                • #9
                  And another. These guys are all about originals. I'm in a town of 10,000 so for this good of a turnout, I think it's a pretty good little scene we have going on. But again, it's kids playing for kids. Not old farts playing covers for kids.
                   
                  NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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                  • #10
                    I recently enrolled my six-year old daughter into her first "theater" production. She enjoyed the two weeks of rehearsal followed by the two performances, but when it was over she announced:

                    "Oh good. I don't have to practice those songs anymore. I can go back to practicing MY songs...."

                    She likes to make up little songs and perform them around the house. I guess she's gonna be one of those stuck-up "I don't do covers!" original artists.....
                    _________________________________________________
                    band websites:
                    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kids these days. lol
                      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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                      • #12
                        I'm one of the old guys. When I started and for a while after we cut our teeth on covers , mainly cause we liked them. and then as I got better at it worked more into writing and performing mine and the other writers in the bands songs.Did pretty well with some of it. These days young musicians really only want to play originals, in fact they look down on anyone playing covers like the cover musicians can't write. I still and prob will continue to do both for a few yrs. Like I tell all the kids that say with a pompous attitude "I only play original songs " . Anyone can write a song ............ Not everyone can write a GOOD song.

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                        • #13
                          Guess I'm part of the problem...What's interesting is that I don't see any hot young bands out there on the circuit. At least not the cover band circuit. Late 20's to 40's is what I see out there. It can't be because of the glut of middle-aged players are keeping them at home. If so, well then, kids, get a little backbone and learn how to compete. Then again I tend to play in the 'burbs. Not the city.

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                          • #14
                            I used to play bars and clubs pretty much exclusively. Now most of my gigs are at senior centers. Guess I found my new niche.
                            Michael D. www.mdlmusic.webs.com "I'm tired of rock-and-rolling Let's get married, Honey, let's go bowling" --Martin Mull

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                            • #15
                              I do also notice that the younger folks tend to gravitate to Karaoke. Sitting at a table getting drunk, hooting madly, while your drunk friend butchers a Celine Dion song seems to be more up their alley. A symptom of the "Me Generation"?

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