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What Do Musicians do When they Get Older?


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That was a good call on pulling the plus on the video store. I have a client who had a big vid store. But, he is a gay dude and his store was in the heart of the castro, so he did well. But I drove by the other day and noticed it was gone. He owns the building though, so he is on to the next venture. I live in a small town just south of the city, and the one good sized shopping center still has a video rental store. I'm surprised it's still hanging on.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I'm pretty sure I could still make a living playing music too. Definitely not the same tax bracket I'm in, but would survive.

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Getting old as a musician is no different than any other trade. If you plan ahead, you'll be OK. If not you wont. I know just as many construction workers who never saved a dim who wound up with little or no security because they worked off the books instead of paying taxes, social security and saving for retirement. Even in my main trade as an electronic tech, most companies lay you off just before 5 years when your retirement benefits became vested. This is nothing new in any field and with the way things are going with medical and companies hiring part time only, its only going to get worse.

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That was a good call on pulling the plus on the video store. I have a client who had a big vid store. But, he is a gay dude and his store was in the heart of the castro, so he did well. But I drove by the other day and noticed it was gone. He owns the building though, so he is on to the next venture. I live in a small town just south of the city, and the one good sized shopping center still has a video rental store. I'm surprised it's still hanging on.

 

I got a bit lucky on that one. The writing was on the wall and I was just starting to try and figure out my exit strategy when someone walks in and offers me a good price for the business. I told them that the video business wasn't what it once was, but they were getting a good location with some tourist/vacation traffic and they could morph it into whatever they wanted to. Unfortunately, I think they went under in about a year after they bought it.

 

I was able to make enough of a profit on the sale so that I could support myself for a couple of years while I worked on what I needed to do to get set up in my next career.

 

But yeah....I really think all those years of nose-to-the-grindstone working in the music business helped set the stage for being successful in other areas.

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Well, at least one person has transitioned to a new career:<BR /><BR /><A href="http://www.nealsmith.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.nealsmith.com/</A>

 

 

Back in the 1980's, I was out touring the U.S. and Canada, out to kick Yngwie's and EVH's ass ( what arrogance) , we got on a train from Connecticut to Boston. I ran in to Dennis Dunaway, I felt like a kid who ran into Santa Claus. I chatted with him for 15 minutes .... What a great guy !!!!

I'm glad Neil got a career to have a stable life.

Back to topic.

When I was younger, I remember I would live and die playing music, not to be another face on Mtv, but to just play music. I mastered the instrument, learned from gigging with some World Class Musician's and got to play for some great people all over The U.S. and Canada. Sure, I could have gone to College and become an educated idiot to become a desk monkey, but dang, I'm glad I did what I love most, to play music.

Now, I'm settled with a wife and kids ... couldn't be any better ....and I wouldn't change a thing !!!!

If I would have gone the other route, i would have been saying ..... Man, I should of , could have ... would have !!!!

If any young person here has talent and drive, go for it !!!! ......

 

You only live once !!!!

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Many go and start teaching. It can be either a good or bad thing. For some, they turn to it bitterly because they can't tour anymore and just {censored} with young musicians and ruin their potential. Others do the right thing and acknowledge that their heyday is over and it's time to pass the torch to the next generation.

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I've been singing for 30 years both professionally and semi-professionally. It has been awhile since I made a decent living solely from music though.

I am a 45 year old woman (which is probably like being a 65 year old male in this business), sing rock, soul, R&B and gospel. I also have a figure like Aretha Franklin (at my age), which would be fine if I weren't white - so I've been told more than once. So although I actually sing and perform better every year, the gig frequency has fallen. And I am well aware that my voice will start to deteriorate at some point.

 

Pay the bills? Sure. I went to night school and have now have BAdmin and MA degrees. Day job in online marketing fits the bill. It is definitely worthwhile to have something to fall back on.

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Going to do some teaching. I did not do the pubic troubadour gig thing for money - well, not for a living, anyway - and cannot honestly say that I feel I missed that train. I'm not a people person so it all worked out well and the "real job" has always been where I focus. Music is simply a hobby.

 

But, as a writer much more so that a cover/copy player I have to say that what I do has never fit the trends over the years. I've always been what we now call an indy music writer without a genre. Hard to describe so I'll just leave it there. That said, though, I've never felt like I fit in. I've read countless threads/posts asking forum members who/what their favorite band/artist/song/genre/ya/da/ya/da is and it kind of puts me off. I say that because music seems to need to be grounded in that manner to get chatted up. It needs to be geared to the herd instinct. Not surprising, commonality begets appropriate discussion but...

 

No one ever asks about or prompts discussions on music outsides those boxes. Never is there a thread asking people to bring it so we can listen. They only ask about what has been or bash (rightfully, IMO) what is. Creativity doesn't get much air time but copy work sells.

Edited by Idunno
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I've been singing for 30 years both professionally and semi-professionally. It has been awhile since I made a decent living solely from music though.

I am a 45 year old woman (which is probably like being a 65 year old male in this business), sing rock, soul, R&B and gospel. I also have a figure like Aretha Franklin (at my age), which would be fine if I weren't white - so I've been told more than once. So although I actually sing and perform better every year, the gig frequency has fallen. And I am well aware that my voice will start to deteriorate at some point.

 

Pay the bills? Sure. I went to night school and have now have BAdmin and MA degrees. Day job in online marketing fits the bill. It is definitely worthwhile to have something to fall back on.

 

have you thought about managing or consulting for up and coming artists? your experience would be invaluable

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Read your blog and your point about baby boomers is spot on. in fact, i feel like the focus on millenials is just out of habit, i.e. the music industry focusing on teenagers and college kids because that's the way it's always been done. what they fail to take into account is that the babyboomers pretty much created the whole industry in the first place. and from what i see (admittedly anecdotal evidence) their demand for good music is still there, just no one seems to be trying to meet that demand. artists and labels all want to cater to teenage tastes ( or what they think are teenage tastes) and they're ignoring a huge demograpghic with tons of disposable income (since most boomers are still working) that wants to hear rock n roll-guitar, bass, drums.

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Wow, I can't believe this thread is still going! I've been gigging again regularly for the last year since we moved from Nashville to Orlando. I hadn't been playing cover gigs for about 5 years and there have been many changes. Even though I've been doing mostly private corporate events since I've been here I've recently done a few pub five gigs to cover for a friend of mine. This is the worst pain plan for what I believe to be the worst audience ever the millennial generation. You were just one more thing in the ongoing story of their lives which is documented via selfies Snapchat and video!!! 😉

 

 

 

But I digress. I think the only reason to be out there playing pub type gigs these days is just because you think it's fun or you want to get together with some friends wants a while but definitely don't do it for the money. For myself I am neutral to negative on gigging on the whole, and I hope to complete the face myself out of life playing a few gigs a month in projects that I do for myself within the next five years or so.

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Funny, Sven, I was just thinking about how this keeps getting re-opened...11 pages worth...

Club/pub work is a double edged sword. It keeps your skills sharp, but wears down your soul. I recently took on two nights a week hosting a blues jam at 2 different venues, and as much as I like dealing with the public and performing, the fact that the 'leader' and I are not of the same mind as to how this works is a drain. I miss the total control aspect of solo work, and the collaborative team system with my regular band. Lord knows, the 'selfie' egotists are but the latest in a myriad of PITAs we as performers have to deal with. But music is intended to be shared, and for me, the best way to share it is with a live audience.

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"Sadly I know too many in this situation. And it isn't just musicians...road managers, soundguys, lighting guys.."

then i looked, daddymack, and saw how long ago the started.

 

I have not had time to look at 11 pages, I can imagine the stories here,

What caught my eye is I guess I am "older" and I am looking at things from the being over 50 viewpoint.

Never made money playing. Just in a few bands.

I went through a great period in my life where I wrote a lot of really really good songs and I was very creative.

I have to remember that was really special.

 

Life got in the way for the past 3 -4 years and I am trying to get to a place where I can come back to the joy and creativity music offered me when I was really making progress. What a good feeling it was. I was happy with my self and I was a nicer person.

It took me a long time (life time) to get that good, which is not very!

​ and then poof..had to stop because of life situations and I think I was bitter and resentful , and still am, that I couldn't do what I wanted to do, spend a lot of time playing and writing, I became "not me" ..what a sad person I was.. and I am not proud of that person I was when I was not playing..

So it is spring and a time to renew my art for my soul.

 

I just need to start doing it again, for myself , to keep me sane and happy to those around me...

 

IDK, just thinkin'

cheers

 

 

 

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oh yeah, daddy

i am looking through it all.. I am going to LA for a week (first time) and wondered if i should bring my acoustic...maybe I will get some inspiration? play on the beach? I have tickets to see Albert Lee! he is 70 and I heard that The Who are awesome in Philly and Daltry is 72.. The reporter who went was prepared to be disappointed because of their age and he was really surprised..pros' ... so there ya go..

 

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Salt air is bad for steel strings...

If you want to get inspired, the beach is okay, but the mountains above the beach are better...

 

Albert is amazing [and 70, gee..]...I met him in 1995 when we were both demoing at winter NAMM. Saw him there briefly this year, but it was just a nod and a 'hey, how are you....?'; you are in for a great experience seeing him play live...are you seeing him at McCabes? That is a great intimate venue, you will really be able to see and hear what he does.

 

Saw the Who a few years back [Hollywood Bowl], and they still put on a great show, but you can see what time has done to them [i saw them in the 70s and 80s]

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