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Motivational Message


Johnny-Boy

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Of course, we don't really know how Elvis sounded that day, but I think the guy who told him to keep his day job was following a best practice and giving the best generalized advice one can. Most folks should keep the day job. Even really talented folks.

 

 

That doesn't mean Elvis -- or whoever is receiving the advice -- absolutely has to follow it.

 

Those who are really compelled to have a working life in the music business will make that move when their time is ready, no matter what.

 

But I've seen the trajectory of the give-it-everything-you've-got-over-and-over-until-you're-empty folks -- and I've seen how hard it is for them to even play or see music when they finally give up.

 

 

It was easier for me, since I didn't start to play, sing, or write music until I was about 20... by the time I had any vague sort of chops under me, I knew enough about the music biz to be very wary.

 

Freelancing as an engineer/producer for the better part of a decade turned that wariness into contempt.

 

I had to walk away from the music biz to save my love of music -- and I think I owe the fact that I'm still writing, recording, and, every once in a great while performing in public, to that hard-won self-knowledge.

 

I have a lot of other friends who just can't bring themselves to pick up a guitar or sit down at a piano or pick up that trumpet -- even though it was all they did for years.

 

I'm glad I stepped back before I got sucked dry.

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Interesting slant on the subject Blue.

 

Success in this business is kind of like a slot machine. One keeps putting quarters in and thinking the next pull on the handle will be the jackpot. Just one more quarter, then I'm out of here - funny, that last quarter never seems to end.

 

Of course, one can be a winner, without hitting the big prize - I guess that sums of my career. Not everyone requires an entire slice of the pie, some people like me are waiting for the crumbs to drop on the floor.

 

I'm the "crumb collector".:lol:

 

John:eekphil:

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Success in this business is kind of like a slot machine. One keeps putting quarters in and thinking the next pull on the handle will be the jackpot. Just one more quarter, then I'm out of here - funny, that last quarter never seems to end.

 

I'm just in it for the cheap watered down drinks and being able to ogle overweight senior citizens in sweat pants while working on my repetitive stress/carpal tunnel syndrome injuries. ;)

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Well... there are two kinds of musicians you meet in the industry.

 

Folks who came up on their own, typically in bands, sometimes as solos.

 

And folks who are typically the product of some sort of formal training -- often conservatory or music-trade-tech.

 

The former group are usually the folks who drive the industry creatively -- but they're also the people most often taken advantage of, unethically exploited, cheated, and abused.

 

They tend to be the naive, idealisitic rubes that the industry makes much of its daily bread off of.

 

Because -- let's face it -- there are two main parts of the music business: the label/distribution/performance sector where those with salable output are exploited to the fullest extent possible -- and the service/trade/supply sector where those with big dreams, little chance of success, but fat paychecks or allowances that can be drained by studios, tradespeople, and, of course, music stores, are exploited to the fullest extent possible.

 

 

It was only after I got involved in commercial recording that I got to know regular working musicians, usually union guys, often in show or corporate bands, or in touring support bands. Those guys are wised up... I don't usually worry about those guys. At least not until they get to be about fifty or so and hauling those Marshall stacks or Fender Rhodes around to those ever-thinning gigs gets kind of tiring...

 

One of my pals -- a guy who played for years with Ray Charles and even soloed with the Atalanta Symphony at a special RC concert where it was just him, Ray, the Raylettes and the Atlanta Symphony -- just completed a job-retraining program so he could become a long-haul trucker. He's in his fifties. He put thirty plus years into some very high end gigs and now he's driving long haul. Last time I saw him, it was the most contented he'd been in many years.

 

 

Music -- it's a tough biz.

 

I'd rather keep my day job and keep my love of music.

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My own experience is kind of what blue2blue was saying. I've been playing music since the fourth grade. I played sax all through school and switched to guitar when I was 18. I played in 2 original bands with 60% of the same lineup from 18 to 25 trying to build a following and get something going. I wan finally so burned out on the scene and the flaky musicians that I put music down completely for 4 years. Then I started jamming casually with friends about 4 years ago and got the bug again. Now I'm fully invested again in music but I have no desire or need to try and make it. I like to write and record at home and I'm trying to put a new band together that may or may not play shows. Music feeds my soul and since I have a pretty good day job it doesn't have to feed the family.

 

The best thing about a good day job is that you have more money for gear. :thu:

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