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Everything posted by Notes_Norton

  1. I can't count the number of times we were told "You guys are great! We can't wait to have you back." Sometimes we never come back, sometimes in a couple of years, some times we find the same person working elsewhere and asking for us. It's just part of the gig. If I go and see another band I'll go up to the person who ignored us this time around with a big smile on my face, extend my hand and say something like "Hi! How are you doing?" and never let him/her know I feel slighted, and I might even ask how the festival is going this year or whatever. I don't take the slights personally anymore. Some people just feel that variety is important and that people want something different next time. Sometimes a committee makes the decisions. Sometimes favors are needed to be handed out. On the other hand, we have people who have hired us every year for over 25 years now. You just have to do your best at every gig you get, and keep in contact with the promoter, but not too often (which is a hard thing to judge). Insights and incites by Notes
  2. My wife and I own the band, we even trademarked the name. We make all the decisions, profit from the good ones, hopefully learn from the bad ones, get all the income and pay all the bills. I make all our backing tracks, we play all the live instruments, we do all the singing, pay Uncle Sam taxes on our profits, and other than crumbs from a couple of agencies, we do all the booking. It's like our own little mom & pop type small business. We are not wage slaves in some faceless corporation, we are basically two of the shrinking breed of free people in this country. Notes
  3. I didn't know about your wife's accident. I do hope she heals quickly and completely. Notes
  4. There are things on the sax that are easier than the guitar, and other things on the sax that are harder than the guitar. It seems every instrument I've learned has it's easier and harder than other features. Notes
  5. I care not about Dusty's sexual orientation, but I think she was an excellent singer with good control and taste. Some songs just work better with a sax, others with guitar, others with trumpet. Here is an example of an Elvis Presley song that my older sister had on an album that I dearly love. The sax solo is by Boots Randolph and IMHO is one of the all-time best Rock/Blues sax solos on record. I don't care for Boots Randolph on his own albums, but I understand you have to do what pays the mortgage. As a session player for something like this it's superb. The recording was obviously done live with all players playing at the same time, and you can hear them musically interacting with each other. Everybody's performance on this track is excellent. The sax comes in at about 1:32 I play sax, wind synth, flute, guitar, bass, drums, keys and vocals, so I am not saying a guitar couldn't do this better because I'm biased, it's because the vox humana of the sax is exactly what is needed in this cut. When I was a little kid, this is one song that made me want to play sax. This is why I love saxophone #1. Insights and incites by Notes
  6. I love the saxophone, it's my primary instrument. But whoever did this solo IMHO did not play with appropriate expression to compliment either Dusty or the arrangement. I've heard inappropriate sax, guitar, piano, synth, organ, trumpet and just about anything else solos. If it were me, I would have played it on tenor so as not to compete with Dusty's excellent vocals, I would have not used those inappropriate pitch bends (scoops), I would have matched Dusty's expression to start the solo and then perhaps gently drifted off to slightly different phrasing. Or else, I might have started with Dusty's phrasing on the melody and then drifted off to what I hope would be appropriate, minimalist, improvisations with a lot of air space. When you aren't the "star" of the record or song, your job is to do your best to support the star, and too many musicians would rather compete, disregard or outshine. But, every performance can't be our best one. Insights and incites by Notes Why I love the saxophone, here is another bossa nova [video=youtube;0-vlX8uRLMQ]
  7. Sorry. Due to extensive editing before I posted, it ended up saying exactly the opposite of what I meant. Sometimes things get past my inner proofreader. No, the person doing a short quote should not be punished. That's what I meant. Notes
  8. I'm betting that Rachmaninoff will be remembered long after Eric Carmen will be forgotten. Growing up playing commercial music but having an ear in both jazz and classical, quotes are a sign of homage. Dvorak even quoted Beethoven's 9 in Dvorak's 9. So many jazz improvisations contain quotes from other jazz or pop songs. If the quote or borrowing doesn't affect the income of the original, the copyright should not go in favor of the person doing the quoting. Blurred Lines did not take one penny of sales away from Marvin Gaye's estate. Katy Perry's song did not take a penny away from Flame. They have corrupted the reason for copyright law in the first place. But that's what we do in America. Insights and incites by Notes
  9. I dearly love symphonies, especially the dark, brooding ones by the Eastern Europeans and Russians (Dovrak, Suk, Smetena, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, etc.) I also prefer them from Romantic era to present day. For me music starts with Eroica. I've heard most of the world's most famous symphony orchestras as they toured the USA and also many of them in their homeland. It's one of my blisses, and luckily my wife feels the same way. We even planned our visit to the Czech Republic to coincide with the Czech Philharmonic playing Suk's "Asrael", a piece never played here in South Florida, and it was grand!!! You can't see us in the audience, but we were there https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFoFxa7Hc04 Once someone puts words to an instrumental piece of music of any kind, it's hard to hear the music without the words. But often when I hear new music, I don't hear the words as words, but just as articulation. I'm too busy listening to the music and what all the instruments are playing and how they relate to the whole to be concerned with what the singer is singing about. I'm weird that way. I guess if you are going to steal, steal from one of the masters.
  10. I go to classical music concerts, and I especially like romantic to modern era Eastern European and Russian composers. Eric ruined Rach 2 for me, I won't buy tickets unless something else I want to hear that isn't commonly performed (like Shostakovitch #4) is also on the bill. Yes, a special place in hell, stuck in an elevator, listening to a sappy 101 strings version of his "All By Myself" over and over and over and over ad infinitum Notes
  11. Oh the tambourine days. Thanks for reminding me. I guess we should steal from the classics. Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne" uses the melody of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture The Moody Blues lifted a passage from "Capriccio Italien" in "Question" (and did a great job) Zeppelin quoted Holst's "Mars" from "The Planets" Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" borrows heavily from a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto Elvis Presley's "It's Now Or Never" is "O Sole Mio" with different words Freddy Mercury took Leoncavallo's "Vesti La Giubba" and used the melody in "Its A Hard Life" Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale" uses Bach's "Air On A G String" and his "Orchestral Suite #3" Barry Manilow lifted Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor" for Could It Be Magic (and gave Chopin shared writers credits - WTG Barry) Chopin's "Prelude #4 in Em" found it's way into Radiohead's "Exit Music for a Film" "Because" by The Beatles is part of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played backwards And this is just a sampling. The composers are dead over 75 years, so if you borrow from them, and someone in between sues you, you can refer to the source and say you stole from something in PD. Notes
  12. In 1960 Chubby Checker sang a song written by Kal Mannn called Twistin' U.S.A. It was a lot like "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry. It was covered by Danny And The Juniors and Others. Nobody seemed to notice. Then in 1963 Brian Wilson adapted it and with his fellow Beach Boys and Wrecking Crew released "Surfin' U.S.A.". In the meantime Chuck Berry got out of jail and recognized it as similar to his "Sweet Little Sixteen" and settled out of court. Since 1966 both Brian Wilson and Chuck Berry are listed as songwriters. I believe it was settled out of court. BTW, Chuck Berry has been quoted as saying he loved "Surfing' U.S.A." and should as he got part of the royalties and recognized it was homage. Notes
  13. I think I'll copyright the quarter rest. (Crotchet rest for my UK friends). I'm gonna be rich if I can get away with it. This has gotten way out of hand. That 2 second sample did not hurt Kraftwerk's profits one European cent. And isn't protection of monetization of your creative work the real reason for copyright law? Notes
  14. My main instrument is saxophone - not much interest in safe-sax in folk music. I don't do much writing, and what I do is write parodies, which are fair us items. I mostly play cover songs to an appreciative audience in places that pay their ASCAP dues. I do care about fairness though, Ms.Perry is being sued by a Christian band. To me this is out and out theft. But as I've often said, "It's a lot easier to call yourself a Christian than to act Christ-Like." And when I was in "religious instructions" we were told to always try to act Christ-Like. Insights and incites by Notes
  15. I think to protect ourselves, we should dig up public domain examples of the chords, scale fragments, and so forth of the music we write. Then we can say the person suing us and ourselves are both plagiarizing a public domain work so no money should be awarded. Notes
  16. So what gets me is this: If I invent a 100% effective cure for cancer, I get 20 years patent protection. If I write a trite song with one chord, a catchy rhythm, and minimal melody I can get 90 years copyright protection. That seems a little weird. I think the 28 year with one renewal for a copyright is fair. Or make it 25 with one renewal as long as the renewal is easy to do. I also think if an influenced work doesn't compete with or reduce the profit potential of the original, it should be OK. Example: Blurred Lines did not take any money away from Marvin Gaye's heirs. I don't think you should be able to sell your copyright. It must stay with the creator(s) And I think it should be that if the copyright holder dies before the term is up, the heirs cannot renew it. But nobody who makes any laws is interested in my opinion. I don't have enough corporate funds for a tacit bribe to any lawmakers. Insights and incites by Notes
  17. I see you've already done this - congratulations. Here's my take anyway. I've done a dozen or so. As always, be nice to everybody. If you are in a lounge, away from the gambling, think "show band". Talk, joke, do whatever is comfortable to interact with the audience. If you are out on the floor where the machines and tables are, even if you are in a bar-type nook, keep the volume down, and don't talk on the mic more than necessary. If you have songs about winning, that helps. Think sonic wallpaper. Just my opinion: Don't gamble. The house always wins. How do you think they pay you, all the help, and the building and furnishings. You got the gig to make money. Besides, if you simply casually drop a coin into a slot machine (yes I know they don't take coins anymore - it's a figure of speech), it pays off, and someone next to you is losing, they might think the game is rigged to let employees win. They can complain to management and depending on the manager, you might not be back. Insights and incites by Notes
  18. I wake up in the morning, go to bed at night and in between do what I want to do. I'm a success. I've made my living doing music and nothing but music most of my life. Got close to that record deal and spent a year or two being the opening act for headliners in concert. The deal fell through because the label didn't want to pay, but that's OK. I'm in a duo with my wife. She is a great singer and plays guitar and synth. I play sax, wind synth, guitar, bass, drums, keys and make our own backing tracks. We have a great time playing music for our audiences, and at the end of the night they give us money. (How cool is that!!!) I started my own business making aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and sell them to musicians in over 100 different countries. A few times here and overseas I've walked into music stores and when they asked my name and I responded they asked if I was THE Bob Norton. That's a nice ego boost. I'm not a wage slave to some faceless corporation, I have no boss telling me what to do either. I profit by my good decisions and hopefully learn from the bad ones. I'm living my life on my own terms. The mortgage is paid, I take vacations every year and have been to every continent but Antarctica, I'm healthy, happy and gigging with my wife/best-friend/lover. AJ6, it sounds like you are successful too.
  19. Fantasy is reality when you are in the entertainment business, Voltan In fact, to escape from fantasy, we read non-fiction books. Notes
  20. There is one particular yacht club that I've been playing at a couple of times per year for a number of years now. They never applause, they never react except for a little dancing after dinner. We do zero banter unless the management wants us to make an announcement or if someone wants a happy birthday. The dinner set we run at about 65dba and after dinner around 80. The first time we played there, we figured they didn't like us and we'd never be back. But as they passed the stage on the way out we got thumbs up, smiles, and thank you comments. When we were done the ones that stayed thanked us for a wonderful evening. Years later, it's still the same. We're used to it, and look forward to returning. Every gig is different, and that is part of what makes this profession interesting. Notes
  21. With the help of Jim Quinn I am in the new SSS. I'm not leaving here, but added there. More is better. Notes
  22. When I gigged on the cruise ships the crowd turned over every week, so we could do the same shtick over and over and over, week after week. It was a good way to find out what worked consistently and what worked only occasionally. Notes
  23. Got the registration letter today, clicked the link and it was expired. I'll try again. Patience and persistence might be needed. Notes
  24. Well, I tried yesterday. Filled in the registration information, waited for the confirmation letter - it never arrived (yes I checked the spam folder). So I tried logging in today and got this message: The email for this account has not yet been verified. Let me know if that gets fixed, and I'll try again. Notes
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