The more I learn...

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by jbylake, Jun 10, 2021 at 4:43 AM.

  1. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Like a lot of young dummies, such as myself, who pictured himself in front of 50,000 adoring fans, wild women, wild parties, fame and fortune, none of it ever materialized. I didn't make the cut.

    Looking back, I don't regret that for a minute.

    Nearly everything bad, and I'm talking big time touring bands, seemed to happen to so many of them many of them to some degree. Major screw overs by the industry, infighting, internal politics, drug and alcohol addictions, even deaths and suicides because of band related issues (many drug and alcohol related).

    Then there's this old saying, "one day you're in a limo, and the next day you can't pay for a cab", the high life comes to and abrupt end. For one reason or another.

    I know this doesn't apply to all "big bands". But it does apply to many. A lot get out alive, their self-esteem intact, and a bank vault full of cash, and a lot wiser for it all, and some still eek out a living playing in front of fewer than a thousand people instead of 30,000 folks at county fairs, etc.

    I'm not speaking from experience, obviously. Mostly bio's, news, books, magazines internet etc, is where I'm getting my info from. And I've read way too many of the same stories, just the bands names are different. And that the music industry can be brutal.

    I'm glad I didn't "make the cut". Small clubs for gas money and free beer, would suit me just fine.
     
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  2. runningonempty

    runningonempty Strat-Talker

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    i’m glad i didn’t get into showbiz because good chance in this day and age i would have found myself on the wrong end of one of these woke witch hunts and “cancelled”.
     
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  3. Slyy

    Slyy Strat-Talker

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    Agree with OP. Small clubs, fairs, weddings have all been fine for me. For some reason I was more level headed than most and wanted a "real" career when I was young. Of course, it shows in my guitar playing, but I'm perfectly happy being a mediocre weekend warrior guitarist. ;)
     
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  4. bbarott

    bbarott Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's a really dirty business, and at the end of the day it's just that, a business. Gas money and beer works for me. I'm in it for the laffs, and of course the tunes.

    ETA: Hat's off to those who 'made it' and for all that, kept themselves intact and stayed straight-up guys. Guys like Billy Gibbons, Greg Lake, etc. Couldn't have been easy.
    b.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 7:21 AM
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  5. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Most Honored Senior Member

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    If ya can make it ...great !
    I play cuz I gotta
    Ain't no money to be made by me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 7:25 AM
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  6. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    some guitar player's kid said - ever notice when we go to musician's houses they have pictures of their friends and other stars but when we go to producers and managers houses they have picasso's and rembrandt's paintings?

    i would want to make an earworm one hit wonder, you open a few tours and go away as fast as you hit the scene and then collect earworm in the mail box money and be done.
     
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  7. TepidPilot

    TepidPilot Strat-O-Master

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    The more I learn the less I know.

    TP
     
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  8. Dibbs

    Dibbs Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm not going to say I'm completely untalented, but my natural skills are less than stellar, compared to some of the guys I grew up with. A handful of those folks had true talent. I got a little burnt out, on performances, and performing, during High School Band. I decided, from that point on, that when it comes to a show, I'd rather be a ticket holding member of the audience.

    Now, I'm retired, and just play for personal enjoyment. If it ever turns into something else, and I get talked into doing any performing, it will be with the understanding that I will walk away, when the thrill is gone. Because, IME, that whole "working musician " schtick is wayyy over-rated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 9:14 AM
  9. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Most Honored Senior Member

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    And, possibly more importantly, the more you "know" the less you learn.
     
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  10. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music.

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    There are different levels of "making it".

    If you mean strictly arenas, thats pretty much what the books get written about. And, since they wanna sell books they gotta talk about the dirt.

    I have friends and aquaintances that were able to make a living at music, be it gigging at a smaller level and teaching, or being a copyist on broadway.

    I have one acquaintance who was a roadie for some huge names. He lived a fairly humble life when he retired but, Id say average.

    I have a guitar player friend who is a reasonably big name in blues circles and I think he is doing ok, but definitely has ups and downs, especially during pandemic.

    I have another friend from high school who tours with a medium/ household name and he is a regular suburb guy with a family.

    Bass player in my band has been thru the wringer but eventually landed a job as a middle school music teacher and just retired.

    My guitar teacher from the 80s got signed and started touring and I only saw him once since then. He is a jazz player and pretty smart. I think he likely avoided a lot of the pitfalls of the industry. He still tours with his wife, which is how I'd wanna do it if I could.

    As for myself, I think I always had an inflated idea of how good I was and, in reality, I simply wasn't good enough. Thankfully, I think I dodged a bullet. Well it wasn't even close but, you know what I mean.
     
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  11. GhostJam47

    GhostJam47 Strat-Talk Member

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    If I was rich and famous in my 20s, I never would have had the time or privacy to get my **** together. It probably would not have ended well.

    Sitting at my remote white collar, chatting with you fools on the side, and noodling (mediocrely) on my guitars during lunch break is about the best possible outcome there was.
     
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  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Yep.

    I didn't start making coin until I got stuff in film and TV. Still make money off of that.

    Live gigs payed peanuts...recording contracts payed the advance and that's about it....

    I retired at 50. Thanks to my royalties.;)
     
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  13. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    I retired at 39, thanks to the military and U.S. taxpayers.. Then pursued another career and retired from that world also. So my "royalties" from both keep me afloat, and my career choices kept me on the (pretty much) straight and narrow.

    One thing I should have mentioned was the fame and fortune aspect. The fortune part, well I wouldn't have minded that too much, but I would hate the fact that I couldn't duck into a Burger King for a sandwich without 10 people wanting to meet me. I don't see how big celebrities handle that. Rock Stars, Movie Stars or what ever.
     
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  14. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's not the kinda life the timid should live.

    I have a good friend whose co-written a top ten hit and another one of the most popular songs of all time in addition to producing two platinum selling albums.

    One thing he told me that's stuck with me is this; "the music industry eats it's young".
     
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  15. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Strat-O-Master

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    I've always been happy in a cover band playing what I want, when I want.

    When I was first learning to play my best friend was farther along and in an original band. They would practice the same 11-12 songs 2-3 times a week every week in hopes that if they ever got to play in front of people it would go smoothly. That's always been my idea of hell. I think of The Stones playing for multiple decades and if they don't play their signature songs every show someone loses their mind.

    Though I have written a few songs it's not something I've tried to cultivate.

    All I want to do is play guitar with my buddies and sometimes make friends playing guitar.

    If I get to do that in front of other people, then that's just icing on the cake.

    I guess I can also add that it didn't take long for me to realize that guitars themselves were the obsession for me and music is what you do with them. It's probably hard to reach the highest heights when you really don't care about it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 7:23 PM
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  16. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    It's always been a hobby for me, one that waxes and wanes in importance, and at 60, that's all it'll ever be. A fun hobby though.
     
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  17. stratfanGB

    stratfanGB Strat-Talker

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    Just the touring would kill me. A different city and different hotel every night. (Or the same bus) On the road for half the year, then into the studio to produce a better album than the last one. Then back to touring the new album.

    No thanks!

    No quality of life there!
     
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  18. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    What Mr. @fezz parka said...

    from my perspective, being a sideguy was excitement enough. No glitz or glamor. No wild nights of reckless abandon. But a steady income without the responsibilities had a significant attraction.

    I had one highlight though; flying home following a show late one night to get married ...and then playing the local blues festival on my wedding night because spouse was on call...

    As for the people in their finest lined up at the stage door...? They'd be lined up night after night and ...
    I wouldn't.
     
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  19. cranky

    cranky Senior Stratmaster

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    Which musicians has this happened to?
     
  20. Sixstringer107

    Sixstringer107 Strat-Talker

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    Advice from B.C.

     
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