Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Can You Go Even ONE Day Without It?

Earlier today, on Facebook, I shared a post that a friend had shared from another site. It was called "An Open Letter To Venues That Exploit Their Musicians", and it sparked a rather heated discussion on his post. I want to say thank you to Justin Stevens for sharing the link. I had read this post before, but lost the link before I was able to respond to it. Now, if you'll humor me, I'm gonna climb up on my soapbox for just a little bit.

One of the comments went like this:
"Live music is not in demand like it used to be and as a result club owners are underpaying musicians because the live acts aren't bringing enough revenue to the bar to justify paying them very much. And while the club owners don't need the bands, it's the opposite for the musicians. They still need the club owners. As a result, bands get paid next to nothing, don't get paid at all, or even have pay to play. It is what it is."
 I have highlighted the part that I'm most troubled with. Yes, in and of itself, this statement is fairly true. Club owners don't need the bands, but they do need the music, which requires a band to create and play, be it live or in the studio. You just can't snap your fingers and create good music. Trust me, I've been trying for years. Just as a doctor must train and practice for years to save lives, a musician must work, and work hard, to get to the level of competency needed to create a good melody or write a catchy hook, and the person doing the work should be properly compensated. Period.

As a working musician, I am lucky in the fact that am able to do what I do on a daily basis, but let me tell you, when you see me on the stage "having fun and doing what I love to do," know that I have worked for decades to get to that level, tried (and failed) numerous numerous "shortcuts," and have finally found my niche in music. Most people turn their noses when I say we're a blues band, but everyone that comes out has a great time, and most come up at the end of the night just to say, "I thought you were a blues band. I didn't hear any blues." Yes, you did. All night long.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post: can you go even one day without music? I'm in the mood to try a social experiment. I challenge each and every one of you to try to go just one day with no music. Don't turn on the radio, don't watch TV (because it's saturated with music), don't sit on hold on the telephone. No music whatsoever. Then, after your day is over, come back here and leave a comment describing your day without. Tell me how it worked out for you, and don't hold back! If you want to cuss me for asking you to do this, go right ahead. I know what I'm asking and am prepared for the consequences. :-) Myself, I have tried this already, so I know what to expect.