Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Play music and lose money

Jerry Rasmussen 01 Jan 05 - 08:14 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM
Rapparee 01 Jan 05 - 08:29 PM
Peace 01 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,folkiefrank 01 Jan 05 - 08:43 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Jan 05 - 09:15 PM
GUEST 01 Jan 05 - 09:49 PM
Padre 01 Jan 05 - 11:37 PM
C-flat 02 Jan 05 - 05:52 AM
The Unicorn Man 02 Jan 05 - 06:27 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 05 - 07:01 AM
C-flat 02 Jan 05 - 07:22 AM
Leadfingers 02 Jan 05 - 07:32 AM
sixtieschick 02 Jan 05 - 03:36 PM
bigchuck 02 Jan 05 - 03:50 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 05 - 03:58 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Jan 05 - 04:06 PM
Mooh 02 Jan 05 - 04:38 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 04:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 05 - 05:06 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Jan 05 - 06:02 PM
Auggie 02 Jan 05 - 06:27 PM
The Villan 02 Jan 05 - 06:51 PM
DebC 02 Jan 05 - 06:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 05 - 06:58 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 07:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Jan 05 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 07:14 PM
Peace 02 Jan 05 - 07:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Jan 05 - 07:43 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 07:46 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 08:31 PM
Peace 02 Jan 05 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,punkfolkbrokerocker 02 Jan 05 - 09:17 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 10:48 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 06:26 AM
John P 03 Jan 05 - 08:38 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 08:52 AM
C-flat 03 Jan 05 - 09:11 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Jan 05 - 09:40 AM
Rapparee 03 Jan 05 - 09:57 AM
Mark Ross 03 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 03 Jan 05 - 12:49 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:14 PM

People ask me how long I'm going to keep playing music (folk and gospel.) I tell them "as long as I can afford to lose money." I didn't start out playing music to lose money, but it was easy to learn. If I really counted the travel expenses, meals on the road and strings, instruments, etc. and figured out how many times I play music as a gift, I'd really know just how much it costs to be a musician. Not how much it pays. Every once in awhile I stumble into a well paying gig, but more often than not the pay barely covers the cost of performing. That's why folk musicians sleep on the living room couch with the Cocker Spaniel, rather than staying at the cheapest local motel. Funny thing is, that's alright with me. Most coffee houses stay afloat because the organizers and friends of the series eat their own expenses of feeding and putting up musicians and making long distance calls that are never reimbursed. If they didn't, most coffee houses would fold pretty quickly.

To me, that doesn't make my music, or others "purer." It means that we do it out of love, though.

I kinda like that.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM

Seen on a bumper sticker:

REAL FOLKSINGERS HAVE DAY JOBS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:29 PM

See, Jerry, that's the problem with stringed instruments. They got parts that break easily. Now, if you played trumpet all you'd be out would be a bottle of valve oil every five years or so and an occassional piece of cork for the spit valve. See -- trumpet is more cost-effective than banjoes or guitars.

Of course, you can't sing and play at the same time. Whether or not this is a drawback depends upon the person on the mouthpiece.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Peace
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:42 PM

Jeeze Louise. This thread is just too true. However, I will point out to my good friends above that it's really only the fancy well-to-do folksingers who get the couch. That's hobnobbin' if y'ask me.

Bruce

PS I have played lotsa gigs for a place to saty and a few meals and maybe some travellin' money. Part of the deal, I guess.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST,folkiefrank
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 08:43 PM

Jerry, you have my utmost admiration....spoken like a true Troubador!
Power to your elbow my friend.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 09:15 PM

Used to play at the Fat Black Pussycat in Greenwich Village in the early 60's. One set for a hamburger and fries, two sets for a full meal. Plenty of musicians sang for their supper and were glad to get it.

Ever play there, brucie?

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 09:49 PM

Jerry,
We had a similar club in Morgantown, WV while I was in graduate school. 'The Last Resort" offered its performers a really good hamburger and a soda (no beer at the club itself) for each set you did. Between the burgers at TLR and my job delivering 'Phantom Pizza" (where we took home any not delivered by the time the dorms closed) and my $90 a month from the GI bill, plus the pathetic graduate assistant stipend, I managed to stay sheltered and fed, and kept new strings on my guitar (1942 Gibson J-35). But like Jerry, did it our of love for the music, and for the friends I made through the music.
Padre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Padre
Date: 01 Jan 05 - 11:37 PM

Sorry, needed to reset cookie

Padre


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:52 AM

I consider myself a hobby musician these days and I've long come to terms with the cost of playing paid gigs. Some of the best musicians I know, and I'm taking about guys that have been draughted into headline bands for foreign tours, spend the majority of their year scratching a living, waiting for the phone to ring!
As a hobby, it beats just about any other. After all, I could spend a fortune on fishing equipment and sit at the edge of a river until I was good-looking, but no-one is ever going to come up and shake my hand, thank me for the pleasure I've given them and buy me a pint afterwards!
If you've ever had the good fortune to find yourself in a well managed venue, playing to a receptive audience and experienced that "moment" when you know you've connected in some way with the audience, then, like me, you'll know why you continue to turn out on all those other nights in the year to perform in a small bar in the back-of-beyond for next to nothing.
If we didn't love it we wouldn't do it.

C-flat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: The Unicorn Man
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:27 AM

When I was in "The Acoustic Dudes" We went to The Robinhoods Bay Folk Festival. One night on the way back to the camp site, in the pitch black darkness, we came across some people who were trying to find the camp site, they were going on about playing in bands in London for only a tenner each and thought they were hard done by. When they heard we were from Bedfordshire, they said how much are you getting paid. We said "Nothing we do it for LOVE man" He was not only impressed by our commitment but I think a bit jealous as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:01 AM

I can see the TV commercial now.

It opens with a man coming on screen saying "Have you always wanted to play guitar? Well, now your dreams can come true." Then it pans to a young man hunched over a guitar sitting on a small wooden platform in a church basement playing Blowin' In The Wind. There are a dozen people sitting on the edge of their folding chairs, singing along, mesmerized by the moment. Then the announcer says, "You could be this folk singer. With my revolutionary new instructional DVDS, you can learn to play guitar in six easy lessons. Just think of it! You could be driving hundreds of miles to play for next to nothing to a crowd of as many as 50 people. And with the finest accomodations and food. Sleep on some of the finest sofas in the country and Super Size your Big Mac. Best of all, In a couple of months, you can start losing money, which you'll find a big help as a deduction when next April 15th rolls around!" Pan back to the folk singer receiving enthusiastic applause. "Why wait any longer? Be for you know it, you could be traveling the country, losing money like this folk singer."

Of course, I'd be the folksinger in the commercial.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: C-flat
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:22 AM

I used to play in a blues band which would borrow its horn section from various members of a local big-band-jazz oufit.
On one occassion a well known tenor-sax player turned up and announced that he was the stand-in for our regular player.
It turned out that his gig in Germany with "M-People" had cancelled and, as he said himself, he would rather come out and play for a tenner that stop home.
The same guy recently played for Elton John in Brussels!

C-flat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:32 AM

Its the same all over - I started by doing floor spots in clubs to either get in free or pay a reduced admission fee , which eventually lead to the occasional paid club gig . A brief sojourn working abroad in the seventies actually put a few pounds in the bank ,most of which went on improving my instrumentation . This meant that when I had the
opportunity to do a few gigs with 'Jobbing pro' musicians , I had at least got decent equipment . Having taken early retirement from the day job , I can now either 'exist' on the pittance pension , or carry on gigging ,which at least means I can run a car and buy a drink now and then . OH Yes ! And carry on supporting the Folk Club scene which
was where I learned most of my stuff .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: sixtieschick
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 03:36 PM

"Would You Like to Play the Guitar?"
Sung to the tune of "Would You Like to Swing on a Star?"
New lyrics by Pat Donohue

Would you like to play the guitar
Carry money home in a jar
From a coffeehouse or a bar
Or would you rather get a job?

A job is the thing that makes you get out of bed
And work every day until you're dead
Your back is achin and your brain is numb
And you just can't wait until the weekend comes
But if you don't want to starve or beg or rob
You're gonna have to get a job.

Or would you like to play the guitar
Drive for miles and miles in your car
And pretend that you're a big star
Or would you rather book the gig?

The agent's the guy who takes his twenty percent
What he says isn't always what he meant
He'll clean you out in ways you never thought
Because he's good at business and he knows you're not
And then he'll sue if you ever make it big
Cause he's the guy who booked the gig.

Or would you like to play the guitar
For a living ~ hardee-har-har
I'll admit it's kind of bizarre
Or would you rather be the wife?

The wife is the one who has to rescue our butts
She's either a saint or else she's nuts
She gets impatient and she gets annoyed
Cause she's the one who must remain employed
And by the way if you want to wreck your life
Become a gittar player's wife!

Cause all the monkeys aren't in the zoo
They can be trained to play guitar too
Some do a whole lot better than you
But even if you don't go far
You could be worse off than you are
At least you're playing your guitar!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: bigchuck
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 03:50 PM

Oh come, come people. T'aint as bad as all that. Why I myself made literally tens of dollars last year as a folk singer and fully expect to do so in this new year of our Lord 2005. Even got fed a couple of times as well as paid.

Sandy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 03:58 PM

There was a line among folkies who were recorded for the Prestige label, back in the 60's. They said, I recorded for prestige, but I'd rather record for money. The Holy Modal Rounders were among others that Prestige recorded back in those days. My friend Luke Faust was recorded, too, but they never released the album.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 04:06 PM

I like to tell people that from playing guitar (and the last few years, banjo) and singing folksongs for 54 years I've earned about $120 overall.

However, I keep looking over my shoulder, because any time now the people who prosecuted Enron and other like businesses for overstating their bottom line will come after me, because that $120 figure is only reached by creatively ignoring various expenses.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 04:38 PM

I drifted towards instruction because that's where the money is. For a middle aged fart like me it's easier than club and pub gigs. I still play out a few times per month (not including church stuff), but nothing like as frequent or as long as I once did in the pre disco, karioke, and dj dance days. Back then there was decent money in it too.

Fundraisers, nursing homes, and community gigs seem to outnumber the better paying weddings, coffee houses and whatnot these days. One band pracices four times as much as it plays out, but it's fun and we don't hate each other.

Without the instruction income I'd starve to death gigging in rural Ontario, but I actually make a living so gigging is a bonus. Besides, this way it never becomes drudgery and I never resent it.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 04:49 PM

Ah, so this is the remedy thread to famous folk singers and wealth?

After all, it's terribly noble to be creative and "just get by for the love of the music" at the expense of everyone around you, just so you don't have to be accountable to anyone or anything but your folk muse.

And how many wives have you gents gone through to remain true to the music?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 05:06 PM

My, my. A Rude Guest. If you even bothered to read the postings in this thread, you'd see that almost everyone who has posted has NOT tried to make a living playing folk music and has NOT lived off the wifey's income, or at anyone's expense. You are right, however. When you aren't trying to make a living off music, you indeed are not acountable to anyone but your muse. Got nothing to do with purity. I for one, supported my family with a full-time job and played the music because I loved it. And as someone on here said, there is nothing like the connection you make every once in awhile when you are performing. That's the payment, and it's a fine one.

Making a positive connection with other people is highly recommended. Try it, you'll like it.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:02 PM

GUEST (or one of them) said:

And how many wives have you gents gone through to remain true to the music?

I don't know about the future, but I'm still working on the one I acquired 41 years ago.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Auggie
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:27 PM

Great song SixtiesChick. I gotta learn those lyrics. Of course, if I do it in public, just to be true to the song's sentiments, I'll be sure not to give Pat Donohue any royalty money (nor Jimmy VanHeusen either).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: The Villan
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:51 PM

Blimey you guys make me feel very guilty.
I started my Folk Club 9 months ago, and just about break even. I can't afford to pay big amounts.
Overall I like to think that I provide a platform for serious artists to perform on stage and show 30 paying people each time what they are made of. The rest are artists who don't pay.
I have a 45 minute floorspot most times and about 5 main guests each year.
I now have a fixed rate that I pay for a 45 minute floorspot which is £40 and a guaranteed amount for main guests with % above that. All other artist play for nowt.
I pay for the hire of the room.
I don't charge for my time or my family, and never would, and I have to say that I put a lot of time into it..
Any money made on each night goes back into the coffers to pay for loss nights.

I always feel guilty that I can't pay each artists what they are worth.

Having said that, the club seems to be very popular among the artists and public.

Question
Should I stop doing it because I am really taking the livelyhood away from very good artists.

or

Do I carry on in the same way I do, with the belief that we all get a lot of pleasure from it and it would be sad if we stopped.

I suppose I am the same as the artists doing it for love and trying to keep the folk scene going.

Just thought I would throw the club organisers viewpoint in as well. We aren't all money making gits.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: DebC
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:58 PM

Read Mike Agranoff's story here
regarding the Pat Donahue parody.

Deb Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 06:58 PM

Villan: No, you are not the villan of the peice. It is because of wonderful people like you that folk music exists. Even if the crowds are often small and the pay is poor, the performer gets the recognition and the pleasure of that connection with the audience. People who run concert series don't get enough recognition for what they do. I ran a concert series for 27 years and enjoyed it all. And, I'd have to say that the regulars were very, very appreciative of all I did. I'm sure that your regulars and the performers feel the same way about you.

Now, you could start a thread that was titled, Present music and lose money. But then, money isn't what it's about. It's all of us pulling together to keep a form of music alive that we all love. It's a humbling profession, but a wonderful, extremely rewarding one too. Perhaps the greatest reward is meeting people like you, Villan.

I doubt that I'll ever cross paths with you, but I thank you for what you're doing..

Jerry

(Don't feel guilty... take pride in what you are doing..)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:04 PM

Or (gasp!) how about a thread titled "Play music & earn a decent living"?

Oh right. That isn't what the music is about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:10 PM

I don't know what to make of this thread. I sort of sympathise. But you HAVE to look deeper into your situation if you want to make a living from all this nonsense.

First of all, I'd rather be somebody who writes songs and plays guitar than someone who doesn't.

So now you have to decide, is this a private neurosis - or am I going to perform this music.

If you are going to perform. there two possible scenarios. Your music is in demand. And if so, the laws of supply and demand should see you all right.

The second scenario is this. the music doesn't make money, or sometimes it does but not consistently enough to have all the normal things that your family is entitled to expect you to provide.

The key to this situation is that you are a performer. Whereas most sane men would shrivel up and die if they had to get onstage and sing - you have this odd little aberrant chip in your brain, which says Jaysus I LOVE this!

there are always places that want performers - not necessarily folksingers - but its definitely the performing gene God has given you which is your salvation - rather than a late 20th century fashion for folktunes.

You have skills and you have aptitudes which are uncommon and marketable. cheer up! Some poor bastards haven't.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:14 PM

BTW, the "how many wives" crack referred to the song lyric posted by sixtieschick.

It reminds me of the joke that goes "What do you call a musician who just broke up with his girlfriend/wife?"

There is absolutely nothing wrong with aiming for the heavens, and dreaming big, especially if you are young, and have a lot of talent and drive to succeed, and I don't mean merely on financial terms. I mean on artistic terms. In terms of being successful in your intimate relationships, being present in them especially--not just the paycheck/breadwinner, the rest of the work f being in relationship be damned. In terms of being a successful ambassador for whatever type of music it is you play. Being a successful, contributing member of your community locally and globally. And once you are in the position to do so, giving back generously by bringing other musicians and humans along as a mentor and teacher, neither of which need be done formally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:17 PM

How about that, GUEST? Maybe you could tell us all about YOUR successes in music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:43 PM

This thread, by the way is NOT Titled "How come I can't make a good living making folk music?" If you want a thread like that it could also be "How Come I Can't Make A Good Living playing jazz/classical music/opera/blues. Very few musicians make a good living just playing music. Even the finest, like Dave Van Ronk taught lessons to keep a steady income. See how good a living Eminem is making when he plays the Starlight Lounge at a Howard Johnsons in another twenty years to the Walker Set. It's only a small handful who shine brightly enough (commercially) to really make a good living, playing any kind of music.. especially folk music. Tal Farlow.. perhaps the most brilliant of all American jazz guitarists worked as a sign painter.

Bringing up the whole issue of whether you can support a family comfortably just confuses the issue.

What else would you expect from a Guest?

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 07:46 PM

C Flat - was the guy in question Snake Davis by any chance? I can just imagine him being happy to play music he loves for a tenner!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:31 PM

"Bringing up the whole issue of whether you can support a family comfortably just confuses the issue."

Really? How so?

I don't think this is an academic argument for the people who have decided to take some very big risks, and quit the day job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Peace
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:41 PM

Vincent van Gogh did not sell a single painting during his life.

Just a little piece of trivia there for anyone who's interested.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST,punkfolkbrokerocker
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:17 PM

thanks.. i am really enjoying this thread..

sixtieschick,.. that song lyric you posted is still cracking me up..!!

though after my wife read it..
well, she just seems to be cracking up..???

when i was 14 or 15
my main motivation for getting into music
was to skive of rugby and PT at school..
and GIRLS..

guess what..
30 years later.. i got a good hard working wife out of all this..
still have'nt a clue why most men enjoy football..
and have probably netted no more than £15 out of music in the last 10 years..

what..????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:48 PM

I don't think this is an academic argument for the people who have decided to take some very big risks, and quit the day job.

Not Guest's business either.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 06:26 AM

I once heard a musician described as a man who spends all day phoning to arrange gigs and all night playing to pay his phone bill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: John P
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:38 AM

Q: How do you make a million dollars playing folk music?
A: Well, you start with two million dollars . . .

Q: What's the definition of a successful folk musician?
A: One whose spouse has TWO jobs.

Seriously, playing music got a lot more fun when I stopped worrying about whether or not I was making any money at it. I don't have to take gigs that don't look like fun. I can play any music I like without worrying about whether or not I can sell it. I can not play any music I don't like, even if I could make more money by playing it. I have a day job that I like a lot and that allows me do to things like take the cat to the vet without worrying about how much it costs. I'm fulfilling some philosophical goal of my own about folk singers being part of their local community, and about the concept of "full time professional touring traditional folk musician" being a bit oxymoronic.

Still, I rarely play for free. I like to make CDs, and that costs money, and I'd like the music income to cover that at least.

John Peekstok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:52 AM

So, you want your cake, to eat your cake, and to sit back and pass judgment on people who have made different choices about how to pursue their love of the music, then?

I am of course referring to your choice of the word "oxymoronic" to describe singer-songwriter/folk/trad/world/roots musicians who choose to quit their day jobs, and make a run for a life as a professional musician.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: C-flat
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:11 AM

C Flat - was the guy in question Snake Davis by any chance? I can just imagine him being happy to play music he loves for a tenner!

Guest of 7.46,
It wasn't Snake Davis, although Snake did accompany him as part of Eltons' horn section in Brussels. It was Mick Donelly, another great sax player!

C-flat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:40 AM

And if you haven't gotten the knack of losing money, start a group. Then you can divide the pay four ways (or five or six.)

None of this is stated as a complaint, though. I love being in a group, and in terms of straight enjoyment and musical and spiritual reward, it pays four times as much. Now, when I perform on my own, I really miss having the guys in my group with me.

Just to put some perspective on all of this, I never set out to make it "Big" in the music world. And man, did I succeed! I had no desire to be a full-time musician, and realized early on that I didn't have the talent to make it "Big." From the beginning, I was just happy to have a chance to entertain people. I've never lost that, and that's enough "payment" for me. I actually like the "pay."
I don't think anyone is averse to getting paid well (so scotch the image of folk musicians being too pure to make good money.) It's just not necessary for those of us who consider music an avocation.

In recent years, most of the places where I play music are senior centers, nursing homes and churches. Occasionally, I get paid what I'd call an honorarium. Gas money and a Big Mac. Rarely, my quartet will get a good paying job... got paid $600 to do a half hour program on spirituals at a private school a couple of years ago, and we often get paid at churches when they take up a "love" collection. But even then, the pay is modest, and split four ways isn't much.

The whole point is, there are other ways to make money. I had a wonderful job that payed well, so I could afford to play just for the pleasure of sharing the music. I know that most of the people in the Cat are the same.

A few years ago, I made an off-hand comment to someone and it got passed around for awhile.

"In folk music, there is no such thing as a career move."

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:57 AM

I've never been tempted to go pro, primarily because I'm not good enough on the trumpet. And yet...I'm still playing when two others, who were far better than I am and who played for years, have quit.

While I've been told that when I'm serious about singing I have a good voice, I've never been tempted in that area either.

Perhaps it's like fencing or chess or photography or riflery or cooking -- if I love something enough to be the best I can be at it I feel that it would be a prostitution to compete in it. Yeah, a free donation is nice, but!

Of course, I also love my job (98% of the time).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: Mark Ross
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM

As Blind Erik Flatpick(otherwise known as Erik Frandsen) used to say,
"By the time I make a million dollars, they'll have a coin for it!"

Money is not the point. My 1st pro gig was back in the Dark Ages, playing for 5 bucks a night and a beer and a sandwich, opening and MC'ing for Brownie & Sonny at Gerde's Folk City. I was glad to get the money and honored to be introducing them every night. Working the basket houses back then I was lucky to get about the same, minus the free beer and food. I would just like to make enough these days to keep the wolf from my door, although sometimes I think that paying bills can be highly overrated.


Mark Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:28 AM

Playing for money, to me, isn't the equivalent of choosing music as your profession.

A lot of people play for money, make and sell CDs (more now than ever before), and none of that is what I consider being a "professional musician". To me, a professional musician is someone who makes their living from music, not from accounting (which is what Paddy Maloney of the Chieftains did for a decade or so before the Chieftains went pro) or some such.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Play music and lose money
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:49 PM

As Bob Franke said in a song once:

As long as sentimental super-salesmen make it big and tell it wrong,
I will make it small and tell it right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 October 6:46 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.