Gene Simmons Has It Right, And Then Some

So, Gene Simmons says Rock Is Dead: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/gene-simmons-future-of-rock

I think his points are right on target. Furthermore, I think live music isn’t too far behind. I recently ‘Left the Music Business’ and I’m not missing a thing. Naturally, I will continue to play, teach, and thoroughly enjoy music; probably more now than I have in the last fifteen years.

I don’t feel any pressure to learn or play anything specific. I don’t need to ‘Sell’ my teaching or my playing. If I get new students, great! However, it will be less likely for just any ol’ body to get or stay on my schedule. Regarding gigs, I don’t really need or want them unless they fit my new ‘Needs’; which I haven’t completely sorted yet.

Speaking of which, I was recently asked to play a cocktail hour for an event at a prestigious boarding school in my area. The event is an appreciation event for major donors. You know, rich white people. The person who called me seems to be a sweet person and has employed me previously. So, the final decision may not have been hers.

I was honored she remembered me at all.

The more I listened to what she envisioned for the event, the more I realized that I would not be able to provide her with what I, as a professional musician having played many events, some of which were a poor fit for my strengths, believed should be a Classical guitar performance.

Therefore, dear reader, I referred an acquiantance who has a Doctorate in Classical Guitar Performance because I believe that the event for major donors to a prestigious boarding school deserves my absolute best performance, even if my best is a referral of a fantastic classical musician. This man is a wonderful human being with a wife and daughter, a very moving performer, and he keeps getting bum referrals from me.

It’s embarrassing.

I requested that my acquaintance keep me posted on how the negotiations proceed and the news earlier today from Dr. Classical Guitarist was: “Unfortunately, ‘Prestigious School’ decided not to go with live music, but rather recorded music from a playlist.”

I’m guessing ‘…recorded music from a playlist.’ means MP3s from a stereo ipod into a mono speaker system. They may even go as far as an ipod dock I would imagine.  After all, these are major donors, likely alumni, who have donated thousands of dollars/hours/referrals and other valuable efforts and resources to the school because they love what it represents in their lives and the lives of others. Why should they have less than the best when their best is what they are giving to the school. The best of their lifetime efforts in many cases, I’m sure.

Why buy something if you can get it for free? Because it isn’t the same damn thing, that’s why.

-Justin

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4 thoughts on “Gene Simmons Has It Right, And Then Some”

  1. Interesting. Music business is changing. Sometimes I think it is best just to busk for the days meal.

    How have you been doing. Me, we are in typhoon #16 at this moment, just heavy rains and wind.

    Take care.

  2. 1. I didn’t realize you had left the music business.
    2. Yes, I’m crazy and do read your post when I have time.
    3. I agree with your post, but do you think it depends on the city or area or jonra? I’ve seen more live bands at weddings and more music festivals.
    4. What are you doing now?

    Good luck with your endeavors. You are one of the good guys.

    1. Virgil,

      1. Yep. Still playing and teaching a little, but I’m definitely out of the music ‘Business’. So, whatever happens, happens.

      2. That’s why we get along so well.

      3. Yes and no. Musicians everywhere playing anything deal with this problem. What I don’t understand is why people don’t just decide they only pay ‘So much…’ for all of the things they purchase. I’d really like to hear a story of someone telling AEP: “Nah, I think I’m just gonna offer you $100.”

      Evidently, you attend classy weddings and festivals.

      4. I sell insurance for Nationwide. Auto, Home, and Business/Commercial. Lemme hook you up. 🙂

      -Justin

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