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  #81  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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Chunkaway Chunkaway is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Like I said, it's a different mindset when you're not on salary or hourly W2 pay.

Here's an example:
Your day job salary check is the same every week/month/how ever often you get it. Whatever happens, you know you made $x.

Now, a band calls you for a gig. The gig is near your home. The venues will have a nice quality kit set up, so you only need to bring your sticks. The pay is $50.
You take it.

The band says, "wow, we like you, we have another gig for you, it also pays $50". Ok, but then you find out the 2nd gig is a 2-hour drive each way, and you have to bring all your own gear, and you realize you need a snare drum head before the gig.

When you're driving home from the 2nd gig, do you really feel like "I just made $50"?
I mean, I hear you and I understand what you are saying, but I do think I can draw a parallel with teaching.

My wife and I lived and worked (both teachers) in the DC area many years ago. We worked for Fairfax County Public Schools which has something like 50+ elementary schools. With traffic in the metro area and on the beltway, it can easily take more than an hour to get to work/get home.

The first year we both worked fairly close to our home- about a 5 minute commute from our home on the east end of the district. The next year, my wife was transferred - not her choice - to a school at the most westerly side of the district. Her commute went from 5 minutes to over an hour - each way. Of course, her pay did not change because of the change in commute. She had no ability to negotiate for a raise to offset the commute. She had to take the hour commute or quit the job. It seems to me that at least private contractors (such as freelance drummers) can negotiate a raise in such situations. The employer may say no, but they may say yes. A teacher has no such option.
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  #82  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:18 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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The first year we both worked fairly close to our home- about a 5 minute commute from our home on the east end of the district. The next year, my wife was transferred - not her choice - to a school at the most westerly side of the district. Her commute went from 5 minutes to over an hour - each way. Of course, her pay did not change because of the change in commute. She had no ability to negotiate for a raise to offset the commute. She had to take the hour commute or quit the job. It seems to me that at least private contractors (such as freelance drummers) can negotiate a raise in such situations. The employer may say no, but they may say yes. A teacher has no such option.
An hour isn't too uncommon for a work commute, but if it's a real expense one should be able to get something back in the form of reduced taxes. I do.

As a teaher myself there are differences. You make more if you work for the county instead of the municipality. How well you are covered and how much someone is willing to pay for courses etc.. differs a lot. Unless you work at a university, it's also generally a lot lower than most official jobs. Says something about how much the common man cares about the arts, which in many ways opens the music is free debate. Same thing, really.

With gigging there will always be a difference between public orchestral jobs that follow specific rules, big name artists where you can negotiatie if you name is worth it and small town gigs where there should be a minimum in regards to the work you put in, but sometimes the money just isn't there.

Being self eployed has it's perks, though. You can write off anything that has any relation to your work on your taxes and that generally adds up to quite a bit. I can live on my public job. What I make on my own is generally all spent on music gear and I always get a bit back.
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  #83  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:19 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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That's another aspect of how musical gigs differ from traditional employment norms: scheduled reviews aren't guaranteed for freelance musicians.

The money thing for musicians goes something like this:

1) There's no pay scale that can be used as a reference.
2) There could be a pay raise at some point in time - perhaps none at all - assuming future employment is offered.
3) Take it or leave it.

So true.. And f you argue it, there is most likely another drummer willing to step up and take your spot in most situations.
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  #84  
Old 12-07-2018, 09:13 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

I think its a similar scenario in athletics, there is always someone who owns the team and stadium.

I think it is amazing how much this person can make a difference. I've been watching the Clippers, and Ballmer seems to be putting together a team and drumming up enthusiasm, really well for being a so so software manager with no hops.
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  #85  
Old 12-08-2018, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by Chunkaway View Post
I mean, I hear you and I understand what you are saying, but I do think I can draw a parallel with teaching.

My wife and I lived and worked (both teachers) in the DC area many years ago. We worked for Fairfax County Public Schools which has something like 50+ elementary schools. With traffic in the metro area and on the beltway, it can easily take more than an hour to get to work/get home.

The first year we both worked fairly close to our home- about a 5 minute commute from our home on the east end of the district. The next year, my wife was transferred - not her choice - to a school at the most westerly side of the district. Her commute went from 5 minutes to over an hour - each way. Of course, her pay did not change because of the change in commute. She had no ability to negotiate for a raise to offset the commute. She had to take the hour commute or quit the job. It seems to me that at least private contractors (such as freelance drummers) can negotiate a raise in such situations. The employer may say no, but they may say yes. A teacher has no such option.
yes and no.

Chances are the tour ends, and the drummer is just out of a job regardless.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, one of my former teachers was playing with a big name artist, and they kept cutting his pay. Another buddy was on a paid tour with a band, he woke up one morning, and the bandleader decided to cut the tour short, and handed him his ticket home.

There is a great interview with Jason Sutter on "I'd Hit That" podcast where he talks about he was out with Foreigner, and at the end of one leg, he was told someone else was taking the next leg.

Mike Bordin was fired from Ozzy for no particular reason. Actually, many people have been fired from Ozzy's band for no particular reason.

Or watch the movie "Hired Gun" and see how many drummers and other sidemen get let go for no reason.

A teacher may not have many options, but they tend to have job security (at least to an extent, though how much is another topic). If you're independent, you have none. Zip, zero. The next day is not guaranteed.

I personally never more than a few days of work booked at any given time. Many Monday's I wake up with nothing on my calendar and zero idea how I'm going to make any money to pay the bills. Thankfully, the phone eventually rings, and I can breathe a sigh of relief.
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  #86  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:32 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by beyondbetrayal View Post
So true.. And f you argue it, there is most likely another drummer willing to step up and take your spot in most situations.
That's true, probably for 99% of the gigs out there. Very few musicians are so talented or integral to a band, that they couldn't be replaced if desired or necessary, or if they got too uppity or self-important. But for the artist/band, I'm not sure that it's a monetary choice as much as a personality or performance issue. That is, I don't think artists are sitting around trying to save $100 or even $1000 in an effort to save money, while possibly sacrificing the quality of the band. Paying less is a choice they would have made from the start anyway, and not something that suddenly occurs to them mid-career. At least, I've never heard of anyone being let go because it dawned on someone that they were getting paid too much.

And really, is anybody getting paid too much?

Bermuda
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  #87  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:35 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by Chunkaway View Post
I mean, I hear you and I understand what you are saying, but I do think I can draw a parallel with teaching.

My wife and I lived and worked (both teachers) in the DC area many years ago. We worked for Fairfax County Public Schools which has something like 50+ elementary schools. With traffic in the metro area and on the beltway, it can easily take more than an hour to get to work/get home.

The first year we both worked fairly close to our home- about a 5 minute commute from our home on the east end of the district. The next year, my wife was transferred - not her choice - to a school at the most westerly side of the district. Her commute went from 5 minutes to over an hour - each way. Of course, her pay did not change because of the change in commute. She had no ability to negotiate for a raise to offset the commute. She had to take the hour commute or quit the job. It seems to me that at least private contractors (such as freelance drummers) can negotiate a raise in such situations. The employer may say no, but they may say yes. A teacher has no such option.
Its weird how suck tail jobs can be so stable. In that big system of schools they couldn't have transferred someone closer. One of her supervisors wanted her to spend all of that time in the car.
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  #88  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Mike Bordin was fired from Ozzy for no particular reason. Actually, many people have been fired from Ozzy's band for no particular reason.
And yet another way that being a freelance musician differs from traditional employment: there are no policies regarding termination.

If a player is suddenly no longer a "good fit" (whatever that means to the people in charge...) they can be let go with no warnings, no notice, no severance pay, and no recourse.

Bermuda
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  #89  
Old 12-08-2018, 03:17 AM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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If a player is suddenly no longer a "good fit" (whatever that means to the people in charge...) they can be let go with no warnings, no notice, no severance pay, and no recourse.
That isn't true. At least not if everyone involved is a member of the AFM. I was booked on a big tour and then was told I would be replaced after three weeks on the road. I contacted the AFM and they got me my pay for the two weeks left on the tour. Before getting my money back, the band asked if I would rejoin the band a couple weeks later for more shows. I told them I would only consider it if they paid me what they owed me. After the AFM got me my dough, I never played with that band again.
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  #90  
Old 12-08-2018, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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That isn't true. At least not if everyone involved is a member of the AFM. I was booked on a big tour and then was told I would be replaced after three weeks on the road. I contacted the AFM and they got me my pay for the two weeks left on the tour. Before getting my money back, the band asked if I would rejoin the band a couple weeks later for more shows. I told them I would only consider it if they paid me what they owed me. After the AFM got me my dough, I never played with that band again.
On the one hand, I get it. The AFM is there to make sure you don't get screwed. But in entertainment, it's so personal, that even if you fight and win what you're supposed to get, people will talk about you and the word will get around. I've seen it enough. It's almost better in that instance to agree to being let go and act as if there are no hard feelings. You say you've never worked with that band again, and that's fair. But those guys probably aren't keeping your name in their particular hat, either. And this business is all about the contacts.

I'm not saying to let yourself get screwed at all times, but maybe balance what to fight for and what not to fight for? In my union (IATSE), they're quite a bit more powerful than the AFM, and things are just handled more professionally upfront, but even there I know guys who file grievances and fight for everything that they don't agree with. Consequently, that's why those guys have that reputation and if they ever lost their steady full-time IATSE gig, they'd probably never be able to work a regular union call again.

But then, I don't know about your whole situation, so I could be really far off-base. But then again....
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  #91  
Old 12-08-2018, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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That isn't true. At least not if everyone involved is a member of the AFM.
The union will step in for members doing non-union tour dates?? I wasn't aware of that. Almost every live date (and every tour) I've done has been non-union. Then again, I've never been fired from a working group or otherwise filed a complaint.

Bermuda
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  #92  
Old 12-08-2018, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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On the one hand, I get it. The AFM is there to make sure you don't get screwed. But in entertainment, it's so personal, that even if you fight and win what you're supposed to get, people will talk about you and the word will get around. I've seen it enough. It's almost better in that instance to agree to being let go and act as if there are no hard feelings. You say you've never worked with that band again, and that's fair. But those guys probably aren't keeping your name in their particular hat, either. And this business is all about the contacts.

I'm not saying to let yourself get screwed at all times, but maybe balance what to fight for and what not to fight for? In my union (IATSE), they're quite a bit more powerful than the AFM, and things are just handled more professionally upfront, but even there I know guys who file grievances and fight for everything that they don't agree with. Consequently, that's why those guys have that reputation and if they ever lost their steady full-time IATSE gig, they'd probably never be able to work a regular union call again.

But then, I don't know about your whole situation, so I could be really far off-base. But then again....
Bo, youíre a smart dude, but thatís TERRIBLE advice. Please reconsider it.
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  #93  
Old 12-08-2018, 02:56 PM
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Chunkaway Chunkaway is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Its weird how suck tail jobs can be so stable. In that big system of schools they couldn't have transferred someone closer. One of her supervisors wanted her to spend all of that time in the car.
My wife was a reading specialist, with specific training for working with struggling readers. The district didn't have many people (maybe 2 or 3 at that time) who had her specific training/experience. Her direct boss didn't want her to leave, but the district admin wanted someone with her training in this specific school. My wife was the last hired, so she was the first moved. I don't think the district admin had any idea of the impact it would have on our family. We wound up moving to another state - part of the reason being the issue with commute time impacting our quality of life.
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  #94  
Old 12-08-2018, 05:13 PM
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Bo, youíre a smart dude, but thatís TERRIBLE advice. Please reconsider it.
Perhaps. But I donít think we have the entire story on that matter anyway, so itís difficult to give advice, just speculation. But as Bermuda pointed out as well, the AFM wonít fight for non-AFM gigs, so itís hard to figure what the story would be about. I was just commenting on basic human nature: people fight for stuff, and people remember to judge if that was a good move or not. Just as is the case here with my ďadviceĒ.
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  #95  
Old 12-08-2018, 06:01 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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And yet another way that being a freelance musician differs from traditional employment: there are no policies regarding termination.

If a player is suddenly no longer a "good fit" (whatever that means to the people in charge...) they can be let go with no warnings, no notice, no severance pay, and no recourse.

Bermuda
One reason why I love that both of my bands have day jobs and do this for fun. We make enough to fund the band, get CD's pressed, record, merch etc. But there isn't pressure having people need to rely on this for their mortgage. also our style of music doesn't pay too well haha.

We are friends first and it would take quite a bit to not be a "good fit". Once this becomes a day job, it would be more like employees and co workers. It's tough to keep people as both when money is on the line. I have been in one of my bands for 13 years and the other for about 12.


When it does work out however, you get to play with your friends for 35+ years AND make money ;)
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  #96  
Old 12-08-2018, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Perhaps. But I donít think we have the entire story on that matter anyway, so itís difficult to give advice, just speculation. But as Bermuda pointed out as well, the AFM wonít fight for non-AFM gigs, so itís hard to figure what the story would be about. I was just commenting on basic human nature: people fight for stuff, and people remember to judge if that was a good move or not. Just as is the case here with my ďadviceĒ.
Iím not saying ďplay nice with othersĒ is always bad advice. But a band thatís so toxic that theyíd stiff you on pay after firing you in the middle of a tour, then ask you to play a few more gigs a few weeks later, has no credibility with anyone. Their badmouthing means nothing in the larger context.

But I agree, maybe weíre not getting the whole story.
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  #97  
Old 12-08-2018, 11:51 PM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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On the one hand, I get it. The AFM is there to make sure you don't get screwed. But in entertainment, it's so personal, that even if you fight and win what you're supposed to get, people will talk about you and the word will get around. I've seen it enough. It's almost better in that instance to agree to being let go and act as if there are no hard feelings. You say you've never worked with that band again, and that's fair. But those guys probably aren't keeping your name in their particular hat, either.
Again, incorrect sir. The only talk that would get around is that the band doesn't keep their word, or their commitments. Standing up for yourself is never wrong, if you're in the right. As for the musicians in that band, I did work with several afterwards, and they all were very supportive. After all, the same thing could happen to them. The leader even apologized to me when I saw him at a fundraiser a few years later.

Life is short. There is no point in taking crap from anyone. It will just lead to more crap.
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  #98  
Old 12-08-2018, 11:54 PM
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The union will step in for members doing non-union tour dates?? I wasn't aware of that. Almost every live date (and every tour) I've done has been non-union.
If you work non union gigs, you have no recourse for anything, unless you draft your own contracts and hire your own lawyers. Plus, if you're in the AFM, you're not supposed to be working non union gigs.

If musicians all supported each other and only worked union gigs, things would be very, very different. Alas, musicians only think of themselves and are cut-throat mercenaries for the most part. I'm not pointing fingers, after all, I can't say that I only worked union gigs.

And I don't buy the argument that it would lead to the end of live music.
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  #99  
Old 12-09-2018, 12:18 AM
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Again, incorrect sir. The only talk that would get around is that the band doesn't keep their word, or their commitments. Standing up for yourself is never wrong, if you're in the right. As for the musicians in that band, I did work with several afterwards, and they all were very supportive. After all, the same thing could happen to them. The leader even apologized to me when I saw him at a fundraiser a few years later.

Life is short. There is no point in taking crap from anyone. It will just lead to more crap.
Honestly, the best thing you can do in the long run is tell EVERYBODY even remotely related to the music industry that you come across about it, for many years. That guy desperately deserves to have his reputation permanently trashed, in my opinion.
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  #100  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

I wonder what Jimmy Nicol made filling in for Ring a few days
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  #101  
Old 12-10-2018, 02:32 AM
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I wonder what Jimmy Nicol made filling in for Ring a few days
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When Brian talked of money in front of them, I got very, very nervous. They paid me £2,500 per gig and a £2,500 signing bonus. Now, that floored me. When John spoke up in a protest by saying 'Good God, Brian, you'll make the chap crazy!' I thought it was over. But no sooner had he said that when he said, 'Give him £10,000!' Everyone laughed and I felt a hell of a lot better. That night I couldn't sleep a wink. I was a fucking Beatle!
https://www.beatlesbible.com/people/jimmie-nicol/2/
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  #102  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:47 PM
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And yet another way that being a freelance musician differs from traditional employment: there are no policies regarding termination.

If a player is suddenly no longer a "good fit" (whatever that means to the people in charge...) they can be let go with no warnings, no notice, no severance pay, and no recourse.

Bermuda
Bermuda, just curious

Now one can do pretty much every financial transaction with their phone. Back in the day, how did traveling musicians handle such? Did you get a weekly check on the road? Would you wire, mail the check home to someone handling payments, bills? Were any musicians paid by cash? I've read old stories on how Tom Parker would go to a back room after an Elvis show with cases full of cash from the arena and from merchandise to divide up payment obligations.

I bet it would be difficult to maintain a residence while away on a long tour
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  #103  
Old 12-12-2018, 06:29 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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I'm entirely out of touch, on purpose - I don't watch TV, don't listen to the radio, and stopped reading most Internet sites/Facebook, for my own mental health - so maybe I'm 100% wrong about this. But even when I was still doing some/most of that stuff, it seemed to me that the idea of "the talented musician" is long dead.

I can't think of the last big-name guitarist, pianist, drummer, anything. Maybe John Mayer?

It's just frontmen/women. Short-lived, flash-in-the-pan frontmen/women doing auto-tune-assisted performances over a studio track.

Note that some of this can be blamed on living in Florida ... I swear every time I take an Uber I have to listen to "I'm in Love With Your Body" or "Despacito".

And before I get 100 comments saying they still exist, yes I know they still exist and you can find bands.

But I mean in the big sense, like a Stewart Copeland or Eric Clapton where everybody knows their name and that they're amazing at their instrument ... it just doesn't seem to exist anymore. And if society isn't still recognizing and celebrating musical talent like that, why would anyone be making tons of money for their musical talent?
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  #104  
Old 12-12-2018, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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I'm entirely out of touch, on purpose - I don't watch TV, don't listen to the radio, and stopped reading most Internet sites/Facebook, for my own mental health - so maybe I'm 100% wrong about this. But even when I was still doing some/most of that stuff, it seemed to me that the idea of "the talented musician" is long dead.

I can't think of the last big-name guitarist, pianist, drummer, anything. Maybe John Mayer?

It's just frontmen/women. Short-lived, flash-in-the-pan frontmen/women doing auto-tune-assisted performances over a studio track.

Note that some of this can be blamed on living in Florida ... I swear every time I take an Uber I have to listen to "I'm in Love With Your Body" or "Despacito".

And before I get 100 comments saying they still exist, yes I know they still exist and you can find bands.

But I mean in the big sense, like a Stewart Copeland or Eric Clapton where everybody knows their name and that they're amazing at their instrument ... it just doesn't seem to exist anymore. And if society isn't still recognizing and celebrating musical talent like that, why would anyone be making tons of money for their musical talent?
I can relate to what you say. I'm out of touch with what's currently popular. I think it's just a natural progression for most. However I'm pretty sure the younger generations still have their heros...people like you and I probably miss it.

Regarding mainstream music, an analogy is, music is like food. If you don't like what's being served, there's plenty of good food in other restaurants. Today we have to seek the other restaurants out.

When I was much younger, you could not avoid great music. My opinion of course, like my Dad's opinion regarding his generation of music. Plus there is imprinting. That's powerful.

People mature with life experience, and their ideas and tastes in music change as a result.

I applaud the people who keep current with mainstream stuff and what's trending. To me that's like eating raw liver and I could not do it. I look in the past, to the people who give/gave me inspiration.

There are great artists now, there always will be. Bruno Mars for example. Lady Gaga. All the glitz and lightshows and pyrotechnics, and choreographed dancers all work against endearing me to the live performances you see these days.

But there is artistry.

I think perhaps it's the format of the music that repels me, because it overpowers the artistry.

The smooth pop, yuck. It's like drinking pancake syrup. I can't get on board with Hip Hop, Praise music leaves me flat, today's Country is really country flavored pop rocks, even the new R&B/Soul doesn't grab me. Blues is gone.

Jazz survives intact lol. No click in jazz is there? How curious. I'm sure someone will step up and correct me there.

In my mind, the bar is so low musically, instead of high jumping, we have to limbo. Ton of exceptions as always. I'm only referring to what's on the big radio stations compared to 40-50 years ago, from my limited perspective.

If I could boil it down, I'd say that the click track and auto tune killed today's popular music for me personally. It took the human-ness right out of it for me, and replaced it with machinery and cheapness and total compromise for money before artistry.

Shame on them for pissing all over a great thing. It was inevitable, but still sad. Race to zero.

So I look to pre-digital for my fix. Kind of black and white, but there it is.
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Last edited by larryace; 12-12-2018 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:25 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by DaleClark View Post
Now one can do pretty much every financial transaction with their phone. Back in the day, how did traveling musicians handle such?...

I bet it would be difficult to maintain a residence while away on a long tour
This is a good topic for its own thread, will start that and give my answer.

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Old 12-12-2018, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Is this statement about 'hired guns' kinda true or not..?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I can relate to what you say. I'm out of touch with what's currently popular. I think it's just a natural progression for most. However I'm pretty sure the younger generations still have their heros...people like you and I probably miss it.
Yeah, definitely. And I don't hang out with kids except the younger people at work, who never seem to talk about music (just movies, TV shows, and games). I would just imagine if the 'instrument hero' was still a thing you'd still see it ... right now the only real music heroes are singers, with about a billion different TV singing contests.

I don't want to drag too far off the point - I was mainly mentioning this as a reason why musicians aren't paid that well - but thinking about it, it seems kind of inevitable. Think about before The Beatles. Very few people played non-classical instruments or formed bands or sang. Then kids saw The Beatles on Sullivan and factories went into overdrive making instruments and there were tons of bands .... obviously it's not just The Beatles, but we've all heard the stories about Ludwig's sales booming the day after they were on TV, etc.

So we had a long period where being a musician wasn't a profitable or 'respectable' or even really viable life most people thought about. Then a brief period where it was the fashion and it got super huge and we had household-name drummers and guitarists and all that, and big tours and concerts ... and now it's kind of back down to earth.

Might be instructive to look at classical music, because that peaked hundreds of years ago and the musicians who play that today mostly do so out of love. Very few of them make it big, are a known name, or make any money. Most of them teach on the side to put food on the table (I've always halfheartedly joked that music is a pyramid scheme).
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