Is live music dead?

aydee

Platinum Member
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Shocked to see how little great musicians play for these days.

Not shocked to see promoters prefer low cost/low hassle DJs

Amazed at the general disinterest in live music in a music club anywhere in the world.

Not amazed when I consider the number of choices one has to entertain/stimulate oneself in this here age that we live in.

There was a magic to witnessing a group of people making music together.

Has that been replaced by the iphone? selfies? Snapchats?

Interested to hear from all generations of music lovers



PS- RIP~ Mr. Live long & prosper

...
 

matt spaun

Member
In my opinion it was the smoking ban in pubs and clubs that sealed the fate of live music. I've been playing for 25 years and had some amazing gigs in public venues that were packed to the roof! when the ban came in it just died and many venues have been forced to close their doors.
To top it off the young generation of pub/club goers now couldn't give a crap about real musicians playing real instruments that just want to get wasted and have a fight... shame!
Don't get me wrong its not all like that and there are still some quality gigs to be had but its not the same.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Amazed at the general disinterest in live music in a music club anywhere in the world.
Not everywhere Abe. Good dedicated live music clubs still thrive, but there's less of them for sure. They can only really exist in major centres these days (e.g. Ronnie Scotts in London).

What I am seeing is an increasing move of musicians becoming promoters. Clearly from a position of desperation, or to claw back a degree of control, but such gigs are emerging, & they're generally fantastic. Yolanda Charles with her London based funk jams featuring uber players from around the world is one example I'm aware of. Would be great to see that kind of gig increase in proliferance for sure.

I'm visiting the USA soon, & spending a weekend with Larry. I'm hoping to catch some live music over the weekend, but then I move on to New Orleans. I'm really keen to soak up the music scene there for a few days :)
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
Id say no, not where i am.... Im making a living for me and fiance on nothing more than gigs, so many were taking bookings into next year. We appear to be an exception among friends of mine in bands but certainly not dead with us.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
In my opinion it was the smoking ban in pubs and clubs that sealed the fate of live music.
Interesting. Wonder if there are fewer smokers now in our smoke free world..from back in the day Im not sure. Exotic chemicals have replaced tobacco and have made a heck of a comeback, if you meant one needed to be put in the mood..

Not everywhere Abe. Good dedicated live music clubs still thrive, but there's less of them for sure. They can only really exist in major centres these days (e.g. Ronnie Scotts in London).

What I am seeing is an increasing move of musicians becoming promoters. Clearly from a position of desperation, or to claw back a degree of control, but such gigs are emerging, & they're generally fantastic. Yolanda Charles with her London based funk jams featuring uber players from around the world is one example I'm aware of. Would be great to see that kind of gig increase in proliferance for sure.

I'm visiting the USA soon, & spending a weekend with Larry. I'm hoping to catch some live music over the weekend, but then I move on to New Orleans. I'm really keen to soak up the music scene there for a few days :)
Andy, I know its around to some extent. My point is how many people go listen to it, and how much do these guys get paid? Hope you get a chance to go to NYC and catch a few.. New Orleans should be good!

Agreed that clubs are about DJs. But I still can see live music any night of the week for a short drive. Most of what I'm hearing lately is that live music is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. https://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/the-great-music-industry-power-shift/

The question is what share of revenue the musicians get, of course.
Thanks for the article. it is refreshing to learn that hopefully somewhere down the line, the person who makes the music will make the money. Not holding my breath though.. : ) For it to make money it must become a product, so that the businessmen can take over the wheel, at which point it stops being music. A vicious cycle..

All of this has happened before and will happen again.
Not sure if thats true. Music has always had patrons. The pharoahs, Popes, Kings, The Kennedy Center...

Id say no, not where i am.... Im making a living for me and fiance on nothing more than gigs, so many were taking bookings into next year. We appear to be an exception among friends of mine in bands but certainly not dead with us.
Man, it thrills my heart to hear this. More power to you.
 
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Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
One of these days my friend, I'm gonna be in your part of the world.......or you're gonna be in mine. And when that happens we're gonna grab a couple of pints, or fine reds, or Scotches, or anything else that tickles your fancy.......and we're gonna sit back and enjoy the efforts of a cracking band playing their absolute hearts out just for us. It is at that moment we'll both agree, that live music isn't in fact dead........it's just that on any given night, in any given venue, there's always a chance it may smell a bit funny!!
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
IMO, I think it is the arena grade equipment(especially guitar stacks) in the hands of amateurs and careless semi pros, that drove the audience to sit further and further away from the band. Furthermore, the classic quartet music with rock'n guitar is tired and ethno-centric.

Not to mention the prevalence of chain bars and restaurants.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I can find live music any weekend. I also think the economy more than smoking bans had to do with the decline since the majority of people today don't smoke.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
One of these days my friend, I'm gonna be in your part of the world.......or you're gonna be in mine. And when that happens we're gonna grab a couple of pints, or fine reds, or Scotches, or anything else that tickles your fancy.......and we're gonna sit back and enjoy the efforts of a cracking band playing their absolute hearts out just for us. It is at that moment we'll both agree, that live music isn't in fact dead........it's just that on any given night, in any given venue, there's always a chance it may smell a bit funny!!
How long have we been plotting this drink PFG? 5 years!!?

I hear what you are saying. I know us seekers of the Grail will eventually find ourselves a thirst quencher. Its still there but there's hardly anybody there, or listening.. its all a little grimey, yes smells funny too and the money is, well, .. 'disrespectful'.

Went to The Greenmill in Chicago last year after ages to hear a top flight jazz artist. It was just very sad.

My first trip to LA this winter. Heard this band at the Blue Whale - A well known downtown club- well known musicians on the jazz prog scene-

View attachment IMG_3845.MOV

Everything other than the music made me want to cry.

Maybe it isn't dead. Maybe its been exiled : )
 

aydee

Platinum Member
IMO, I think it is the arena grade equipment(especially guitar stacks) in the hands of amateurs and careless semi pros, that drove the audience to sit further and further away from the band. Furthermore, the classic quartet music with rock'n guitar is tired and ethno-centric.

Not to mention the prevalence of chain bars and restaurants.
Bingo! Agreed, amateurs have a hand in killing the scene for sure. Well organised set-lists, holding the audience in your spell whether you personally like the music or not - all thats kinda disappeared today.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
I think you might be on to something there.

Here on this island, we're blessed with a deep talent pool. For ~50,000 full-time residents, to have the kind of music scene we have is incredible. There are some world-class players here.

Very few of them can make a living from full-time gigging, and they're playing 6-7 days a week. I know of two, with a possible third. There's no more room for musicians making a living playing out on this island. Part of it is that there are a lot of amateurs playing out, anywhere from a couple times a month to a couple times a week.

Now, as for the pros, they're good players, but it's dinner music. Just a guy with a guitar, effects box with loop, and mic. It's not an ACT. Nobody has the sort of act that'll make you pay attention, unless (like one of the aforementioned full-time players) it's just too damned loud to do anything else. There's one full-time guy who has a bit of an act, where he does up-tempo, Caribbean-influenced covers of tunes like Get Lucky, but if you've seen it once you've seen it. It's OLD.

Everything else is pretty much amateur. Gifted amateurs, to be sure, and many present themselves in a professional manner, but they're still amateurs. Present company included! So it's damn tough to make a living making music here.

Still, you come down island and I'll find you live music any night of the week. And that's just the white expats! If you include reggae, soca, calypso, etc., we can hit two or three gigs a night.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Bingo! Agreed, amateurs have a hand in killing the scene for sure. Well organised set-lists, holding the audience in your spell whether you personally like the music or not - all thats kinda disappeared today.
I've been saying that for years.Younger players,with huge ego's to stroke,(Like 16 yo guitar "wizes" that go to guitar center and attempt to shred and amaze the whole place)will play for free....for the old,"you'll get exposure" line.Plenty of venue owners have a tin ear,and as long as there's a live band making noise,it's all good,especially if it's free.

But it's never free.There's a price,and expenses,that the band incures,with the cost of instruments,PA,transportation,rehersal space....the list goes on,and lets not forget the time it takes,to be able to play your instrument,at an acceptabe skill level.

When I was 15 or 16,I was in my first "serious" band.We played dances,parties ect,and we got paid 25-35 bucks a man.That's in late 60's early 70's bucks.

Open mic nights aside,if you're playing for free,you're cutting the throat of band that want's to play for a living.

Steve B
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
I totally agree Steve B.
The sad reality is that eventually, the guys playing for free will eventually come to the realization, ". We deserve to get paid a fair rate for what we do". The novelty will wear off, and unfortunately, they set the mold and another generation of wanna be's will be following in the path they created. As in any trade, it is too easy to drop your price, and really hard to get the price back up again. I see this happen in business all the time.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
What would happen if the economy was all of a sudden really great, for years, and people had cash to spend.

Would live music make a comeback?

Gosh I sure would like to think so.

Great to see you here Abe.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
I've been saying that for years.Younger players,with huge ego's to stroke,(Like 16 yo guitar "wizes" that go to guitar center and attempt to shred and amaze the whole place)will play for free....for the old,"you'll get exposure" line.Plenty of venue owners have a tin ear,and as long as there's a live band making noise,it's all good,especially if it's free.

But it's never free.There's a price,and expenses,that the band incures,with the cost of instruments,PA,transportation,rehersal space....the list goes on,and lets not forget the time it takes,to be able to play your instrument,at an acceptabe skill level.

When I was 15 or 16,I was in my first "serious" band.We played dances,parties ect,and we got paid 25-35 bucks a man.That's in late 60's early 70's bucks.

Open mic nights aside,if you're playing for free,you're cutting the throat of band that want's to play for a living.

Steve B
Yup ,the old dance gigs that paid for beer money and gas.
Unfortunately that went away to the DJ and the dance clubs.

As Frank Zappa used to say ,DJ's are to musicians as fire hydrants are to dogs.
 

pgm554

Platinum Member
...


Shocked to see how little great musicians play for these days.

Not shocked to see promoters prefer low cost/low hassle DJs

Amazed at the general disinterest in live music in a music club anywhere in the world.

Not amazed when I consider the number of choices one has to entertain/stimulate oneself in this here age that we live in.

There was a magic to witnessing a group of people making music together.

Has that been replaced by the iphone? selfies? Snapchats?

Interested to hear from all generations of music lovers



PS- RIP~ Mr. Live long & prosper

...
Did a fill in gig at a club in Newport Beach with a very big name sax player(let's just say he played for Chick Corea) doing jazz standards for $35 bucks back in the 80's.

It's always been kind of feast or famine depending upon the gig.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Did a fill in gig at a club in Newport Beach with a very big name sax player(let's just say he played for Chick Corea) doing jazz standards for $35 bucks back in the 80's.

It's always been kind of feast or famine depending upon the gig.
You played with Eric marienthal!! : ))
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
In my opinion it was the smoking ban in pubs and clubs that sealed the fate of live music. I've been playing for 25 years and had some amazing gigs in public venues that were packed to the roof! when the ban came in it just died and many venues have been forced to close their doors.
To top it off the young generation of pub/club goers now couldn't give a crap about real musicians playing real instruments that just want to get wasted and have a fight... shame!
Don't get me wrong its not all like that and there are still some quality gigs to be had but its not the same.
THis totally matches my experience playing in bar bands for 25ish years too. When people couldn't smoke in pubs anymore, pretty much attendance dropped about 50% in my area.
 
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