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Author Topic: Is music your day job?  (Read 3259 times)
Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« on: February 05, 2006, 12:03:35 AM »

So i'm kind of getting the impression that i'll forever be a hope follower. A person living on a silly dream. A kid. A loser. A simple person not with the big old picture. I can see myself, 35, still talking about music as if I have a chance.

Did you give up your dreams as you aged?

Did you stick with them and become something?

Did you fail with it?

Did you join the grind of the worker, facing anonymity for your whole life?

Was it lonely?

Did you feel scared?

Did you understand your purpose in life better after having discarded the dream?

The dream is over, what can I say?
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006, 06:39:42 AM »

Keepitasahobby
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al
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2006, 11:11:53 AM »

Ah. this one struck a chord. I was in a band through most of the 80's, started out as some fun at college, we got better and stayed together and became pretty damn good. We had a chance but after 8 years it hadn't happened. Girlfriends wanted their other halfs to make something of their lives...it ended. Contemporaries of ours made it to an extent, some are still around.

I got various jobs, and as a result of spending 8 years in a band I started a long way behind.

Is it easy to stop? You know when it's time.

In the arts - no matter if you are a writer, an artist or a musician, only some people  - maybe 1% at most - get somewhere - its probably more like 1% of 1%. Is that fair? No, but why should it be, nothing else in life is.

If you have a dream stick with it as long as you can. If it is up to you and you alone and you still have faith keep going. You only have one life, you don't get marks for a good try.

On the other hand be realistic. If you haven't made it after years trying look at why.

In retrospect our vocals were never strong enough and we were too busy being deliberately obtuse. You can't blame an audience for not following you when you keep ripping up the path. Having said that if you just give them what they want you will never create anything new for them to differentiate you from everyone else.

What can I say - it is hell. I have a friend who is a writer. He has a published novel which was made into a BBC radio and TV series. He has written several Radio 4 comedy series, one of which was also adapted by the BBC for a TV series which ran for two seasons. He earns a fraction of what I do (and I do NOT have a decent job) and has had to go home to live with his dad as he can't afford to even rent a flat, let alone buy one. And in our parlance he has MADE IT!

There is nothing wrong with anonymity - you can still be happy, content, have good relationships etc without success in rock n roll - in fact that can only make it harder.

If you think you need to make music for a living (as your life) then nothing I say or do will stop you.

You will know if you have to stop.

Good Luck!
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Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006, 12:27:10 PM »

Great post.

....

I just feel incapable of leading an average life right now. Not that I think i'm better or worse than anyone else but just because I don't "get it". None of that stuff makes the slightest bit of sense to me. I only have 70 or so years to live if I'm lucky, why do I want to waste that short time working all day?

I don't actually think it's that I want to spend my life as a working musician or in some music field. It's more related to the fact that i'm very, very, confused about life. I see my step-sister returning home from work at 11pm only to go straight to bed and rise for the next day of work. Surely she can get no thinking in during that day, for she's always busy. I'd crack under that amount of pressure within minutes.

Where the lazy teen breaks off into the moocher is an obvious point. I suppose it's quite okay to spend one's early/mid teen years slumming around the house playing music, hoping for a future with it. But as this person starts to age, it's easy to see them doing the same in many years time.

I've made a ton of bad mistakes in my teen years. I should've started school and signed up for all the sport teams, should've been less of a know-it-all with myself and humble down to other opinions.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 12:54:16 PM by HeroesandVillains » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006, 01:41:03 PM »

If you want to make music your career then do it 100%. At least try. Don't sit around thinking about instead. If you need to get a job to finance that work out what you need to do. Where is the best place to be. What can YOU do to be better and give yourself more of a chance?

At least I can look back and know I gave it 8 years. I wouldn't swap those for anything. I know I tried. I would hate to be thinking now that I wish I'd got that drum kit when I could have done.....

When you've got a PA behind (or slightly to the side of you...) blasting every bass drum hit across a large room and everything locks into place it can be magic.

Sounds like you are feeling a bit stuck. Don't look at others - you have your own path and can make one yourself, but you can be happy in a 'normal' world if you find the right part of it. Look for what you are interested in.

Anyway, you can make it in the UK these days just by using the internet! apparently...
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Boxer Monkey
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 07:47:38 PM »

Keepitasahobby

Dude. Your aim is true.
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mike thornton
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 08:02:07 PM »

Did you give up your dreams as you aged? only my dream of becoming an astronaut. i wanted to lbe like those guys on star trek. but, math after 2nd grade didn't pan out.  Wink

Did you stick with them and become something? i've always been talented with music. i've just scaled back my expectations. in my 20's, i wanted to be well thought of by my musical heroes. now, i just want to entertain myself.

Did you fail with it? no, i *never* sold out. many of my contemporaries did.

Did you join the grind of the worker, facing anonymity for your whole life? i went to school as a back up. now, i have a great grad degree and enjoy my job. also, i have something tangeable now instead of girls, parties, and memories. i live in the *present*.

Was it lonely? sometimes.

Did you feel scared? of course. i missed the regular magic buzz as described by mr. brightmore. for me, it was better than sex. not by much, though.  Wink

Did you understand your purpose in life better after having discarded the dream? my purpose in life is to take care of myself so i can play my songs at open mics and speak to those who "hear" it. it happens enough time to keep me happy. i no longer want to make a grand statement within a band context. i just want *one person* whenever i play, to "get it." i just scaled back.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 08:11:39 PM by cya » Logged
donald
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2006, 05:47:58 AM »

I would look for Susan's post on this topic.  She appears to be making her own dream as she goes.

She has a band, she hosts BeachBoys conventions, she travels the world, and she has an important and rewarding day job.

I never had any serious aspirations of becoming a professional musician.  I have played music with friends and I love to listen and discuss.  I discover new music all of the time.   I don't feel I've given up anything as far as that goes. 

The most important thing is not to waste time, because thats what life is made of.
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 05:16:49 AM »

It's a hobby. It's good as additional money but here's biggest trouble - I don't write music, not very good at it, the inspiration doesn't strike and it's simply very difficult. If I worked in a music sphere, it would be songs with just melody. I choose the easiest path - music as opposed to music AND lyrics. Plus tbh, I couldn't tackle it. Somebody must be a bookworm, have rich vocabulary, be articulate. If I dared to ignore it and still write the lyrics, they would be banal like this: "people cook breakfast in the morning/they stand red-faced in the heat of the kitchen/Kid steals slice of pancake behind backs/Alas it was the only in the plate". See? Where is rhyme?
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 05:54:40 AM »

I was a semi-pro (playing keyboards) in the late '80s to mid 90s. I had other work most of the time but when I didn't, I found playing to earn one's keep was no fun at all.

Long before then I'd worked in a music library in London's West End. We used to hired out tracks to film and TV companies. We were definitely a dying breed by then: the UK "Tin Pan Alley" scene had caved in and everyone hit the booze big time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Pan_Alley
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JK
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 05:58:02 AM »

"people cook breakfast in the morning/they stand red-faced in the heat of the kitchen/Kid steals slice of pancake behind backs/Alas it was the only in the plate". See? Where is rhyme?

I like it. Maybe Ovi can make a rap song out of it: "The Only In The Plate".
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 05:59:36 AM »

I.e. the picture with you posing to "play" keyboards dates 80s-90s? Hm, looks recent-ish.
Referring to Smiley picture topic.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 06:02:10 AM »

"people cook breakfast in the morning/they stand red-faced in the heat of the kitchen/Kid steals slice of pancake behind backs/Alas it was the only in the plate". See? Where is rhyme?

I like it. Maybe Ovi can make a rap song out of it: "The Only In The Plate".
I just made it casually, aka childhood experience - used to steal the food while the granny cooks. Couldn't wait when she finishes, was hungry.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Sunny Side Up should be International President. official website to vote: FTW.sun

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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 06:09:31 AM »

My job and my hobby...and the inspiration for all of that has always been my on-going desire to play GREAT music for others to enjoy.  Not *MY* music...but rather the wide array of music that I love, respect and enjoy.

It started when I was about 10 and old enough to [paper route] go to the store and buy my own records.  I'd sit and play these records while people worked around our house...laying carpet, painting etc.  It continued at dances and in the cafeteria at school...then, ultimately,  on the radio.  These days we don't get to select everything we play but I do have some say.  Hence the Beach Boys [and Brian] still get airplay on my shows. [along with a host of others I deem to be LIGHT YEARS better than at least 85%-90% of what fakes its way into the top 30 and Top Album charts over these past 25 years of hip-hop and computer generated influences]
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"Add Some...Music...To Your Day.  I do.  It's the only way to fly.  Well...what was I gonna put here?  An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Hum me a few bars."   Lee Marshall [2014]

Donald  TRUMP!  ...  Is TOAST.  "What a disaster."  "Overrated?"... ... ..."BIG LEAGUE."  "Lots of people are saying it"  "I will tell you that."   Collusion, Money Laundering, Treason.   B'Bye Dirty Donnie!!!  Adios!!!  Bon Voyage!!!  Toodles!!!  Move yourself...SPANKY!!!  Jail awaits.  It's NO "Witch Hunt". There IS Collusion...and worse.  The Russian Mafia!!  Conspiracies!!  Fraud!!  This racist is goin' down...and soon.  Good Riddance.  And take the kids.
JK
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 06:51:58 AM »

I.e. the picture with you posing to "play" keyboards dates 80s-90s? Hm, looks recent-ish.
Referring to Smiley picture topic.

This one?

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,1167.msg473873.html#msg473873

That's from my current (non-pro) band. It was taken in mid 2012.
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NOLA BB Fan
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2016, 07:02:32 AM »

I've never been beyond the "semi-professional" level, being paid for performances but not all the rehearsals needed.
Was with a group for 20 years; we specialized in "ethnic" music, primarily from Eastern Europe as that music is so interesting. I was music director for a number of years and was responsible for teaching people their respective parts, as most didn't read music. (Actually, most of the music wasn't written down but what I could pick out listening over and over).

Got frustrated at times when some singers just couldn't get it, or weren't confident enough to keep to their parts and not start singing someone else's. That's why I get upset when some downplay the importance of the other Beach Boys in singing Brian's music. It's a skill, a talent that they had, to sing those close harmonies so well with a great blend.

Was in one band for a couple of years (Beatles tribute, performing their songs with different rhythms such as 7/8 - Tell Me Why- or 5/8 - Rain, or chant like - Eleonor Rigby, etc). Got real good support from local press, but at our best show, that ended up being our last, things just fell apart and no one could figure out why. Got jaded after that, no more bands.

I no longer sing in groups as the vocal chords are no longer cooperating
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"(Brian) got into this really touching music with songs like 'In My Room', and 'Good Vibrations' was amazing. The melodies are so beautiful, almost perfect. I began to realize he was one of the most gifted writers of our generation." - Paul Simon

 "The best thing you can be 'like' in music is yourself." Dr. John
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2016, 07:48:43 AM »

I started playing guitar in front of people for money in 1972, while I was a junior in high school, but I couldn't continue while I attended college.  After two years of college, I dropped out and started playing in bands again, and it became my (mostly) sole career until 18 years later, at which time I found out I was going to be a father.  The band was working 4 to 6 nights a week, but I figured I'd need some things for my new family that a music career could not provide, so I went back to school at 39 years old, graduated, got a steady day job (which I still have nearly 20 years later, knock wood), and quit the band.  

Alas, music is in my blood, so after a year or so, when I got the opportunity to join one of the bands that I had played with back in the '80s, I took it.  They weren't gigging nearly as much as we did back in the '80s, so I had the time to work, take care of my daughter, and play out 2 or 3 times a month.  Perfect.  That band finally hung it up this last year.  I guess I played with them for 23 years, all told, which is amazing.  

Of course, that 'music in the blood' thing doesn't ever seem to go away, so I immediately joined another band that I'd played with in the '90s, and I continue to play as I creep up on my 60th birthday.  My vocal range isn't what it was 40 years ago, but I think I'm a better singer now.  I don't play as many notes on guitar solos as I did back then, but that is by choice.  It's still a lot of fun for me, and if it ever stops being fun, I will quit.  I may need a blood transfusion to do it, though.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 07:57:33 AM by LostArt » Logged
Lonely Summer
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 12:25:24 PM »

I'm only working part time now, so it would be nice if I could do music as a career, but that was never an option for me. But when I do get a chance to play, I love it, and I won't stop until my dying day.
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RangeRoverA1
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 01:55:44 PM »

This one?

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,1167.msg473873.html#msg473873

That's from my current (non-pro) band. It was taken in mid 2012.
It is.

Thanks for posting your stories. I am glad I revived this thread to read these interesting stories.
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Sunny Side Up should be International President. official website to vote: FTW.sun

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adamghost
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2016, 02:34:07 PM »

Is music your day job?

Yes.


So i'm kind of getting the impression that i'll forever be a hope follower. A person living on a silly dream. A kid. A loser. A simple person not with the big old picture. I can see myself, 35, still talking about music as if I have a chance.

Did you give up your dreams as you aged?


No.  I did not become a full-time professional musician, with that as my sole income, until I was in my 40s.

Did you stick with them and become something?


Yes.  I've done pretty well.

Did you fail with it?

Yes many times, and in the end it gave me more depth and breadth than others that had an easier path.

Did you join the grind of the worker, facing anonymity for your whole life?

Did not.

Was it lonely?

Yes (not having a regular job, being self-employed, and having a radically different lifestyle from your peers, can be socially isolating)

Did you feel scared?

Only of the uncertainty of the path ahead.

Did you understand your purpose in life better after having discarded the dream?

Yes (in the sense that having realized my dreams I understood that the purpose of life is really just to be happy, and to make others happy.  Music is a means to that end, but the struggle for attention and validation is an unhealthy distraction - though it can motivate you to do great work)

The dream is over, what can I say?

Say "be happy!"
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 02:36:11 PM by adamghost » Logged
Sam_BFC
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2016, 02:05:04 PM »

10 years too late Adam Wink
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"..be cautious, don't get your hopes up, look over your shoulder because heartbreak and darkness are always ready to pounce"

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