[Dixielandjazz] because they love their music

BillSargentDrums at aol.com BillSargentDrums at aol.com
Sat Mar 8 18:43:17 PST 2003

In a message dated 3/6/03 11:53:13 PM Central Standard Time, 
stridepiano at tesco.net writes:

> Practically all the British jazz musicians I know play primarily because
> they love their music, money is of secondary importance to them, they do 
> not
> allow the acquisition of money to become their reason for living. Long may
> it remain so.

This is one of the reasons why some top musicians have such difficulty in 
making a living these days.

There are so many bands just dying for a chance to play . . . staffed with 
people who don't need to make their living from their performance . . . 
combined with clients who have little taste, class and are only concerned 
with their bottom line and budgets.

One must remember that those top musicians who earn their living from their 
music performance love to play just as much, and probably more, than anyone 
else. After all, they loved it so much as to sacrifice the nicer homes, 
vacations and pensions enjoyed by most of those who abandoned the idea of 
play music full time in lieu of the nicer things in life money can buy.

Result, many of them now have to see their livelihoods suffer because someone 
came along and took the gig for $25 because they loved to play so much.

Case in point: I have been working for several years with a name big band 
that is run by someone who can be cheap past intelligence. With this guy, 
money can and does win out over musical quality. In the past year, there's 
been this drummer in our genre who is also a farmer in a state hundreds of 
miles from our area. This guy makes good money with his farm and also can 
afford to be away from it for periods of time.

He took a cruise from me that I should have played because he bribed his way 
onto the gig by helping to sell several cabins for the cruise . . . then 
played for zippo. Just took another cruise from me because he offered to 
drive halfway across the US to the five day gig for free. Then he took 2 
nights last weekend from me here in Wisconsin, because he offered to drive up 
from Nebraska for free as a "vacation".

Meanwhile, I've got two young girls I'm trying to keep in private school and 
pay two mortgages, etc. etc.

It's nice he loves to do it, but some folks lack the integrity and moral 
responsibility it takes to keep the music going in the first place.

So who loves their music more . . . someone who's had enough purpose to to 
devote their lives to it or someone who only does it when it's convenient . . 
. financially or otherwise?

I'm not griping, just posing what I believe is an interesting observation.

No Regrets,
Bill "tenacity for 35 years" Sargent
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