[Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans - and/or listentoother band

Rob McCallum rakmccallum at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 14 08:36:45 PST 2004

Hi all,

I've found that while conversing with star players, it's refreshing to talk 
about something other than music, whether it's sports or the weather or some 
mutual extra-curricular interest.  You'll often get to know more about the 
person behind the "musician," and have a far more interesting and genuine 

I think, also, that some people are uncomfortable hearing praise.  I've 
noticed some players appear embarassed on a set break when there's a crowd 
gathered around them saying, "wow, that solo was great, etc. etc."  Because 
of that, some people come off as stand-offish when they're simply 

As far as asking questions regarding particular historical info, discography 
stuff etc., sometimes people simply don't remember.  I think that die-hard 
fans know more about data like that than most of the musicians who played 
the dates!

This is not to condone rude behavior on the part of artists.  However, in 
fairness, I have witnessed, many times, overly eager and nervous fans who 
try to prolong their star encounter well beyond the boundaries of 
politeness.  I'm sure it's not fun for a musician trying to take a break to 
have an over-zealous fan forcing themselves upon him.  If it seems an artist 
doesn't want to converse, but a fan feels the need to say something, "I 
really enjoyed the set," and perhaps a handshake should suffice.

All the best,
Rob McCallum

>From: Arnold Day <arnieday at optonline.net>
>To: DJML <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans - and/or 
>listentoother bands
>Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 10:44:57 -0500
>I recognise all those good point, Steve, but there is no excuse for the 
>downright rude behaviour of a handful of top OKOM players, "Good morning 
>Mr, X, thanks for the great music. Do you mind if I ask you a question? You 
>made an LP with Y and Z sometime in the 1960s but there is no recording 
>date on the cover. Do you happen to remember when that was recorded?" 
>Answer...."Go find a good discography"....walks off without a smile!
>Now, one the greatest communicators was Jimmy McPartland. He would work the 
>room like a comedian, usually with an armful of LPs of him or his then 
>ex-wife, hawking them like a street newspaper seller.  He would sit and 
>chat with anyone during the breaks or after the show. He loved his 
>audiences. Not the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time, but a wonderful, 
>warm gentleman.
>Original Message -----
>   From: Steve barbone
>   To: DJML
>   Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 10:06 PM
>   Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans - and/or 
>listen toother bands
>   Arnie and others have noticed that some musicians are very accessible to
>   fans, while others are not. Here is one musician's view.
>   Some of us, like Sutton, Hedges, and in my NYC days, Parker, Krupa, and 
>   whole bunch of others are extroverted, or just plain enjoy talking to
>   others. And some of us are painfully shy, or introverted and do not 
>   talking to anybody we don't know very well. And on gigs, we are "into" 
>   music and ordinary conversation may be a bit difficult. When I was a kid 
>   NYC playing, all the joints had band rooms where we went to chill out
>   between sets. That's a hard habit to break.
>   And sometimes, we get bored to tears by fans who wish to impress us with
>   their knowledge of jazz. Heck, we live and breathe it every day and 
>   very well enjoy talking about something else instead, once the gig is 
>   And as we age, we get physically worn out from gigs, especially if we're 
>   the second half of a double. So we get cranky, our feet hurt (which is 
>   we wear comfortable shoes that may not be sartorially splendid) and we 
>   want to chill out for 20 minutes before we have to be "on" again.
>   We mean no disrespect to fans, groupies or just plain folks who hear 
>what we
>   have to say when we play. We are all different, but not too different 
>from a
>   group of regular people in similar circumstance.
>   On my gigs, I try to be accommodating, schmooze with the audience. Visit
>   each table for a short time etc. But that also means I have to cut some
>   people short too. And I always want at least 5 minutes alone between 
>sets to
>   gather my musical thoughts.
>   -----------------

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