[Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Tue Dec 14 10:02:04 PST 2004

When I was in the AF band there was this guy we called Bob the Ape  (APe for
Air Police).  Bob was a fan of Jazz and had an encyclopedic knowledge of
everyone who ever made a Jazz record and everyone in their band and
everything about them.  His conversation was limited to only Jazz and his
recordings.  His conversation was interspersed with long litanies of who
played what and when and often with the recording company and number of the
record.  To make it worse he always got assigned to our gigs or would show
up somehow.  He had an undying hero worship for us and became to us a jazz
stalker that we couldn't shake.

My knowledge of Jazz musicians and recordings is I guess about average but
nothing compared to his so there was nothing I could have ever added to a
conversation since he wasn't a musician.  So we in the band would have to
more or less politely stand there and listen to him play his memory tape for
what ever time we were on break or setting up or tearing down.  This wasn't
limited to just gigs but when we saw him in the BX or anywhere on base or at
the gate we would get "say have you heard ....."  The Guys in the band after
awhile avoided him like the plague and Bob while a fairly nice person became
the butt of many jokes and outright rudeness from some of the players. on
the other hand Bob just couldn't see why the musicians treated him that way.

I suspect there will always be a gap between the musician and the fans
because we are coming at the art from different perspectives.

I try to be very polite to people because you don't know when that person
will be the employer or will give your name to someone who will hire you.  I
make it my business to talk to at least the people who are setting close to
the band.  They love it and good PR will never hurt you but then again
that's from the band leader, business point of view.  Sidemen don't
necessarily share that point of view.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rob McCallum" <rakmccallum at hotmail.com>
To: <arnieday at optonline.net>; <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 10:36 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans -
and/orlistentoother band

> Hi all,
> I've found that while conversing with star players, it's refreshing to
> about something other than music, whether it's sports or the weather or
> 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
> conversation.
> 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."
> of that, some people come off as stand-offish when they're simply
> uncomfortable.
> As far as asking questions regarding particular historical info,
> 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
> have an over-zealous fan forcing themselves upon him.  If it seems an
> 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?
> >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
> >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.
> >Arnie
> >
> >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
> >   fans, while others are not. Here is one musician's view.
> >
> >   Some of us, like Sutton, Hedges, and in my NYC days, Parker, Krupa,
> >a
> >   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
> >enjoy
> >   talking to anybody we don't know very well. And on gigs, we are "into"
> >the
> >   music and ordinary conversation may be a bit difficult. When I was a
> >in
> >   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
> >   their knowledge of jazz. Heck, we live and breathe it every day and
> >might
> >   very well enjoy talking about something else instead, once the gig is
> >over.
> >
> >   And as we age, we get physically worn out from gigs, especially if
> >on
> >   the second half of a double. So we get cranky, our feet hurt (which is
> >why
> >   we wear comfortable shoes that may not be sartorially splendid) and we
> >just
> >   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.
> >   each table for a short time etc. But that also means I have to cut
> >   people short too. And I always want at least 5 minutes alone between
> >sets to
> >   gather my musical thoughts.
> >
> >   -----------------
> >
> >
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