[Dixielandjazz] Re: Why musicians don't talk to fans

Beth V bethv at portafortuna.com
Wed Dec 15 12:33:30 PST 2004


You and Larry call it professionalism, I call it class.

Your Startrek story reminded me of the late, great Harry Chapin. Not OKOM, but possibly the best folksong story writer that ever lived (IMHO). I would attend his concerts all over the country whenever I had the chance (I could fly free working for TWA in those days). 

At the intermission there would be a table set up in the lobby that sold Chapin memorabilia, like albums (no CDs then), t-shirts, poetry books, etc. After the concert, Harry would come out to the lobby and autograph any item you purchased. He would stay there signing until the last fan had left.

Big deal! I hear you cynics lurking out there saying - it makes business sense because it increased his sales. Yes, that's true, and that's a big part of why he did it, but the real story behind it is that every penny he made from the sale of those articles were donated to the World Hunger project.

Now that's what I call Class.

Everyone has class, some just have it all on the low side. Musicians are people too - some have High Class and some just don't.


     Attached Message 
      From:  TCASHWIGG at aol.com  [ Save Address ]  
      To:  sign.guy at charter.net, rakmccallum at hotmail.com, arnieday at optonline.net, dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com 
      Subject:  Re: [Dixielandjazz] Why musicians don't talk to fans 
      Date:  Tue, 14 Dec 2004 17:40:06 EST 

That Larry is the professional way to approach the situation, and even though 
it is very difficult to deal with a fan like Bob, he should even be treated 
with kindness and tolerance, who knows how many other people he will bring to 
see the band the next time or cause to buy your recordings, etc.

Yes, they can be a pain in the butt and no doubt a bit irritating to many 
players, but if you stay in this business long enough you learn to recognize 
quickly and develop ways to slip out of the circle to go take care of some 
emergency situation.   I try to find two of the same kind of folks if possible 
and when they show up at every gig I find a way to get the two or more of them 
together after the first encounter, and they can talk record numbers and 
sidemen compilations all night if they wish.

I just organized an event for a celebrity from Star Trek, and watched a 
master of 35 years do it for two hours straight at an autograph session.   He 
tolerated some real jackasses who kept getting back into line trying et him to 
everything from playing cards to downloaded photos from the Internet.

This artist was wonderful, and never lost his cool or his temper even when he 
looked up from the article he was signing and recognized the same overzealous 
fan again, he also graciously posed for photos with anyone who asked, shook 
hands and wished them all well.    Yes, he said it was a pain in the butt, but 
liked the way I had organized it to keep the chaos down and the Treckies under 
reasonable control so that other regular fans and their children could get a 
chance to meet him and get a photo.

His explanation to me was that it was part of his Job and it was the least he 
could do to make some people happy.   Yes, the freakies who were getting 
everything signed were doing it to post it on EBAY TO SELL AN HOUR LATER, THEY 


Tom Wiggins

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