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

Arnold Day arnieday at optonline.net
Wed Dec 15 17:05:39 PST 2004

Sorry for the sloppy typing .....was speaking of Ralph Sutton, of course. I think the other missing words can be assumed form the context.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Arnold Day 
  To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List 
  Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 6:23 PM
  Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Why musicians don't talk to fans

  Well said, Beth. I didn't mean to start a big fight with my post. Steve and Tom have (at least since I started reading this forum) have been preaching that musicians should always remember that they are in the entertainment business. I was merely pointing that SOME of the top players forget that the folks who go to listen to them are not gawking bystanders but paying customers, warts and all.

  Many have said and written that Ralph was a difficult person to get along with. I found just the opposite. At some jazz part maybe 10 years I asked him a little about his first recordings for Circle and we ended up chatting for quite a while and then he asked if he could join me and my wife for lunch since his wife (or maybe his sister) had gone out on a ladies' shopping. He asked if I had a business card (which I had) and we exchanged cards. From that day until his death, whenever he was playing within an hour or two drive from where we lived, he would send us a snail mail with his card, and written on the back was the date and place and a "Hope to see you there." I learned later that this was standard practice for him, and no doubt one of the reason he rarely played to less than a packed house. It's called "marketing" and it works.
  Sorry for the ramble.
  Original Message ----- 
    From: Beth V 
    To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List 
    Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 3:33 PM
    Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Why musicians don't talk to fans


    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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    Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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