[Dixielandjazz] Paying Dues - Was Dixieland In The Sticks

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Jul 24 11:16:04 PDT 2004

> Dan Augustine <ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu> wrote (polite snip)
>      Here in the USA dixieland-outback, a few of
> us had a fine ol' time tonight. Wasn't anywhere
> near as good as i imagine you in California and
> New York could have any night you want, but it
> was fun for us.  But what do we know.
>      The only dixieland band playing anywhere in
> central Texas within the past week was the group
> in Austin called the Chaparral Dixielanders, and
> they played at the Carousel Lounge in Austin from
> 7 to 9 pm tonight.  Played for free (well, maybe
> a couple of bucks tips).  Sorry if you're
> offended by that, but they are just starting out.

Hey Dan:

Nobody should be offended. We should be grateful. That's what "payin' dues" is all about. Even the best (not me, I readily admit to being a hack) among us have been there, done that.

I paid mine twice, so I guess I'm a masochist. Once as a kid, and then again when I got back into music in 1990 or so. The second time, I sat in at every open mike, freebie I could find with players young enough to be my grand kids, playing blues, bebop and
straight ahead. Had it not been for their encouragement, I would have quit the comeback trail.

I remember meeting an aging big band singer at a gig five years ago, who had sung with Dorsey etc al, as well as the not so good bands around. Said she about her experience: "Kid, (meaning me at 65), I've sung in every toilet from Maine to Florida".  "Toilet"
being common usage among musicians here in the Eastern USA for Nightclub, Dance  hall etc. That's the trick, how you make it, singing/playing in toilets for next to nothing in the beginning. The treat is to graduate to Spas.

So take heart, keep your dauber up and just do it.


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