Music is it's own reward...

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Justin Otto

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May 11, 2003, 10:04:57 AM5/11/03
to
... but for whom?

I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. About the relationship
and interaction of artist, audience and genre. I haven't come to a
conclusion yet, but I'm coming to the end of my experience and need some
more input.

A regular of UKMG mentioned that he has been struggling with the musical
direction his new band is going in. He is currently fighting to keep the
band's music consistent with his original vision, and not let it get
watered down into a blander, more commercial form.

In a broad outline, I am coming to believe that his view is that music
should be produced to the tastes and sensibilities of the artist. That the
musical ideals of the artist are an integral part of their output.

I can understand that this is a clear and consistent approach - and for that
it makes sense. However, I can't help feeling that the mainstream
compromise so apparent in much of the commercial musical output of the
world may serve more than a financial principle.

As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to ensure
that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
with the majority expectation.

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?

And now, I'm going to bring in part of discussion that was going on in
another thread:-

dirtycow wrote:
>Roy wrote:
>> Music is music, what we as musicians think is good isn't what our
>> customers think, i.e. the public.
>
> I agree to some extent, but having experienced music is far far far
> superior IMO, i dont feel it would be fair to my self to keep up any
> pretense that I like this nonsense.

My instinctive response to this was to say that in my opinion, different
music is appropriate for different times, and that even the most disposable
pop has it's place. Then I thought about why I felt this, and realised that
all these things were connected.

I've always believed that music is connected with emotion.

Perhaps this is the role of a genre, to channel music into a recognisable
form that resonates with the listener's emotions.

Some types of music I don't like or 'get' perhaps because I don't identify
with the emotion it conveys. Some I can listen to, but not for long
periods. Maybe this is because whilst I recognise the implicit emotional
content, I don't enjoy it, or indulge in it often enough to feel
comfortable there.

So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel - where
do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?

Any thoughts which are more helpful than "that's a load of pretentious
drivel, sod off you pretentious twat", are appreciated. :-)

Thanks,

J.

Mike Edmunds

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May 11, 2003, 11:08:37 AM5/11/03
to

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
> ... but for whom?

>
>
> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?
>

Bleedinell Justin, I think I hear the gentle sound of a can of worms being
opened.

I think you first have to ask if all music exists to convey a message, mood
or emotion. I suspect that in this age of record company-created,
marketing-driven pop, there's clear evidence that quite a lot of mainstream
music (i.e Charts-aimed) exists purely to make a profit. In this case, the
responsibility of the writer is simply to maximise the returns for his
employer, the record company. Does the writer, and to a lesser extent, the
performer have any rights beyond the purely legal/contractual? I doubt it.
There also appears to me to be an awful lot of music that appears to have no
function other than to showcase a particular musicians talents or technique,
which to me always comes across as pretty empty music. The musician has
every right to be true to his or her original message. Conversely, the
audience has every right to ignore him or her if it doesn't fit with their
tastes.

Those musicians and writers who create music that has a message that is
important to them personally have to look at it differently. Ideally we'd
all like our music to be heard by as many people as possible, after all,
what's the point of trying to convey something if no-one is going to hear
you message? If I write a song (as if!) about something that I feel strongly
about, be it emotional, cultural, social or political I have a choice based
on who I want it to appeal to. If I want it to appeal to a mass market I
have to be aware that it needs to be in a form that will permit it to be
distributed effectively to that mass audience. If this involves compromising
the message (particularly in political music) I suppose it's time to do some
serious thinking about how committed you are.

Those of us whose talents never get beyond the local pub or village hall
have a primary responsibility to the audience. The average pub audience
generally likes to be mostly unchallenged, which is why you'll always hear
'Mustang Sally' but almost never a hardcore hip-hop rap about LA crack
houses, or a long depressing song about how bad your relationships are. Your
right to play music that the audience isn't particularly interested in
hearing has to be weighed against your responsibility to entertain/amuse the
punters, after all that's why the Landlord booked you in the first place. Do
you compromise in these circumstances? Of course you do, you play stuff that
can be relied on to convey predictable emotions and feelings that are
familiar to the audience, and save your 'message' for your private projects.
That doesn't mean that you shouldn't chuck in some unfamiliar, or personal
stuff if it moves and pleases you but you must make it fit the context of
the gig.

Musical genres, for me at least, are the most problematic part. Do I as, a
white middle class male have a right to play black music for instance. Even
if I have a valid emotion or message to convey. When I do, do I have
responsibility to be as true to the spirit of the genre, and how? Especially
as it's subject matter may be completely out of my range of personal
experience. How many white British blues or soul musicians can really
understand the background to the music they play? I love the groove, but
I've never been a black American ghetto male. It could be argued that I have
no right to play such music.
For what it's worth my own feeling is that the worst thing you can do to
your music is pigeonhole it in a particular 'genre' because you
automatically risk excluding a part of your potential audience. Musical
tribalism is alive and well as we all know although thankfully it's not
found often in UKMG.

Not sure if this provides any answers Justin, but I hope you get something
from it.

Mike E.


steve at fivetrees

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May 11, 2003, 11:17:54 AM5/11/03
to
"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
> ... but for whom?

Interesting post, Justin.

> As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to
ensure
> that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> with the majority expectation.

No. It can work that way, but a good producer is there to coax the best
performance out of the band/musicians, and to shield them from the technical
crap. A good producer may well know what buttons to push to maximise e.g.
"radio-friendliness", but if he's distorting what the band's about, he's
overstepping the mark. I've worked with both good and band producers, and
the good ones can "polish a turd" very well without distorting the original
vision - only enhancing it.

> Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?

Sometimes, yes. Possibly even mostly. But not always. Genres are just
shorthand ways of conveying a general impression.

> I've always believed that music is connected with emotion.

Indeed.

> Perhaps this is the role of a genre, to channel music into a recognisable
> form that resonates with the listener's emotions.

Absolutely not.

> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?

There are no responsibilities involved in creativity or expression, beyond
the responsibility to oneself to channel one's muse as fully as possible.

My (strong) view is that there is a) functional music (mainstream commercial
stuff) and b) creative music (which may or may not be commercial). Assuming
we're talking the latter, my (strong) experience has been that if one tries
to second-guess the audience, you blow it. You have to please yourself
first, and if someone else likes it, that's a bonus.

If we only catered to existing genres, there would be no new music and no
creativity. Only reruns.

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com


Paul Simpson

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May 11, 2003, 11:26:29 AM5/11/03
to
Excellent post Justin! Response follows...

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...

> ... but for whom?
>
> I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. About the relationship
> and interaction of artist, audience and genre. I haven't come to a
> conclusion yet, but I'm coming to the end of my experience and need some
> more input.
>
> A regular of UKMG mentioned that he has been struggling with the musical
> direction his new band is going in. He is currently fighting to keep the
> band's music consistent with his original vision, and not let it get
> watered down into a blander, more commercial form.
>

That would be me, then. <g>

My general issue is with the band's current singer who seems to turn a 3
piece hard-grooving original-sounding band into a 4 piece 2nd-rate bunch of
Morcheeba wannabes whenever she turns up to rehearse.

Yes, it sounds more 'commercial', but.. it just doesn't *do* anything for
me. And I couldn't give a flying one about sounding 'commercial', this band
is just meant to be a satisfying musical creative musical outlet for me
*and* whoever else is in the band. The other chaps in the band like both
approaches, though. Still currently trying to resolve all this...

About 'watering down'... guilty, I'm afraid. I realised the other day that
I've kinda throttled back a *smidge* from all-out avant-noise terrorism on
my guitar. I still do plenty of it within the context of the band - just
not full-on, all of the time. It would be a pretty boring band to listen
to, even for me, if I did random electronic noise *all* the time.

> In a broad outline, I am coming to believe that his view is that music
> should be produced to the tastes and sensibilities of the artist. That the
> musical ideals of the artist are an integral part of their output.
>
> I can understand that this is a clear and consistent approach - and for
that
> it makes sense. However, I can't help feeling that the mainstream
> compromise so apparent in much of the commercial musical output of the
> world may serve more than a financial principle.
>
> As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to
ensure
> that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> with the majority expectation.
>
> Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
> Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?
>

It *is* all cynical marketing. The important part of the term 'music
industry' is 'industry' - the people who work in it it are the same type of
people who sell us baked beans etc. Only they aren't dealing with a nice
consistant product like canned food, they're selling something that is
inconsistent, intangible, emotional, something you can't quite put your
finger on - music, in short. So, faced with the problem of trying to sell
as many bits of plastic that contain this bloody awkward commodity as
possible they try to spilt it into convenient categories, just like any
other Fast Moving Consumers Goods - country, jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop,
canned goods, perishables, cleaning products, kitchenware. Creating
'genres' is nothing more than putting a name to something so it can be more
easily understood, digested and therefore *sold*. No one really imagines
that any of music's great originals had a hand in naming the 'genres' they
helped spawn, do they?

Music is at it's best when an individual or group of individuals get
together to create something that *they believe in* with no outside business
infuences. The main reason that The Beatles were able to be so innovative
is that they had so much clout they could just go into a recording studio,
do what the hell they wanted and EMI would release it because they knew that
they could release an album that consisted entirely of Ringo farting into a
mike and it would still sell. The Beatles were just able to get on and make
the record *they* wanted, at least in the latter stage of their career when,
let's face it, money wasn't really an issue for them anymore.

> And now, I'm going to bring in part of discussion that was going on in
> another thread:-
>
> dirtycow wrote:
> >Roy wrote:
> >> Music is music, what we as musicians think is good isn't what our
> >> customers think, i.e. the public.
> >
> > I agree to some extent, but having experienced music is far far far
> > superior IMO, i dont feel it would be fair to my self to keep up any
> > pretense that I like this nonsense.
>
> My instinctive response to this was to say that in my opinion, different
> music is appropriate for different times, and that even the most
disposable
> pop has it's place. Then I thought about why I felt this, and realised
that
> all these things were connected.
>
> I've always believed that music is connected with emotion.
>

That's all there really is to it, at the end of the day.

Then Big Money gets involved, and Fucks It All Up.

> Perhaps this is the role of a genre, to channel music into a recognisable
> form that resonates with the listener's emotions.
>
> Some types of music I don't like or 'get' perhaps because I don't identify
> with the emotion it conveys. Some I can listen to, but not for long
> periods. Maybe this is because whilst I recognise the implicit emotional
> content, I don't enjoy it, or indulge in it often enough to feel
> comfortable there.
>
> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?
>

The only rights and resonsibilities a musician who's doing it for the
*right* reasons has is to make music that they think is great. That's it.

If you're making music to try and achieve 'celebrity' status or to make a
*shitload* of money as your *primary* objective - you've missed the point
entirely. Not to say it can't be done, but teh resulting music isn't
usually up to much.

The problem is is that if you do something truly great in music and large
amounts of money beome involved, and the two are hugely incompatable...

Music at it's best is reflection an expression of the human soul and the
myriad things we experience in this world. The art of making vast amounts
of money has little to do with such 'romantic' notions.

Paul Simpson

unread,
May 11, 2003, 11:26:29 AM5/11/03
to
Excellent post Justin! Response follows...

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...

> ... but for whom?
>
> I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. About the relationship
> and interaction of artist, audience and genre. I haven't come to a
> conclusion yet, but I'm coming to the end of my experience and need some
> more input.
>
> A regular of UKMG mentioned that he has been struggling with the musical
> direction his new band is going in. He is currently fighting to keep the
> band's music consistent with his original vision, and not let it get
> watered down into a blander, more commercial form.
>

That would be me, then. <g>

My general issue is with the band's current singer who seems to turn a 3
piece hard-grooving original-sounding band into a 4 piece 2nd-rate bunch of
Morcheeba wannabes whenever she turns up to rehearse.

Yes, it sounds more 'commercial', but.. it just doesn't *do* anything for
me. And I couldn't give a flying one about sounding 'commercial', this band
is just meant to be a satisfying musical creative musical outlet for me
*and* whoever else is in the band. The other chaps in the band like both
approaches, though. Still currently trying to resolve all this...

About 'watering down'... guilty, I'm afraid. I realised the other day that
I've kinda throttled back a *smidge* from all-out avant-noise terrorism on
my guitar. I still do plenty of it within the context of the band - just
not full-on, all of the time. It would be a pretty boring band to listen
to, even for me, if I did random electronic noise *all* the time.

> In a broad outline, I am coming to believe that his view is that music


> should be produced to the tastes and sensibilities of the artist. That the
> musical ideals of the artist are an integral part of their output.
>
> I can understand that this is a clear and consistent approach - and for
that
> it makes sense. However, I can't help feeling that the mainstream
> compromise so apparent in much of the commercial musical output of the
> world may serve more than a financial principle.
>
> As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to
ensure
> that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> with the majority expectation.
>
> Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
> Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?
>

It *is* all cynical marketing. The important part of the term 'music


industry' is 'industry' - the people who work in it it are the same type of
people who sell us baked beans etc. Only they aren't dealing with a nice
consistant product like canned food, they're selling something that is
inconsistent, intangible, emotional, something you can't quite put your
finger on - music, in short. So, faced with the problem of trying to sell
as many bits of plastic that contain this bloody awkward commodity as
possible they try to spilt it into convenient categories, just like any
other Fast Moving Consumers Goods - country, jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop,
canned goods, perishables, cleaning products, kitchenware. Creating
'genres' is nothing more than putting a name to something so it can be more
easily understood, digested and therefore *sold*. No one really imagines
that any of music's great originals had a hand in naming the 'genres' they
helped spawn, do they?

Music is at it's best when an individual or group of individuals get
together to create something that *they believe in* with no outside business
infuences. The main reason that The Beatles were able to be so innovative
is that they had so much clout they could just go into a recording studio,
do what the hell they wanted and EMI would release it because they knew that
they could release an album that consisted entirely of Ringo farting into a
mike and it would still sell. The Beatles were just able to get on and make
the record *they* wanted, at least in the latter stage of their career when,
let's face it, money wasn't really an issue for them anymore.

> And now, I'm going to bring in part of discussion that was going on in


> another thread:-
>
> dirtycow wrote:
> >Roy wrote:
> >> Music is music, what we as musicians think is good isn't what our
> >> customers think, i.e. the public.
> >
> > I agree to some extent, but having experienced music is far far far
> > superior IMO, i dont feel it would be fair to my self to keep up any
> > pretense that I like this nonsense.
>
> My instinctive response to this was to say that in my opinion, different
> music is appropriate for different times, and that even the most
disposable
> pop has it's place. Then I thought about why I felt this, and realised
that
> all these things were connected.
>
> I've always believed that music is connected with emotion.
>

That's all there really is to it, at the end of the day.

Then Big Money gets involved, and Fucks It All Up.

> Perhaps this is the role of a genre, to channel music into a recognisable


> form that resonates with the listener's emotions.
>
> Some types of music I don't like or 'get' perhaps because I don't identify
> with the emotion it conveys. Some I can listen to, but not for long
> periods. Maybe this is because whilst I recognise the implicit emotional
> content, I don't enjoy it, or indulge in it often enough to feel
> comfortable there.
>
> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?
>

The only rights and resonsibilities a musician who's doing it for the


*right* reasons has is to make music that they think is great. That's it.

If you're making music to try and achieve 'celebrity' status or to make a
*shitload* of money as your *primary* objective - you've missed the point
entirely. Not to say it can't be done, but teh resulting music isn't
usually up to much.

The problem is is that if you do something truly great in music and large
amounts of money beome involved, and the two are hugely incompatable...

Music at it's best is reflection an expression of the human soul and the
myriad things we experience in this world. The art of making vast amounts
of money has little to do with such 'romantic' notions.

> Any thoughts which are more helpful than "that's a load of pretentious

dirtycow

unread,
May 11, 2003, 12:16:37 PM5/11/03
to
<snip>

Ill keep this short and sweet - if i dont like a piece of music im playing,
i dont play as well if i liked the piece. Whilst thats a bit of a bad trait,
i play with more passion when i believe in whats coming out of my mouth and
amp.

Sounds cheesy, but hey it works for me

Matt

Gary Ames

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May 11, 2003, 12:28:26 PM5/11/03
to
Wat I play sounds rubbish anyway I suspect , but I feel happier at
work doing what I want to do and if I am not happy it's not as good.

Motivated people produce better results !


I suspect the issue is whether we are doing this for pay or for funand
there will inevitably be trade offs. My wife is a talented
clarinettist , but if she was paid for a living and had to play stuff
she didn't like , she feels not only would it show in her playing but
also she just wouldn't enjoy it as much any more

It's not as simple as if you do sometyhing for work you can't have fun
, but I guess you have to compromise a little to meet what the punters
want ( as Mike put so more elegantly in a prior post)

Ceratinly was also a case with Chess playing Amaturs I knew with laods
of talent , who were lesser players when they went pro

Just my two pennyworth

Gary

On Sun, 11 May 2003 17:16:37 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>
wrote:

John P

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May 11, 2003, 12:54:56 PM5/11/03
to
"dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk> wrote in message
news:b9lt0v$kdr8v$1...@ID-148468.news.dfncis.de...

A most interesting discussion.

I've recently started buying a lot of music on dvd which allows the
performance to be seen as well as heard, and a in couple of instance the
musicians appear to be bored. This has a very negative effect (I think
anyway) and baffles me. I understadn that sometimes people are just being
paid for the gig and might be concentrating or whatever, but I still don't
get it.
I always maintain that I'd rather give or see a performance that has some
energy, enthusiasm or emotion that one that is note perfect.... although I
accept that hideous howlers should be avoided.

It could appear that live or recorded music is increasingly becoming sterile
as more people become accustomed to certain standards and styles and fewer
people are willing to take a risk.... and those that do are harder to find.

Cheers
John P.

steve at fivetrees

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May 11, 2003, 3:35:41 PM5/11/03
to
"John P" <pin...@pinchin.karoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:vbsvv68...@corp.supernews.com...

> I always maintain that I'd rather give or see a performance that has some
> energy, enthusiasm or emotion that one that is note perfect.... although
I
> accept that hideous howlers should be avoided.
>
> It could appear that live or recorded music is increasingly becoming
sterile
> as more people become accustomed to certain standards and styles and fewer
> people are willing to take a risk.... and those that do are harder to
find.

I agree 150%. As I've said (more than once), I'm far more interested in
expression than in technique, technical perfection, or anything else. I
guess this is why I really got into the blues - some of that stuff (esp.
early blues) is primituve but primal. Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was The
Night (Cold Was The Ground)" springs to mind. Haunting.

It's also why, despite being a guitarist, I'm far more interested in good
songwriters (rare) than good guitarists (ten a penny). I saw a local
guitarist a couple of weeks back; he was a singer who "dabbled" (his words)
on guitar. Fantastic blues singer, and despite being technically limited,
one of the most expressive guitarists I've come across. Most enjoyable.

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com


grant

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May 11, 2003, 3:49:55 PM5/11/03
to

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
>
> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the
genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?
>

Don't genres emerge from different sets of geographical, cultural,
technological etc factors? And if you can understand the vocabulary of
a genre, can't the full range of emotions be expressed? I also think
the way we appreciate music isn't limited to an emotional response.

grant.

Gez

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May 11, 2003, 4:08:30 PM5/11/03
to
It's a tricky one.

Take the (UK) birth of punk. A popular genre but it's three
main influences (Damned, Clash, and Pistols) they couldn't be more different
from each other, and so inspire others on their own "branches".

NOW!

Take "Nu-Metal", Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Papa Roach. While I'd
agree you can tell them apart, I'd argue that their music does follow
a "cookie cutter" format. (Partly I suspect to do with Dropped D tuning)
It also means that the people they inspire follow the same pattern. There's
still the potential for great music within the format, but many bands are
mining the same seam.

Perhaps it's that Nu-metal is a distillation of another form (Grunge?)
while Punk was a reaction to a form (Disco?)


steve at fivetrees

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May 11, 2003, 4:15:28 PM5/11/03
to
"grant" <gr...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9m9df$kkb8i$1...@ID-113725.news.dfncis.de...

> I also think
> the way we appreciate music isn't limited to an emotional response.

Now *that* really is a fascinating area. I assume you're talking about e.g.
physical responses. Maybe you're not.

I have a couple of good books dealing with the archeology and psychology of
music. To cut a long story short, it seems likely that music (or at least
melody) predates speech as a means of communication (think birdsong, or
jungle calls), and that rhythm has long been used as a means of communal
grooving (think log-banging - compare to modern-day raving ;)). But - and my
point is - even that is an emotional response, on a certain level. People
dance because it makes them feel good.

Of course, I might have missed your point entirely.

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com


andrew_s

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May 11, 2003, 4:59:48 PM5/11/03
to
Justin Otto <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk:

> ... but for whom?
>
>

[mega snip]

a thought provoking post indeed !. I read it earlier this afternoon and
have gone away to think about before replying. Music is like many other
types of art. It can be satisfying for the artists and those who experience
the art.

I'm going to draw a parallel with a couple of friends of mine who are both
artists. That is, they paint pictures. One of them, who believes totally
in his paintings and puts considerable emotion in them, happens to be an
art teacher. But he considers himself to be an artist who teaches. The
other, paints pictures of golf courses. My "golf-artist" friend is the
one who drives the Ferrari and sells his paintings (or prints of them) all
over the world. My "teacher-artist" friend paints for the love of it and
from time to time sells a picture. When he does, he feels like he's lost
part of himself though. So there we have two artists who show different
extremes of it. One is a (very succesful) commercial artist and the other
loves his art.


To me, music is no different. I play at home for my own pleasure. I like
doing it. I get scared and nervous if I have to play in public. Yet there
are as many others for whom music is all about the performance and sharing
with as many people as possible. And there is another stream too, which is
the commercial stream where the music is made to order, with the main aim
being to make money. Good music can can from any of these sources. The
commercial stream is the one which dominates however. It's the
industrialisation of the music business which is defining all the "genres"
and "styles". Marketing-men just love being able to segment the market and
design a product to dominate it. But their version of music is not about
emotion, it's about $$$$'s or ##'s or euros even. For me, music is an
emotional thing. Ages and ages ago someone said something on a post like
"they truly pitied anyone who was not able to be moved by music". Well
thats the way I feel. And it doesn't matter to me whether I'm playing or
listening to others making the music.


I'm not sure where I'm taking this now. Just that I agree that we live in
age where ther is an industry, so there's a homogenisation to a low common
denominator in that type of music. But that there's still a place for
anyone who "feels" for it to make their own music. So, yes, it's emotional
too.

I'll shut up now, but gladly talk about this over a few beers sometime.
Thanks for stimulating the grey cells.

cheers


Andrew_S


nw - Edi Reader singing Robert Burns songs at an oepn Ayr concert -
Fantastic. I wish I'd been there.

Steve White

unread,
May 11, 2003, 5:07:58 PM5/11/03
to
Very interesting discussion.

The responses so far indicate what a range of circumstances we have even
within this small community.

I think there's a whole range of reasons for making music from the creative
/ artistic right through to the entertaining / enjoyment and including
making a living, making loads of money, getting rich and getting laid and
showing off how clever you are. Hands up anyone who doesn't have at least a
tiny bit of each of them somewhere in their reasons? ;-)

I don't believe anyone making music really has no responsibilities at all
... except perhaps if you never intend anyone to hear your music. If you are
making music as a purely creative / artistic outlet then the responsibility
is mainly to yourself. However, once you begin to sell your music then you
begin to have certain responsibilities to your customers / listeners. If you
sell your music as art and describe it accurately then that's cool. However,
if you expect to play your art down the local boozer, or to a bunch of
grannies at a wedding ... then you're heading for trouble.

Its all horses for courses.

Cheers,
Steve W


dirtycow

unread,
May 11, 2003, 5:36:40 PM5/11/03
to
> Now *that* really is a fascinating area. I assume you're talking about
e.g.
> physical responses. Maybe you're not.
>
> I have a couple of good books dealing with the archeology and psychology
of
> music. To cut a long story short, it seems likely that music (or at least
> melody) predates speech as a means of communication (think birdsong, or
> jungle calls), and that rhythm has long been used as a means of communal
> grooving (think log-banging - compare to modern-day raving ;)). But - and
my
> point is - even that is an emotional response, on a certain level. People
> dance because it makes them feel good.

Steve, a fascinating response there. It occured to me whilst reading the
above though, that whilst i do respond mentally (thinking 'oh what a good
song'), i tend to respond physically to *great* songs/lyrics/chords etc -
normally this involves a quick shiver and hairs standing on end.

I guess dancing is also on a par with foot tapping and head nodding to
music, some form of physical output to the aural input...

Matt


Julian @ home

unread,
May 11, 2003, 6:28:36 PM5/11/03
to

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
> ... but for whom?

Great post, Justin. Really made me think.

Deep breath, thoughts follow:

Firstly, Genre. I think the tag of 'Genre' is useful to allow instant access
to particular music by folk who at that point in time are looking for that
type of music. However, Genres are not exclusive - they overlap vary
heavily. So, we have the oportunity for someone to start off enjoying a
piece of music by a band in Genre A, explor Genre A and realise that they
have drifted into Genre B.......etc. This makes things easier than having to
listen to a radio station (for example) that plays music outside your usual
listening sphere, and deciding 'I like that' to a track totally unlike your
current faves. Remember, the eclectic listening habits exhibited by the
musos and wanna-be musos in UKMG are not the norm - most folk don't like
being challenged.

As a side issue, many moons ago myself and one or two others of this parish
ran a mobile dosco. I still have several hundred of the records (round black
vinyl things, for the younger readers) in the loft, sorted by 'Genre'. Oh,
how things change. Take one exmaple - the Police are filed under punk/New
Wave. Seriously, They Were!

Secondly, responsibility. I split this into two camps. Those being paid for
their art, and those that arn't. If you are writing and performing your own
material, without material benefit, then you are free to do as you please.
End of story. No responsibility, no hassle. However, as soon as you are paid
to perform that same material, you have responsibilities. You need to
perform to expectation - the paying audiences, not yours. Recording deals
are even more pressure increasing. The simple fact is that as soon as you
are paid, you become a public commodity with responsibilities to deliver.
The Who recorded the line 'Hope I die before I get old' about 500 years
ago - but they were not allowed to due to contractual obligations.

What does this waffle mean? As I started out to say, take no money, enter no
contract, have no responsibilities, keep your art pure.

Dunno if this adds anything Justin, but thanks for making me think.

Cheers
Julian


---
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Tim Osbaldeston

unread,
May 11, 2003, 7:33:15 PM5/11/03
to
Well, at the risk of being cynical, if music *is* indeed it's own reward why
do most of us want to be rock stars?

"Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...

steve at fivetrees

unread,
May 12, 2003, 1:16:24 AM5/12/03
to
"andrew_s" <and...@karroo.com> wrote in message
news:b9mdk4$jaor2$6...@ID-124139.news.dfncis.de...

> a thought provoking post indeed !. I read it earlier this afternoon and
> have gone away to think about before replying. Music is like many other
> types of art. It can be satisfying for the artists and those who
experience
> the art.

Indeed. Something else I've probably already said once or twice: I find it
helpful to consider art as a two-way process involving a) the artist and b)
the artee (the listener in this case). Each brings something important to
the party. Each is redundant without the other. And, often, each contributes
to the art in the sense that artees interpret or respond to the art in
different ways.

This is largely why non-specific ambiguous lyrics work so well - listeners
tag their own meanings or contexts onto them. This is also why many
lyricists refuse to explain what the lyrics are really about ;).

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com


Adrian Clark

unread,
May 12, 2003, 6:57:57 AM5/12/03
to
I've been debating whether to write a big long missive, or whether to
just fill in between your paragraphs. I'm lazy...

Justin Otto <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to ensure
> that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> with the majority expectation.

Also to bring out the best in whatever is already there - sometimes in
terms of "drop this song; it isn't working" or "add an extra chorus
after the solo, but with just acoustic guitar".

>
> Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
> Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?

Partly, I think so - certain groupings seem to develop as a result of
deliberate stylistic focus. This has recently become much more powerful
and influential due to tie-ins with the whole "lifestyle marketing"
thing. A car, clothing style, fizzy drink and style of music can all be
mutually influential... spiralling into an ever narrower definition of
that particular genre.

Overall, though, I'm not sure why genres exist. Two possibilities spring
to mind...

1. They may just be an artistic reflection of the groupings that happen
in society as a whole - we tend to bunch together and form communities
with people of similar age, upbringing and interests.

2. Or are genres just an after-the-fact reaction; an attempt to make
sense of a seemingly infinite range of variations? As you say later,
music is an emotion-driven thing, both in its creation and its
appreciation. What's more, everyone experiences the creation and
appreciation of music in unique ways, so having named genres allows us
to describe (in a common language) something which can't otherwise be
reliably described.

> My instinctive response to this was to say that in my opinion, different
> music is appropriate for different times, and that even the most disposable
> pop has it's place.

I think so, too. It still pains me that there's a vast marketing
industry out there, selling disposable pop as part of some overall
lifestyle brand, but I have no problem with the most superficial,
simplistic pop being produced in abundance.


> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel - where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?

To be honest, I've never thought in terms of rights/responsibilities
before, so this is interesting. And the results will be disjointed and
confused...

Leaving aside the instances of "composing to order" (ie advertising
music, film scores etc) I think the only responsibilities of the
musician/composer are of a practical nature. Turn up at the gig, make
sure you're interacting properly with the other musicians and if you're
hired to play a particular type of music (ie a covers band or tribute
band) make sure you do that.

Beyond that (and especially where it relates to recorded output) I don't
think there should be any responsibilities. Listening to music is a
voluntary thing, and the listener's experience is impossible to predict,
so it's better if the composer concentrates on being faithful to his/her
inspiration. Whether you decide to focus on a genre (or rather, your
interpretation of what that genre *is*) or not, something different will
happen for every single person who listens to it.


Adrian


--
___________________________________
THE VIEW FROM THE SPAGHETTI FACTORY
http://www.spaghetti-factory.co.uk

Adrian Clark

unread,
May 12, 2003, 6:57:58 AM5/12/03
to
Tim Osbaldeston <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote:

> Well, at the risk of being cynical, if music *is* indeed it's own reward why
> do most of us want to be rock stars?

Do we, though? I mean, I certainly don't - I'd like the financial gains,
of course, but I wouldn't have much fun playing the same old songs over
and over again, or being contractually obliged to provide more of the
same.

David Morley

unread,
May 12, 2003, 7:17:28 AM5/12/03
to
In article <1fuuat2.6y2icqnm9bwN%spag...@hotmail.com>,
spag...@hotmail.com (Adrian Clark) wrote:

> Justin Otto <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> > he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to ensure
> > that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> > with the majority expectation.

I would strongly disagree.

One role of the producer is to get the group working together in the
studio in a productive and creative manner. It愀 nice to have someone
making certain decisions while you just get top concentrate on making
music rather than which compressor sounds right on the drums, wether to
gate things, which mics etc etc.

The way you phrase the above sounds too negative to me and any good
producer will bring creativity to the project.
Now, your manager on the other hand might use a certain producer because
he has success in a field your manager feels you belong in, but the
producer shouldn愒 really be thinking along those lines. He should just
be making the project sound as good as he possibly can.

Steve Cobham

unread,
May 12, 2003, 8:34:18 AM5/12/03
to
On 12 May 2003 13:15:23 +0100, ch...@example.org wrote:

>spag...@hotmail.com (Adrian Clark) writes:
>>
>> 2. Or are genres just an after-the-fact reaction; an attempt to make
>> sense of a seemingly infinite range of variations? As you say later,
>> music is an emotion-driven thing, both in its creation and its
>> appreciation. What's more, everyone experiences the creation and
>> appreciation of music in unique ways, so having named genres allows us
>> to describe (in a common language) something which can't otherwise be
>> reliably described.
>>
>

>This seems to me the same as saying that genres themselves don't exist. Sure,
>there are musicians that cross stylistic boundaries, but that vast majority of
>musicians/bands are within the boundaries of one or two genres at most.

I think that this was true about ten years ago, but I've become aware
of lots of music that could come under several different headings -
often so many that any combination of terms becomes meaningless.

Try listening to "Mixing It" and "Late Junction" on BBC Radio 3 to see
what I mean.

>In my youth I used to work at music festivals and asking bands which genre
>they placed themselves in would either result in the professional ("We are
>Blues-Rock" or "something like JTQ") which was also usually the indication
>that the gig would be handled well, or the shoegazing whiney and usually
>self-righteous "we don't really fit into any genre" - usually the worst gigs
>too.

Having played at a fair few festivals over the past three or so years
with Cock & Bull, I don't think hat's true any more, either! ;-)

The festivals might be nominally "folk"-based in name, but the
increasing electicism of the "genre" (can I please use that term? <g>)
is obvious.
>
>In most cases it was clear that the latter were immature enough to think that
>"being labelled" imputed adversely on their creative impulse. Bach was a
>composer in the "Baroque Classical" tradition - that didn't stop him from
>being one of the greatest musicians of all time.

I have to admit that I sometimes inwardly "bristle" when I hear my
band described as "folk" but I have to accept it to a certain extent
as it gets the band into events and situations of benefit to it.
>
>If genres didn't exist it would be necessary to invent them, if only to help
>the punter who only wants to ask "I like Dixieland, am I likely to be able to
>listen to this ?"

Indeed, and if you had to browse in a record store that had no
specific sections for types of music you'd surely miss out on a lot of
new listening experiences.

I like to think of certain forms of music being "labelled" helps to
focus the attention.

OTOH it could be seen as restrictive, but, with musical boundaries
becoming increasingly blurred, I don't see that as too big a problem.

Steve.
--
Guitar and bass tuition - all styles and levels. | Zappa! Guitar! Beer!
http://users.powernet.co.uk/guitars/tuition.htm | Trade Zappa and Gatton!
mail: st...@XSPAMXguitarsXMAPSX.powernet.co.uk | Save money by setting
Heb de Latz und schpill dini Gitare. | up your own guitar!

Adrian Clark

unread,
May 12, 2003, 9:24:56 AM5/12/03
to
<ch...@example.org> wrote:

> In most cases it was clear that the latter were immature enough to think that
> "being labelled" imputed adversely on their creative impulse. Bach was a
> composer in the "Baroque Classical" tradition - that didn't stop him from
> being one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Hmm... I don't think a wish not to be labelled makes someone immature.
Idealistic, maybe, but that's a good thing in my book! As you suggest
with the Bach example, though, we do all create music within certain
stylistic boundaries, so some sort of generic direction is inevitable.

Rick Booth

unread,
May 12, 2003, 9:42:59 AM5/12/03
to
Justin Otto <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the genre
> is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel - where
> do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?

This is a difficult question. As musicians, we certainly have some
responsibilities. There was a thread recently about Creed being sued for
ticket refunds, having shown up unfit to play and performed an appalling
set. Now, I'm no fan of the litigation culture, but if I pay to see a
band and they're utterly inept I'd want my money back too.

Similarly, if you're a name band with hits under your belt, I think you
have a responsibility to play at least some of them. If you went to see
(insert favourite band here) and they did an evening of blank verse and
acoustic-based Steps covers, you probably wouldn't be best pleased - and
rightly so. Similarly, if you're a pub band, you have a responsibility
to play a couple of songs at least that people will know and like.

And whatever sort of band you are, it's incumbent on you not to be shit.

A related point, raised elsewhere, is the issue of playing and peforming
less well on songs you don't like. Now, I've been in both originals and
covers bands, and in both cases with the regularly gigging bands I've
disliked 30% of the material or so quite intensely, and not been fond of
much of the rest. I am *very* proud of the fact, as asserted
independently by audience members, that there is no indication in my
behaviour or performance of which ones I love and which I hate.

If you're a gigging musician, then you are taking money to entertain
people. If you aren't going to make the effort to do it to the very best
of your ability, kindly fuck all the way off. Thank you.

For that matter, if you don't get enough from the audience's enthusiasm
to feed off even on songs you're not keen on, then what are you doing on
stage?

> Any thoughts which are more helpful than "that's a load of pretentious
> drivel, sod off you pretentious twat", are appreciated. :-)

Dougie Boucher in AMMK recently posted in a very similar vein. I
recommend his post to you all too:

http://groups.google.com/groups?as_umsgid=SUbva.27811%24VP.4128903%40twister.neo.rr.com

(or http://makeashorterlink.com/?K62832884 if your client breaks on that)

AMMK is a rather different group to this one, inasmuch as in there we
aren't all musicians (though most of us are), and we are all enthusiastic
about at least some "difficult", "uncommercial", "progressive" music -
that is, Mike Keneally's. Dougie's rant about the sort of snobbishness
that can often accompany these "acquired tastes" said a lot of stuff that
I agree with to the hilt. I love Keneally, Krantz, Devin Townsend, and
many other high-credibility muso types - but sometimes I just want to
drink a beer, put on a Bon Jovi or Avril Lavigne CD and enjoy dumb,
catchy, fun music.

- rfb
--
ri...@rfbooth.com http://www.rfbooth.com/ Made from non-edible parts.
I offer an unprecedented set of skills for an office temp. I type 100
words a minute, speak Spanish, and talk to birds ala St. Francis. I can
also suck cock like a dock whore. -- Paul Ford looks for work, in ftrain

dirtycow

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:05:28 AM5/12/03
to
> If you're a gigging musician, then you are taking money to entertain
> people. If you aren't going to make the effort to do it to the very best
> of your ability, kindly fuck all the way off. Thank you.

Thats wrong Rick IMO. In my case, i dont like the music, but i give it a
good shot and perform as well as i can. If i do like the music, i seem to
play with more feeling, and i try out things to enhance the music. I find
this hard too when im playing music that doesnt interest me.

There are enough bands and types of music out there for people to play what
they want - there is always going to be some music to suit everyone, so why
should i go out of my way to play things i have no interest in?

Matt


Steve Cobham

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:24:20 AM5/12/03
to
On Mon, 12 May 2003 15:05:28 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>
wrote:

>> If you're a gigging musician, then you are taking money to entertain
>> people. If you aren't going to make the effort to do it to the very best
>> of your ability, kindly fuck all the way off. Thank you.
>
>Thats wrong Rick IMO. In my case, i dont like the music, but i give it a
>good shot and perform as well as i can. If i do like the music, i seem to
>play with more feeling, and i try out things to enhance the music. I find
>this hard too when im playing music that doesnt interest me.

I've found that wads of cash at the end of the night helps
considerably - that and the possible rebooking as well.

I'm talking here of the MOR/club band I used to be in.

We played some truly execrable stuff - most of the set actually - such
as The Birdy Song, Agadoo, etc, etc. All the stuff you hate from the
instant it starts.

However, I was playing this stuff on up to five gigs a week -
certainly every Friday and Staurday night every week, and often Sunday
lunchtime and quite often, Sunday night and a weekday evening too.

I was teaching full time then and, in a busy week, would sometimes
make more money gigging than teaching - particularly around Christmas
and New Year.

Yes, it was horrible most of the time, but I made a stack of dosh (and
money *is* important) and it actually made me into a better guitarist
when it comes to ensemble playing.

Even now, money is an important issue with me - I *like* to be paid
well because I figure I'm worth it.

Like and dislike doesn't always enter into the equation - sometimes
playing is a job.

Whatever the reason for doing it, you should always do your best.

>There are enough bands and types of music out there for people to play what
>they want - there is always going to be some music to suit everyone, so why
>should i go out of my way to play things i have no interest in?

Well, you wouldn't be in that sort of band in the first place if you
had those principles to start with.

I'm with Rick on this one all the way.

It's a sort of contract or agreement - you entertain and they let you
play whether it's for a tenner or a grand.

Besides, life has to entail compromise.

I figure that if you like half the stuff you're playing, that's not
too bad a deal.

I certainly don't like half of what I hear of music in general - not
even remotely.

Steve Dix

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:29:00 AM5/12/03
to
On Mon, 12 May 2003 15:05:28 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>
wrote:

>> If you're a gigging musician, then you are taking money to entertain

Something I've found in the past is that music which I don't like to
listen to can be fun to play. I've also found that playing stuff that
I didn't like has made me appreciate that style of music a bit more.

Obviously there's a limit. I certainly wouldn't be seen dead playing
the "Birdy Song" or "Mr. Blobby".

;->

--
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http://www.snorty.net/ http://www.stevedix.de/
UKMG/(B)R[6x-]!M!S(J)(F) E8?1A3?2B2K2?1 GAS+ C= P= G= B+ R+/= M+ S++(--) r-(--)

dirtycow

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:33:57 AM5/12/03
to
> I've found that wads of cash at the end of the night helps
> considerably - that and the possible rebooking as well.

To be honest, the money isnt important to me. I have a part time job, im at
uni, and we only earn about Ł30 a piece per gig anyhow (gig every 2 months
or so). I do it for the fun and the experience which are far more important
the money.

> Whatever the reason for doing it, you should always do your best.

I always do, the point im trying to get across is this: say if you went to
see Clapton, but he was playing heavy metal songs, sure hed play them
technically well, but i bet there would be half as much feeling as if he was
playing Tears in Heaven.

> Well, you wouldn't be in that sort of band in the first place if you
> had those principles to start with.

As i say above, im in it for the fun and experience - the other 2 in the
band are way older than me (~20 years older) and so i learn massive amounts
of new things every week. We do of course do songs i like, so its not all a
learning experience.

I really dislike this whole thing about having to please your audience. If
they want to be there, they will like what your playing, if they dont like
it, they can move on - no great deal

Matt


Steve Cobham

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:36:15 AM5/12/03
to
On Mon, 12 May 2003 16:29:00 +0200, Steve Dix <st...@stevedix.de>
wrote:

>Obviously there's a limit. I certainly wouldn't be seen dead playing
>the "Birdy Song"

Smell my rotting corpse! ;-)

GUILTY!

Steve Cobham

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:43:33 AM5/12/03
to
On Mon, 12 May 2003 15:33:57 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>
wrote:

>I really dislike this whole thing about having to please your audience. If
>they want to be there, they will like what your playing, if they dont like
>it, they can move on - no great deal

At virtually any venue what the owner/promoter sees as important is
what goes down well with the punters.

If an act don't please the crowd he'll see reduced admission profits
and the bar sales will be down - the latter being where he really
makes his money.

IME if a band doesn't go down well at a venue it's the band that
ultimately moves on - not the audience.

It's not a lot of good telling the guy who's paying you that although
the venue cleared at half-nine at least the band was playing what it
really liked.

I don't think a rebooking would be forthcoming - and word gets around,
it really does.

Rick Booth

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:51:18 AM5/12/03
to
dirtycow <fe...@genie.co.uk> wrote:
>> If you're a gigging musician, then you are taking money to entertain
>> people. If you aren't going to make the effort to do it to the very best
>> of your ability, kindly fuck all the way off. Thank you.

> There are enough bands and types of music out there for people to play what


> they want - there is always going to be some music to suit everyone, so why
> should i go out of my way to play things i have no interest in?

By all means, don't play stuff you don't like. Obviously, being in a
band where you only play stuff you love would be ideal. But if you're
going to play it and the audience can tell you don't like it, then you
need kicking. IM-very-HO. If you can't do it well, don't do it.

- rfb
--
ri...@rfbooth.com | Most Brit writers are horribly normal. You'd let them
www.rfbooth.com | feed your dog while you were away on holiday. Okay, one
or two of them would doubtless have sex with the dog while you were out
of the house, but... -- Warren Ellis

Julian @ Work

unread,
May 12, 2003, 10:52:16 AM5/12/03
to

"Steve Cobham" <st...@guitars.powernet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:09cvbvk933gdl37h3...@4ax.com...

> On Mon, 12 May 2003 16:29:00 +0200, Steve Dix <st...@stevedix.de>
> wrote:
>
> >Obviously there's a limit. I certainly wouldn't be seen dead playing
> >the "Birdy Song"
>
> Smell my rotting corpse! ;-)
>
> GUILTY!
>
> Steve.

This thread has now officially gone full circle - Mr Otto has even
*recorded* the Birdie Song!!!

Cheers
J


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Rick Booth

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May 12, 2003, 10:57:33 AM5/12/03
to
dirtycow <fe...@genie.co.uk> wrote:
(this was Steve Cobham:)

>> I've found that wads of cash at the end of the night helps
>> considerably - that and the possible rebooking as well.

> To be honest, the money isnt important to me. I have a part time job, im at
> uni, and we only earn about Ł30 a piece per gig anyhow (gig every 2 months
> or so). I do it for the fun and the experience which are far more important
> the money.

It's not important to me either, I'm lucky to break even.

> I really dislike this whole thing about having to please your audience. If
> they want to be there, they will like what your playing, if they dont like
> it, they can move on - no great deal

Well that's not quite what we were saying. We were saying that you have
to give your all to what you're playing. Anything less is an insult to
the audience. They're giving up their time and money to see you, and if
you're going at it half-assed then you are behaving very badly indeed.

Yes, of course they can (and will) leave if they don't like you. And if
you don't care about that, you won't be rebooked - and neither should you
be. If you don't care about the crowd enjoying themselves, stay in your
bedroom.

- rfb
--
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Adrian Clark

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May 12, 2003, 11:13:03 AM5/12/03
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dirtycow <fe...@genie.co.uk> wrote:

> Thats wrong Rick IMO. In my case, i dont like the music, but i give it a
> good shot and perform as well as i can. If i do like the music, i seem to
> play with more feeling, and i try out things to enhance the music. I find
> this hard too when im playing music that doesnt interest me.

Sorry, Matt - I'll have to side with Rick here. If you've put yourself
in a situation where you're playing music you don't like, you owe it to
the people who *do* like it to play it with exactly the same conviction.
It's not always pleasant, but you just have to do it.

>
> There are enough bands and types of music out there for people to play what
> they want - there is always going to be some music to suit everyone, so why
> should i go out of my way to play things i have no interest in?

Ah... well, that's different. If you totally avoid situations where
you'd be playing stuff you don't like, that's the best policy by far
(and one I've always tried to practise... where career prospects allow
<g>). In an ideal world, all music would be played by people who are
passionate about that music.

dirtycow

unread,
May 12, 2003, 11:26:39 AM5/12/03
to
> Sorry, Matt - I'll have to side with Rick here. If you've put yourself
> in a situation where you're playing music you don't like, you owe it to
> the people who *do* like it to play it with exactly the same conviction.
> It's not always pleasant, but you just have to do it.

Argh! Im either making the point exceedingly badly, or people arent
understanding me. Its *easier* to play music with passion if you like it.
Thats not to say i dont put 100% effort into all the music i play, because i
do.

Usenet should have picture emoticons like MSN messenger. That would make
things better to understand ;)

Oh yeh it already does

Matt


grant

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May 12, 2003, 11:33:06 AM5/12/03
to

"steve at fivetrees" <st...@DELETEMEfivetrees.com> wrote in message
news:b9mavv$29p$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...

> "grant" <gr...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:b9m9df$kkb8i$1...@ID-113725.news.dfncis.de...
> > I also think
> > the way we appreciate music isn't limited to an emotional response.
>
> Now *that* really is a fascinating area. I assume you're talking about
e.g.
> physical responses.

> Of course, I might have missed your point entirely.
>


It's entirely possible ;-)

You sense music, your brain attempts to understand it, then there's an
emotional (& physiological?) response. I think the intermediate stage -
your ability to 'read' sounds - is more important as it allows you to
educate your emotional response and appreciate new forms.

grant.

JNugent

unread,
May 12, 2003, 2:35:30 PM5/12/03
to
"Steve Cobham" <st...@guitars.powernet.co.uk> wrote:

|| I'm talking here of the MOR/club band I used to be in.

|| We played some truly execrable stuff - most of the set actually -
|| such as The Birdy Song, Agadoo, etc, etc. All the stuff you hate
|| from the instant it starts.

"Execrable"?

Those were two of my *favourite* tunes... until I heard "Y Viva Espana"...


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Tim Osbaldeston

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May 12, 2003, 2:57:04 PM5/12/03
to
Aaaah. You say that, but woudl you really turn down the offer?... ;-)

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but, deep down inside, wouldn't we all
like to be rock stars? It's a bit of a curse really: that anyone with any
talent is likely to feel sucked into the need to present themselves to a
wider stage, often despite their better instincts: hence so many unhappy
rock stars.

It still leaves us asking, though, if music is it's own reward...

"Adrian Clark" <spag...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1fuugyo.25qawk1utd5vkN%spag...@hotmail.com...

Tim Osbaldeston

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May 12, 2003, 2:58:25 PM5/12/03
to
Simo,

Get real. YOU WANT IT!!! YOU WANT IT! YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!!!

Oz.

P.S. Where you living these day's?

"Paul Simpson" <p_r_s...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9lq46$k9a14$1...@ID-70736.news.dfncis.de...
> Excellent post Justin! Response follows...


>
> "Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:b9lhv5$mmf$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
> > ... but for whom?
> >
> > I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. About the
relationship
> > and interaction of artist, audience and genre. I haven't come to a
> > conclusion yet, but I'm coming to the end of my experience and need some
> > more input.
> >
> > A regular of UKMG mentioned that he has been struggling with the musical
> > direction his new band is going in. He is currently fighting to keep the
> > band's music consistent with his original vision, and not let it get
> > watered down into a blander, more commercial form.
> >
>

> That would be me, then. <g>
>
> My general issue is with the band's current singer who seems to turn a 3
> piece hard-grooving original-sounding band into a 4 piece 2nd-rate bunch
of
> Morcheeba wannabes whenever she turns up to rehearse.
>
> Yes, it sounds more 'commercial', but.. it just doesn't *do* anything for
> me. And I couldn't give a flying one about sounding 'commercial', this
band
> is just meant to be a satisfying musical creative musical outlet for me
> *and* whoever else is in the band. The other chaps in the band like both
> approaches, though. Still currently trying to resolve all this...
>
> About 'watering down'... guilty, I'm afraid. I realised the other day
that
> I've kinda throttled back a *smidge* from all-out avant-noise terrorism on
> my guitar. I still do plenty of it within the context of the band - just
> not full-on, all of the time. It would be a pretty boring band to listen
> to, even for me, if I did random electronic noise *all* the time.


>
> > In a broad outline, I am coming to believe that his view is that music
> > should be produced to the tastes and sensibilities of the artist. That
the
> > musical ideals of the artist are an integral part of their output.
> >
> > I can understand that this is a clear and consistent approach - and for
> that
> > it makes sense. However, I can't help feeling that the mainstream
> > compromise so apparent in much of the commercial musical output of the
> > world may serve more than a financial principle.
> >

> > As I understand it, the role of a producer is to pigeon-hole the music
> > he/she is working with. To make whatever adjustments are required to
> ensure
> > that the final piece is in a recognised genre - coherant and compatible
> > with the majority expectation.
> >

> > Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?
> > Why do we have genres? Is it all cynical marketing?
> >
>

> It *is* all cynical marketing. The important part of the term 'music
> industry' is 'industry' - the people who work in it it are the same type
of
> people who sell us baked beans etc. Only they aren't dealing with a nice
> consistant product like canned food, they're selling something that is
> inconsistent, intangible, emotional, something you can't quite put your
> finger on - music, in short. So, faced with the problem of trying to sell
> as many bits of plastic that contain this bloody awkward commodity as
> possible they try to spilt it into convenient categories, just like any
> other Fast Moving Consumers Goods - country, jazz, blues, pop, hip-hop,
> canned goods, perishables, cleaning products, kitchenware. Creating
> 'genres' is nothing more than putting a name to something so it can be
more
> easily understood, digested and therefore *sold*. No one really imagines
> that any of music's great originals had a hand in naming the 'genres' they
> helped spawn, do they?
>
> Music is at it's best when an individual or group of individuals get
> together to create something that *they believe in* with no outside
business
> infuences. The main reason that The Beatles were able to be so innovative
> is that they had so much clout they could just go into a recording studio,
> do what the hell they wanted and EMI would release it because they knew
that
> they could release an album that consisted entirely of Ringo farting into
a
> mike and it would still sell. The Beatles were just able to get on and
make
> the record *they* wanted, at least in the latter stage of their career
when,
> let's face it, money wasn't really an issue for them anymore.


>
> > And now, I'm going to bring in part of discussion that was going on in
> > another thread:-
> >
> > dirtycow wrote:
> > >Roy wrote:
> > >> Music is music, what we as musicians think is good isn't what our
> > >> customers think, i.e. the public.
> > >
> > > I agree to some extent, but having experienced music is far far far
> > > superior IMO, i dont feel it would be fair to my self to keep up any
> > > pretense that I like this nonsense.
> >

> > My instinctive response to this was to say that in my opinion, different
> > music is appropriate for different times, and that even the most
> disposable

> > pop has it's place. Then I thought about why I felt this, and realised
> that
> > all these things were connected.
> >
> > I've always believed that music is connected with emotion.
> >
>

> That's all there really is to it, at the end of the day.
>
> Then Big Money gets involved, and Fucks It All Up.


>
> > Perhaps this is the role of a genre, to channel music into a
recognisable
> > form that resonates with the listener's emotions.
> >
> > Some types of music I don't like or 'get' perhaps because I don't
identify
> > with the emotion it conveys. Some I can listen to, but not for long
> > periods. Maybe this is because whilst I recognise the implicit emotional
> > content, I don't enjoy it, or indulge in it often enough to feel
> > comfortable there.
> >

> > So I guess that my question boils down to, if music exists to convey,
> > trigger and reinforce emotions in the listener, and the role of the
genre
> > is to allow the listener to choose which emotions they want to feel -
> where
> > do our rights end and our responsibilites begin?
> >
>

> The only rights and resonsibilities a musician who's doing it for the
> *right* reasons has is to make music that they think is great. That's it.
>
> If you're making music to try and achieve 'celebrity' status or to make a
> *shitload* of money as your *primary* objective - you've missed the point
> entirely. Not to say it can't be done, but teh resulting music isn't
> usually up to much.
>
> The problem is is that if you do something truly great in music and large
> amounts of money beome involved, and the two are hugely incompatable...
>
> Music at it's best is reflection an expression of the human soul and the
> myriad things we experience in this world. The art of making vast amounts
> of money has little to do with such 'romantic' notions.


>
> > Any thoughts which are more helpful than "that's a load of pretentious
> > drivel, sod off you pretentious twat", are appreciated. :-)
> >

> > Thanks,
> >
> > J.
>
>


Paul Simpson

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May 12, 2003, 3:05:53 PM5/12/03
to
"Tim Osbaldeston" <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote in message
news:M6Sva.478$Td2...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk...

> Simo,
>
> Get real. YOU WANT IT!!! YOU WANT IT! YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!!!
>

Timo,

Yes! I want it!

Hang on... No! I don't!

Er, Probably!

What the flipping heck are you talking about?

> Oz.
>
> P.S. Where you living these day's?
>

Currently residing in Pontefract somewhere near the arse end of West
Yorkshire, but this is subject to change Real Soon Now....

Paul.

Gez

unread,
May 12, 2003, 3:11:50 PM5/12/03
to
But playing music you don't like is hardly kryptonite. Your head won't
explode if you do it.
Also how much music is really that bad? It may not be your most favourite
thing but is it that bad. (I do not care much for C+W, but there's some
great playing
and witty lyrics going on there, it just doesn't "connect" somehow)
Having said that I've seen some great players get booed off.


David Morley

unread,
May 12, 2003, 3:34:14 PM5/12/03
to
In article <v5Sva.451$Td2...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk>,
"Tim Osbaldeston" <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote:

> Aaaah. You say that, but woudl you really turn down the offer?... ;-)

I´d rather be like a friends dad that I know.
He wrote "e viva espana".
Melody from an old classical tune, hence no copyright and some silly
silly words and he´s been getting heavy cheques every year since.

Basically he had the fortune without the annoyance of fame (and believe
me, this isn´t something you really want to be famous for writing!)

Justin Otto

unread,
May 12, 2003, 5:02:10 PM5/12/03
to
Julian @ Work wrote:
> This thread has now officially gone full circle - Mr Otto has even
> *recorded* the Birdie Song!!!

Shh.

J.

Andy B

unread,
May 12, 2003, 4:07:16 PM5/12/03
to
"Tim Osbaldeston" <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote in message
news:r2Bva.218$Yz3...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk...

> Well, at the risk of being cynical, if music *is* indeed it's own reward
why
> do most of us want to be rock stars?

Because doing something that you find rewarding for a living is better than
what many people have to do for their day job. And for the sex and drugs as
well obviously.

Andy

Tim Osbaldeston

unread,
May 12, 2003, 5:07:47 PM5/12/03
to
> > Get real. YOU WANT IT!!! YOU WANT IT! YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT!!!
> >
>
> Timo,
>
> Yes! I want it!
>
> Hang on... No! I don't!
>
> Er, Probably!
>
> What the flipping heck are you talking about?
>

----------> No idea.

> > Oz.
> >
> > P.S. Where you living these day's?
> >
>
> Currently residing in Pontefract somewhere near the arse end of West
> Yorkshire, but this is subject to change Real Soon Now....

---------------> Glad to hear it.
>
> Paul.
>
>
>


Tim Osbaldeston

unread,
May 12, 2003, 5:09:26 PM5/12/03
to
I'd have to go with that.

To be honest I allways wanted a sort of rock legend / totally anonymous
person sort of lifestyle. I think Dave Gilmour is probably the closest
example: someone who can fill a stadium in five minutes but still go down to
Threshers without getting recognised (probably).

"David Morley" <52003199...@t-online.de> wrote in message
news:520031991064-0001-4...@news.fu-berlin.de...


> In article <v5Sva.451$Td2...@news-binary.blueyonder.co.uk>,
> "Tim Osbaldeston" <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Aaaah. You say that, but woudl you really turn down the offer?... ;-)
>

> I悲 rather be like a friends dad that I know.


> He wrote "e viva espana".
> Melody from an old classical tune, hence no copyright and some silly

> silly words and he愀 been getting heavy cheques every year since.


>
> Basically he had the fortune without the annoyance of fame (and believe

> me, this isn愒 something you really want to be famous for writing!)


Tim Osbaldeston

unread,
May 12, 2003, 5:09:45 PM5/12/03
to
My point[s] exactly.

"Andy B" <an...@pingwin.nofsnetspam.co.uk> wrote in message
news:b9outo$u23$1...@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...

Adrian Clark

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May 12, 2003, 5:56:56 PM5/12/03
to
Tim Osbaldeston <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote:

> Aaaah. You say that, but woudl you really turn down the offer?... ;-)

If there was the possibility of just trying it for a while, I probably
would have a go, but I think I'd fail dismally, owing to my innate
bloody-mindedness! "I don't want to record the same album for the fifth
time - I want to do a free jazz album..."

clive murray

unread,
May 12, 2003, 6:03:55 PM5/12/03
to
"Adrian Clark" <spag...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1fuvbi6.13m7ye4t0d5t8N%spag...@hotmail.com...

> Tim Osbaldeston <t...@themightypig.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Aaaah. You say that, but woudl you really turn down the offer?... ;-)
>
> If there was the possibility of just trying it for a while, I probably
> would have a go, but I think I'd fail dismally, owing to my innate
> bloody-mindedness! "I don't want to record the same album for the fifth
> time - I want to do a free jazz album..."

well, substitute "mentalist fusion" for "free jazz" and it worked for richie
kotzen...

--c.


grant

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May 12, 2003, 6:50:56 PM5/12/03
to

"clive murray" <earth...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9p66h$li03u$1...@ID-56037.news.dfncis.de...

Or Alex Skolnick, now available for weddings & Bar Mitzvahs.

clive murray

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May 12, 2003, 6:48:31 PM5/12/03
to
"grant" <gr...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b9p8cb$l5pks$1...@ID-113725.news.dfncis.de...


> Or Alex Skolnick, now available for weddings & Bar Mitzvahs.


indeed. I have his trio's "jazz covers of rock standards" album. very nice
indeed.

--c.


Andy Dempster

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May 13, 2003, 4:18:51 AM5/13/03
to
----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin Otto" <justi...@hotmail.com>
Newsgroups: uk.music.guitar
Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2003 3:04 PM
Subject: Music is it's own reward...


> ... but for whom?
>
> I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently. About the relationship
> and interaction of artist, audience and genre. I haven't come to a
> conclusion yet, but I'm coming to the end of my experience and need some
> more input.

<snip>

Justin,

Superb thread - I feel inadequate to comment as I neither have the knowledge
or the time to go into all the issues this raises for me personally but
fundamentally I believe music is its own reward, commerical and critical
success is a bonus.

Taking recent examples, Atomic Kittens cover of 'Eternal Flame'. Now I could
be wrong, they may have recreated the song because they loved it since they
were kids and it stirred deep emotions within them since then. Sadly I doubt
it. That dance remix of 'Boys of Summer' - again, two frustrated muso's
stuck with wanting to release something decide to take one of their
favourite songs they used to play as a school band back in the early 90's.
Again I doubt it. More likely both of them were chosen as "Radio Friendly"
hits that would appeal to some mass market and bring commercial success. I
don't like either of these singles, but I love the originals so I could be
biaised. Its not the 'genre' that I dislike - I like and own alot of dance
music. Generally I turn off both songs when they are played on the radio, in
fact I turn off all songs by Atomic Kitten!

A cover I do like would be NOFX doing "Go Your Own Way" (Fleetwood Mac),
brilliantly executed, turned to punk and fun. (I think even Penfold likes
it). Crossing genre's - another tack we could take.

The concept of a modern 'song' is difficult to judge for its merits as there
are essentially 2 parts. The music and the lyrics. Forgetting for the moment
that the music has many parts, lets look at another recent song. Ms
Dynamite(ee-ee)'s first release 'It takes more' (I had to Google for what it
was called). To me this song was fantastic, musically interesting for the
'genre' using accordian sounds but also lyrically challenging in the way it
expressed the downside of the very genre it was in. In contrast Missy
Elliots' "Work It" was musically fun - but lyrically dull. So they were both
musically rewarding for me but one lacked
lyrcial content that made the other interesting and therefore more
rewarding.

To play any instrument, whether its your playing your own song or a cover,
is something that I think we as musicians take for granted. There are alot
of people who just don't get it. Its just sounds to them, not even music.
Playing with my old blues band, I enjoyed the rehearsals more than the gigs.
Mostly because I knew we were playing for the love of music. Playing songs
with an old 3 piece garage band I had, was fantastic. We used to jam for
hours and wrote quite a few songs. I doubt they would have any commercial
success or be enjoyed by anyone else, but for us and me especially it was
fantastic. I have tapes of these songs - I know exactly what I played and
what the other musicians played. But I cannot recreate the music now as it
lacks the spirit of the sessions. Therefore for me it has lost it the
rewards to play it, but I still enjoy listening to it and therefore its
still rewarding on that level.

I shall stop now before I ramble more...

Andy_D

PS. I recomend a book that I have called Music, A Very Short Introduction by
Nicholas Cook - http://tinyurl.com/bml6 . It covers a number of these points
and ideas.


Steve Dix

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May 13, 2003, 12:52:33 PM5/13/03
to
On Mon, 12 May 2003 15:33:57 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>
wrote:

>> I've found that wads of cash at the end of the night helps


>> considerably - that and the possible rebooking as well.
>
>To be honest, the money isnt important to me. I have a part time job, im at
>uni, and we only earn about Ł30 a piece per gig anyhow (gig every 2 months
>or so). I do it for the fun and the experience which are far more important
>the money.
>

30ukp??!! Each??!! Riches beyond dreams of avarice!!!

I think the most ANY band that I've played in has made so far has been
30UKP split between us. Which didn't even account for the petrol.

Mind you, we did make about six beer-vouchers each (real beer
vouchers, exchangable only for beer, not money) on Saturday.


--
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http://www.snorty.net/ http://www.stevedix.de/
UKMG/(B)R[6x-]!M!S(J)(F) E8?1A3?2B2K2?1 GAS+ C= P= G= B+ R+/= M+ S++(--) r-(--)

Rick Booth

unread,
May 13, 2003, 1:38:06 PM5/13/03
to
Steve Dix <st...@stevedix.de> wrote:
> 30ukp??!! Each??!! Riches beyond dreams of avarice!!!

> I think the most ANY band that I've played in has made so far has been
> 30UKP split between us. Which didn't even account for the petrol.

Really? That surprises me, I must say. My old originals fourpiece when
I was a teenager used to make around £60 or £70, iirc, in Lichfield 13
years or so ago. Of course, I may not RC, it's been a long time and I
was rather more interested in the girls than the pay at the time. Riding
rather than rider, I might say, and indeed it seems I have.

On the current covers band circuit here, £150 seems to be the baseline -
many places pay more, and a lot of bands have a strict policy of not
going out for less. If we went out for less than that, James (in
particular, with furthest to drive) would be losing money hand over fist.

- rfb
--
ri...@rfbooth.com http://www.rfbooth.com/ 100% recycled electrons.
Your fighting style smells of Gorgonzola! Now I go to battle She-Bot
Scantily-X! -- Torg, in Sluggy Freelance

Steve Cobham

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May 13, 2003, 2:13:15 PM5/13/03
to
On Tue, 13 May 2003 18:52:33 +0200, Steve Dix <st...@stevedix.de>
wrote:

>On Mon, 12 May 2003 15:33:57 +0100, "dirtycow" <fe...@genie.co.uk>


>wrote:
>
>>> I've found that wads of cash at the end of the night helps
>>> considerably - that and the possible rebooking as well.
>>
>>To be honest, the money isnt important to me. I have a part time job, im at
>>uni, and we only earn about Ł30 a piece per gig anyhow (gig every 2 months
>>or so). I do it for the fun and the experience which are far more important
>>the money.
>>
>
>30ukp??!! Each??!! Riches beyond dreams of avarice!!!
>
>I think the most ANY band that I've played in has made so far has been
>30UKP split between us. Which didn't even account for the petrol.

The MOR band I was in went out for Ł1800 on New Year's Eve in 1993 - I
came away with just under Ł430 after exes. (I still have my diaries!)
That was my biggest earner so far and we deserved every frigging
penny!

Unless it was a fun gig or a gig that gave lots of exposure I wouldn't
take my gear out of the house for less than Ł50 - and if it was Ł50 I
wouldn't be too happy.

A target figure is between Ł80 and a ton after all exes.


>
>Mind you, we did make about six beer-vouchers each (real beer
>vouchers, exchangable only for beer, not money) on Saturday.

All out gigs have a rider stipulating drinks - quantity - and eats.
All this is highly negotiable, so we don't come away with a crate of
JD ;-)

Steve Dix

unread,
May 13, 2003, 5:38:18 PM5/13/03
to
On 13 May 2003 17:38:06 GMT, Rick Booth <richar...@umist.ac.uk>
wrote:

>Steve Dix <st...@stevedix.de> wrote:
>> 30ukp??!! Each??!! Riches beyond dreams of avarice!!!
>
>> I think the most ANY band that I've played in has made so far has been
>> 30UKP split between us. Which didn't even account for the petrol.
>
>Really? That surprises me, I must say. My old originals fourpiece when
>I was a teenager used to make around £60 or £70, iirc, in Lichfield 13
>years or so ago. Of course, I may not RC, it's been a long time and I
>was rather more interested in the girls than the pay at the time. Riding
>rather than rider, I might say, and indeed it seems I have.
>

Remember that the Simpletons were trying to break into playing around
Birmingham at a time when the live scene had suddenly collapsed.

We had to threaten point-blank to get the 30 quid, although originally
it was going to be double. It's a long story.

steve at fivetrees

unread,
May 13, 2003, 7:45:44 PM5/13/03
to
<ch...@example.org> wrote in message
news:8yu1byy...@random-node.example.org...

> "Tim Osbaldeston" <t...@themightypig.co.uk> writes:
> > Well, at the risk of being cynical, if music *is* indeed it's own reward
why
> > do most of us want to be rock stars?
>
> Well .. if you believe Frank Zappa it's because each of us wants to meet
that
> elusive combination between an attractive waitress and a vacuum cleaner.

Not to mention the plooking.

Steve
http://www.fivetrees.com


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