By Mick Polich - 09/13/2013 - 03:45 PM EDT
Here's some hard truths on the so-called wisdom I've gotten after almost 40 years of a 'music career' (ahem...yeah):
#1: I would think twice about joining a band with any members who don't share the same life experiences. Yeah,call this one dumb,but I have turned down some band offers,recently, to join weekend warrior groups for that reason.
Why? Well, for starters,(and really,musicianship has nothing to do with it at this point) even if someone is a fantastic player,relationships matter in bands to me more so than ever. I've seen enough people,in their mid-50's - single still,or divorced,strained family structures,
trying to make on the $50 or $100 a weekend as their main source of pay - it doesn't make sense anymore.You've done exhausted your statue of limitations,palie - give it up. Call me crazy,but I will take a good player with kids, grandkids,a regular day job,and a good family structure
over the player that's a genius at whatever,but lacks a good family structure, common sense, and is a total flake otherwise. Harsh words,but I don't need it,kids -the romanticism of that life is OVER for me......
#2: Thinking about mortality - who DOESN'T think about that after age 50? Having been thru a couple of career changes over the past three years,I've done the math on going back to school,and yeah,it would be nice to get a teaching,music,or graphic design degree,but I hate not to go all Pollyana
on you guys,but nobody's hiring any college grads at age 60 ( which it would take me that long to get any of those sheepskins even on a fast track program ). This applies to whatever visions of fame and glory I had in the past with the music business - this is fine,no worries here and now. O.k., there are exceptions,but really,it ain't happenin' - I enjoy what I do now (which is alot of teaching,music and otherwise,in local schools),and I'm making SOME
money for my family rather than going in the minus column. Plus,I've started to look at 60 years old as a benchmark for change -meaning, will I be able to schlep equipment around for gigs,do repairwork on gear,teach, perform music in public, etc.? Yo' body parts wear out,holmes -gotta take care of what's left.
#3: Optimism v.s. cynicism - at this point, you can either look at the half-full glass,or just get pissed about EVERYTHING ( I do know a few folks in both arenas ). After being a closet pessimist for many a moon, I choose to embrace everyday as much as I can.Look,it's gift - the little things do matter, so please,enjoy every gig that comes your
way. My wife and I played in a auto service port last night for a local auto center grand re-opening gig, and it was WONDERFUL - total hoot.
#4: Give back as much as you can - I tell my music students ( and frankly,alot of regular school students when I substitute teach) that I'm here to help. If you've got years of hard - fought experience to hand out, give it back - the world needs it. I try to be an open vessel as far as handing out knowledge,or helping others see a way around a problem.
Like you've got some big vocational secrets you can share at this point in life? Please,spare me - put it out there. You'll be doing everyone involved a big favor if you do.
Well, that's it - too short,I know ( hey,I wrote most of this in my head while walking my dog 20 minutes ago...).Believe me,more to come.....
Final notes: "See You There" is the newest,and probably final album from the great Glen Campbell,who's on the long goodbye with all those who love him.It's a brilliant,yet sad re-imagined collection of his greatest hits -subtle and poignant.I used watch the "Glen Campbell Good Time Hour" religiously back in the late 1960's/early '70's - I knew then he
was a hell of an interpreter of music - all those Jimmy Webb classics,man. But seeing him tear it up on "The Midnight Special" one late Friday eve on an Ovation electric guitar sealed the deal for me - the man can play guitar. You don't get to be part of "The Wrecking Crew" for noodling......
That's it for now,compadres -thanks for coming back to the column,and reading!
[ Current Articles | Archives ]