â€œIf you live to playâ€¦Then play damn it.â€
1)Thinking that you have to make your money â€œtouringâ€. Where is it written that you have to live by the breadcrumbs the bars and clubs of this world are willing to give you in some town you have never heard of?
This is bad thinking champ. And bad thinking leads to bad business.
You have no following in Bumblestream Ohio- so how then do you do you expect a club owner there to pay you and your band enough money to get there, feed all of you along the way, and get you to your next stop?
By promising him you will promote on the local college radio show which noone except the djÂ´s three stoned buddies listen to?
Ok, IÂ´m the bar ownerâ€¦what guarentee can you give me besides the lie I hear from every single band from out of townâ€¦ the â€œwe- are- huge- in- all- but- three- Eastern Block countriesâ€ lie?
Think again champ.
Promote your butt off but donÂ´t expect immediate payoffâ€¦most tours failâ€¦expect poverty and the all too often accoutrements of said situation: over indulgence, infighting, crappy food, and no sleepâ€¦been thereâ€¦no thanks..
2)Thinking business is evil..The patent stupidity of this view shocks me.
That is like a fish saying they donÂ´t like water.
Even if your vaunted dreams do come true and you are able to make a living on the road, or, more likely- teaching little Johnny how to play â€œStairway to Heavenâ€ for 20 bills an hour(when his mommy actually doesnÂ´t forget to drop him off) what are you making? Money.
So what does this mean?
It means you are in business big guy!
In terms of the music business I like the advice of my old wise Jewish grandfather who was able to make a good life for his family through the great depression.
He said to meâ€¦ â€œYou like music? Greatâ€¦play all the music you wantâ€¦but itÂ´s a whores businessâ€¦ make your money somewhere elseâ€¦â€
MySpace, YouTube, Blogsâ€¦ever decaying copywright protection.
People want their music good and free.
Deal with it.
For me, a business is a great way to not only make all the money I need, but to also then have the free time to play anywhere in the world with great musicians and do the real work of realizing my artistic visionâ€¦
But this does not come without the economic freedom to do so..
You want to know what I donÂ´t like about business?
When it mixes with my art.
That is when you start to do things artistically you donÂ´t really want to do.
Yes the dreaded â€œcover band syndromeâ€â€¦That horrible disease that keeps the free exchange of authentic artistic expression subservient to the drunken desires of childen of all ages who want to hear nothing more than the last thing they just heard on the most outdated of all formats- FM radio.. that very dayâ€¦and they want to hear it again, and again and again. Can anyone say Hotel California? Good, now play it or get out and I will find someone who will.
3) Thinking there is nobility in poverty. And its rejoinder that there is only great art from poverty..Crap.
Maybe itÂ´s like that.
But I sure know a lot of really poor people who suck.
Being poor in and of itself does not make you a good artist.
Work on your craft, hours upon hours upon hours of playing and writing and listening is a much surer way to becoming a good musician or songwriter or what-have- you
A quick questionâ€¦who has more time and energy to dedicate to his pursuit of artist expressionâ€¦a guy who works two hours a day(from anywhere in the world) makes great money doing it and has the rest of the day to practice, record, and jam?
Or the dish dog(one year of grease pit hell was enough to cure me) whose hands are so cut up he doesnÂ´t want to play and even if he did he has another 8 hour shift of nonsense to deal with to make his 80 bucks for the dayâ€¦.
Oh yeah, and by the way, if we are talking about â€œtouringâ€ our dish dog then has to quit his job and start a new oneâ€¦going nowhereâ€¦.building nothing financiallyâ€¦and wasting time that could be spent actually â€œdoingâ€ art. The work of art..The war of art? Think hard.
4)Thinking musicians and artists are above economics and the game of money. Here again, this is worse than childish wrongheaded hooey this is dangerous childish wrongheaded hooey.
ItÂ´s so naÃ¯ve as to border on the absurd.
You spend money donÂ´t you?
You spend it every day donÂ´t you?
So what makes you so special as to think that you are not involved in a business endeavour?
This money comes from somewhere does it not?
Where does it come from genius?
Business, free people exchanging goods and services for perceived mutual benefit. You are playing this game. Live with it. Embrace it. As Cheri Huber, the Zen teacher likes to sayâ€¦â€When you are fallingâ€¦.diveâ€.
Learn to make the game work for you.
Learn to make the game serve your art instead of whining about how life isnÂ´t fair.
Here is a hint.
Life isnÂ´t fair.
Free people are free to make deathdefyingly stupid decisions. DonÂ´t be one of them. Take your art and your vision seriously enough to realize it. And yes that requires work.
If you decide to promote and people buy it great. But Van Gogh died poor. He didnÂ´t sell out..he didnÂ´t compromise his vision for money. Are you playing what your heart tells you to play or what you think will sell and get you laid? Only you and the morning glance in the mirror will tell the truth. If it hurts. Stop and start the battle of creating what you were born to create.
5)That we play music for money. Some people play for money.
Some people who are much better than me play for money.
But I do not.
If people want to pay me money to play music and I like the deal that they are offering me to play then I will play and take the money.
But I donÂ´t need it. And that does not mean that my daddie has some trust vault with my name on it. It means that I struggled for 10 years of debt and misery to get to a place where I have what they call in the business â€œf you moneyâ€.
I play when I want how I want and with who I wantâ€¦
If clubs wonÂ´t have me I go to Churches, if Churches wonÂ´t have me I go to Hospitals, if Hospitals wonÂ´t have me then it is my home studio baby.
But playing is what gives me the most tangible evidence that there is something out there that is bigger than me.
I picked up the guitar 18 years ago because I loved the way it sounded, still do.
The whole making money with it is an addendum.
Extra, scrap metal to be burned away.
The gold is a well written song.
If people donÂ´t want to hear the ones I write fine.
But I continue writing.
I am compelled.
I imagine you are as well. What does this compulsion to create have to do with money? All money gets me is the freedom to pursue the joy I get from music. Period. End of sentence.
6)Thinking Blue hair and vaginal piecing makes you good. Anyone can dye their hair blue big guyâ€¦Hate to spit on your parade. But to improvise like Coltrane, to compose like Bach, to play and transmit like Bob Marley or Bob Dylan or whoever gets you off this takes more than blue hair.
7)Thinking there is no way out. Not true. Defeatist. BS
crzy…is a songwriter, traveller, freelance writer, and entrepreneur whoes freedomclimber program is the sherpa for wanderers and artists of all types to the top of mountain of economic freedom. A place where there is actually enough time and energy to create, think, explore, tour and travel. To access his story and program visit http://www.thecrazyexpat.com for a free gander at what economic freedom can look like for creative wandering souls