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Thread: But What If We "Make The Big Time" ?

  1. #1

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    Default But What If We "Make The Big Time" ?

    Using a previous thread for a topic/idea of discussion....................

    Like many others here at DC, I've been in bands since I was 13 years old (started playing @ 9) and always enjoyed gigging.
    I still like to get with my band-mates and work up a new tune................and work on it until it is uber-TIGHT.

    I went to music school in the mid-70s and loved the entire experience:
    Theory, ear-training, music literature and history, composition and counterpoint, orchestra, jazz band, percussion ensemble...............all of it.
    But I don't think I ever thought that I would be able to make a comfortable living out of playing or teaching music.
    And after 8 or 9 weeks of constant gigs (back in the 70s, a club-gig was 6 nights per week), I was wanting a break and didn't even want to make music my living.
    I felt this even though at times my band was trying their best to impress anyone that would assist them in "making it".

    While still loving the band atmosphere and the music, I earned another undergrad degree in a different discipline and then, decided to get an applied Masters degree in the same field......................I have been able to leverage that education into a decent living and enjoy the music when (and with who) I want to enjoy it.

    With hindsight, at least for my tastes, I think I have had the best of both worlds........................I have been able to enjoy my art and also the practicality of a marketable skill with much greater demand in the job market.

    I have also enjoyed being a living example for my daughter who is now doing the same exact thing.
    She has a passion for the theater (mainly musical theater) and while she did earn an undergrad in drama, she also earned another undergrad in English and parlayed that into a Masters degree in teaching -- she is now teaching musical theater in a public school and enjoying the best of both worlds.

    Sometimes the economy does not allow us to pursue certain dreams and presume to be paid well for that passion and talent.
    But I believe there is always room to put that passion to good use while finding an alternate path to financial security.
    It is a reality that many of us must face; but I also think it is (or can be) the best of both worlds.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  2. #2

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    I have had a similar experience. When I was 20, I was in a band playing clubs 3-4 nights a week and briefly considered pursuing music for a living. Fortunately, I stayed in school and finished my undergraduate degree. Soon after college, the band broke up and I got a regular job. Before I knew it, I was married with 3 kids and a house. Once the kids were older, I found my way back into music and am now in 2 bands, the band from college(with ALL original members) and another band that is gigging. Now I too have the best of both worlds, a stable job that gives me financial security and multiple outlets for my music. I recently played at a jam where the house band is made up of world class musicians, some of whom have toured and recorded with some of the best known bands in rock history. But here we were on a Tuesday night, in a small club with about 50 other musicians, taking turns playing on the same stage. Sure, these guys are much more accomplished than I could ever hope to be, but I get to play purely for fun and I don't have to hustle for gigs just to put food on the table.


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  3. #3

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    Default Re: But What If We "Make The Big Time" ?

    Great story and surely an experience that many have had. You were sick of it after 8 or 9 weeks. Imagine the ones that endure for years before figuring it out.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Great story and surely an experience that many have had. You were sick of it after 8 or 9 weeks. Imagine the ones that endure for years before figuring it out.
    From those club days back in the 70s, I have friends that did very well in the music business....................one in particular that is an outstanding guitarist..................blues and classic rock are his specialties...................and when I say this guy is good, he is jaw-dropping remarkable.
    He has played that guitar full time for 50 years now, and for a decade toured the world with a European-based blues band that is very popular and busy.
    He lost that position a year ago due to age...................he isn't the sexy young man any more................he was replaced by a young man that looks great on stage and can fill the role on blues guitar, although he isn't half as good as my friend.
    The last time I talked to him, he was having trouble paying for his health insurance.
    He told me that all those years he was a touring pro, the money was pretty good -- adequate -- but not great.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  5. #5

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    There's a reason we have the phrase "starving artist"
    Sounds funny but my band once paid to go on a tour we wanted to be on.
    Only money we made was from ticket sales and merch sales
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  6. #6

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    For me it was just a good life experience and adventure. I got picked up to drum in a country rock band in my early twenties. At that time, I didn't have a whole lot going on. I was basically a high school grad kicking around my hometown without many good jobs, so I accepted the offer. I have never regretted it.

    As a result I got an opportunity to see much of Canada and some of the USA that I may never have otherwise got to see. At the time, the money wasn't too bad for a single guy either. (saved up to buy my dream Gretsch set which I still have) I got to meet people of all walks of life and generally learned a lot about people from that trip.

    After a couple of years though, I began to feel the gruelling nature of it, the constant travel in close quarters, the personality adjustments to make as members came and went from the band.
    I finally decided it was no life for a new bride so when opportunity arose to switch gears into another line of work, I jumped.

    Many good stories and memories!

    all the best...

  7. #7

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    I feel like a mosquito in a nudist camp, I don't know where to start.

    th.jpg
    (This seemed apropos to where I'm going)

    You have to decide if you are willing to deal with all the crap that will come at you in the beginning. If you are happy with being a "weekend warrior", don't grab a person for the band that is looking to make a career out of it. He/she will probably fold their tent at the worst possible time.
    You want people that are not only on the same page with you, but reading the same sentence, and know exactly what you want to do.
    I was in about 8 bands from '70 to '72. The longest being the husband and wife band. We all knew it was going to implode, just didn't know when.

    Bottom Line: Prepare for every thing that could possibly happen. Some won't, some will, and some will come out of the blue. If you start making "real" money, invest some of it. If you don't make it big but are working enough that you can pay your bills, have money in the bank, and money in your pocket, you will be alright.

  8. #8

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    Music was my life when I first started playing in the mid/late 70's from School bands to local gigging cover bands...i have been Vocalist/Frontman for many local cover bands and played Bass with a few local cover bands...although i lived and breathed music i knew from an early age that i wasn't good enough to cut it professionally...i do regret not taking it further and moving to one of the bigger cities...but by the time the mid 80's arrived i had a wife, kids and mortgage and often working long hours and shift work and music took a back seat...i have recently taken up the Drums about 5 or 6 months ago my only desire now is to become competent enough to play in a local cover band again

  9. #9

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  10. #10

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    I would rather be the mosquito in a nudist camp. I'll tell you, I would know where to start lol

  11. #11

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    I took up drum lessons and entered college when I was 19. I wanted to "Make The Big Time" by playing in a rock band but I had a back up plan because I knew my chances at making it "Big" were slim to none.

    I stuck it out and earned a degree in TV/Film production and landed my first job at a local TV station in 1981 at age 21.

    AEEACEFF-C0F9-44B6-B7AE-B7089E7A7C1A_zpsl8i9sgpy.jpg

    My first band was made up of five guys I worked with at the TV station.

    7B41FF51-AC23-4AC3-B73F-320DA59633A4_zpsebxu57yi.jpg

    Before%20On%20Air1000_zpstllf1vex.jpg

    The band eventually took off and we grew to eleven members. All of our gigs were paid and we made a name for ourselves playing mostly local gigs but we did open for a few "known" acts. I lasted five years as the drummer and by the time I quit, I knew I had to rely on something else to make a living; a job with benefits and some type of retirement plan so I kept drumming as a hobby.

    As I look back at 35+ years of doing both, I too have the best of both worlds.

    10513300_863525643679463_6643799414267880091_n.jpg
    Last edited by late8; 12-21-2017 at 03:43 PM.

  12. #12

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    Love all the photos, dude.
    Black dot resos...........................I need to try that.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  13. #13

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    "I had a back up plan"

    Rich, I had no back up plan, so I couldn't back up.

  14. #14

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    [QUOTE=but I had a back up plan[/QUOTE]

    Luckily so did I. It paid for college, beer, and a bit of savings.

  15. #15

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    One of the lead players in my band has also had his own Country/Rock band for 20+ years. They're all good friends of mine and I fill in for them on drums occasionally. About 10yrs ago, they had a young local kid join them as a lead singer. The kid was actually pretty good. After about a year, the kid decided he wanted to move to Nashville and take a shot at the "big time". His name is Lucas Hoge.
    Lucas writes theme show music, hosted a show on Animal Planet, has been on Toby Kieth's Christmas special, opened up for Martina McBride and has has several albums on Billboard. A couple months ago, he got to perform at the Grand Old Opry and was named by Rolling Stone as "one of the Country artists to watch for in 2018".

    Just goes to show you, it CAN happen. Even for a kid from a small town of 50 people in southeast Nebraska.
    -Brian

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    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Love all the photos, dude.
    Black dot resos...........................I need to try that.
    lol! Thanks man....Charlie Watts was one of my early influences and he still uses them as resos. I'm jumping from Remo to Aquarian as soon as I can. How do you like your Aquarian heads?

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    "I had a back up plan"

    Rich, I had no back up plan, so I couldn't back up.
    Rick, you have more talent in your little pinky than I have in both wrists. I still envy guys like you but I'm sitting too close to retirement and I have a little 401k, social security and a state pension that will hopefully get me to my dirt nap. Time just flew by as I look back...

    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Luckily so did I. It paid for college, beer, and a bit of savings.
    Marc, nice choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    One of the lead players in my band has also had his own Country/Rock band for 20+ years. They're all good friends of mine and I fill in for them on drums occasionally. About 10yrs ago, they had a young local kid join them as a lead singer. The kid was actually pretty good. After about a year, the kid decided he wanted to move to Nashville and take a shot at the "big time". His name is Lucas Hoge.
    Lucas writes theme show music, hosted a show on Animal Planet, has been on Toby Kieth's Christmas special, opened up for Martina McBride and has has several albums on Billboard. A couple months ago, he got to perform at the Grand Old Opry and was named by Rolling Stone as "one of the Country artists to watch for in 2018".

    Just goes to show you, it CAN happen. Even for a kid from a small town of 50 people in southeast Nebraska.
    It seems like the local bar and festival scene is alive and kicking in your neck of the woods. My city (Sacramento) just cancelled what was the largest dixieland jazz festival west of the Mississippi. This festival was held during the Memorial Day weekend and it drew bands from around the world.

    I can count on one hand of bands that have made a name for themselves out of Sacramento. All of them are not my genre but nonetheless some of you may have heard of them?

    Tesla
    Def Tones
    Pappa Roach
    Last edited by late8; 01-02-2018 at 10:21 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    How do you like your Aquarian heads?
    I love the Aquarian products that I have tried........................when they fit.
    I have the old Jasper shells so one never knows.
    When the head is too tight, it takes away some of the lower tuning range..................sometimes over the course of a month or two, tightness declines and some range returns.
    This change is occurring right now on my 18FT......................it sounds much better now after I've banged on it for weeks.................I also take the opportunity when I'm breaking down, while I have the FT legs off, I'll drape the head with a towel and step on it with good force..................turn it over and stomp the reso too.
    My newest interest is to try the Focus X coated with the power dot for my three toms......................I need to try a new single-ply.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    I love the Aquarian products that I have tried........................when they fit.
    I have the old Jasper shells so one never knows.
    When the head is too tight, it takes away some of the lower tuning range..................sometimes over the course of a month or two, tightness declines and some range returns.
    This change is occurring right now on my 18FT......................it sounds much better now after I've banged on it for weeks.................I also take the opportunity when I'm breaking down, while I have the FT legs off, I'll drape the head with a towel and step on it with good force..................turn it over and stomp the reso too.
    My newest interest is to try the Focus X coated with the power dot for my three toms......................I need to try a new single-ply.
    Thanks for the review!!!

  19. #19

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    "Rick, you have more talent in your little pinky than I have in both wrists."

    Rich, while I appreciate what you said, we both know that it's not true. There isn't 1 thing that I do that you can't.

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