Here’s the problem with playing for free. It doesn’t work for me. I need to feel like someone gives a shit enough about what I do to pay me something for my time. And I should be paid. Regardless if you think music should be free in it’s recorded form which of course is fucking ludicrous, driving to the gig, setting up one’s gear, playing and singing for multiple hours, breaking down, and driving home are all alot of work and thus, an artist should be paid for his time. You don’t ask a waiter to come to work for free. You don’t ask a Doctor to work for free. The fact is, I’ve put 30 years into playing musical instruments, writing songs, singing and performing and my entire life revolves around music. That said, playing for free is demeaning. It’s like the bar owner saying, “oh well of course I get paid, my staff have to be paid, in fact everyone has to be paid for their time, but you should come here and play but NOT be paid”. WTF? Now, I do see alot of so called musicians who are amateur and thus should not expect to be paid. They are essentially lucky someone lets them come out and get the experience they need until they develop the professional level skills that warrant them being paid as such. I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is when I’m lumped in with the smelly hippy blowing into a didgeridoo that he just got a week earlier. That sucks and I can’t deal with it anymore. I’m fucking sick of being expected to play for free. This is what I do. Music. It’s my vocation. You pay a Lawyer. You pay a Doctor. But artists are continually taken advantage of and I sincerely believe much of it stems from Jealousy from people who have no talent or artistic skill. Music is life!! People know this, it affects them just like good Visual art or art of any kind! Why is that artists are shit on? Made to feel inadequate because we do not operate by the same conformity of society as other people. My theory is people know this, are jealous and they want to keep the artist down; in their place as an outcast not worthy of any reverence or special treatment. In fact they seek to subjugate the artist to prop themselves up so that they can compensate for their feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. It really is quite sad. In any case this seems to be how the world works from my perspective and It seriously sucks! I want no part of that world.
A word about the credit problems in the United States. Americans are utterly, hopelessly in Debt to a corrupt system that was designed to suck you dry! The Federal Reserve that issues your currency is anything but Federal. In fact, it’s a private banking institution and a For profit bank. Look, the Federal Reserve creats money out of NOTHING!!!…Thats right…NOTHING…ALL BANKS create money out of NOTHING, then lend the money they created out of nothing to you at interest. Effectively, they grow money on trees and it’s really worth nothing. How fucked is that? You should all watch The Money Masters-How International Bankers Gained Control Of America. You’ll be blown away! Our Founding fathers did not design our nation to be under the thumb of the money changes but we were taken over. You think your life is over because you can’t pay your mortgage or your credit cards but it’s not. No reason to kill yourself or tear your relationship apart over it. It’s a ponzi scheme and you are caught up in it and you should all collectively just say fuck it all, cut up your cards you can’t pay and stop paying your mortgage to the corrupt Bankers who created this fiat currency out of Thin Air! Create an Emancipation Proclaimation for your freedom from financial slavery. This whole corrupt system needs to come down.
I’ve been in a shit ass state of mind because I have very few gigs this summer. Thing Is, I like to play. I enjoy it and it makes me feel good but I don’t enjoy HAVING to play all the time just to stay alive if you get my drift. Seems it’s either feast of famine. In Europe I played so much that after a while you are praying for a day off but go to the other extreme of say, 3 gigs this month really sucks too. The funny thing is, I have all sort of studio work to get done. I have several albums worth of my own stuff to record and I’m working in the studio with 2 other artists but I can’t seem to motivate this week. I have so much time that I could in fact get everything done if I put my nose to the grindstone. But I haven’t and this week I spent days in bed. I don’t feel depressed so I don’t think that’s it. Just unfuckingmotivated. Kinda Nihilistic if you will; I don’t really give a shit either way about anything. Don’t care if the bills get paid or not. As far as my music goes, I’m enjoying writing and it’s getting better and better but no one really gives a shit but me. That’s fine though as I do it for me anyway. I don’t really know if it’s a good place to be or not but knowing other musicians around town have gigs and I don’t does bother me. But to be fair, everyone is struggling from the down-spiraling economy and not enough gigs to really survive on. I used to have a bunch of steady, weekly anchor gigs that allowed me to survive from my music alone up here, but they are gone. I saw the writing on the wall last summer and the steady gigs started to disappear around November. I think we’re in for it up here and i’m checking out. That is to say, It’s getting worse and worse everywhere. Right now there are gigs in Europe and I’m going to go play them from the end of next month through the rest of the year. I’ll take a break over the holidays then see what’s on the horizon for Winter ski gigs, and other good European gigs. If there is nothing high paying, I will take a vacation to South America. If there are some gig Winter gigs for me, I will go do them, THEN, go on vacation.Vacation. It’s a term that we all know and love although most of us in the US barely take any vacations compared to the rest of the Westernized word. I’ve been reading Vagbonding by Rolf Potts and The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris. I like a lot of what he says in the 4HWW but I really don’t want to run a business per se. These people put in a lot of work to get something going that they can basically automate that generates residual income for them to travel and work form anywhere. Thats fine and I may try to do something down the line but right now I just want to Vagabond around the earth. If I can work for 3-6 months putting together and nice chunk, I can travel for 3-6 months backpacking around, playing guitar, writing, having adventures, getting inspired, meeting interesting people, seeing all the places I want to see on the globe, it will really do wonders for me artistically. I don’t give a fucking shit about material possessions. I really don’t because all you do is work work work doing something you just don’t give a shit about, wasting your entire life, trying to pay for them. Fuck that, I’m out of that game. Never was really in it. I will work just enough to make the money i need to fund my travel and adventures. They will include a lot of surfing, diving, lounging on beaches, hiking waterfalls, and eating good food. Basically, good living. I’ve wrestled with it all long and hard and it’s clear to me that we do it WRONG in the West and ESPECIALLY the United States. I don’t give a shit what a person says, no one starts out with the goal that they want to work their entire life away. Most people have zero passion for their jobs, but even the few that do, didn’t want to do that work and only that work. They want to LIVE! But we promote a work till you die mantra here in the US and this bullshit about getting all the toys you can…., No one has actually paid for that Mercedes or BMW or the McMansion on the hill..We bought it all on credit in a corrupt financial system Meanwhile that was set up to siphon all the wealth from the entire nation and leave us bankrupt, which it has succeeded in doing. I’ve analyzed it all long and hard and I’m out of it. It’s good that I fucked my credit up 6 years ago because I might well be as fucked as the rest my fellow countrymen but I’m not. Debt and a deferred life plan, as Tim Ferris calls it are not the way. I mean, kill yourself in some fucking Cubicle or under 10000 cars or doing whatever, only to retire and enjoy the good life when you are 65???? Fuck that! Who knows if you are going to make it to 65? The Kids today are so fat, out of shape, pre-diabetic and unhealthy they say they could be the fist generation to be outlived by their parents!! That is so messed up and deserves an entire Blog about the subject on it’s own! Also, you think you are going to retire at 65 and do all the things you deferred all those years so you could be working? Think again. The numbers doing work out when you adjust for cost of living and inflation. Even if all the pensions doing get sucked up by the financial meltdown, even if somehow you are the .001% of people who actually save any money and even if you think you will be alright the reality is that IF you make it to retirement age, you will have an income that will be barely allow you to subsist. Think you’re going to travel? Ha! Plus, if you make it, you probably can’t hike the Inca trail or dive the Great Barrier Reef at your advanced age and shitty condition you are undoubtedly in….Anyway, you get my point. This whole society plan that’s been propagated on us is utter bullshit. I’m calling it out now and you should too. It’s a fantasy and I hope some of you wake up to it before it’s too late. Read Vagabonding! Get a dream, get excited! Read the Four Hour Work Week! Stop Wasting your lives! Life is now.