Too Old To Rock?

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ernstinen
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Too Old To Rock?

Post by ernstinen » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:28 pm

Hey All,

I've been a performing musician since I was 14. I made my living for 30 years playing guitar, keyboards, sax, and singing at every gig you can imagine.

I did the "original" thang, and it was quite rewarding. I moved to L.A., and my band almost got signed to Atlantic Records. We had a great live show, and A&R people came out of the woodwork to see us! But in the end, it boiled down to one thing: Marketing. The A&R weasels didn't know how to market us. A typical conversation --- A&R: "We love your music, your show, your musicianship, but we don't know how to market you." Me: "Why is that?" A&R: "Because you're too original." Me: "Isn't that good?" A&R: "NO."

So, 20 years later, I'm playing guitar and singing better than I did back then. But reality has set in; I'm well aware that I'm too old to be "signed" as an original act, or even as a singer/songwriter. That's for younger people. It's always been like that... And age also brings up another reality: How the hell are my wife and I going to retire financially? I grew up in the era where "everything's gonna work out --- follow your bliss!" And I did. But it DIDN'T work out the way I thought it would. I put my whole life into my art, and what do I have to show for it? A few bucks in a savings account. Bills. Mortgage payment. You know the drill of being an "adult."

But still, I love playing electric rock guitar. It's a passion of mine, and I believe I'm pretty damn good at it. But the way I roll is giving everything that I do 110%. I've always been like that, and it's just part of who I am... So I'm marketing all my creative skills, and feel optimistic about that part of it. Yet, there's still a nagging voice in my head that says "You REALLY need to get out and gig, make that guitar talk like you do. People will love it!" Yeah, maybe. But this is L.A. There are thousands upon thousands of musicians who will play for NOTHING. And promoters know that... So is spending my time, maybe 1/3 of my waking hours doing something that I KNOW won't bring me in any cash --- Is that worth it? My heart says yes, but my brain says no.

What d'ya think? Thanks for listening,

Ern :?

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mojobone
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by mojobone » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

The blessing that comes from learning/knowing the craft? It's never been about the money; money is imaginary, the value is in moving the people, and where we move them hopefully counts for something; it's a heavy responsibility to be a cultural signifier. Sheesh, at Goldman Sachs, all you gotta do is earn; where's the fun in that?

If all you ever did in your life was to make the peoples wiggle their booties, you've done something, after your time on Earth is done. All those poor bastards that did nothing but move numbers around on paper? Maybe they can take credit for raising some kids to do better, but that's about it, imo.

Maybe you remember Aesop's parable about the ants and the grasshopper; me, I always felt sorry for those ants, who knew nothing but work. I hope they at least got to hear that badass grasshopper play the shit outta his fiddle and took some time to dance.
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by Kolstad » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:44 am

You cant give up something you are good at. That is engaved into your personality and identity as a human being. Give it up, and you throw a part of yourself away. Dont stop now, refine, develop and do it even more. Be more you.

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cassmcentee
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by cassmcentee » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:07 am

Set aside the Past, focus on today
Robert "Cass" McEntee
"Making music on a spinning ball of Magma"
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by johnnyrowing » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:42 am

A question similar to this was asked at one of the mentor's luncheon at the Rally 2 years ago.

I liked what the mentor said, I'm paraphrasing . . . "If you want to quit, you should quit. If you don't want to quit, you shouldn't quit."

I am betting you don't want to quit. :)

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feaker66
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by feaker66 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:56 pm

Hi Ern My feelings. All the music gots no place to go. Keep pluggin...i am at 72
Thankfully, while growing old is compulsory, growing up remains optional!

https://soundcloud.com/feaker66

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=883613

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crashgates
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by crashgates » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:31 pm

.
Last edited by crashgates on Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:47 am

The truth is nobody cares about all that.

They don't ask for your curriculum vitae along with the music. They don't want your life story.

Age is irrelevant, as is how you look, where you live, who you know, where you've played and how you almost got signed 20 or 30 years ago.

All they care about is can you make high quality licensable music that is useful for them and their clients, and can you deliver it reliably and consistently.

If the answer is yes, or will become yes after a period of learning then age is no barrier in this niche of the industry.

If you just want to follow your muse and produce highly original material it likely won't be what they are looking for.

Mark

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feaker66
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by feaker66 » Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:19 pm

crashgates wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:31 pm
feaker66 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:56 pm
...i am at 72
here is one track I found on youtube for you freaker, hope you like it : )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrDLl_u806A
Ha Ha I was hoping for some real rock and roll dude sliding out on the floor with his back arched playing a screaming riff. The background music was delightful tho.

i can get pretty animated with our band sometimes. (without a walker) ACDC stuff gets me goin. Yes I sing the fast machine stuff. thanks for this
Thankfully, while growing old is compulsory, growing up remains optional!

https://soundcloud.com/feaker66

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default ... dID=883613

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Telefunkin
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Re: Too Old To Rock?

Post by Telefunkin » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:11 pm

I get it! I've always said that I'll carry on playing guitar until I can no longer carry my amp (and there's even ways around that now). I don't intend to stop gigging any time soon and I'm not exactly in my teens myself. Basically, I can't not do it.

By the time the world has been through a year of covid restrictions a lot of venues will have disappeared though, even more bands than ever will be willing to play for next to nothing, and we'll have finally hit the bottom. So what though? If that's what it takes then I'll join them. Yes, we all started with big dreams but eventually it dawns on us that it was never about the money, just like Mojo says. As gigging musos, in our minds we ran away to join the circus and most of us never came back :)

If you need to make some money then invest in Astrazeneca, Biontech or Pfizer ;), but in the meantime you might as well keep performing, and if it puts a smile on a few more faces before you unplug for the last time, then it was all worthwhile. The joy you give and get might not pay the bills but its wonderful currency, and in those terms it sounds to me like you're a wealthy man. Never hang up your pick! :)
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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