originally published in Sound Waves Magazine March 2019
Three years ago, in this very blog, I asked the rhetorical question of we musicians – Why Do We Do It? If we never made it as a rock star by now, what on earth was the point in continuing the charade? Why continue to put up with the empty clubs, the lugging, loading, maintaining of equipment, the late nights, the back aches, the sore throats, the bloody fingers, the ridicule, the blame game between club owner and band, the in-fighting, the drama. For a few dollars and a couple hand claps.
Back then, I received replies from songwriters, garage bands, bedroom players, cover bands, young ones, old ones, nobodies, wannabes and people making a darn good enough living with music.
The WHY we do it is simple. We were put on this earth for it and we can’t deny it.
The why we STILL do it remains a bit more complicated.
Recently, a guy told me, “At 30 years old, I gave up. Why would I continue to pretend to be a rock star on stage for two hours when I’m absolutely never going to be?” Then I talked to a 60-year old who said, “I still do it because I’m simply not done yet.” Then I tried to understand why the 80-year old the other night heaved a massive piano with 80 weighted keys into a venue for his weekly gig. I didn’t get to talk to him; he started jamming with his band mates right away. 80 years old? Really?
Is it STILL in the hopes of having a Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper moment at the Oscars? Still thinking there might be a chance to rock arenas like Freddie Mercury? Because having a steady gig with your buddies in your 80s will always be better than watching Jeopardy on the couch, in your 80s? We like living in vans and never warmed to kitchens and baths?
Personally, I am still struggling to find the answer to the question: Why STILL?
I guess it’s like at the end of that movie “Contact” when Jodie Foster is talking to kids pointing her satellite to the Heavens wondering if “it’s just us” in the Universe, and she says, “As long as you keep looking for your own answers…”
And so on we go.