----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
> Today, in too many cases, we're hearing only the best of the
> well-heeled because in the US most working class kids can no longer afford
> to go out and perform music.
Not quite accurate...although there IS a problem! Essentially, it costs
about the same (thus probably less, if inflation is factored in...) to
acquire "the tools of the trade"...which are, in most cases, an electric
guitar + amp, electric bass + amp, set of drums, or, on occasion, a sax
of some description or an electronic keyboard + amp. The first three should
run from about $400 for minimal gear to $1000 for top-grade (though not
the absolute most desirable, like '57 Strats, "tweed" Fender amps, usw...);
for the latter two I must admit ignorance as far as prices are concerned...
However, "live music" has somewhat fallen from fashion, as DJ's playing
"urban dance," as well as karaoke providers, are always cheaper than live
bands...UNLESS (as often happens) the young and striving band-wannabes can
be induced (suckered into, reall...) playing for just slightly over
"nuthin'!" But this is nothing new...I ran into this (and, indeed, put
up with it, since we WERE getting a fair and open accounting of our
"nuthin'" (10% of the bar receipts plus three beer tickets each...
usually about $5/man...).
As well, at least here in Ont'o., new smoking regulations, along with
crackdowns on "drunken driving," have reduced bar crowds by as much as
80%! So, if you have a new and unknown band, you can either take part
in "contests" which have the integrity of the fabled $3 bill (in short,
play for "what the little boy shot at" unless you're the winner out of
the 583 entrants [at $10/20 entry fee per each], in which case you get
a few hours of recording time and MAYBE a second gig, this time paid...).
Thus, the "working class kids" can still probably afford to put together
a band...possibly even, using a rented multi-track recorder, or a good
sound-recording program (which someone in the band knows how to use...)
a CD release. However, whether they can find any gigs is admittedly open
I find it both interesting and telling that much of the current stuff
is "neo-punk!" I suspect that at least part of this trend is due to
one of the early ideas of punk rock...which (since it originally arose
as a sort of protest against Ms. Thatcher's economic policies...) was
that one was supposed to play BADLY, to prove that one was forced into
musicianship in order to try to keep body & soul together...! In fact,
a number of punk musicians proudly proclaimed that they had NO
training or experience with their chosen instrument...!
Steven C. Barr
(In fact, I wonder if the current crop of 16-year-olds with carefully-
gelled, pink-dyed spiky hairdos realize that the style they are
affecting to annoy their parents may well be exactly the style OF
their parents' youth...?!)