Sorry to disagree, but saying small-city club rocking means that a rock music business is "alive" is
like saying just because a bunch of semi-literate loudmouths use free blog sites for no wages while
newspapers die off means print journalism is "alive." There's a big difference between the big
leagues and everything else. Using Bob O's analogy, the "farm system" died out and thus the big
leagues eventually ran out of "players." It's happening in almost all aspects of Western culture, a
sure sign of a rotted-out society collapsing upon itself. Sad to watch because it wasn't always this
way in my lifetime.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lewis" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2011 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] RIP rock n roll
> On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 8:17 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> As for small-venue live music, there is none out here in the 'burbs, just
>> really amateurish cover bands here and there. Also, the loudness level that
>> rock and blues are typically performed precludes me going anywhere near
>> these live venues without heavy ear protection. I can't afford to lose any
>> hearing by my own doing, time and nature are doing it to me beyond my
>> control (...ellipse...) I would argue that the typical trappings of a rock
>> performance get ridiculous when you get into your 40's and are outright
>> embarassing when you're eligable for Medicare. It's a young man's game, know
>> the rules and play by them.
> I'm speaking as an active rock musician, now 49 and hardly feeling
> "ridiculous" about continuing to ply my modest trade. I know the rules; I've
> been at it 30 years:
> Here I'm singing a song I wrote when I was 18, and I can't sing it in the
> same range as I did then, but the crowd doesn't seem to mind. I still do it
> because there is still a demand for my work in my community; people like it,
> and they come see me. Admittedly our communities are different; here in
> Cincinnati, the kids (and grown ups) come out from the 'burbs to the inner
> city, or to Northern Kentucky, to attend shows, and the average admission
> for which is about $5. I don't do it because of money, but because I like
> it, it's fun and a way for me to expend some of that creative energy that
> has always been with me. When people stop asking me to play, I will stop
> playing, but so far they're still asking. I refuse to believe what we do,
> and what people around me do, doesn't matter simply because it doesn't
> figure into the plans of the major music industry. In this sense, rock music
> is still very much "alive."
> Incidentally, we don't play very loud, because we have ears we're concerned
> with also. And there are really groups out there that play interesting,
> original, and fresh music -- the Heartless Bastards and The Hard Nips come
> to mind -- who are not terribly better off than we are in a business sense.
> But they are motivated by many of the same principles, have their following,
> and it's enough.
>> One other thing, with the collapse of the record business, playing arenas
> actually IS a pre-requisite to the kind of success that was the norm in
> previous times.
> I deliberately used the words "artistic success." An artist like Buddy Holly
> -- who to me is like the Mozart of rock music -- is really very unusual;
> sheer genius and inventiveness employed from track to track to track and
> onward. In the major music business, "the norm in previous times" was really
> more like Three Dog Night or Air Supply; in the first instance, make a hit,
> play it until it was totally exhausted and everyone was sick of it, or in
> the second have one huge hit, get out of the business and collect residuals
> forever. But you also have groups like The Velvet Underground, none
> of whose seven original albums cracked the 10,000 unit mark in sales, yet
> you cannot imagine or understand the landscape of rock music after 1976
> without considering them. And of course as legacy artists their albums
> finally did crack that mark, by far.
> All of this added up may not prove my point, but saying that "rock is dead"
> and "major music business/record label/booking agency rock is dead" is not
> necessarily the same thing. And for many of us, the latter statement is not
> reason to mourn; we'll be fine without it.
> Uncle Dave Lewis
> Lebanon, OH