So Here’s The Thing…
At the relatively young age of 53 I have in fact come to the realization that I will not be a top 40 artist.
I am certainly okay with this. In fact, I’m overjoyed merely to know that I have developed the skills and the self-awareness to be able to get what is in my mind and my heart out into my guitar, both to record and to play live for others. I am doubly overjoyed that there are people out there in the world who seem to enjoy this!
I’m thinking about this because of a blog post by Moe Berg that I read the other day, and that I’d like to share with you. (Moe Berg is best known as the man behind the band The Pursuit Of Happiness. The band came onto the scene in the ‘90s, playing songs like “I’m an Adult Now” and “Cigarette Dangles”.) Moe still stays very active in the music business, most often as a producer these days, and he shared his ideas on how the music business operates.
In short, he laments that the industry itself picks one target and then focuses on that relentlessly, to the exclusion of all else. This in turn makes everything that is not “The Thing”, as he terms it, languish in obscurity. Moe observes that this has absolutely nothing to do with either the quality or the value of that non-Thing music, nor even with the objective artistic judgment of the individuals in the business.
For example, he speaks of a moment when he played music from a blues artist he was working with for an industry executive. The exec’s reaction was telling: “He really liked it. But he didn’t have any interest in it. ‘I like this music but the fact that I like it is irrelevant,’ is what I inferred. There was never a thought that, ‘well I responded positively to this, I wonder if other people would?’”
Here we are – artists, making the music we love. And being surrounded by other artists making art they love and that we appreciate and love as well.
So, The Thing is – we may never be creating “The Thing” of the moment, but there are still people there who love and need The Thing we do.
I’ve started keeping a mixtape on Spotify of The Things I love. A lot of these are songs and bands I love, and I apologize just a little for the fact that this whips between genres and timelines a lot. I’ve also put a few of my favorite local bands and songwriters in here.
If you listen to my mixtape, I hope that you find something a little new that can be part of Your Thing. If you are a part of my mixtape, I just want you to know how much I love and appreciate that you have shared Your Thing with the world…
…and with me.
PS: Here’s a more recent clip of Moe playing I’m an Adult Now, solo.