OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!
If you're heading to Nashville to become a big star, AND you're over 40, you may as well turn around.
Why do so many of Nashville's Music Row executives continue to push the same predictable cookie cutter formulas on their audience, while their sales go through the floorboard, AND while there are some pretty talented people that are said to be too old to have anything significant to contribute? I think it has to do with a a targeted youth based marketing strategy. Listen, it's the same old song. No one wants to get fired, don't rock the boat. Meanwhile Rome is burning and those in control don't give a rats because they got theirs. The youth at all costs marketing strategy is a self fullfilling prohphecy. If that's all you give people, they don't have a choice.
One point of view I've heard is that "if you haven't made it by the time you're 30, you must not be very good anyway. Period. I'm not buying that argument. It's premise is flawed. Heck, I had more skills at 40 than I did at 20, and I think that holds true in most professions.
Seriously, how much life experience does someone fresh out of high school or college have to draw on? I know I didn't have much to draw on when I was eighteen. You have to live to write, otherwise it's just sheer imitation, not experiential. To really live and have a wealth of experiences to draw from takes time. Most serious musicians will tell you that they are probably better at 50 than they were at 20, provided they're given a chance to continue making a living by playing music. If they're not, and if they're forced to try and go into the work force at an advanced age, a valuable contribution, as well as skill set is being squandered. That means YOU, the music listening public are being cheated. You're given "fluff" instead of substance. The technical shell is intact, but there's nothing beneath it but disingenuous sincerity.
All I'm saying is that we need both. It only seems fair, given that we baby boomers are way past high school age, and are the largest purchasing power demographic. I suppose it's to be expected, but there does seem to be a disproportionate emphasis on youth at the expense of experience. When I was younger I "needed" The Beatles, Led Zepplin, all that stuff. I'm just saying that there's a whole generation of baby boomers that "need" music from artists that they have something in common with. It should be more about the function of art and less about commerce. Once the beauty of youth fades, and the artist who made it primarily on his or her looks is a few years older, will their music be enough to stand the test of time? We'll see. So, give me a deal;) While you're at it, give one to Greg Crowe, Mark Alan Springer, A. J. Masters, and any number of super talented "slightly" older cats in Nashville that everyone knows about, but folks don't have the chutzpah to sign. Okay, I'll get off my stump now.
Peace out, CRjr
Still more stuff...
- Being taken seriously.
- How my father became a star.
- So, you wanna' be a country star?
- Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
- You'll eat what you're served...
- The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
- It's great exposure.
Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.
- Charlie Rich
- Freddy Fender
- Smokey Robinson
- Jo-El Sonnier
- Randy Meisner
- Billy Swan
- Flaco Jimenez
- Augie Meyers
- Doug Sahm
- Jerry Lee Lewis