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Subject: Musical stardom-- Could you handle it? [POLL] rss

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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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I was thinking about music last night.
As much as I admire the talent of musicians, and look forward to hearing songs by many artists, I know that I could never do what they do.

And it's not because I'm not good enough to play in a band. It's because if we had even one "hit" single, a song that went completely viral, then I just couldn't stand playing that same song, every performance, for the rest of my life.

Could you do it?
Yes there would be money, money, money, fame, women (or men, if that's your thing), and you'd get to meet all kinds of people that never would have looked at you twice before your hit song.
But you'd still have to get up on stage and play it at every performance. Some bands play over 200 shows a year.

Reportedly, Del Shannon's eventual depression, alcoholism, and suicide stemmed from the fact that no one wanted to hear him play anything except "Runaway" (a brilliant song, by the way).

Even if you become a solo artist after your band folds, you're likely still on the hook. McCartney still does Beatles' (and Wings') tunes, 52 years after the fact.
Suppose you're Ray Davies of The Kinks, or Mick Jagger of the Stones, and you do a solo show, and people in the audience are calling out songs that they want to hear, of your former band. And you came to town to showcase your newest songs and album?

So then: If a magic fairy came down from the sky and said, "I'm going to make you super-talented, and you will be able to play an instrument, or sing like you've always dreamed about", would you be able to handle the consequences?
Poll
Coould you play the same popular song(s) on stage, at every performance that you do from now on, for the rest of your life?
Yes; it would be an honor. No problem.
If it is what the fans want then I am there to serve.
I could do it, but I might not be excited about it every time.
I kind of doubt it, but I'd be willing to give it a shot.
No way, no how!
      64 answers
Poll created by MABBY
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Re: Musical stardom-- Ccould you handle it? [POLL]
For me, I crave variety in life. In all facets. Music, food, beer, wine, games, whatever.
I've heard of people who have eaten Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese, every day, for years straight. Insanity!!

When I get a new album, I typically play it to death. Wow! This is great. Then a new one comes along, or I get too familiar with the other one, and it gets set aside. And eventually it gathers dust in my LP, or CD, racks since I have so many other choices.
I listened to Holly & The Italians first album (LP) over and over for six months, probably, but I only play it once a year or so, now.

BTW, the best line I've heard from a musician: "Hey! It's easy for you to yell out your favorite song titles-- all you have to do is remember the name. I have to remember the key, the chords, the tuning, and the changes. Oh, and all of the words."
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Billy McBoatface
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I saw an interview with Billy Joel where he talked about how, at every concert, there would be some big loud guy in the front row screaming "PIANOMAN! Play PIANOMAN!" He said he totally stopped playing it for a few years, then finally gave in and played it again, and found that that had done the trick - after being away from it for a while, he was able to see it as a nice song again, and enjoy playing it.
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Wendell
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Most of us of course will never know what it is like to be asked to perform the same song for decades. So though I voted "it's an honor", I can't presume to know what Billy Joel thinks about "Piano Man".

But I guess it's better to be asked to play "Piano Man" for forty years than never to be asked to play anything at all.
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Mark Britten
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I'd try, but I don't think it would do my mental health too much good.
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Boaty McBoatface
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As I tend to sing the same songs anyway why would I not want to be paid for it?
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think if you went into music as an artist, you would naturally want your art to grow and remain important to you. If you were that kind of musician, I think playing your hit every night would get tedious.

But if you were in it to make giant stacks of cash, I'd play my hits as long as I was getting paid. I'd put quarter slots into the backs of every seat in the stadium and as long as I heard the money dropping, I'd just keep on playing.
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Wendell
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CrankyPants wrote:
I think if you went into music as an artist, you would naturally want your art to grow and remain important to you. If you were that kind of musician, I think playing your hit every night would get tedious.

But if you were in it to make giant stacks of cash, I'd play my hits as long as I was getting paid. I'd put quarter slots into the backs of every seat in the stadium and as long as I heard the money dropping, I'd just keep on playing.

I don't think the two are 100% mutually exclusive. Play the new songs of course. But play at least some of the classics as well.

Some years ago (2006 I think) I saw Ray Davies at the 930 Club. He played a lot off of his new solo albums. But he also played "Lola" and "Waterloo Sunset" and some other classic Kinks' hits. I thought he hit the right balance.
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My personal motto is this: "I am willing to sell out at a moments notice."
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wmshub wrote:
I saw an interview with Billy Joel where he talked about how, at every concert, there would be some big loud guy in the front row screaming "PIANOMAN! Play PIANOMAN!" He said he totally stopped playing it for a few years, then finally gave in and played it again, and found that that had done the trick - after being away from it for a while, he was able to see it as a nice song again, and enjoy playing it.

Just as an aside, have you paid attention to Piano Man lately? Joel comes across as a totally narcissistic dick in that song. The lyrics are basically "hey everybody, your lives totally suck. Now BASK IN MY GLOW!!!"
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Michael Edwards
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What are you talking about? I have been doing essentially the same thing for 25 years. Of f*%$#@& course I would love to be paid more for doing it.



More seriously, I imagine that if you are an artistic type, a lot of why you do stuff is to just express yourself. I imagine it would come down to how you handle that. If you were happy before expressing yourself (to theoretically no audience, just doing it for the joy of it) there's no reason you couldn't keep on doing that, and just looking at your "hit" as work that pays the bills, and no longer an artistic expression.

Obviously, in practice, that's apparently much harder to do for some.
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Brian Morris
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I remember back in the late 80s I went to see David Bowie's "changes Bowie" concert. He made it clear that that was going to be the last time he performed songs like Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust. I understood where he was coming from and felt fortunate that I was able to see him perform these songs for the last time.

Keep in mind if the performer is really good they don't need to perform the same songs for you to enjoy them. Case in point. Back in the 80s my girlfriend and I went out to dinner. It was the week before the big Dixieland Jazz Jubilee in Sacramento and a lot of the bands were performing impromptu gigs around the city warming up for the Jubilee. We went to an upscale pizza place in Old Sacramento and one of the bands was playing. This cute brunette was singing for the jazz band and she was really really good. My girlfriend and I had a great time listening to them and on the way home I mentioned to her how good I thought this brunette was. My girlfriend cracked up at me not recognizing who she was. The cute brunette was Linda Ronstadt. She didn't sing any songs she was famous for but instead sung classic jazz songs. We still really enjoyed hearing her and this jazz band because she didn't need to sing the same old songs to be enjoyable. She was that good.

Which brings me back to the main topic. I think that if a performer is truly talented they don't need to perform the same song over and over again for people to enjoy hearing them. If people only want to hear them do that song then that means it's only the song that's really good not the performer.
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Andy Andersen
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Altair IV wrote:
My personal motto is this: "I am willing to sell out at a moments notice."

Mine is too as I just adopted this one. I've needed a personal motto.
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Steve Vondra
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Just this past Sunday we saw Arlo Guthrie. He played about a minute, minute and a half, of Alice's Restaurant and then said "If I knew that I'd be singing this thing for 43 years, I'd have made it a lot shorter!"

Good show though, he played a lot of Woody's music and a couple of Pete Seeger tunes.
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John O'Haver
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In the same vein as others have posted, I've been playing the same songs in my living room since my last working band back in 2000. If I could get paid for it that would be the cake under the icing.

In fact, except a dozen orginals by my singer songwriter friend, I don't think I've learned a new song since 3 AM by Matchbox Twenty and She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy by some dud(e) in a cowboy hat. It was THAT kind of "we aim to please" band.

That said, I've either been the bass player or rhythm guitarist in public but I have been half-assed working on my lead blues chops for the last couple years.

I went to see Linda Ronstadt in concert. It was billed as Linda R and an evening of American Jazz Standards. It said so on the posters and in the write up in the local newspaper and on the radio. AMERICAN JAZZ STANDARDS do not include her Greatest Hits.

Yet a fair number of people snuck out of the show once they realized that,"SHE'S NOT GONNA SING HER GREATEST HITS."

BTW, I've always hated The Piano Man.

Quote:
Just this past Sunday we saw Arlo Guthrie. He played about a minute, minute and a half of Alice's Restaurant and then said "If I knew that I'd be singing this 43 years, I'd have made it a lot shorter!"

I saw a video in which Joe Walsh said something similar about Rocky Mountain Way at the Crossroads Guitar Festival.

Another edit: Some songs are just fun to play. For example, since I mentioned Joe Walsh, I could play Funk 49 every day.

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Joe Gola
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The weird thing is that I just happened to hear "Piano Man" for the first time in, like, a decade. Now that I'm old and stuff, geez Louise, what a downer! Lighten up, Billy! Well, not "An Innocent Man" light, but come on, there's gotta be a middle ground here!
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Altair IV wrote:
My personal motto is this: "I am willing to sell out at a moments notice."
"It's not selling out—it's buying in!"

I'd like to think I could handle it—jet helicopters with crystal decanters of green Skittles ONLY are somehow appealing—but I know me better. I'd just end up drowning in a bathtub of someone else's vomit.
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Gola wrote:
The weird thing is that I just happened to hear "Piano Man" for the first time in, like, a decade. Now that I'm old and stuff, geez Louise, what a downer! Lighten up, Billy! Well, not "An Innocent Man" light, but come on, there's gotta be a middle ground here!

Billy has lightened up... check this out...

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R.T. Sloan
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Don't we all pretty much get up every morning, go into work, and play the same songs?
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Billy McBoatface
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sloan66 wrote:
Don't we all pretty much get up every morning, go into work, and play the same songs?
Deep, man.
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sloan66 wrote:
Don't we all pretty much get up every morning, go into work, and play the same songs?

I never realized that so many people listen to country music every day. whistle
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Of course, one can be a totally obscure, underpaid musician, and have the same experience --- and it doesn't matter what genre it is. I loathed playing that miserable Canon in D by Pachelbel at weddings, but that's what the people paying me money wanted. So there it is.
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