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Thread: Hiatus - At 61 it may be time to pull the plug on playing live music

  1. #1
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Hiatus - At 61 it may be time to pull the plug on playing live music

    Ok so I have only been playing out for a year. But I had two shows cancel on me this week, after things were looking like they were turning a corner. Both situations were "we are double booked" So, I'm clearing out my music gear, just going to keep a minimal setup. Returned a bunch of stuff I'm probably never going to use, and I'm taking a serious break. I always said when it stopped being fun I'm walking away, well, a lot of work, alot of practice and a handful of crappy experiences - weighted against some good ones.... I think I am done. We shall see. I was doing a lot of open mics, but the leap to playing paid gigs is taking too long. If it take a couple more years, I'll be too old to play. So... Break, evaluate, practice a LOT less, and stop wasting time with bookings - or attempts.

    If the weather ever gets decent again, I'll try to do some busking just for the hell of it, but this idea of trying to land paid gigs is stupid.

    This is not the Virus, a lot of clubs are stopping live music, but thats not my experiences..... Perhaps its just this cranky old man not willing to put up with the inconsiderate.... Dont say "come and play" and then tell me not to at the last minute. Glad I texted to confirm...
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  2. #2
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Even the clubs who still book live music want cover bands, not original music. Cover bands are all audiences want to hear.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  3. #3
    I retired at 40 about 20 years ago. Second child was born, working a full time 50 hour job, and no longer relishing packing up the amps and guitars at 2 or 3 in the morning (not to mention helping the drummer pack up his damn 50 piece or whatever kit). Even back then, it was difficult to find spots where you could play original music. We actually had to change our format to more Irish/folk because in the Detroit area/Southeast Michigan, the only reliable gigs were available at Irish pubs. And if the other bars had not changed over to karaoke or DJs, the music they wanted (punk/thrash/whatever) was not in any way what we were interested in.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    Ordinary Idiot Superfly's Avatar
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    When you've got more years behind you than you have in front of you, it seems natural to consider what is really worth doing with the valuable time you have left on the planet. I know, I'm almost 62 myself. Now, I won't pretend to know what it's like being a musician, my guitar playing always sucked too badly for that. But if something ceases being fun, cutting it loose seems like a wise decision to me.
    "The Bill of Rights says nothing about the freedom of hearing. This, of course, takes a lot of the fun out of the freedom of speech." - Pat Paulsen

    My Art- http://www.facebook.com/williamallenrenfro -My Life

  5. #5
    I haven't played out in about 14 years. I record at home with my kids who are both excellent musicians. We have a great time and do whatever we feel like. Post it on youtube and band camp. If someone likes it, great and if they don't that's great too. We do it because it's fun and a great way to spend time together. I'm spending the day tomorrow helping my son change heads on his drum kit and then we'll put some drums on some tracks the three of us have recorded. I'm 57 but I get that at 61, it's hard. I have a friend of mine who is 58 and his band just made their first CD. They are doing original music and are doing ok. No paid gigs but they are playing regularly so there is hope.

    Bill
    She'll be standing on the bar soon
    With a fish head and a harpoon
    and a fake beard plastered on her brow.

  6. #6
    I just turned 65 and still love playing out. It's important to play music that I love and to have the gigs be satisfying. To me, that means having
    an appreciative audience. Money is nice, but that's not why I do it. In the current situation, it's hard to know when the next gig will actually occur.
    I can understand not doing it if it becomes a chore. It should make you happy. Besides the two bands I play in (as a bass player), I also
    play acoustic guitar in a ukelele sing a long group at a Mountain Mike's pizza parlor once per month. 20-30 people strum along and sing
    with the words on the tv. Great fun, as is the one rehearsal we do. I also teach guitar at two senior centers. There are many ways to
    enjoy music besides a band situation.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rapidfirerob View Post
    I just turned 65 and still love playing out. It's important to play music that I love and to have the gigs be satisfying. To me, that means having
    an appreciative audience. Money is nice, but that's not why I do it. In the current situation, it's hard to know when the next gig will actually occur.
    I can understand not doing it if it becomes a chore. It should make you happy. Besides the two bands I play in (as a bass player), I also
    play acoustic guitar in a ukelele sing a long group at a Mountain Mike's pizza parlor once per month. 20-30 people strum along and sing
    with the words on the tv. Great fun, as is the one rehearsal we do. I also teach guitar at two senior centers. There are many ways to
    enjoy music besides a band situation.
    As long as I can compose I'm happy.

  8. #8
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    Sorry to hear about your travails Mr. Yodelgoat, but if it's no longer fun than I can understand your decision. FWIW I check out the live gig recording you posted and thought you did a fine job. I would be happy to sit around slurping suds and listening. Better to my ears than the typical pub music I've heard as of late.

  9. #9
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    Sorry to hear about your travails Mr. Yodelgoat, but if it's no longer fun than I can understand your decision. FWIW I check out the live gig recording you posted and thought you did a fine job. I would be happy to sit around slurping suds and listening. Better to my ears than the typical pub music I've heard as of late.
    Thanks for that. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, but I have musician friends now who are going to really struggle just to put food on the table without any gigs happening at all now. (Tejas just shut down all restaurants and bars, gatherings of only 10 or less) So that puts my little pity party in its pathetic little-biatch-man place. I really hope somehow this changes something basic in the music world. I would love to play in the right circumstance again, but its likely that ALL LIVE MUSIC is done - certainly for a while and it could be really jacked for a few years while clubs and Eats get back on their feet. Will live music ever come back? Businesses have to be open and making money before that can even be considered. I may have made a choice that was then made for me 2 days after I made it. I was mad about clubs hiring and not honoring their hire. No one saw that they would be forcibly shut down by Govt... Somehow, this revenge isnt very sweet. In fact, My daughter lost her job because her restaurant is closed. Crap.

    If I find a nice place, When this is done, I may just occasionally play for free. I really dont need the money, but I do enjoy playing for people.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  10. #10
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Thanks for that. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, but I have musician friends now who are going to really struggle just to put food on the table without any gigs happening at all now. (Tejas just shut down all restaurants and bars, gatherings of only 10 or less) So that puts my little pity party in its pathetic little-biatch-man place. I really hope somehow this changes something basic in the music world. I would love to play in the right circumstance again, but its likely that ALL LIVE MUSIC is done - certainly for a while and it could be really jacked for a few years while clubs and Eats get back on their feet. Will live music ever come back? Businesses have to be open and making money before that can even be considered. I may have made a choice that was then made for me 2 days after I made it. I was mad about clubs hiring and not honoring their hire. No one saw that they would be forcibly shut down by Govt... Somehow, this revenge isnt very sweet. In fact, My daughter lost her job because her restaurant is closed. Crap.

    If I find a nice place, When this is done, I may just occasionally play for free. I really dont need the money, but I do enjoy playing for people.
    I should remind you that you seemed enthusiastic about that new Boss pedal pretty recently. Maybe a little volunteer live stuff could help boost the economy once things start to return to some semblance of normal. Work on streamlining the setup and set list until that time comes?
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  11. #11
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Oh the Boss pedal is awesome, and it makes playing really fun and simplifies my setup. It replaces my mixer and outboard gear and makes it a breeze to get everything balanced.

    Playing and playing to audiences are 2 different things. I'm Just playing for myself these days, and its amazingly fun. If I screw up its only me who winces and I make a note to practice that part more. I am also going back and redoing my original songs live tracks, They should sound much better - Not playing out may be the best thing for me personally. I spent the last year mostly learning and practicing cover tunes, and I really need to get back into the originals. I'll probably have a really solid, polished show in a few months, that I can do on a moments notice if the right situation presents itself. Not that it will matter, but it will matter to me. If I build it, perhaps the right situation will come about, and I wont mind playing out again. I just need to please myself, not Venue owners. I remember when I started it was going to be all about my songs. The covers, kind of took over. I love every cover song I play, but its still not my own music.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  12. #12
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    That's really what it's all about. Having fun and doing what you want to do. Some $$$ is nice to help cover gas, dinner, a few expenses, etc. But that's for those of us for whom it's not a career. I have a friends (husband and wife) who I played in bands with for years who now have zero gigs and since schools are closed they have zero income from teaching music. Terrible situation. I don't think they can file for unemployment.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  13. #13
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Most of the musicians I have talked to seem to be weathering this better than I had expected. I dont mean financially, this is going to kill their incomes. But they seem to be understanding that its for the best. I have a growing concern that this may never clear up. Once government has control, typically they are very reluctant to let go. I'm not judging here, but I am concerned that their are reported treatments that seems to have been 100 percent effective, and are being trivialized. My spidey senses are telling me that someone doesnt think its time for this to be over - yet.

    Cui bono? I have no idea who could possibly be benefitting from this...and I dont want to start any arguments... No judgement here, just a concern that we have gone a LONG way down a path that may be hard to get off of - when/if the time ever comes.

    I really want to see some live music again... Amazing how when you cant have something, you seem to miss it more. I was hearing (not just playing) live music 3-4 nights a week and now I am going thru serious withdrawals.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  14. #14
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Have you ever thought about playing live comfortably from home online, like on twitch? Then you could really focus on your original material too.
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  15. #15
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Wow, I had forgotten about this thread.

    I have started playing again. On the street, didnt even put out a tip jar until someone brought me one and said I needed to have one. So there's this little town south of me about 15 minutes, and they have a huge old courthouse in a square right in the dead center of a bunch of restaurants - Lots of people just like to walk around the square. They have outlets on the street, and the judge told me I could use them, so I've been "Buskin'" in Granbury Texas. Its great because no one asks me to mask-up. Its outside, and I tell people I'm doing it because there is not much to do out anymore. I spent a chunk of the summer just doing the street thing, and I love it. I can play whatever the hell I want. Originals, covers.... Rush... Seriously - Rush. Make a few bucks, which is not important to me, but it pays for strings (and a Fender Jazz Bass, I might add) So this is what I need to be doing. People seem to appreciate it. Some are surprised that someone has the nerve to just set up and play. I love the freedom. No set hours. Just play when and what I want. I get asked if the city is paying me. Of course not. Its landed me some paying gigs, but I actually prefer the street. My dream is to be able to do this anywhere and just have fun. I'm heading into Downtown Fort Worth tomorrow and I'm gonna play on the street - they have serious laws against busking, but if I dont put out a tip jar, they have to leave me alone, so we're gonna try that, and I will try to shame the city - which claims to be such an "artsy" town, to allow buskers to play and not get shut down by the cops. Playing for free aint buskin'. I dont need the cash.

    I get to play out - AND, now I have an antiestabishmentarian cause to fight for.

    Since I stopped trying to get set gigs, I've been a whole lot happier, and I think this will work for me for a time. I just need to be patient, and be willing to stick my neck out and just make music happen. Since no one else is doing this - at least in Granbury, looks like its going to work. I tried to follow what other people were doing, and it got boring, and unpleasant. This is pure joy.

    I havent tried doing anything live from home yet. Seems like a lot of work for little reward. I enjoy just getting to play and I get to talk to a lot of people. I can stop in the middle of a song and just start up a conversation with someone. You cant do that at a paid gig.

    Lots of people take videos of me playing and post them. Nothing's gone viral yet, but I would love to just jump in a car and drive to any small town and do this. Havent convinced the wife that it would be fun.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  16. #16
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Wow, I had forgotten about this thread.

    I have started playing again. On the street, didnt even put out a tip jar until someone brought me one and said I needed to have one. So there's this little town south of me about 15 minutes, and they have a huge old courthouse in a square right in the dead center of a bunch of restaurants - Lots of people just like to walk around the square. They have outlets on the street, and the judge told me I could use them, so I've been "Buskin'" in Granbury Texas. Its great because no one asks me to mask-up. Its outside, and I tell people I'm doing it because there is not much to do out anymore. I spent a chunk of the summer just doing the street thing, and I love it. I can play whatever the hell I want. Originals, covers.... Rush... Seriously - Rush. Make a few bucks, which is not important to me, but it pays for strings (and a Fender Jazz Bass, I might add) So this is what I need to be doing. People seem to appreciate it. Some are surprised that someone has the nerve to just set up and play. I love the freedom. No set hours. Just play when and what I want. I get asked if the city is paying me. Of course not. Its landed me some paying gigs, but I actually prefer the street. My dream is to be able to do this anywhere and just have fun. I'm heading into Downtown Fort Worth tomorrow and I'm gonna play on the street - they have serious laws against busking, but if I dont put out a tip jar, they have to leave me alone, so we're gonna try that, and I will try to shame the city - which claims to be such an "artsy" town, to allow buskers to play and not get shut down by the cops. Playing for free aint buskin'. I dont need the cash.

    I get to play out - AND, now I have an antiestabishmentarian cause to fight for.

    Since I stopped trying to get set gigs, I've been a whole lot happier, and I think this will work for me for a time. I just need to be patient, and be willing to stick my neck out and just make music happen. Since no one else is doing this - at least in Granbury, looks like its going to work. I tried to follow what other people were doing, and it got boring, and unpleasant. This is pure joy.

    I havent tried doing anything live from home yet. Seems like a lot of work for little reward. I enjoy just getting to play and I get to talk to a lot of people. I can stop in the middle of a song and just start up a conversation with someone. You cant do that at a paid gig.

    Lots of people take videos of me playing and post them. Nothing's gone viral yet, but I would love to just jump in a car and drive to any small town and do this. Havent convinced the wife that it would be fun.
    So how are things working out for you?
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  17. #17
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Good. I have a town nearby that seems to really support live music. Lots of places to play at if you like doing that. I just go down to the courthouse and plug in and play - and I usually do fairly well, just playing what I feel like playig, what's nice is that I get to talk to people and make friends and have fun at the same time. Last night I was playing and a restaurant owner from accross the street came up to me and told me to shut up, that I was ruining his "ambiance". Not "turn down a bit" but shut up. Not on his property, not even on city property - this is county and I have permission from the judge to play... His attitude pissed me off so I went home. What funny is that I have been playing in the same spot for the past 5 months with no issues, in fact people will sit outside his restaurant and wait for a seat, and they listen and clap, some even dance and I get good tips from those people, and some have become regular listeners. Anyway, tonight I'm moving down a ways away from that establishment. I dont need that grief. I'm all about fun and happiness - or its not worth doing.

    Once someone feeds me bad vibes, I find I am not having fun. So I just stop playing.

    But after a few hours I was OK again. Going back tonight and going to tell the patrons of that place what a dick the guy has been.

    I have to say that many people love the 60's and 70's music. Younger people as well. As long as there are places to play, I will continue to do it. I do enjoy the pure "busk" to playing at a restaurant or bar. It seems like it's "purer" - people ask me if the city pays me to play and I tell them, no, Just doing it for the pleasure of playing music I love.

    It's true.

    Fort Worth, I am told has a very strict ordinance against "busking" for tips. But I am told that if I dont have a tip jar out, they cant do anything about it unless I'm blocking traffic. Its such hypocrisy - Its supposed to be such a "artsy town" - yeah run off all the street musicians and say you are the artistic center of the state... yeah....

    I am going to test the "no tip jar" theory and see if its legit. It will have to wait because I'm headed for Sedona AZ for T-day. Yep I'm travelin' and not hunkering down.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

  18. #18
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    ^^ The red rocks of Sedona are supposed to have healing qualities...at least according to indigenous lore. Most buskers leave the guitar case open for tips, rather than having an actual "tip jar."
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  19. #19
    I'm glad to see you're back at it and having lots of fun. Spread the good vibes to others and enjoy yourself. That's the story!

  20. #20
    For what it's worth, I listened to your samples, and you are one talented mofo. The sound and arrangements are excellent, and your playing and singing are wonderful. I'm glad you were able to find a way to make the "playing out" thing work out for yourself. The world is a better place with your music in it.
    We're plastic but we still have fun!

  21. #21
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Wow cheers to all you who've commented... Yeah I think I found my place in the sun. Not perfect, but absolutely the best time I ever had playing. Ive been traveling with family for this week and taking a break has been kind of hard, but I'm ready for more as soon as I get back home. Problem is, the weather is changing and its hard to play in the cold. 56 degrees seems to be the magic number where my fingers stop working. Is there some secret to playing in cold weather? dont say gloves causethat aint happenin'

    If I could, I would play all year round, but I may have to resort to playing indoors thru the winter months. Bummer, cause covid limits that,and part of the reason I do this is because covid is such a downer and this is kind of an escape from all that. I am not a denier or anything, it just seems like people still dig live music and if they cant get it inside... No one except that restaurant owner seems to mind music outside. I'm mostly 10-15 feet away from everyone. Of course no one wants to be standing out in the damn cold. I may get a heater and try my best anyway. Maybe people will feel sorry for me and put more in the tip jar...

    Clearly, my era of music is dying, and this is keeping it at least somewhat alive.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

    live samples:
    https://soundcloud.com/yodelgoat/yod...om-a-live-show
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/PapaYode...=page_internal

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