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Thread: Artits who chose to move away from the limelight

  1. #51
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    Kate Bush

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    ^^ The suit against Evans was the primary driver of the band reuniting in '84. All Mark II songs were credited to Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, Paice. In order to successfully sue, they had to be together as one unit.
    No, that's not true. The bogus DP was formed and performed in 1980. The real DP didn't reform till 1984. Evans lost the lawsuit simply because the DP trademark was still owned by the original band and their management. But that's getting outside the topic of this thread. Back to obscure rock stars now

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    the members of REM? although michael stipe has of recent been more visible in the arts scene …

  4. #54
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. He dropped out of music to focus exclusively on visual art.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  5. #55
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    I'm hardly in the limelight, but I've had enough insight and experience on this front that it doesn't surprise me when musicians take a break from all that. Here are some reasons:

    1. Touring isn't easy. It takes a rare person to stomach sleeping 3-4 hours a night, driving 10 hours a day, spending most of your waking moments inside a windowless music venue, eating random food, etc.
    2. People aren't easy. If you're an introvert, it's difficult having to meet and be diplomatic with at least 10 new people a night (i.e. the local stage crew/handlers/promo people) and deal with fans, no matter how well meaning they are.
    3. The fan response is always disappointing at some level. Even at the best shows, you can count on some group of fans to completely misunderstand your goals and art and they will push their misinformed opinions about your own work in your face. Only an impossibly small fraction of music listeners actually "get it." Unless you're braced for such things, this can be completely demoralizing.
    4. The MONEY SUCKS. It's unstable, it's unpredictable, and everybody is lying about how much money they're making in fear of sounding like a failure. It's a losing game and it's getting worse every year. Even on my best tours I was still losing thousands of dollars a month not working my regular job, but doing it because I was able to squeeze some non-zero amount of unique fun and adventure and artistic satisfaction out of the deal, but most sane humans just can't afford to do that or take such risks.
    5. Talent is absolutely meaningless in the whole success equation. This can be very frustrating for all parties on many levels because it seems so unfair. I get asked to go on tours not because I'm the best musician as much as that I'm really good at packing the van, being efficient at soundchecks, helping book hotels, not being a jerk, not drinking and being unpredictable, etc. etc. Road ettiquette is 95% the reason why people keep their performance jobs. Many decades ago I asked one band leader why he still hires me since there are much better players out there. His response: "I don't have to worry about you - you show up on time, you do your homework, you don't cause a scene." Trust me - I know countless musicians who are insanely gifted and would blow everybody on this forum away but you'll never hear of them because they don't have the means or wherewithal, or just plain luck, to get the ball rolling and be heard. I have no idea why I deserve my opportunities more than any of them.
    6. Being a musician does not fold into normal life at all. Even beyond the touring stuff, or trying to scrape money together to get decent recordings... if you're a musician you have NO FREE TIME because every waking moment must be productive - practicing, catching up on various composing or gear maintenance chores, marketing, etc. etc. ETC. ETC. ETC. At some point a decent person will likely go "ENOUGH!" and move to a much more stable, predicable life with actual down time.

    I can go on. Should I go on? This may be too depressing for some. Let me just say all the musicians I know who are active are somewhat aware of all the above, and fight the good fight because music is important and their duty to make it work as much as they possibly can.

    Personally, I'll keep doing the music because I am embarrassingly lucky to have a flexible life and fun job that subsidizes whatever music career I have. Also the key to life is to inspire people, and nothing beats the melting of faces - especially those who didn't expect it. That's an amazing feeling and one I wish everybody could enjoy at least once in their lives.

    - Matt
    Last edited by Lebofsky; 07-16-2021 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #56
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Informative post, thanks.
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  7. #57
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I'm not sure where to find the link, but someone here posted a concert Grace was singing on with a band. She's not the stunning beauty of days past but she's still performing.
    Interesting because I thought she retired for good a long time ago. She did the reunion with the Airplane in 1989 and that was it afaik. She then started a career as a visual artist doing portraits of famous rock stars from the golden era like Mick Jagger, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan etc. If she did something more recently I was unaware. Apparently she was quoted as saying that old rockers look foolish or something like that.
    When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.

  8. #58
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting because I thought she retired for good a long time ago. She did the reunion with the Airplane in 1989 and that was it afaik. She then started a career as a visual artist doing portraits of famous rock stars from the golden era like Mick Jagger, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan etc. If she did something more recently I was unaware. Apparently she was quoted as saying that old rockers look foolish or something like that.
    I'm not certain when the video was produced.
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  9. #59
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Interesting because I thought she retired for good a long time ago. She did the reunion with the Airplane in 1989 and that was it afaik. She then started a career as a visual artist doing portraits of famous rock stars from the golden era like Mick Jagger, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan etc. If she did something more recently I was unaware. Apparently she was quoted as saying that old rockers look foolish or something like that.
    She's done one or two guest shots since then, IIRC, probably at benefit gigs, but she definitely is not "still performing."
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  10. #60
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    She's done one or two guest shots since then, IIRC, probably at benefit gigs, but she definitely is not "still performing."
    Yeah, I didn't think so. One or two guest performances in 30 years hardly qualifies as still active.
    When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff O'Donoghue View Post
    John Evan from Jethro Tull comes to mind. It's a bit hard for me to get around the idea of being able to play that well and also have a full-on stage presence and then just decide to stop and move into the construction industry.
    A shame as he was an excellent player, but from his comments I guess touring was rough on his mental health, and the whole "A"/Tull Split episode must have been traumatic as well. It was a pleasant surprise to see him speak on video at Ian's show a few years ago.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Lebofsky View Post
    I'm hardly in the limelight, but I've had enough insight and experience on this front that it doesn't surprise me when musicians take a break from all that. Here are some reasons: (...) - Matt
    Very interesting points, thank you for sharing.
    I can imagine the "fan response" aspect being potentially demoralizing indeed, especially for a beginner. I published a few books and met some people who misunderstood what I had written in a fascinating way, even if they were appreciative. It leaves a strange impression.

    I'm glad that you and other musicians are able to carry on doing what you love and inspire people, in spite of all the challenges.

  13. #63
    REO Speedwagon drummer Alan Gratzer.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by FirthOf5th View Post
    Kate Bush
    Kate's just resting. Like Peter Gabriel. No point in burning yourself out.

  15. #65
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halmyre View Post
    Kate's just resting.
    She's pining for the fjords.
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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    She's pining for the fjords.
    She is...

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  17. #67
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    She's pining for the fjords.
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    She is...

    Godot
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  18. #68
    Well, I get the impression 2 versions of moving away from the limelight are put together:
    Musicians that stopped making music, like for instance Don Van Vliet and Mark Hollis
    Musicians that kept making music, but moved away from the spotlights and more or less took a backseat, like for instance Kate Bush, XTC and Ton Scherpenzeel (Kayak) who kept making music, when Kayak has stopped.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by aksnitd View Post
    No, that's not true. The bogus DP was formed and performed in 1980. The real DP didn't reform till 1984. Evans lost the lawsuit simply because the DP trademark was still owned by the original band and their management. But that's getting outside the topic of this thread. Back to obscure rock stars now
    It was noticeable that the Mk2 reunion didn't have an equal split on the songs. Not that it ever seemed to be a point of contention.

  20. #70
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    She's pining for the fjords.
    Upon closer inspection, she's nailed to the perch.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  21. #71
    Kendra Smith is a textbook case. Went completely off the grid after releasing her excellent, and presciently titled, ‘Five Ways of Disappearing’.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Upon closer inspection, she's nailed to the perch.
    Lovely plumage!

  23. #73
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    Tomas Bodin?

  24. #74
    Also Lesley Duncan, though in that case health problems made just living an ordeal. I am surprised she held on for as long as she did.
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    Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. She suffered from stage fright and the Cocteau Twins rarely performed live. After they split she has sporadically performed guest spots with others, but has never released a solo album despite promising one years ago.

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