a day in the life

I’m not sure why it took me so long to put up a the first post of this year.  This month flew by, and as I sit here recovering from a cold on a beautiful sunny day, I should probably try to reflect on the new year with some sort of optimism–what with a new President on the way and all.  But times are tough and the economy has really hit every segment of the population hard, including musicians.  When gigs disappear and things start to look bleak, I’ve realized it’s vital to keep a sense of humor.  Especially for musicians.  Let me explain.

Being a musician in LA is like having a job with a bi-polar disorder.  From gig to gig, we are constantly being thrown into every varying strata of our society; one night we’ll be playing a gig at the stankiest, shadiest dive-bar in the outskirts of town, and the next night we’ll be playing a reception in the backyard of some Hollywood producer’s Beverly Hills mansion.  One night I’m worring about my ass getting kicked in a bar brawl, and the next night I’m standing in a buffet line in front of Sidney Poitier and Diana Ross (this really happened).

Anyways, point being, this job is about as boring as it is lucrative (i.e., it is neither).  And while I think having this kind of firsthand insight into the stratification of society is amazing, it really takes a toll on one’s psyche.  I mean, if you work an office job, you kinda know where you stand–you have a title, a position, and you generally know what level of respect you are going to get from your collegues based on this.  But for musicians, it’s all over the place.  I’ve been talked to like I was a 12-year old kid by an asshole sound engineer at a club.  On the other hand, just the other day, an assistant at Warner Bros studios (I was backing up a singer for a showcase) asked me if I’d like “room tempurature” or “refrigerated,” bottled water and then personally retrieved it for me.  I don’t know why, but that blew me away.

In conclusion, you really need to have a strong sense of self in this business or else you’re going to feel very manic depressive.  Which leads me to this wonderful video that was taken by a guitarist that I know and have played with, and takes place in a club I’m very familiar with.  It is a vivid sneak peak into the life of a jazz musician.  If Flight of the Conchords ever decided to play a jazz club, I’m sure the scene would go something like this.

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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