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No one but a fool would do it....

punkfolkrocker 19 May 19 - 02:19 PM
keberoxu 19 May 19 - 01:46 PM
wysiwyg 16 May 19 - 03:48 PM
Tony Rees 16 May 19 - 03:14 PM
Steve Gardham 16 May 19 - 09:34 AM
Andy7 16 May 19 - 02:14 AM
lefthanded guitar 16 May 19 - 01:55 AM
meself 16 May 19 - 12:41 AM
Tony Rees 15 May 19 - 06:04 PM
Tony Rees 15 May 19 - 03:58 PM
BobL 15 May 19 - 03:37 AM
Mrrzy 14 May 19 - 07:22 PM
keberoxu 14 May 19 - 05:42 PM
Jack Campin 14 May 19 - 05:31 PM
meself 14 May 19 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 14 May 19 - 01:54 PM
Stringsinger 14 May 19 - 01:21 PM
Steve Gardham 11 May 19 - 02:42 PM
leeneia 11 May 19 - 01:05 PM
leeneia 11 May 19 - 12:09 PM
punkfolkrocker 11 May 19 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 11 May 19 - 10:06 AM
meself 11 May 19 - 09:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 May 19 - 08:44 AM
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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 May 19 - 02:19 PM

My degree dissertation was basically comparing and contrasting H. Rider Haggard and Joseph Conrad...

My two favourite writers at that time...

One was a succsessful commercial pop culture writer with aspirations to be taken seriously,
the other was a serious novelist with aspirations to make a few quid if only he could...


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 May 19 - 01:46 PM

The art and money question is direct and simple for some;
for others,
the matter has been complicated and tangled up by
things like upbringing and the vicarious ambition
of others to live through somebody else
-- as in, they pay the money, somebody else does the work.

Fortunate are those who are not caught in such a spiderweb.
Sticky to get out of.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 May 19 - 03:48 PM

Leenia, yes... My best compliment on singing publicly-- after my first taste lining out off a great mic, thru my great amp adjusted just right-- professionally mixed, out thru a good sound system--

A woman came up and sighed: "...I wish I could sing like that...."

I replied, "I wish I could, too!"


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Tony Rees
Date: 16 May 19 - 03:14 PM

At the risk of minor thread creep:

Monty Python again (or possibly even earlier): "Ladies and Gentlemen, I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn."


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 May 19 - 09:34 AM

Tony...Snap!


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Andy7
Date: 16 May 19 - 02:14 AM

In my youth, I once went busking, with my sister, on the London Underground.

We did it purely for fun, to enjoy a new experience ... but we'd still have been quite disappointed, if we'd been paid nothing at all for our performance!


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 16 May 19 - 01:55 AM

Making art for money or making art for art's sake- the question is- which do you prefer to
do? I personally don't think either is the defining measure of how good one's art is. If you feel that a financial goal will give you a reason to work the process, and an impetus to create, well, then go for it. If you feel you can best sing, write, play a piano, draw a landscape etc when you have the unfettered freedom to do so without having to earn your way- then go for it. Being retired gives you either choice.

I don't think the quality of work suffered when folks like Dylan or Hank or for that matter Shakespeare - had a goal of making a living. ( and then some) from their art.
I also don't think the quality of work was diminished when someone like Van Gogh - whether or not he was unsung and unpaid - was just driven to create his art.

Btw I' m not sure if Dr Johnson said that quote in all seriousness. Perhaps he found writing so difficult , that he could only justify his endeavor by being paid. But he may
have meant it as droll wit, not a prescription for the artist. When I think of Matisse at the end if his life , I remember the artist who was so greatly challenged physically - yet he made, with the help of other hands-his celebratory last works - great cut out dancing figures that spoke of all the exuberance of living.

Talent is a gift Al - enjoy it!


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: meself
Date: 16 May 19 - 12:41 AM

I remember once talking to an Inuit guy who made high-quality soapstone-carvings. He let me know that he found the creation of objets d'art in stone very hard work, and when he did it, it was because he needed the money, and for that reason only. An Arctic Johnsonian, I suppose ....


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Tony Rees
Date: 15 May 19 - 06:04 PM

Further to my post above, of course the last sentence opens the floodgates to a horde of vanity performances and products as the result of self-validation only... so a degree of external review is probably a good thing after all (in the words of Monty Pythonm, this is where my argument falls to the ground).

- Tony


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Tony Rees
Date: 15 May 19 - 03:58 PM

Since I retired (early I might add, but not that early), I have jettisoned those portions of my (non music related) job that I only did because they paid the bills, and keep on doing those that I enjoy for free, because they keep my brain alive, contribute "something" to the world outside myself and keep me in stimulating contact with like minded people around the world. I also contribute to wikipedia for free (as do lots of other folk), make my photographs freely available online for others to use, and so on; now I rely on the contributions made during my period of paid employment to subsides my remaining years, I can do what I like (within reason!), which focuses the attention wonderfully on what it is you really like doing...

Over the years I have made much music and only occasionally been paid to do so (which has made no difference to the quality of the performance, or so I like to think anyway). Stringsinger above says:

"Ultimately all artistic endeavor is about acceptance. Making money at it is a side hustle."

Indeed, although the acceptance is initially, and primarily by oneself, I would submit. In the present context (music), only when you feel an arrangement or performance is up to whatever personal standard you self-impose should you inflict it on others. And then if they don't like or appreciate it, the integrity of the endeavour is still intact (the Van Gogh approach). In other words: how do you know if your work is any good: (a) when someone else tells you it is / (b) when *you* know it is. It's (b) for me...


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: BobL
Date: 15 May 19 - 03:37 AM

I'd have done my job for free: I couldn't have afforded to do it as a hobby.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 May 19 - 07:22 PM

I read of someone who would have done their job for free... But getting paid is better.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 May 19 - 05:42 PM

Off topic,
but I do recommend
Dame Ngaio Marsh's swan song,
a mystery called 'Light Thickens'.

Her mother was an actress of no small distinction,
especially known for her Lady Macbeth.
"Light Thickens" is a quote from Macbeth

and its plot, in which
an actor is murdered behind the scenes
DURING a performance of Macbeth,
is as much an homage to the theatre and to her mother
as it is to the recurring superintendent and inspector
who are put on the case together.

I would read it again.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 May 19 - 05:31 PM

Ngaio Marsh managed an achievement no other writer has pulled off in my experience. Going into hospital for an operation, I took one of her books as reading material. It was so excruciatingly dull I gave up about a third of the way through. Staring at the ceiling was more rewarding than finding out who did it.

I can well believe money was all she had in mind.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: meself
Date: 14 May 19 - 02:22 PM

That all seems like quite a stretch.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 14 May 19 - 01:54 PM

As to Doctor Johnson,
a good source of differing opinions
would be
English-speaking published writers
who happen to be women.
There were such in Johnson's day, in his native land,
and frequently these writers struggled for the merest validations
to which Johnson felt himself entitled.


Actually, though, the first thing that came to MY mind
was Dame Ngaio Marsh, bless her, who lived in a different century
and was raised far around the globe from the land
that her English language came from.
And I recall a piece of a quote from Dame Ngaio:

"... the reason we write for money [this may be paraphrase here]
is because
we've jolly well got to. [...]"


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 May 19 - 01:21 PM

Ultimately all artistic endeavor is about acceptance. Making money at it is a side hustle.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 11 May 19 - 02:42 PM

If you no longer need to make money doing something, then definitely do it for fun. Much more enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing. Audiences can show their appreciation in many other ways without having to dip into their pockets.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: leeneia
Date: 11 May 19 - 01:05 PM

While getting brunch ready, I thought of two more things for you,
Al.

The idea that you shouldn't make music (or do anything else) unless you make money at it is just another example of the killjoy school of thought at work.

Keep in mind that if you hear a player playing music with remarkable features, that his instrument may have been engineered to do just those things. It may not be talent, it may not be practice, it may be the instrument.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: leeneia
Date: 11 May 19 - 12:09 PM

Big Al, if you want new skills, there are two things to do:

1. Start doing them, slowly at first. Gradually work up to speed.

2> Find a teacher who teaches what you want.

As for losing your skills, it may never happen.

whatever you do, don't stop playing well just because you can't play perfectly. Don't let your left brain take over your life.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 May 19 - 11:00 AM

Al - a simple directive I'd follow is...

"Make music you'd like to hear but you haven't found anyone else doing yet..."

Chances are someone has, and possibly better than you could, and it's waiting out there somewhere..
Even if so, you still ain't discovered it yet...

I'll never hear Shirley and Dolly Collins backed by Depeche Mode or Soft Cell..

.. but I have the technology...


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 11 May 19 - 10:06 AM

The Blockheads gave good tight jazz to Ian Dury's stunning songs. If you want to know where Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger found such a good sax player?

Dr Johnson certainly did write for money. His dictionary may have been a revelation as a concept but it was certainly commercial as it was published well before it could be considered comprehensive and people far more clever than me reckon it was riddled with errors.

Al's songs however stand on their merit.


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Subject: RE: No one but a fool would do it....
From: meself
Date: 11 May 19 - 09:57 AM

I believe the term Johnson used was "blockhead".


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Subject: No one but a fool would do it....
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 May 19 - 08:44 AM

Dr Johnson said he wrote for money, and no one but a fool would do it for anything else.

Nowadays i am virtually retired and over the years I learned to absorb whole new repertoires quickly and professionally.

However now I have only myself to please, I am finding it very difficult to play things the way I want. maybe I am overcomplicating stuff.

I haven't as yet noticed any decline of my skills. Indeed i am dreading when that gets taken away from me, something I watched happening with the men who taught me.

I suppose the financial incentive imposes a discipline to work within your ability.


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