Monday, October 13, 2014

Man at Work

Well, it is lots of fun, just like you'd think. But performing,  playing out someplace in front of folks is still a job. You have to be there at a designated time*. You may have a dress code like the Stratified hotdog in pic # 1. What you play(your job duties, as it were) is usually more or less worked out in advance. And you can have all the hassles you'd have on  a regular job, like problems with management, or with one or more of  your co-workers, or just boredom/dissatisfaction with the job.  And so on. But as jobs go, if you're playing music you love and are jelling(at least musically)with your co-workers, it's among the most enjoyable, most fun . And you even get paid! Well, let's hope. 

In all these years, I've played music both as a primary and secondary occupation. That first picture was taken at a time when I was a full-time musician playing 5 and 6 nights a week at different Hotels and Casinos around the country--mainly the western states. I've also been a full-time freelance player, taking anything and everything: club dates, restaurant gigs, musical theatre shows, wedding receptions, just about everything except Cruise Ships. Lots of gigs. Lots and lots of them. 

I played my first one at 13. The band was called Automated Sound Society(this was high wit back then--strangely enough, it still gets a laugh, just a different kind), and our engagement was at the Island Bay Yacht Club. Seems like we made maybe $10 apiece on that one. 

And I've been playing gigs ever since. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a few, but always in there somewhere. Having just hit the ripe old age of 60, that makes 47 years of musical engagements. I'm sure I have a thousand gigs under my belt, if a count could ever be made. 

Unfortunately(for you, but really fortunately for me), I have no pictures of Automated Sound Society, or any of the other bands I played in during my adolescence, but plenty from later years. I could name the people in them and the locations, but for now I'll just leave all that information out.
The folks who'd most likely read this would know a lot of them anyway. Hope you enjoy my pictures, from these various worksites over the years. Playing is still a blast, and as long as that's the case, this face will be in the picture. Well, maybe not that face... 

                                                      * Okay, my aside here. Musicians have the reputation(and not undeservedly)for being somewhat casual about these so-called agreed upon time coordinates. My favorite musician story was of a Freddie Hubbard concert in Baltimore, for which he was 4 hours late. All he said to the audience was, "never try to rent a truck in Philadelphia on Sunday!" and then counted off their first tune. 

One more time I guess as far as these asides. The title of this post, Man at Work, is a reference to what is probably my favorite Kenny Burrell album(and I collected his records into the double-digits), a live trio setting with Richard Davis on bass and Art Taylor at                                                            the drums. Hope you enjoy the                                                            pictures of this man at work.



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