Supply and demand, as taught by the doctor

Tuesday, 21 December 2004

My whole family loves music. About half of us are musicians to some level of competency. My mother is a classical pianist and a fair folk guitarist. My old man can play some guitar and I guess he played the recorder and this or that at one point. He’s passed playing much but damn if he doesn’t still love music. I’ve seen him shell out several hundred bucks for a single collection. He’s got drawers and drawers full of CDs. A couple nice amplifiers and various media players and speakers. Considering all the vinyl and hardware iterations, just thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars.

I’m a musician. I resist the temptation to put it in quotes as I resist the temptation to prefix it with professional. Either is fair. I’m so far out of the game, it engenders suicidal feelings but I’ve been paid to play and I’ve written several hundred compositions, some of which are, without reservation, excellent.

At the height of my chops I happened to be living at my parents’ house for several weeks. I had just banged out about 20 new tunes, from Sari-el to Nickel Girl with Copper Lips, almost all winners, and was practicing a lot to get ready to start playing in public again, even if it meant solo.

I was at the end of the practice set, playing The Fate of Man on my American made Jackson Soloist over midi tracks of drums, bass, and trumpet, when my old man stepped into the room. He’d been listening and I’d been getting it tight.

He said, “That sounds really good.”

What? Awesome. First nice thing I can remember him saying about anything I’d done in years. The only previous feedback about my music had been, 1) Turn it down, and 2) That’s pretty dark, isn’t it?

He allowed me about 30 seconds to bask in the rays of duodecennial paternal approval before working around to inquire what it was exactly I was planning on doing to make money in life.

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