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Musicians: Stop whining

Grate(ing) performances; they all get around to it eventually. Singers are the worst. Now that they are rich and famous, they are going to tell us about how tough their lives are. Usually they save this for a live performance that is being recorded for an album, a double dip. Not satisfied with the money from ticket sales, an amount you and I could live off for a year, they will release this live performance as a CD, inferior acoustics and all. It took me a long time to realize that these were a rip-off.In a suitably whiny voice they sing about all the loneliness and drudgery of their lives, the endless miles on the tour bus, the faceless, nameless roadies, the repetitive nature of their performances. Oh, boo hoo. Try my first job; a soul-deadening, repetitive task in a dingy factory with poor air quality while trying to turn out quality work against a timed machine. Oh yeah, it paid a bit less per year than Mr. Rock Star is getting for his three hours on stage. Instead of adoring fans, my audience was a cranky foreman, still in his party clothes, hung over from his previous night out.How about all of the other people who have to travel on their jobs, spending most, if not all, of each week on the road in hotels that don’t have room service and take a dim view of having their rooms trashed? Families are left at home to cope with the daily emergencies on their own while the traveler agonizes at a distance over his or her inability to be there for them. No chauffeur-driven tour bus with a full bar and sleeping arrangements for road warriors who must drive themselves in all kinds of weather, sometimes so tired that they are hallucinating.Then there is the on-the-job feedback. Instead of crowds of adoring fans proffering bottles of Jack Daniels and begging for an encore, our version of the traveling man gets abuse and impossible goals. Why didn’t you close that deal? Why didn’t you make that delivery on time? Why, why, why. If you can’t do it, we have someone else waiting in the wings who can.So stop your whining. If you don’t like your schedule, knock a few concerts off the tour and buy one less Cadillac or country home this year. When you run out of money because you thought it would go on forever, remember the words by Bad Company, one of your own that evidently got it:“Don’t you know that you are a shooting star. Don’t you know?”Words to live by. Bill Abrams travels no more, and now resides full time in Pine Plains.

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