Showing posts from January 10, 2016

Don't Be A Butt-Hurt Bert.

One of the luxuries of working with professionals on creative gigs is honesty.  It’s either, “Leon, you were really on tonight.  Good job”  or “WTF?  You were off.  Whatever is going on with you, you need to leave it in the green room and not take it to the stage”.  “A” game is what got you to the gig in the first place,  so when you get that complaint you don’t lose your confidence and freak out, instead you party less and practice more, tell your GF that boat ride before the gig has to wait, or whatever it is you need to do to keep your game from slipping.  Once you step up, you can never step back down unless you plan on quitting soon afterwards.  What’s my point?  When you’re an artist and get constructive criticism, you need to focus on the word “constructive” more than the word “criticism”.  Especially if it comes from someone that’s already doing something that you want to do careerwise. 

Band Loyalty?

Recently, I had a discussion with some fellow musicians about loyalty among band members.  If there is anyone that can give advice on the subject, it isn’t me.  What I can do is give some examples of what loyalty is and isn’t.  The most impressive display of band loyalty that I’ve ever witnessed is with the band Def Leppard.  People think that if a bunch of guys in a band grew up together, loyalty shouldn’t be an issue.  It’s never that simple, but Def Leppard made it seem that simple when their drummer lost his arm in a car accident at the height of the band’s career.  If there were ever a legitimate reason to replace your drummer, having him lose an arm is probably in the number one spot.  Of course their childhood friend and bandmate threatened to kill himself if they kicked him out, but that’s neither here nor there.  Instead of replacing the drummer, Def Leppard helped their friend figure out how to get a custom kit made that would allow him to still do the gigs with one arm (go…

Bowie and Lemmy

When it comes to musical influences, I have a vast lexicon of artists to pull from.  Included in that lexicon is Lemmy of Motorhead fame and David Bowie of, well, just fame.  I had heard rumors from people on the East Coast that Bowie wasn’t doing well as I had heard that Lemmy wasn’t doing too hot either from people on the West Coast.  I didn’t know how serious the rumors were until this week. 

When I discovered Motorhead I was a 19 year old, black kid sitting in the living room with insomnia, drinking beer and watching MTV’s Headbangers Ball while my fiancĂ© slept in the next room.  Just when I thought I would nod off, the video for Ace of Spades hit the screen and my eyes widened and my jaw dropped.  I slowly moved from the couch and dropped to my knees in front the TV screen and just stared in awe.  I mumble two words; “Holy shit”.  I fell in love with Motorhead instantly.  Truth told, these days, only two Motorhead songs really exist for me; Ace of Spades and Iron Fist.  The two a…