Did you pay your dues?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby grady » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:32 pm

My post was not directed at anyone here at the BRB.

Some of you took it the wrong way.

Those of you "beatin' the Streets" and making a living playing Music like I am,,know exactly what I'm talking about.

My point is,,,,there are no "dues" to be paid.

Either you can get out & play,,present the public with a Marketable product or you can't.

That's what it all boils down to.

Playing music for a living is hard,,,very hard.

If you're out there doing it,,,you have paid your dues.

You "paid your Dues" by working hard at home,,,getting your act together and doing the Marketing,,Booking,,etc.

That's what I'm talking about.

Every time you pick up your Instrument to Learn something new,,you are paying Dues.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby blueswriter » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:46 pm

... no matter how many "dues" you've paid,,there'll always be some smartass,,Narcissistic,,Self-stroking,,Egg-sucking,,Blues Nazi somewhere that'll tell you that you haven't paid enough dues.

It strikes me that the only box one of our esteemed colleagues wouldn't be comfortable in is the one reserved for the Blues Nazi brigade.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby bosco » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:29 am

It's a shame that some thought isn't required before kneejerk posts are made. After 3 years you get a feel for personalities (or lack of) and learn to roll with it. But when a member of only 3 weeks makes an honest attempt to start a heartfelt thread and is met with lame jokes and it's a sore subject blather I really have to wonder where your heads are at. Do you frequent this board to discuss blues, as Doc Mojo intended, or to just make wisecracks and discount other's efforts to have meaningful conversation?

It doesn't take that long to consider how long someone has been here, the number of posts they've made or to look up their intro thread for a little background. I've seldom been less proud to be a charter member of the BigRoad than I am right now.

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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby nizer » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:35 am

Well, the FIRST solo gig I got was at a bar that was a hangout for the local biker gang. Later patched over to HA. Anyway, there I was struggling with two of those big old two-ton plywood PA speakers, setting them up. I could not get the bloody things working and the bikers sitting around drinking in front of me were catcalling and making wisecracks. At that point I was sweating and seriously doubting the wisdom of my ambition. Fortunately a musician in the audience helped me out and I got it working.

A few years later I was playing the same bar but with a band. I'm standing there singing "Help Me" by Sonny Boy Williamson and playing guitar watching the bikers sitting right in front of me whan I see some other bikers walk in the door. Not the same gang. Uh-oh. Sure enough, they strut up to the front and the lead guy walks up to what looked to be one of the incumbent bikers leaders who is sitting there drinking his beer and kicks him in the head. All hell breaks loose and we're still playing. I'm having a hard time concentrating on the song as the mayhem ensues at my feet, at one point knocking my mic stand into me. We all looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and kept on playing.

Then there was the time in Gimli, Manitoba when we got fired after the first set. But that's too painful to recount.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby ricochet » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:41 am

Hey Nizer, maybe you shoulda started singing Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready." :7

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby nizer » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:59 am

Haha. No, I think Help Me was appropriate.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby dcblues » Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:46 am

I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but usually when someone asks a question about something like "paying dues" it seems like you're being accused of not having the right to pay the blues. Or "you didn't suffer enough," or "you're not the right race," or "you're too young."

I practiced hard to become a good harp player, and I have the respect of some of the best players in the area and a professional reputation.

I'm not going to change my intital reply and this is all I have to say about this topic.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby grady » Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:45 am

>I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but usually when someone
>asks a question about something like "paying dues" it seems
>like you're being accused of not having the right to pay the
>blues. Or "you didn't suffer enough," or "you're not the
>right race," or "you're too young."
>

That's what I'm talking about !!!

Exactly !!!

DCBlues gets it,,he knows what I'm saying.

and yes,,,I'm sorry if I offended anyone also but,,at least,,you all now know what I'm talking about.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby watertore » Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:35 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Nov-02-05 AT 11:36 PM (EST)]Welcome to the forum! I have been paying heavy dues since I started playing Spontobeat, 30 some years ago. I make up all the words and music as I go along, never to be repeated. This year I recorded 400 full lenght cds. The industry has never given me the time of day. Here is a blurb I found lying around, that I wrote a few years ago to someone asking about my days at the black cat lounge, in austin, texas. I am back playing clubs and festivals some. You can hear about 400 of my songs at the soundclick site below. I also belive that everyone on earth pays dues. Life is hard.

I call my music Spontobeat, for spontaneously created music. I spent 20 years just making everything up as I went along. I had a great band-Jamie Greenan on bass most of the time, and a lot of different drummers-Jimmy Carl Black, Dave Sanger, Uncle John Turner, and about 100 others. Lots of other musicians were in the ensemble at different times like Will/Charlie Sexton, Michael Been, David Holt, Speedy Sparks, Indian Slim, Mark Rubenstien, George Carver, Evan Johns, Ted Stills, Gino Skaggs, Fast Floyd, Champ Hood, and a lot of others that don't come to mind at this moment. I never rehearsed. We just showed up and played. When we didn't have a drummer I would put a ad in the paper and tell all intereset drummers to show up with sticks at the club. The owner of the Black Cat Lounge let us do this anytime. If they grooved they got the gig. If they didn't, we would try the next one. This was all done during our scheduled shows in the club. Because I make it up as I go along, the shows are not predictable. Some nights we rocked and others were acoustical quiet sets. Most people dug it, but the industry didn't. They wanted me to write, rehearse, play, record, and tour, to the same tunes. Roger Slovine, president of BMI, came to me and told me if I would go with him to Nashville, and learn the "hit formula", I would be cruising in tour busses like my friends, instead of working at 100's of different labor jobs through the years to pay the rent. Heck, I couldn't remember the songs off our records because we only did them that 1 time. I figure I have composed over 1 million songs. We would record an entire album in 40 minutes, one take, no nothing, but the live sound. By the time this got out,we often were in another groove. What sustained me was other musicians. They carried me through the years with lots of support-opening gigs, talking me up, having me sit in with them, etc. Austin was my home. Here I found my place. This town, and Texas, were my home. The Black Cat Lounge was my base. I was the house band there for almost 10 years. The owner said I was the worst technical musician that ever played his club, but said I played like a old black ghost. I think maybe I was too original, but it sure is fun getting up on stage and never knowing what the heck will come out! I still play, but not for $ or fame. Nowadays I mostly play on the street, old age homes, and state mental hospitals. The club scene for me doesn't hold my interest anymore.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby bluesmouse » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:51 am

Hope people didn't take my comments in the lame jokes and wisecracks category- it might not have seemed like it but I meant to be making a valid point. It gets more and more valid every time I ring the job agencies and look at my bank balance. Just meant that you don't have to look far to be part of the experience- there's enough blues in the day to day stuff of life. Apologies if anyone was offended.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby maxx england » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:23 pm

I think we've hit a small linguistic difference here - for some Paying Your Dues is very much about their emotional background, for others, it's about having done the hard yards out on the road.

Since I had other stuff to be going on with, playing blues publicly was not a high priority for me, but I've spent time in rehearsal rooms, front rooms, pubs (alcoholic? moi?) sitting in with various people.

The one time that does stick is at a motorcycle race meeting, me, DB, Roffe, Heather The Paramedic, Giles from Team Stronzo got to borrow the equipment of the Saturday night band. Me with the acoustic and its cheapo Japanese pickup, DB with his electroacoustic Fender. Roffe used the band's bass, Heather sat behind the drums, Giles had a bag of harps. Only me and DB had played together before, so we just played the same basic 12 bar in 3 keys at 3 different speeds and then legged it before the punters realised.

And here's an odd thing - we got a bigger crowd than the band. Was it the simple warmth of the music? Can't say it was the tightness and slick feel of a well rehearsed outfit at all. Strange, and a little embarassing for a group that had only recently supported Walter Trout. You explain it.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby houndog » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:30 pm

Hello,
all I know is you can't buy mojo.

Walter,put that line in your next tune ;)

adios,
Lovat
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby lightninboy » Thu Nov 03, 2005 8:54 pm

I played till my fingers bled, for 35 years!
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby santo » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:45 pm

I've been on the outside looking in so long, I have my face worn into the front window. So I guess you have to be inside to pay dues.
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RE: Did you pay your dues?

Postby 1four5 » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:16 pm

I dunno...I did the 3 x-wives, bankrupt, detox, rehab thing before picking up an instrument. Definately comes through sometimes. One thing I have learned is that none of that stuff ever goes away. Yeah, you stuff it and tell yourself time heals..but it's still in there. Playing has done more for my outlook on life than anything else ever did. I often wish that I would have started playing as a kid, but then, when I think about it...I never would have survived.
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