Trying to really “make it” in the music business can truly be a daunting task, and there are many of us, yours truly included, who sometimes feel like we must do it all! By “it all”, I mean the writing, producing, playing, copywriting, booking, budgeting, “hustling” and so much more! Some are better at it than others, and over time it can become quite exhausting and frustrating. Yet, it still is something we all must do, and for many reasons. Certainly, as you’re starting out, you must really learn all the necessary steps that are required in whatever you are pursuing, so one day, even when you pass some of the responsibility onto others, you can accurately monitor what it is they’re doing. This is critical, so number one, you don’t get ripped off, and number two, you can understand all the tasks that are at hand.
I can remember when my soon to be wife, Deborah and I started Hot Licks way back in 1979, we seemed to have to learn every step of the way. Even when we first started having to mail out tons of packages, I’d have to go every day to the post office that was one block from the World Trade Center, with my little red wagon loaded up with Hot Licks packages, and watch as the mail guy would weigh each and every one. I didn’t know at that time, for example, that one could actually get a “postage machine” and a scale that would turn a small corner of our loft apartment into a mini-post office, or “shipping department!” One thing would keep leading to another, and before you knew it, we had 5 employees, all of whom could perform nearly every office-oriented requirement as an employee of Hot Licks!
As an artist, I can remember sitting in places like The Lonestar Café in NY, hoping to finally see someone who could book me a gig there. There I was, with armfuls of cds, books, articles and whatever else I could “arm” myself with so I could make a good impression, and sometimes it seemed that it was my pure drive and perseverance that would actually win me the gig rather than the amount of impressive material I was able to show up with!
The bottom line is that at some point, it’s important that at least you understand all the steps involved in sometimes having to “do it all”, but to at least hope that one day you’ll have real productive help in several departments. In this way, you can really put #1 at the top of your list, which is your guitar playing, and your music! More on this subject in future blogs! Stay tuned…..