It really hurts me to get letters from good bands and musicians asking for help. I just got a letter from a terrific band in Missouri that says the live music market in the midwest really sux. Despite their energy and talent, they canít get their careers launched without some big wheels from the music industry taking notice. It wasnít exactly suicidal but it was certainly helpless and hopeless. Such talent should not go unnoticed.
Iíll tell you why. The radio stations donít play songs from unknown bands like they used to. Itís all about money, ratings, sponsors, and advertising. The disc jockeys have program lists they have to work off of. Most stations buy into pre-recorded programming. Program managers and disc jockeys used to be able to use their own creative instincts, and they had the guts to play a song from an unknown band.
Record companies wonít help bands until the band is already established. They want the band to have at least 2000 people showing up to their gigs before they will even give them the time of day.
Musicians used to require a drummer. Then they created electronic drums and put drummers out of business. Then, the music industry decided they didnít want to pay a band when all they really needed was a vocalist who couldnít sing but could write nursery rhymes, and rap was born. Iíve had people tell me it takes talent to get the breathing right. That is BS compared to the number of years it takes people to practice a musical instrument or learn to really sing.
Then, clubs decided that instead of hiring a band, all they need to do is turn off the juke box that was being played between sets of live music and hire a DJ. This opened the door for a lot of people to become entertainers without having to have music talent and practice their musical instrument 8 hours a day. This is all well and good for them, and it is not their fault, but it put many live bands out of business.
Some of the top performers in the live music industry are partly to blame, because of things like high ticket prices. High prices to them cuts down the money available to be spent on local music. By forgetting their roots, and by going along with the practices of the music industry they have cut the opportunity for new bands.
What happens if there is nobody left to write and record the music?
What hurts even more is that I had no way of helping these people. I donít have a radio station. I canít tell the radio stations that in return for payola they have been playing crapola music. I donít own a club.
With the help of the biker community, we can change all that now!
Because we still have the guts to make a difference in this world!
And... Because we can.
Support the Bikers Love it Live Campaign
1. Attend events that feature live music.
2. If you have the money, buy CDís from live bands when you see them.
3. If you really have some extra money and already have their CD, give the band a tip.
4. Support the bars that support live music.
5. Itís okay if you go somewhere that has a DJ, and itís okay if you pay $75 for a concert ticket, but plan on seeing a live band. It really helps them a lot, and live music is the only way weíll have new music and new musicians.
6. In addition to becoming the foremost expert on classic rock, classic blues, classic jazz, classic country, check out the new local bands.
7. Donít forget to support orchestras. The musicians in orchestras have often devoted their lives to music. Orchestras often back up popular music.
8. Listen to radio programs that will take requests.
9. When you see a live band perform, and you like them, call the request line of the radio station in your area who play that ďgendreĒ of music, and ask them to play a song by them.
If you do some or all the above, you will be supporting local, live music. Enjoy!
Oh, by the way, as I find local bands that have worked hard and need support Iíll be telling you about them throughout BIKERS. I particularly enjoy classic rock and blues, but love other musical gendres as well.