Thursday, December 8, 2011
The Price Of Genius
The music business is full of contradictions. In most professions there are certain rules that apply that are usually spot on all the time. I mean if you are a talented doctor or attorney your worth is appreciated, respected and financially rewarded but that is not the case in our business. I recently played a show with a legendary entertainer, who shall remain nameless. When I arrived to the club, people were there telling me how they couldn't wait to hear him and how great he was. After playing with him, I too concurred that he is incredible, simply a genius but the club didn't charge a cover and the money he was making was really an insult to his talent. I've had the pleasure of playing with and learning from quite a few genius musicians in my career but it seems that society does not reward genius. We seem to be more comfortable with mediocrity. We recognize genius but we don't seem to respect it. This is why the music industry and arts in general are in a state of flux. Everyone loves music of some kind but place no real value on those that create it. It seems that people think that musicians and artists are just around to please them but shouldn't be paid well. But they will shell out thousands of dollars on media made music. This is music that has no real substance or staying power. It's music created in a box for the lowest common denominator. It isn't intellectually challenging nor does it inspire you to think. Now I know that music is not always suppose to be serious, especially popular music but even when you are singing about love, there is a way to do it that can inspire people to want to experience love and not just sex. We fear what we don't understand and this is the price of genius. As I stated earlier, people can recognize genius but it frightens them because it challenges them to think and move to a different space. This is why most great musicians are never fully rewarded while they are alive but after their death people look back at their work and then embrace their genius. I challenge you as a music buying and concert going public to respect, appreciate and financially reward the artists you like. Not just the media made artists but the geniuses you see in your local pubs or regional concert venues. Money and media can not make genius. Only God makes these people and as you share in their gifts please understand that genius is worthy of not only recognition but compensation as well. Enjoy the journey.
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