A Better Answer

Friend, to answer your question a different way…¬† How did I make money before my health became a problem…?


I would record an album for somebody, I would produce an album for somebody, I would record a half-dozen different instruments and several vocals onto tracks for somebody, I would play bass for their album, I would edit some waveforms they were having trouble with doing themselves, I would mix an album they recorded, I would be second engineer or production assistant for someone recording an album, I would produce and sell tracks of whatever musical project I was working on at the time, I would play bass for someone’s live gig, I would play guitar and sing backup for another gig, I would get asked to run the soundboard someplace else, I would get hired as a sideman to bring a carload of instruments each one I would play exactly once at each gig, I would get asked to assist in developing the business model and physically workup the show for a school performance troupe, I would get asked to act and play in that show among others, I would get paid to create someone’s promotional material and what we now call a brand, I would get paid to write a script, I would get paid to fix a scene, I would get paid to write a song, I would get paid to fix a chorus, I would often get paid to show other people how I did that, I would get paid to sing a single solo piece, or to sing for fifteen minutes, to sing for one or two forty-five minute sets, to sing and play guitar all night, or to not sing at all but to play instrumentals for a couple of hours, I’ve been paid to tell the stories without the songs, and the other way around, I’ve been paid to stand there without an instrument and be funny for twelve minutes, I’ve been paid to be serious for half an hour, I’ve been paid to tell my life story in ninety minutes with a break, I’ve been paid to be an actor telling someone else’s story for two weeks, I’ve been paid to get everyone’s attention, I’ve been better paid to be mostly ignored, I’ve received royalties for work I composed and recorded that was played in concert and used on radio and television, I’ve been paid well for the only concert I gave that season, and I’ve knowingly made next to nothing on a tour because it was my band we were breaking markets for, I’ve combined several different performing groups at once to make a living, and had a single group take all of my focus for several years running, I’ve spent years successfully developing shape and context for other artists to net us all a solid return eventually, and of course I’ve invested extended periods with artists who eventually decided they weren’t that serious after all so I never made a dime.

And I suppose all along I’ve been asked to show other people how they can do a lot of that themselves¬† And I’ve been asked to organize a lot of that on behalf of other people.¬† And both the teaching and the organizing I’ve done sometimes as a gig and other times just because it was the right thing to do.

I wonder if maybe that’s a more useful answer.