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01/02/2008 Entry: "A New Year of Capitalism"
I hope everyone's enjoying their new year. I am--sort of. Nothing huge. I'm a little sore for some reason. I got home from my New Year's gig (I played two gigs, back to back), and I was sore. Especially my knees. My right hand, too, in the carpals and metacarpals. And today, my back. Today's snow was especially heavy. Thankfully, I was outside when or plow driver came by, so I was able to move mine AND Susan's car, so we got a nice plow. Unfortunately, she plowed over some of the walk I had just shoveled, so I had to re-shovel that part. And since a truck had just been over it, that part was quite compressed, and the heavy snow was now even harder to get up. That's what pushed me over the edge, I think.
Speaking of playing gigs, I did something last week I don't normally do: I turned down a gig because it didn't pay enough. A local high school wanted me to play their spring musical. I did it last year, but didn't discuss the pay beforehand. When the check came, I made less in two full weekends then I normally make in one gig. (Actually, it was a Thursday night, two Friday nights, two Saturday nights, and a Saturday matinee, so six performances all together.) I explained that, with time home being a precious commodity, and with the amount of work I already get as a musician, blocking out that kind of time for that kind of money couldn't be done. I felt really bad. I wasn't trying to get the kind of dough I would normally get--I frequently make concessions for non-profit type gigs. But I did think I needed something more. Otherwise, it was more worth it to me to stay home. And so that's where we are. They'll be looking for a new drummer. They feel bad, 'cause they like using me. I feel bad, 'cause I like to play shows and I like the people. And, I like helping the school. But I also like my wife and kids, and hanging with them on the weekend.
Still, it makes me feel like a mercenary. And a capitalist. And a Dad. And a husband. And a traitor.
Maybe some business out there would underwrite my fee. Then I could take the gig, feel good, the school would not have to spend more, they'd get the drummer they want, and all would be well. Of course, then my family would feel bad. Hmm. Seems the more I think about it, the more I end up making more of a mess. I should stop talking now.