Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Some day, we'll all be old

I'm perpetually unhappy about how hard it is to successfully write and make theatre.

Or anything good, for that matter.

This missive from friend and musician, Dave Tutin, makes me wonder if I'm a little overly self-concerned.

And glad, in theatre, my advanced age might work for me as opposed to the music business where anyone who hasn't made it before the age of 25 is rejected.

The excerpt comes out of his observations on an interview with John Cougar Mellencamp (whom Dave is not a particular fan of) that caught Dave's ear.

...But what {Mellencamp} had to say about Tom Petty was more illuminating. He described how a song on Petty's last album had blown him away and how he expected it to be a huge success, a bit of a comeback, for Tom. But silence. No radio plays, no video, nothing beyond the delight of those people wise enough to buy Tom's album. John claimed it was this fear of not being heard in today's market that led him to advertising. And a guaranteed, captive audience - despite the fact that even that is far smaller than TV used to deliver.

There's always been a youth music machine. But it was always just one more choice of music in a vast array of appreciated styles. So why is this no longer the case? In an age when just about everything ever recorded is available thanks to digital technology the success of new performers who are outside the machine is more doubtful than ever. It wasn't meant to be this way.

It's easy to criticize the digital kids and their naive expectations that music should be free. But the truth is, all those stolen downloads would hardly matter if the people who once believed music could change the world still believed it. And still bought it.

Right this way, old man.


Dave said...

To those kind folks who may visit my web site, you'll have trouble finding this piece. I removed it. I know editing blogs is not the done thing but it just seemed to much like complaining when I read it again. So thanks to Malachy for preserving a part of it here.

malachy walsh said...

People edit all the time, but I found the entry worthwhile.... I'm glad I caught it before you took it down!