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rant: musicians

There's some good reasons I don't play with other musicians that often. One really good one is the pitch.

What is the pitch? In a word, bulls--t.

I'll explain.

A few weeks back I put an ad on an online message board that I was looking to play. I got a few responses and met up with a few people.

None of the jam sessions were really super-magical or anything, but it was cool to play.

Twice - from two different people - I heard the pitch.

Pitch 1: "Yeah, man, we've got radio connections and a record label wanted to sign us but we lost a guy so we couldn't sign. And don't worry, we won't leave you hangin'. We'll let you know if we can work with you."

Pitch 2: (and yes I blogged about this previously) "Oh yeah, we've got this big-time video producer doing a video for us. Want to be in it? Okay, it will be on [this date] - we'll keep in touch and let you know."

Now I'll explain each pitch.

Pitch 1 translated: "Some friend of my brother's cousin said he knew a friend of a guy who was interested in signing us, but then he lost his number so.. oh well. And I know I'll say I'll call you back, but um.. don't count on it because it's not going to happen."

Pitch 2 translated: "We've got some college kid with crappy rental gear doing a video for us - but his teacher says he's really good.. I hope. Yeah, I'm going to invite you to be in a vid with us but just so you know I'm flat-out lying. If you start calling me I won't answer, so um.. don't bother."

. . .

I've been hearing pitches ever since I started playing guitar. Guys love spreading the bulls--t really, really thick.

I'm not saying all musicians pitch, but a lot of them do. Are they trying to "be cool" or something? Darned if I know.

. . .

Pitches translated

Pitch:

I have connections.

What it really means:

I have a bazillion "friends" on MySpace that are nothing but other crappy bands trying to whore themselves out just like me.

I have a bazillion "friends" on my AIM that are - once again - nothing but other crappy bands trying to whore themselves out just like me.

And we all suck.

Pitch:

I'm sponsored by [this musical instrument company].

What it really means:

[That musical instrument company] once sent me a coupon in the mail. I guess that means I'm sponsored! Actually, that didn't happen. I'm lying. But you have no way of proving me wrong.

Pitch:

We almost had a a record label "sign" us, but [this] happened and the deal fell thru. But the record label said as soon as we get a band back together, they'll "sign" us for sure!

What it really means:

We played a few gigs until the drummer screwed the guitarist's girlfriend and the band had a "falling out" after that. And that record label thing? Well, yeah.. a promoter once contacted us (some local guy.. what was his name?), which I know isn't the same as a record label employee, but I'm stupid so.. yeah. That guy was working for the record label even though he wasn't. Do I make sense? No? Sorry, I'm stupid. Don't believe a word I tell you. I suck.

And when you ask me what the name of the record label was, don't be surprised if I completely fudge the answer, or say some name you've never heard of but "is a smaller label working for a larger one". Seriously, I talk out of my ass. I really do suck.

Pitch:

We can get good gigs any time we want.

What it really means:

I can tell you we can get a gig anywhere because you have no way of proving me wrong, so when we do actually try to get a gig and it doesn't happen, I can just blame the place and get away with it! Or maybe I can blame other bands! Or promoters! I have a HUGE LIST of people I can blame other than myself! Aren't I swell?

. . .

The moral of this rant: True musicians (whether amateur, pro or hobbyist) don't pitch. I never have and never will - because I don't have to.

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