Some of you are thinking of Metallica or Bieber or some other such rubbish. Yes, there are musicians that make millions of dollars. They are an ever-shrinking minority. Most bands are working musicians. They're on the road most of the year. Yes, it sure beats working for a living, and it's a dream many — including myself when I was wee — have not been able to fulfill (thanks to an adorable lack of talent in my case). Creating music is not easy, it takes time, effort, and talent. If everyone could do it, everyone would do it.
So the fact is, you have a segment of the population that can do something, wants to do something, and is trying to make a living doing that something. Why do so many others want to punish these people? If you don't think musicians (or writers or actors or anyone decently creative) deserve to make a living entertaining others, well, I have two words for you, and they rhyme with truck poo.
The days of record labels pouring money into unknown bands is gone. Record labels are gone. The storied A&R guys scouring clubs for the next big thing? Gone. They don't exist anymore. There are a few artists at the top who make lots of money, and then there's everyone else trying to scrape by. Don't believe me? Look at this chart to see how ridiculous it is trying to make a living as a musician.
Most of my friends are musicians. They would all love to "make it big." Barring that, even the chance to just live off making music would be an over-the-top win. But they're not counting on it. They can't. The reality is, they don't make music for the hope it'll make them rich. They make music because they love making music. If they could, they would make MORE music, if jobs and rent and, you know, needing to eat, didn't get in the way. With less and less money spent on music, it gets harder for those trying to make it, to make it.
This is not a lament for days gone by. This is not a cry for higher prices or "better" digital rights management (hell no). This is a plea to pay for music because music, and art, and writing are the only things worth a damn in this shitty world, and if we penalize those who are good at making it, we're going to have less of it.
Think about that. That's where we're headed, to a place where there's less music, as musicians are forced to work "real" jobs instead of entertaining.
Because trust me, the world has enough disgruntled former musicians. We're called bloggers.
Brent Butterworth and Geoff Morrison combine their years of gear testing and knowledge in one überblog of irreverence and techiness.
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