Do you have aspirations (or delusions) of grandeur?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tb-player, Feb 2, 2023.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player Sarcasm intended... always! Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    For the longest time, I had a dream that I would be world-famous as a bassist. I just knew my talents would take me somewhere big. I pursued it for a while, but then life happened. I got married, had kids, started a company… etc, & those aspirations began to fade. And I don’t say that with regret. The more I investigated/experienced what a professional musician’s life looks like, the less appealing it became to me.

    These days, I play when I want to because I want to. In fact, I find myself saying ‘no’ to offers more and more. It’s not about ego, money, fame or even silly YouTube clicks. Bass has become less of a goal and more of a therapy for me. I mainly play for me. I don’t need the attention I used to seek.

    Then again… I have a friend who retired to Nashville and does quite a bit of session work… maybe in the next 20 or 30 years that could be me. Hmmm… :D

    Curious… anyone here in it to win it? Trying to make it big on 4 strings? Or are content where you are?
  2. Michael Stanley 2112

    Michael Stanley 2112 Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    My story parallels yours.

    I do feel like I missed out (because my marriage sucked), but I also realized I never would have lived into my forties had gotten "really big".
  3. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I made a pretty decent living with original music as a bass player. Better than that, bassin’ money and a little bit of royalties paid for my engineering degree. No regrets there. It takes skill, luck and good relationships but even then it doesn’t always last forever. But it’s pretty good to have a payday for your own work. Especially cool to be stuck at a red light and someone in the next car is doing the head bop to your junk. Not fame or “grandeur” but ok-ish.
    Eli_Kyiv, 4SG, jutty17 and 10 others like this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I gave up my delusions of grandeur and learned to settle for delusions of adequacy! :roflmao::smug::woot:
  5. LiptonJigglers


    Oct 21, 2022
    I didn't even know what I wanted to be when I grew up...
    I'm 52 and still don't know what I want to be or do...
    Never had any ambitions to be famous or popular etc. Only picked up the bass 15 years ago. Still have no ambitions to be a mega star... I totally understand and relate to the therapy aspect..
    soulstew, 4SG, jmattbassplaya and 5 others like this.
  6. QweziRider

    QweziRider Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Nope. Never content. Grandeur, fame, etc? No, that's not it, that's not what I crave or have in mind. But to work and make a living at it consistently? With varied genres and projects? Yeah...I need that. It's what I am and no other jobs or careers have been a fraction as fulfilling.
    Jimmy Howe likes this.
  7. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    Nope...just enjoy playing.
  8. H K

    H K

    Jun 18, 2021
    Yeah. I thought a lot about this recently. Even more last night as I rewatched "Festival Express", the 2003 documentary about the 1970s festival train ride across canada. I watched Jerry Garcia playing in the train car and it just struck me how extremely happy he looked, playing a song he obviously knew well. Even though there was no challenge in it, no new technique to be learned, no fame, money or anything to be gained from playing in that situation other than the pure enjoyment and happiness of the music itself.

    It alerted me to the fact that lately (or ever?) I havent been properly enjoying the music as I play it. Like, in a deeper sense. I enjoy playing it, I enjoy listening to it, but on some deeper level I could also enjoy both at the same time. Kind of like rekindling that feeling you felt the first time you heard what would become your favourite song, while youre actually the one playing it, and playing it for the first time.

    Going forward it's going to be one of my main goals to adapt this mindset and try to play and hear the music with a fresh sense of wonder every time:)
  9. I think I see the problem. "World-famous" and "bassist" appear in the same sentence. :roflmao:
    retslock, Eli_Kyiv, bobunit and 17 others like this.
  10. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I am relentlessly small-time.
  11. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    If I got lucky, I was good enough coming up, technically. Thats nowhere near the whole picture though.

    However, now I'm light years on as a player, I don't aspire to the slog. I'm happy with a few quality gigs, playing with a few quality players...and note their lifestyle 'playing the dream-which is relative and subjective- and wanting no part of it.

    So, to sum up, it is all about timing. And a no from me.
    jutty17 and Kubicki Fan like this.
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    When I was in college, I remember late-night conversations with friends about wanting to do something that would change the world, some great transformative work in our fields that future generations would study. But I wasn't in music then, it was theater, and I thought I was going to be a director. That never happened.

    I took up bass at 38, and already had a wife and family and a career (now as an historian). So I never had delusions of grandeur about it. Even just going on a tour of any length wasn't in the realm of likelihood. But I have been ambitious, and remain so, not for "the big time" but just step by step. What I mean is, at first the only goal was to get a bass and play it in the living room. After a few months that got dull so I found some guys on craigslist to jam with. After a year or so some of us began to wonder if we could actually gig. The answer to that was no, so I had a couple years bouncing around different bands till I found one that could. OK... can I find a place in a group that gigs regularly? That has an actual following? Can we get out of the dive bars into higher-end venues? An actual stage?

    The Blues Bros tribute I play in hit a landmark for me last December - it was the first time I had a gig actually in a theater playing for a crowd that bought tickets to see us. Not a big deal for some, but a big step up for me. We'll have another in March, and this one at the kind of place that seats a few hundred, where lesser-known acts, past one-hit-wonders and big names' side projects play. I've seen Samantha Fish, the Winery Dogs, Howard Jones and the Immediate Family there, and now I get to play that same stage, so I'm pretty pumped. What's the next step up from that we can get to? Not sure, but I'm eager to find out.
    Jimmy Howe, matante, jutty17 and 9 others like this.
  13. In high school, I was playing electric bass with the best people in my area. Touring regionally. Several of them have gone on to be full time successful professionals in Nashville and LA, etc. I was also killing it on upright, All State orchestra, a teacher that was all but guaranteeing he could put in a good word for me and get me a music scholarship.

    But I had this feeling that, all the music I really loved was not mainstream. I saw many of my favorite bands and hung out with them after shows, saw their stinky tour vans. And I didnt want to play any old music. I wanted to write and play my music. So I decided then, the cost/benefit (like a non Ramen every day) wasn't there.

    I got a degree in something that seems like it could be an interesting day job. Psychology. I worked directly with at risk and kids in foster care for years, eventually became a lawyer for (and sometimes against) that system.

    And that all the while gave me the freedom to build progressively better home studios, record myself, friends. Again, to play my music.

    The fact Ive gotten paid and appreciated along the way, people have bought CDs, paid the cover, bought downloads, the thousands of streams, thats all bonus. I have a deep compulsion to write songs. I would do that even if no one else liked them.
    4SG, matante, jutty17 and 7 others like this.
  14. dieggsy


    Sep 5, 2022
    Neither content, nor in it to win it. I play music almost exclusively for myself. Always pushing myself to keep learning, and playing progressively better music. I just love it.
    JRA and BOOG like this.
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I only started gigging a year before I graduated from college, got married and took a serious day job. That pretty much limited my music "career". However, even as a local yokel I've spent plenty of time in bands with pros, both before and after they got record deals and toured the USA and Europe. So I guess I've done OK :thumbsup:
    jerry and JRA like this.
  16. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I decided not to chase the dream 30+ years ago when I learned "starving artist" is an accurate description for most. In 2023, the market is much smaller.
  17. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Yes. I used to be stupid when I was young.

    Some would say I still am. But I used to be, too!
  18. Rib 13

    Rib 13 Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    Everybody measures success differently: at my late age, I started a bass YouTube channel. Its not the best but I enjoy doing it and - as a bonus - theres a handful of people that like what I do with it -- thats good enough success for me
  19. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I wouldn't say I had aspirations or delusions, but I did have fantasies. The driving force behind these fantasies wasn't fame or external validation, but more revenge. I wanted to show every boss and bully what I was made of. Show every girl that rejected me what she missed out on.

    Then when I started playing gigs I realized that people would either respect me or not. My friends thought it was cool I was getting gigs, and haters hated me even more. "Jeez, you're not gonna be a rock star. Grow up."

    As I got older and looked at my own insecurities I realized I play music because that's just who I am. I love music and I love to create....and I'd much rather play and write original music in someone's basement than play cover songs for money.

    Now I see music as more than a hobby, but a way to intergrate my shadow (Google 'Carl Jung shadow' if you're unfamiliar with this concept). It's an essential part of who I am (my purpose), and essential to my growth as a person.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I gave up the idea of being a Rock Star 40 years ago. Curiously, the biggest and best gigs of my life are...right now.