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Generation Gap??!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bucephylus, Jul 9, 2005.


  1. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    You know, we all sit here pecking away at the keyboard in between gigs, and most of the time have little idea who is on the other end of some discussion/disagreement. For instance, look at some of the recent ridiculous threads debating Jaco's playing. It all got me to thinking about something I've been struggling with for the past year. A year ago, I moved down to Phoenix from the Northeast. Not that the NE is better than anywhere else, but there are a lot of cats up there who can lay it down and the focus is on who can play really well, more or less regardless of age. Here in the Southwest, there is a huge age thing going on that has been an eye opening surprise and is IMO really unhealthy. Here is a typical post in the local classifieds for a bass position:

    "Need exp. bass player asap w/ pro gear. Vocals helpfull. Please be between the ages of 21 and 35 w/ a young look. Original band playing a handfull of covers in the style of The Beatles, The Stones,Jet, U2, Live, The Who, Led Zep, Pink Floyd etc. w/ a modern rock sound. We have steady well paying gigs, recording time, management, great gear, rehearse in Tempe. We are considered an Alt/Rock/Pop band. If interested please e-mail as much info about yourself that you can. Qualified applicants will be directed to our website for mp3's and more info about the band."

    I especially love the "with a young look" part. What the hell does that have to do with music? And look at the material; how old are the guys whose stuff they want to cover? I don't mean to pick on this ad, just to indicate the emphasis on the age thing; and, that has become a typical theme, not just this ad. It's almost every ad in these parts. Now, I understand that we all want to play with people that we are comfortable with, and I'm cool with there being young bands etc., but I remember way back in my youth, we used to be glad to get more experienced (older) players into a band. Hell, it made us sound better, and you learned a lot. We were always trying to get the baddest cat, and age didn't have anything to do with it. The bizarre thing is we were the biggest rebels God ever created. It used to be that you couldn't trust anyone over the age of 30, unless they were a musician(and you can't trust any of them anyway). Woodstock was a great example; just a big mix of young rebels and old vets with the emphasis on the music. Now, I'm starting to feel like we've created this generation of Mall rats who have utterly rejected anything that came before. This is bad for American music, which has been based on a massive infusion of diverse cultures and approaches. Rebelliousness is great when it is focused on creating something new. It is not so great when it is focused on blind prejudice. Anyone else see this as a recent development? I'm interested in thoughts from both sides of the Generation Gap.
     
  2. RLT

    RLT

    Jul 10, 2004
    South Central OH
    We call it the MTV/ record company management team syndrome. It isn't ability it's the look for the bubble gum crowd that buys the albums. So it's spreading out to the gigging bands since the videos are push that musicians have this look down everyones throat.
     
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I see those ads around here too. I chuckle because I am simply an "old guy" now and I get paid to deliver a professional show.

    Yet, the people I looked up to where the "old guys" like ex-members of the MC5 and Stooges who with their new punk bands in the late 70's early-80's rehearsed at my house in Ann Arbor. Being able to sit in on a jam session with those guys was like heaven! They also had us open shows for them around town, it was a great time.

    So I can call these young punk ads and tell them I jammed with the guys they idolize and stick it in their face, or go audition.
     
  4. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    What concerns me is that I don't think Iggy would be able to cut the audition. He doesn't fit the profile. I was trying to figure out if JE were still around and responded to that ad, whether they would have told him he was too old. Probably so.
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    I can understand the minimum age of 21 (playing in establishments that serve alcohol).

    However, the stuff like "young look," etc. is garbage. I'd love to (and when I can, I try) to play with, ask questions of, get contact information etc. from older musicians. I can see the attitude being more prevalent amongst rock groups, but I just don't understand it in just about any other type of music. Seen the guys in Mudvayne lately, without the makeup? Ryan Martinie, stellar bassist or not is hardly 21-35 with a "young look." I see the attitude a lot less in blues and jazz, because frankly, youth can bloody well be a detriment if you're in the "legimate" side of the business (not working with jazz singers on low-paid weekend gigs doing chorus after chorus of "Misty" and "Angel Eyes.') Most of the time if you can play your ass off, you're in, but I've seen reverse ageism enough times to know it's there (not on TB, though -- bizarre how that works, must be all the "respect" rules...)


    PS: I'm 17.
     
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    So, Aaron; I definitely didn't mean to imply any antagonism between ages. My concern is for the music. I love the strengths that diversity brings; and that goes all directions. Before I left MI, I was working with a bunch of High School kids in a Motown oriented big band for no pay. It was a gas, and I miss it. I'm just sort of stunned by the direction the lemmings are currently running.
     
  7. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    +1. Totally agree.

    With that said, I played at a local ethnic club for a wedding reception a couple months ago and had "hopeful" experience. My band has a huge age range, 26-48 (all married, kids, beer guts, etc.), and I am the middle child (34). Well there were some teen rockers watching us all night and at the end of the night they came up and talked with all of us, giving compliments and asking a lot of good questions. At the same time they helped us tear down and helped carry our gear to our trailer and cars. It's nice to know that although their generation is being innundated with bubblegum music and marketing, it was nice to see us win their respect through good playing, hard work, professionalism, and not our age. Hopefully they'll remember some of those principles if/when they put out an ad.
     
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    I agree entirely! Sorry if my first post in here made it seem any different. Ads kind of like that always do seem to boggle the mind...maybe you should put one along the lines of "No whippersnappers with their fancy doodlin' and noodlin'" in the paper for a lark :D. Just imagine the calls you might actually get for that one though...:eek:
     
  9. Keeaumoku

    Keeaumoku

    Dec 29, 2004
    We have a maxim out here in the middle of the deep blue sea, and it goes like this, "Lucky we live Hawai'i..." After reading bucephylus' post, which I found to be interesting and profound, I immediately began to reflect upon my music experience, and how it relates to the music scene here in the islands.

    Now... talk about an 'old guy' player... that be me! I'm 52. I played rock, jazz, fusion, country... you name it... beginning in the early 70s in Texas, and up until 1983 here in Honolulu. That's when I quit. I stopped because I had to "make a life" for myself and my family. Over the past 22 years, my business partner and I established, and continue to maintain a very successful distribution company. I'm fortunate now in that I don't have to worry too much about money anymore.

    So where am I going with this? Here in Honolulu there are a lot of 40+ musicians playing all types of music. We have an act here in town that's been playing together for some 25+ years: The Piranha Brothers. These guys, and two of them are really brothers, and Piranha is their legitimate family name... these guys really rock in every sense of the word! Young and "old" alike flock to their gigs, because they are all highly talented, seasoned players, and their music shows it. They're primarily a cover band, but they toss in a few excellent originals, too. Sometime during the 80s these guys took off for the mainland, but I'm not sure how long they were gone. However, when they returned, they again began playing around town, but under a new name, and you gotta love this one: The Swinging Johnsons. These boys didn't miss a single beat! Now they are back to calling themselves The Piranha Brothers, and one can catch them playing somewhere, just about anytime.

    There are other bands playing around Honolulu, and the age differences among the players can vary... early to mid 20s, on up to 40+. There's even a few that have an old geezer like me laying down a few chops! Of course there are "young" bands trying to strut their stuff, and they tend to play the music teenagers and 20-somethings are listening to as well... and there's certainly nothing wrong with that, and I energetically support their effort. After all... the beat must go on!

    Back in December, after discussing this with my wife (and best friend), I made a decision to see if I couldn't get back in the game. Trouble was, when I quit back in '83, I sold all my stuff... everything, including my '74 Rickenbacker 4001 (stupid!). Well, the difference now is: I can pretty much afford to get whatever I want without going into debt. Please understand that it's not my intention to "show off" here, or beat my own drum. Call it a mid-life crisis if you want... some guys my age give up their wives and buy a red sports car, or something crazy like that. My bride refused to give me her blessing on a Harley purchase, but a quality bass rig... no problemo!

    It's now been over 6 months since the decision was made, and since February when the equipment started coming together. Last April I hooked up with a 40-something drummer, and we worked 3 - 4 times a week to help me knock the rust off of my chops. I worked on scales and such every night for weeks! We auditioned a few guitar players, and last month found a guy... he's a 30-something dentist, who can really lay it down. He brought along his friend, a 40-something guy who's our front man, and this old geezer has some pipes! These two guys actually had a regular gig back in December, but they gave it up because they weren't happy with their 20-something drummer and bassist... they were always "fighting" with each other... so go figure that one out! We've since contacted that gig, which is a restaurant/bar, and we will be playing there beginning in August. We've got some other things in the mix, in the mean time, as well.

    So, like I said in the beginning: "Lucky I live Hawaii." Here, it's the music that matters, and the way I see it, substance will always triumph over style, and out here, good music is the substance.

    Forgive me if I appear to have rambled on here, and, if so I do apologize, but 'bucephylus' sorta struck a nerve, in a good way, and I felt compelled to "peck away" my thoughts...

    Aloha... :cool: