Don't know if this is going on anywhere else, but I feel like sharing my thoughts anyhow. Where I live in Bklyn. NY, 3 years ago, the R&R and Punk scene was really thriving. There were lots of shows and the shows were drawing anywhere from 150 to 350 kids and adults. New clubs were opening. There were a lot of DIY places. Things were good. 3 years later - if 25 people show up someplace, it's a lot. Because I work in a HS I get to ask a lot of the kids what's up, and I seem to always get the same answers. "There's no bands to see anymore." "All the bands playing suck." Something occurred to me about a week ago. My drummer (who is about 20 yrs younger than me) has a new band he put together. They were playing their first gig last week and I asked how he felt about it. He said something like, "Well... we pretty much got it together... the guitarist is still having a really rough time though. He doesn't want to really learn the songs." BUT THEY'RE DOING THE GIG ANYWAY!!???! And my pal didn't seem to really care all that much. His attitude was, it's our first gig and it's expected that we're going to suck. First gigs always suck. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I think this kind of attitude it what is killing the music scene in my neighborhood, and could in yours too. Complacency. Not caring. Wanting nothing more than to jump on a stage to glorify your own ego and not care one bit about what an audience is going to have to listen to. In the past it wasn't that way, at least around my circles. If we were going to gig, we practiced until we knew our stuff - period. We made sure we put in the hours we needed so that the first time we hit a stage, we kicked butt. Just about evey one of my first gigs with a new group was an awesome gig. Without going on too long, I have to add that I don't mean by this to hide in a basement until every single kink is worked out. Bands often never get out of the house like that. I mean get your act basically together, then book a gig a month or 2 down the line, and use that for motivation to be the damned best band that ever played a 1st show. If you have to rehearse 4 hours a night, 5 times a week - then do it! If you have to get together alone with your guitarist to work out stuff, then do it! I did it. Lots of us older guys did it. Pay your dues, put in the work, and be the best freaking band you can be! Everyone benefits like that. Stop torturing the people that come to clubs to hear good music, only your friends are going to clap for you if you suck. I'm quitting coffee tomorrow.