Bernie pic

Bernie pic

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Why you won’t be the next Lady Ga Ga, Nicole Kidman, Gerhard Richter, J.K. Rowling. Pt 1

Some of you will stop reading this early, thinking this is a downer but if you stick with it, it could offer positive encouragement for your career in music, performing or visual arts or literature.
I will start with examples from when I was pretty much writing only entertainment  journalism  and dabbling in music promotion.  
Every chance I had I took to quote the Dire Straits lyric: ‘You’re getting your money for nuffin and your chicks for free.’  (I don’t know if you’re allowed to quote song lyrics any more but let’s go with it and mark it down to the nostalgia defence.)
I even had a column with the title Money for Nuffin’ which ran for a few years.
My obsession with that satirical verse grew from the sadness of seeing  a swag of teenage rock bands sure they were going to conquer the world, only to crumble 18 months later.
I remember one ernest teenage muso approached me at a gig to say: ‘Thank you for your advice in your latest review. I had to read it a few times to understand  it. But I think it could help our career.’
I did not have the heart to tell the young  bloke I was just writing crazy stuff to make readers  laugh.
Sure I was trying to encourage local musos to make their live music a little better and to show them some of us out there were really listening to them.
But I knew nothing  about a career in rock music for a Brisbane band and, in a decade, you could count  on one hand local bands who made serious money.
Things today are probably as good as they have ever been for Greater Brisbane musicians, but the reality for most  is don’t give up your day job if you are a performer, artist or writer.
What I am saying is embrace the reality and your place in it; find your voice and develop  it –the metaphor stands for visual artists as well. That could be your best shot at the Big Time, if you really want to go there.
In my novel Iraqi Icicle, I write one of the endearing qualities of Brisbane band The Go-Betweens (1978-91, sometimes re-born today) is their ambivalent attitude to world domination - the 1983 album is called Before Hollywood.
Ironically, the band is more famous now 20 years after they broke up than at any time in their career.
Hell, they almost had a Brisbane bridge named after them but for the marketeers' refusing to stick an 's'  in the Go-Between Bridge.

NEXT: Why your talent does not receive the rewards it deserves.
Afterword. I know this is a minimalist blog compared to others but all you have to do is add a comment and start a dialogue or trialogue and so forth. Click the comments button and don't be put off by the 0 in front of comments; it need not be that way.

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