The Oakland City Center hosts one hour concerts
on Wednesdays at noon during the summer, the last one of the series being
held on September 30th.
Every now and
then the Sole Proprietor wanders over from work and shoots some
pictures of the performers and the crowd. He doesn't get as close as he
should or aggressive as he should to get really good consistent shots, but
its convenient, its fun and the Sole Proprietor has no complaints.
Once some time ago the Sole Proprietor was "in" the music business.
Or maybe "stumbled about in" is the better phrase, since he wasn't very
good at it and soon moved on to other stumbling grounds. In retropect he
thinks he knows some of the reasons why. Nothing to do with music or
the Sole Proprietor. They just didn't fit. The rock
and roll business is the music, is a way of life, is an attitude, is a
scene, is a whole lot of things that can, if they call, move
your heart (not to mention your liver, if you get too fond of the
alcohol and the medicines).
It's also a business, a process of finding talent, of building and
marketing that talent to a successful career. You need the ear, the
interest, the business skill, the ability to deal with a bunch of off the
wall people who have heard your rap a thousand times before.
And more. No blame though. The Sole Proprietor liked the music well
enough. He liked the people who came from
everywhere and everywhy to be in it, at least when they weren't liars,
criminals or cheats. And some were. And he liked some of them too.
He just couldn't get himself up for the day to day things that needed getting done.
He just couldn't divorce himself from things you needed to divorce yourself from
to make it work. This is true of every business, of course. If you want to
do it badly enough, all of the things that got in the way in other jobs
suddenly weren't important. The music business is like that.
The computer business is like that. The wine business is like that. If
you don't fit, you aren't supposed to play. Find the sandbox you like. And
The Sole Proprietor wonders, though, about the people he knew and what they're doing
now. He talked about liars, thieves and criminals. Yes, but they were just
distractions. There were others. Many others. Human beings good and true,
some hanging by the tips of their fingers, some doing rather well,
but all hanging with a love for something that only the music could provide.
He wonders if some are still playing music or making
music or working in the business after all these years. Even more than
advertising, it seems to be a business for the young.
The performers in the pictures are not all that old, but they don't seem
to be all that young, either. How do they survive the strain and the lack
of money? There was never enough money except for the really big
recording bands and even they usually had a short stint, an album and
an hour or two of money and fame. How do you do this after 40?
I think the Sole Proprietor is feeling nostalgic and seeing these bands
brings back old memories. He doesn't seem to be able to listen to his
old albums any more without thinking about some of the late nights
after the gigs: Tired, feeling alone, the music finished for now.
Sometimes a long drive home. Still, he was with people he knew and,
in retrospect, loved. And that's not all bad. Not then. Not now.