i was taking a look at the java jazz schedule the other day, and it got me thinking about how different it is for budding musicians now compared to when i was a young lad attending high school on da north side…
do you know how many bands were around when i was in high school? one. one lousy band, and they only formed to play billy idol and cure covers for the end-of-year talent show. why weren’t there more? didn’t we like music? were we so super-crappy that there was no way we could form a band even if we tried?
- DIY was an ugly word
- in the 80’s, punk wasn’t accepted by the quarterbacks and cheerleaders yet, so getting down n’ stinky with three chords in yer folks garage wasn’t an acceptible way to spend free time
- keyboards were in, guitars were out
- 75% of the music around that time was made on very expensive electronic devices that our parents wouldnt buy for us.
- the people we saw making music were old
- except for stinky, three chord-playing punk bands (that few paid attention to), most people on the radio and mtv seemed to be much older than us, and therefore made the music-making process seem beyond us.
- guitars were more expensive and harder to buy
- ok, maybe not more expensive, but there weren’t as many good inexpensive guitars t choose from. we didnt have guitar center or mars back then, either… if we wanted to hang out somewhere and play the opening riff to “iron man” or “stairway to heaven” we had to do it at h & h or parker (and they never let that go on too long).
- venues? what venues?!?!
- i know there were places for bands to play back then (the island), but i sure wasn’t allowed to drive downtown back then… downtown was u-g-l-y back in the day!
- no one told us we could start a band
- this is the weakest and weirdest of all the reasons, but it’s prolly the biggest reason for me… i played tbone all through high school and never once did any of the teaching staff bring up the idea of us playing our instruments for fun or profit outside of the context of a school assignment. you’d think that teachers would want their kids to have a reason to play as often as possible, but that never occoured for me and my friends.