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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Modest Proposal From An Old Fart Musician

Accountants, teachers, doctors - each have continuing education requirements, as do many other professions. I've always considered this a great idea. How else do professionals stay educated, fresh and up-to-date? Do you want an accountant not up-to-date on tax law or a doctor who doesn't attend conferences about the latest medical breakthroughs?

At dinner last night, my wife and I were subjected to yet another tired version of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", performed by two guys around my age. Leaving the restaurant, as I ranted to her about this for perhaps the 1000th time, she made a brilliant suggestion. I hereby submit baseline criteria for the continuing education of any paid musician. Arbitrary? You bet. Long overdue and sure to mitigate listener boredom? Without a doubt.

* Repertoire must shift at least 25% each year, i.e. a repertoire of 48 songs must contain 12 songs that were not performed by that musician the year before.
* All decades of a musician's life must be represented by at least one song, i.e. someone born in the 70's must have a repertoire containing at least one song from every decade since. Extra points awarded to musicians with repertoires pre-dating their birth. For you jazz guys whining about the first part, at least you're getting extra points - quit complaining.
* Except for JT himself, can we retire "Fire And Rain" once and for all? Too capricious you say? OK, how about at least adding a second song from JT's extensive, terrific repertoire? Have mercy on this old fart musician, please.      


  1. Counter proposal:

    (1) Male musicians over age 7 shall be banned from playing Celebration by Kool and the Gang
    (2) Female singers over the age of 7 shall learn how not to point their microphones at the PA, thus ameliorating the propensity for even more mindless squealing
    (3) Everyone shall cover a Creedence song other than that Rolling River one
    (4) Must display proficiency at Twist and Shout
    (5) Jethro Tull songs shall be performed on foreign soil only
    (6) Engelbert Humperdinck's After the Lovin shall be banned from weddings
    (7) Anyone playing My Favorite Things shall receive an autographed copy of Julie Andrew's biography
    (8) All guitarists shall learn at least one song in Bb
    (9) Anyone singing To Sir With Love gets a mandatory tour of Buckingham Palace
    (10) Anyone covering a Rick James song shall also cover Hammer's Can't Touch This, dance steps mandatory

  2. Addendum 1: Anyone covering the Stone's Get off of My Cloud shall provide proof of ownership of a cloud.

  3. Addendum 2: Ted Nugent shall be performed with bow and arrow amid stuffed dead animals.

  4. Anyone covering Taxi, shall be put in one and sent to Long Island to the Harry Chapin fan club reunion.
    Anyone covering Amy gets a one-way ticket to 21st Century Winslow, Arizona.
    Anyone covering Born to Run, Joe Jackson's Slow Song, Life in the Fast Lane, Pump It Up, or While My Guitar.. shall be shot. These songs are perfect as is. Although the guy on the ukelele on you tube does a pretty serviceable job of While My Guitar...

  5. Anyone covering Foo Fighters must eat foo.