Pictures and thoughts from a Memphis Musician's Wife

Posts tagged ‘money’

Growing Up

Most of us think that we are grown up when we turn 18. Some say it is 21, others at 25. I don’t think there is actually an age when you are all the way “grown up.” Some people go through experiences at earlier ages than other people that may give them different perspectives on life. Everybody lives life in a different way. Jobs are different, skills are different, tastes are different. Different is just a part of today’s society. Some experiences make you leave childish ways behind. Parenthood can be one of those experiences, although not for all people. Going to jail will make some grow up, and for others, it is getting a job. For some, it is graduation from high school or college. Whatever it is, we always seem to have something childish still in us. For me, it is my parents. I am still very much a daddy and mama’s girl. I admit it. For some it is video games, and that is mostly men. We all struggle in some way with a childish tendency or two as we age. At some point in time, though, most of us have too grow up all the way. We have families, get jobs, get bills. We have to pay our way through life with little pieces of paper and metal that people put value into. For some, money is their downfall. Those who don’t know how to manage their money find that the pursuit of that money will be their goal for the rest of their lives. There will be no retirement, no fun; just work for the rest of their lives. I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to be able to live life. I am no longer a child. I am now helping raise one. I want to be able to experience the world, taste new things, hear new sounds, see new sights. I don’t want to be stuck in the never ending cycle that goes on day after day. Sometimes I wish money would just lose all its value. Then, maybe people would come to their senses and realize we are all just humans. We all deserve the same rights and abilities as all the other people. This is just a rant today. It doesn’t really pertain to the music life I live, although it does indirectly.

Exhaustion

Many people think that it is a great and easy life to be a working musician. They think that all musicians get paid $100 or more every time they play. Being the wife of a musician has shown me so much. 

When I met Jeremy, the only gigs he played were for tips. There were always good days and bad days, of course. It is near impossible to prove income with a job where you get paid cash on a consistent basis, so many people did not respect what he did because it was not a “real job.” Honestly, those people are stupid. Jeremy uses a skill that he has practiced and developed for 14 years to provide entertainment to the masses that come to hear the Blues on Beale Street and throughout the country. He works pretty much 7 days a week, sometimes up to 12 hours a day trying to earn a living. It’s funny that people want to come hear the music on Beale, but sometimes it seems as if it is hard to get even a $1 tip from most people. Last Thursday, my husband played for 4 hours and made only $5. This is not just something he does for fun. This is how he takes care of his family. Many of the bars don’t guarantee any money, and it is usually no more than $200, so the musicians really depend on merchandise sales and tips to actually make the gig profitable. Why is it that music is in such high demand, but people don’t see a reason to support local musicians who are not travelling the world and superstars? It is hard to comprehend how people go on vacation or come to Memphis on business amd come to Beale Street looking for a unique sound but would rather spend $40 on a 100 oz drink rather than tip the band providing their entertainment $1. It is truly crazy watching how things progress. 

You would also think that travelling would pay more than staying at home. Not really. Most places don’t pay a whole lot more than here when you factor in travelling expenses. Don’t think that just because a band travels they are rich. That is not the case. Most times they come back with the same amount they would have made here without travelling. It’s also exhausting and makes a person with a family miss out on things much more valuable than money, like family and sleep. 

My husband just got back from two days on the road. He drove 12 hours overnight to make it to church this morning to play. Then rehearsal right after church. He is in bed exhausted from a three day whirlwind. Is it worth it? I guess we will see in the future. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.

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