Rereading some articles on the Guitar Craft site I was struck by this (from A Preface to Guitar Craft by Robert Fripp):
We learn to distinguish between wanting and wishing. We may wish to be a musician, but want to be a rock star. A common
fallacy is wanting fame in order to have time and money to play real
This has been a recurrent fantasy during my life. It still appears, but recognised as a fantasy, not as an aspiration. At my age a certain amount of realism can be recognised. He goes on:
This is a mistake: we play the music we wish to play whenever we play
the music we wish to play. Large commercial success brings greater
limitations to the musical life than it brings freedoms. Management,
agency, record company, fellow group members, road managers and large
numbers of genuinely adoring fans, all look to the musician to continue
to supply something that they want for themselves. This is a
considerable pressure. Any movement by the musician to move outside
this framework of demands will be met with apathy, suspicion and even
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The obstacles for me in playing the music I wish to play are more within my own sphere and should, in theory at least, be more easily overcome: laziness, distraction, competing priorities, competing duties. Sometimes I disguise the first two as the second two to make them seem more acceptable. Another is the fear of failure – not commercial failure but the feeling at the end of an evening when you have tried to build, say, a rhythm track and you are left tired and demoralised with a sonic mess. That has happened often enough to be a real deterrent to the act of starting. But pity the rock star after his heyday, after the juice has dried up, the obligations are legal, contractual and threatening, he has a family and perhaps a mortgage to feed, and the gulf between what he feels and how he is described is widening to the degree that they feel like two different worlds. Now that is not what I’d call a dream.