myths, movies and music

When I was starting out as a teenager playing coffee shops, I saw countless Hollywood movies where musicians were portrayed as talented, misunderstood, sometimes crazy, bohemian, and poor.  I heard countless anecdotes from friends and music magazines, that seemed to give ceratin high profile musicians an almost mythological aura….the miles davis mystique.  I remember this older musician saying to me while we walked down the sidewalk, “You know Duke Ellington said to his son that he thought he played better before he went to music school.”I have no idea if that was true or not, but after hearing that I did not make reading music a priority at that time (that changed a few years later).  Countless musicians bought into the myth of charlie parker and heroin, unfortunately.

And then I read this book called Notes and Tones by the drummer Arthur Taylor where he interviewed many great musicians asking them questions like how they practiced, what they ate, and what they did for fun.  Very refreshing.  Then I later learned how JS Bach was just a work horse, writing everyday, and treated his job as if he was a baker or a builder.  A brilliant, genius of a baker, but nevertheless a regular person.  Now that’s inspiration, not the glossy kind!

Feel free to share any comments or times when you have had a wizard-of-oz-pull-away-the-curtain moments.

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