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Monday, November 4, 2013

Secret to Success: Turning Up

Hi there,

(Now guitarists, when I say turn up, I don't mean turn up to '11' a la Spinal Tap). 

I'm just going to go ahead and put it in writing - I love Dr Oz.  If he told me to jump I probably would. And he says one of the secrets of life is 'turning up'. He means you've got to participate in life, be part of it. I mean that too but I'm being even more literal. 

I was speaking to a muso friend of mine this morning who did a high profile gig on the weekend. Ten minutes before the band were due to perform for the masses, two of its members decided it was time to get a cup of coffee at the bar nearby. So at the moment the event organiser came by and asked the band to start, the singer was left hanging out to dry with just a drummer and trumpeter. Needless to say, the usually calm, polite chanteuse who had booked the band, let loose on the two strays when they returned, which was well after the preordained starting time. She also turned to my friend and said that next time she would simply book mediocre players who turned up, rather than go through that again. 

Having run a function band for years myself, I feel her pain. I'm still recovering from a moment many years ago when the guitarist that I hired for a wedding band came stumbling down the aisle right after the bride, holding his shoes, trailing his leads and dragging his equipment. The rest of the band had been set up an hour before the first guests had gathered. Great guitarist, lousy organisational skills. The stress is simply not worth it. 

I truly believe that punctuality, preparation, respect and enthusiasm are at least as important as actual music skills in a professional entertainer's arsenal.

Of course if you are a great musician that turns up on time as well, you've got it made!

See you next time,

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