Musicians are strong

…Stronger than me.

One line I will always remember is from a James Taylor song, “That’s Why I’m Here.” He sings:

Perfect strangers can call you by name
Pay good money to hear fire and rain
Again and again and again

And he has sung “Fire and Rain” more times than I can possibly imagine. If I were a popular musician, I might puke if I were asked to sing a song one more time.

At South by Southwest, I discovered that most of the bands there performed more than seven times in that one-week span. That’s not any kind of a record — but just one week of singing a song over and over would do me in.

So let’s give it up for professional musicians. Hug one you know.

(The photo is a still from a video I took of the band Tennis.)

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7 Replies to “Musicians are strong”

  1. Most popular musicians will say that they are perfectly happy playing their hit songs for the thousandth time or whatever because they wouldn’t be where they are without the success of that song. I wish I could find some quotes along those lines. There have been some good ones (but it’s hard to google, as I just discovered). However, I suspect that even musicians who are most adamant that they don’t mind playing the same song over and over are secretly sick of it — they just don’t tell anybody.

  2. Paul, your post made me think of something our daughter Hannah mentioned about a song her small, indie band from school did to open their set earlier this month. The band opened with Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall” — much to her chagrin. She told me that she’d read that someone from Oasis really despised that song. A quick visit to the Wonderwall wiki page leads to this: “Liam Gallagher Hates ‘Wonderwall’ (Sorry about the language on the link — Liam REALLY despises the song)

  3. I like it best when someone performs a song differently than the recording. It seems almost essential. I need to feel like they’re having fun, not just “performing.” Otherwise it’s hard for me to engage.

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