Drunk musicians was Antone's Webcast Archives

Jan Miller janfmiller@csi.com
Fri Jul 23 16:19:05 EDT 1999

Very good points!!!!  It is scarey up theeeerre, sometimes, 'specially if
the crowd is, shall we say, hard to move...  I'm lucky, if I drink, I can't
play worth a plug-nickle, so never have a beer 'till the middle of the last

At 07:42 AM 7/23/99 , Mike Curtis wrote:
>On 22 Jul 99, at 11:10, Eric F wrote:
> >     So are you saying musicians should not be professional and respect
> > their audiences? When I pay my $8 to see someone perform I expect them
> > to be at least coherent.  The fact that he was drunk showed that he just
> > didn't give a shit about his audience.
>While I don't drink on stage and don't tolerate it in my sidemen and
>that a musician should be sober and capable of doing his/her job, I
>to say that, in my experience, this is not WHY a musician
>gets drunk.  It has nothing inherently to do with respect.  A person
>disrespect you grossly and never touch a drop, and vice versa.
>If you don't play professionally, you probably don't understand the
>tremendous pressures on stage.  I've been playing professionally for
>35 years, and yet I still get butterflies and dry mouth before gigs.
>fact, I have little rituals I go through to prepare myself.
>  Setting up, tuning up, testing, playing a few scales and exercises
>while tweaking the amps and stuff, and all that.  I do them a certain
>  It helps me focus on the job at hand - and tune out the pressures.
>Also, the reason a lot of musicians get into music, stick with it,
>and spend countless hours every day honing their skills is that, in a
>of cases, they lack confidence and have complexes.  For these, it's
>hard to get up in front of what they perceive (true or not) as a
>bunch of
>critics.  A stiff belt gives them courage - sometimes.  And sometimes
>feel they need another - and the vicious circle starts as they gain
>confidence - and lose inhibitions and common sense.
>It has nothing to do with lack of respect for the audience.  Perhaps
>TOO much respect, coupled with too little self respect.
>Our culture emphasizes inferiority.  From childhood we're told that
>we can't do this, can't do that, that we're not good enough, not
>smart enough, that we don't try hard enough, and the whole load of
>mental garbage that is perpetuated from generation to generation by
>this system.  Even the educational system perpetuates this, teaching
>us to
>strive for conformity, to blindly follow orders, that we're no better
>anyone in the class even though others are better than we are, etc.
>Little children are often ridiculed by other children, and even by
>insensitive teachers.  I was, and so was the IronMaiden, and I'll
>that a lot of musicians have been too.
>All this comes back to haunt us, in one respect or another.  We all
>have to find ways to deal with this baggage.  Some deal with it by
>conforming, and often in the process perpetuating it.  I deal with it
>refusing to play corporate politics and those trite little power
>games a
>lot of people try to pull on us, which is why I'm self employed - and
>is common among the self employed.
>Some deal with it by drinking, using drugs, womanizing, bullying and
>throwing power trips on others, and other excesses and abuses.
>There is a saying that a bartender is a pharmacist with a limited
>inventory.  And alcohol does have medicinal properties.  For some
>it's courage in a bottle.  For some, it's fun in a bottle.  But I
>don't know ANYONE who drinks because they have contempt for others.
>I'm not justifying drunk musicians.  In fact, I fire them.  But I
>understand the reasons they will sometimes show up drunk, or get
>drunk, on the job.  And I try to minimize this by building
>IronMan MIKE CURTIS One Man Blues/Jazz Band Schedule updates, reviews
>http://www.ironmancurtis.com  Fri 10p HT Grill/Redondo Beach Tu 8pm,
>We 8p
>(blues/jazz jam), Sa 4-8p Starboard Attitude/Redondo Beach  8/2, 8/9
>8/9, 8/17, 8/26, 12n-2:30pm Triangle Square/Costa Mesa
>IronMan MIKE CURTIS One Man Blues/Jazz Band Schedule updates, reviews
>http://www.ironmancurtis.com  Fri 10p HT Grill/Redondo Beach Tu
>8pm, We 8p (blues/jazz jam), Sa 4-8p Starboard Attitude/Redondo
>Beach  8/2, 8/9 6-9pm 8/9, 8/17, 8/26, 12n-2:30pm Triangle Square/Costa Mesa

"The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live."  -Joan
Borysenko, Ph.D.

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