Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And Now A Word From Tom Petty About Paying Your Dues

Tom Petty

I liked what Tom Petty had to say about those somewhat famous American Idol winners. He worries that those instantly famous singers may have missed out on something that could actually help them down the road. I'm talking about the dues, he called it "the training." Specifically, he thinks that the long, hard road to success will make one better prepared for the good things, and the bad. That's the road he took, so I guess I can understand where Petty is coming from. Still, there are always going to be artists that take a rocket ride to the top, fully prepared to do the hard work, but as lucky as a lottery winner. In the case of American Idol winners, we will all see what turns out for each and every one of them.

American Idol Contestants Worthy of Moving On

I live next to a woman who joined her high school choir, tried out for all the plays, hired a vocal coach, and decided to skip college for music school. By the time she signed up for an American Idol tryout, she had been singing for almost seven years, and had a degree in music. She had been in one band in those seven years. That band worked the East Coast for two years, playing in bars and clubs. She certainly had a top notch and trained voice. She made it all the way to the local finals, but was told that "we already have a soul singer for this season." Sadly, she didn't make it to Hollywood. Is this the kind of person that Tom Petty is worried about?

I think that he's talking about those odd Sanjaya types, who quit high school to "focus on a singing career." Where will that kid be when he's in his 50's, with no diploma, no training, etc. I have worked with musicians that have dropped out of high school. All they have is their music. Life can be very frightening for them. They go from odd job to odd job, and from band to band. They quite their jobs to tour, and start all over when they get home. They try to keep all the plates spinning. If they do make it big, they might have stronger appreciation for what they have earned, but who is to say? Tom Petty made it to the top in one of many ways. There will always be artists that don't pay their dues.

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