• Getting gigs in the real world or I want my MTV circa '81.

    Truth is, providing live music in your establishment takes dedicated planning, budgeting, promotion, faith and sacrifice. You have to facebook and tweet. You can't be spotty about it. You have to commit. It's an uphill battle too, because not as many people go out for bars and live music anymore.

    Musicians joke that drunk driving was safer in the '70s and 80s. It's their humorously-dark way of saying that people don't go out and party like they used to. We all know that's a good thing for our families and highways, though more folks could still come out and experience live music. Why don't they?

    It's because the Baby-Boomers are all grown up and getting older, like the Rolling Stones (bones). I've been telling bar owners for years that they need to start the bands at 7 PM instead of 9 or 10 PM, and finish earlier. What about the boomers' sons and daughters? Why don't they go catch some live, local music? They're old enough now to drink now. But when they do, they go for karaoke instead or stay behind to play their video games. What steered them away?

    When MTV left music videos behind for "programming" like the Real World, they removed the intrigue of watching musicians perform and replaced it with reality shows. Their programming did give us Jon Stewart and Adam Sandler, but blame them for the whole Reality TV ruination of broadcast entertainment. Video killed the radio star, but MTV killed the video star. Et tu Viacom?

    Remember Don Kirshner's Rock Concert on late night TV? Midnight Special and Night Flight? MTV Unplugged, Later...with Jools Holland, Soundstage, American Bandstand, Soul Train, Top of the Pops? All the music stars who had their own shows? The Smothers Brothers, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Sonny and Cher, Bobby Goldsboro, and Kenny Rogers. Those were golden days for music, including the Monkees and the Partridge Family. At least the late night talk shows still feature great music, and MTV's ex-TRL host Carson Daly stays wholly committed to live music and new artists with his show Last Call with Carson Daly. Truly, he deserves Dick Clark's crown more than Ryan Seacrest.

    Maybe Mr. Daly could become president of the American Musicians Union and they could grow a backbone again and actually help musicians on the local level by educating club owners in supporting live music instead of just siphoning off the professional players. Now that's a reality show I would watch.

    What are your experiences with live music now?

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Vince Adáme

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