A few years ago I’d just put out a CD with twelve original tunes. I was excited about it. I was getting great compliments on the songs, and I was in full promotion mode. In one of my many attempts at phone calls and emails to individuals who might help me sell my CDs, I happened to find myself on the phone with an individual in Nashville. He told me that in today’s music business, your recorded performances are mainly a promotional tool. One cannot depend on selling CDs or albums because recorded music has been devalued as such. People are not used to paying for recorded music any longer. He said that the only thing we really have is our live performance revenue, and the only way we could possibly depend on that revenue was to be able to put butts in the seats! He asked me how was I planning on putting butts in the seats? He told me to drop the worn out “Please support your local music scene…” mess! This gentleman told me that my act, whatever it is that I do, should stand on its own in drawing the interest and curiosity that is “Entertainment” where the people are concerned. If I am not really doing anything original or entertaining, he asked me, why should people, and why would people come out to see you? Especially if there are twenty other bands around town doing the same thing as you are. I have researched some of the greatest acts in our time and I have to say, it seems that this is in fact where it all starts. I’ll give the two leading examples: Sam Phillips owned Sun Records in Memphis. He said that an act needed to be “Painfully Original”, and at that time, Elvis was in fact “Painfully Original”, nobody had seen anything like him, therefore, he was a curious oddity that people naturally flocked to see. The rest is history. Brian Epstein said the Beatles had something special in their stage presence that he hadn’t seen. The Beatles were “Painfully Original” in their day! That book has been written also! Instead of begging people to charitably come to our humdrum shows and support us, what can we do to spark their interests in such a way that they will naturally want to come and check us out, because we are an oddity, different, a curiosity, or basically, Entertaining. The music business is not supposed to be charity based! Only non-original musicians beg! We need to find our “Painfully Original” selves in order to put those butts in the seats and get paid for doing so! If we can do that, then the sky is the limit my friends. Please excuse me at this time for I have to get busy and find my “Painfully Original” self.