Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1991 - Carl Leach on The Business

Transcript Summary

that I'm going to bring up to all of you. I know right now it seems like the
entertainment field sucks as far as like with regards to horns. There's already
indications the fact that it's not going to stay that way. You'll find more and
more people are going to using horns and just so you don't get paranoid about
Las Vegas or any of these places drawing up. They always go through a metamorphosis,
some evolutionary thing you know periodically. Claude talks about it. It'll
always come back. I think it's going to come back even better and better as this
environmental thing gets going and people start taking more of a viewpoint
on like it's not okay to screw up the planet. It's not okay to kill the culture
off and things like that and it's not okay to suppress the artists in the
culture. You're going to see more and more I would say would be a it looks to
me like it's going into a golden age. It's like it's kind of in its death
throes right now because it's like the whole planet's being run by CPAs and as
soon as we as soon as they realize that these guys have little or nothing to do
with life then we'll be okay. It's during you know if there was any remarks made
that it seemed like the things were dying and stuff like that that is not
the case and great musicians will always work and there are things that are now
changing that I observe like who is Steve Winwood now using horns because he
doesn't like he said it's getting real old having just guitars or electronics
up there. Phil Collins uses that quite frequently and I would say he's probably
about the top artists as far as communicating and trying to do something
for the rest of the planet as far as awareness level and things like that. So
there's really really good indications. You guys will do fine and it's not
something that I want you to be real real concerned about but there are some
things we can do okay and that's what I'm going to talk to you about now.
Well I just want to add to that last week I took a class on early childhood music education as I stated and there was a PhD there was talking about the effects of digital music or digital sampling and stuff on kids and they're finding out that it's really
maybe this might change as the fidelity of the actual electronic technology might improve to take a better sample but they're finding out all these studies of
sample music is not good for people and causing all these you know reinforcement of learning dysfunctions and all this stuff is even in the scientific and education community they're getting evidence of what people know already that it's a drag to listen to sample music for hours.
Yeah that what we this is what we can do as a group like a little pebble dropped in a little pond and you know it'll create waves. If we go out there and we start ourselves advocating live music you know I wanted you know when I it's like when I was playing a lead with Tom Jones we had two trumpets he cut down from a large orchestra the two trumpets one trombone three saxes which was still pretty cool because we could really bop with it and there was a lot of stuff going on with it.
There was a lot of things we could do but now the last time he came into town it was him and a synthesizer on stage two guys that's it it looked terrible okay these things they're going to die out but we can help this we can advocate go and see live performances back live performances tapes are actually videos on the line of communication.
When Paul says something through his horn to me you know it's right there I mean the horns enough of a via but I mean it's like I'm getting it when it's going through a tape already you're listening to the tape you're already hitting hearing it via something else okay we've got to get back to where we hear these things.
You know when you play I want to hear you play when you play I want to hear you play that's what this is all about it's not who's the best player or anything like that music is art is the quality of communication so everybody here in this room has something to say.
Now this camp here we're trying to get all those little barriers out so you can say what you want you know but as far as like what you've got here you guys are all talented beings you are artists you're valuable to this planet if you forget that for one second call me up and I'll chew you out.
Don't ever forget it you are valuable to this planet so well all we can do is we can let's start supporting those things make little comments like I'd rather see a live performance you know just dropping lines like that to other people is finally going to get this way why we got in this mess or one of the things and this is my viewpoint.
Why we got in this mess or one of the things and this is my viewpoint that's why the tapes off is the tape off sure okay what's that red light on okay that's okay I get that okay this is my viewpoint here and it may be true maybe I'm popular but it may be true too.
Years ago when I was a little kid instrumental people were taught starting in the third and fourth grades I was in the midwest I don't know what happened on the west coast but that was generally what was in the school system.
Now because we got so many idiots up in government and actually people that are screwing up society are allowed to continue the first thing they ever cut in any educational program is the music.
It kept getting worse and worse and worse and worse fortunately I got out of school before this stuff got way out of hand but now it's like you have incredible things like Kiyoshi.
Kiyoshi was teaching at five or six schools wasn't it I mean it was incredible driving all day long to handle people that wanted to you know be artists contribute to society you know all that stuff and they're killing his profession because they're overworking him.
It's not okay we've got to start taking stands right now if the least you could do is say this isn't okay to somebody else and make sure they get that it isn't okay and maybe they'll tell somebody else it isn't okay.
We've got to stop this everybody should actually go through music appreciation.
One of the reasons why tapes even got budged through is because the general populace is so uneducated in music they don't know the different forms they don't know classical they've never heard great pieces they never learned listen to hundreds and hundreds of people on stage communicate.
Boy I tell you that stuff wets my pants every time excuse my it makes me excited but it's like that's what we need that's where the communication is and that's what we've got to start going for okay guys everybody in this room can do that.
You guys are strong enough that you can send out a thought or something like that we got to get it back I mean I know it's coming back we can just speed it up.
These people actually the educational people need to be written up and exposed I mean these people like you know it's like the Hilton Hotel I'll tell you real almost like sacrilegious type of a viewpoint but Hilton Hotel complained when the musicians went on strike complained.
That we were going on strike because they support music they were contributing to the community orchestra now here's a multi multi multi million dollar organization.
And so we thought well you know that isn't a good point so we looked it up they contributed fifteen hundred dollars a multi multi million dollars and what it was it was Giovenco the guy who was running it his wife he wanted her on a board so they could feel like they had to be on strike.
A multi multi million dollars and what it was it was Giovenco the guy who was running it his wife he wanted her on a board so they could feel like they had quote unquote culture.
He paid that money so she could be now on the board of what do they get these people on these yeah boards like the art society or something you know the art council.
And they're people that paid their way on to this thing they got absolutely no expertise and they contributed nothing to society.
Okay that's how this stuff gets going anyway so that's the end of my little stand on this stuff but we can do something everybody here needs to help other artists and our cause for making sure we keep art really really doing well on this planet.
Don't go see tape things don't put up with Milly Vanilla don't put up with that crap try to start going seeing live orchestras and advocating that okay we all cool on that good okay so my talk today is music as a business.
Oh no it's in all the things I can pass out are in the box I left them in the Kinko's it's in the Kinko's thing.
Okay I got some stuff to wrap out to you and but we can go through the first four points on this stuff it says get your seals together don't write notes to this I got this stuff all down we're going to pass it out.
I just spaced it now the first one is skill that's practicing you've been hearing this all week long I'm very sorry I had to mention it again I don't want anybody to puke on this but it is practicing getting your seal together getting your craft together.
You guys already know how to play your horns now we're getting the skill and that's practice repetition working through things refining things all that stuff you want to be going toward the complete player I think enough people have said that.
Most of you guys are going to be shocked when Paul Witt comes out here because you're going to understand the complete player not only has to be a very good player but he also has to have enough of his craft down that he has to be aware of a lot more things in his environment.
Okay like following a leader who's following clicks and things like that on soundtracks and jazz like that you'll see that in the next lecture.
You want to go toward the most complete player you possibly can just don't go for playing high notes I know players are the stupidest people around and they play terrible and even though it's very exciting to hear them blasting out a high note occasionally they aren't the ones that work.
And 99.9% of your money will be earned from high C on down in your career. Please be well rounded I don't care whether you're classical jazz whatever your motivation is or not it's just in the kinko and it should be one sheet and I had an actually mimeograph on the front and back so it's really easy.
Okay the next thing is take care of yourself this is like getting your skills together for this all week long taking care of yourself is like working out the athletic thing I do aerobics when I can and out of shape for a long time I know I got a punch but I mean that's the best way to do it is anything aerobic.
Okay and then my third point is no drugs it seems like it's a real popular thing now even though I've been doing this for like five years the younger players when you're younger you have incredible resiliency to incredible amounts of abuse.
The body seems to respond very well to you know a few beers the night before you guys can still handle stuff but eventually it'll catch up with you and just on that point I'm not even getting into the hard drugs anybody that even considers those as lost anyway but it's like try to do things in moderation.
No use your head take it easy on the drug okay guy in the background okay I'll just give you an example.
I had a guy years ago he was the top contractor in San Francisco and he was a type guy well let's see how far that goes.
And then these these actually these are two sheets these are like two separate sheets right back here so anybody has an extra they have to get two sheets that one has it on front and back.
Okay this guy was okay so he was very popular he was a trumpet player he actually had every gig sewn up in town I mean as far as contracting I mean we're talking about thousands upon thousands of dollars just contracting and he worked his jobs too so he got paid his assignment and got the leaders pay and contractors pay and all that stuff.
Over a period of time he started doing drugs heavy-duty drugs drinking and started messing up and the first indication of that he not only started messing up he started hiring friends that were druggies you know because he associated with them and the quality of his playing orchestra started going down.
So he stopped getting as many calls and then all of a sudden he lost this contract for that showroom he lost this contract for that theater and today this guy has nothing he lost it he was on top he has nothing.
And you know he resurrected himself and handled his outpoint with drugs and things like that but he's had so much abuse with drugs that he can't play and when he puts the horn up his nerves are so shot he actually sits there and it's like this.
He wants to play now you know he's straight he wants to play but he can't because he's like his body he's just shot at the hell.
Okay so that's it's just one example and it's it's something that can occur as tough as it is in the music business I actually and as much promotion as drugs get I actually think that there's more and more musicians I observe being more like business people that are taking it with a real sane viewpoint.
They don't abuse themselves they take care of business you know things are getting a lot cleaner.
Okay so then the last thing you'll notice there it says start acquiring your full set of tools.
Okay at this point when you're getting your skills together and you're doing all this other stuff you better start considering the fact you may have some tools you need to get like a mute you know things like that.
Trumpet players generally you're going to need a trumpet and flugelhorn.
If you're going into classical look at the stuff you're going to have to get you know with just with Dave's stuff all the different horns.
So that's something you kind of almost have to like do a little bit of a battle plan on well okay you know I bought my C trumpet and now you got to start saving up for that E flat you know so you're kind of like battle planning this stuff out so you accomplish these things.
It just isn't like all of a sudden you get hit with hey man I got a gig and I need five horns you know like that type of a thing.
So start acquiring those tools.
Anyway you need to survey what you'll need whatever the heck you're doing you're going to have to survey what you're getting into.
Like my thing was it was mainly just trumpet and flugelhorn and everything was real cool.
All of a sudden like chorus line started coming out and touring around the area and when I played chorus line god you need to pick a little trumpet.
And then other shows started having that because it was like monkey see monkey do and they started writing some more pick things in other shows.
So I had to get a pick that became now my other instrument or other tool that I needed to do my job.
And then you also oh I want to get A and B in acquiring a full set of tools.
The B part of this was proper ways to try the horn.
The proper way to try the horn is never blasting high notes and for that all week long.
The strengths and weaknesses of most horns are in three areas C to C sharp low C to C sharp.
So whatever you do you want to like do chromatically up and down through that point and see how it feels.
Normally like let's say this. This is what it feels like from C to D and D to E.
You know you have certain slots. It feels a certain distance. Very predictable.
But there are certain areas in the horn that if the horn isn't right it's going to feel like you've got to go like boom to here to make it work right.
C to C sharp.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
Yeah, guys.
I not only lost my money of poker to these guys now they're sitting around with my horn.
Okay, great.
Take two.
Okay, so it would be like.
On horns that you've got to throw that thing out in order to make it workable a lot of ways and things like that.
File that horn if you don't want it.
The next break is like G to A in the middle of the staff. There's like some things that have to do with the tubing here.
I don't want to get into it but just play.
See how those intervals feel. The next one will be C to D.
And then E to F on top of the staff.
And then the last one is G to A on top of the staff.
Just feel how those areas are in the horn because if the horn has at least a little bit of problems they have to show up in those areas.
Now, the way I try out a horn is I will go through, I will pick out the ones that pass that as best as they can.
And then I will try to get the guy who's selling it to me to let me have it for a week.
Or at least two of them for a week so I can start narrowing things down.
Okay, let's see, common break points. So I gave you common break points.
And if you're trying out a lot of horns, like you go into a music store, sometimes they'll have five to ten horns and you're going to try them out.
Obviously don't beat the hell out of yourself. Don't have the type of thing that's going to kill you off from playing high or something like that.
If the horn doesn't work in those parts of the range, it's not going to work up there. It's eventually going to kill you off.
So try to be real sane about this stuff. Okay?
Now, I got this whole thing of actual formulas. I did not do these. I didn't write these up. I couldn't think this straight.
These are conditions and formulas that were developed by L. Ron Hubbard. I wrote them down and adapted them to music.
So what I'm going to go through here is like getting a job. So you need to identify what state you're in.
How are you operating? How are you operating here?
So what I did is I went through the lowest ones. You'll see the condition says non-existence. Everybody see that?
Right above that. What would apply to that is you're new in town. You're starting out your career now.
Let's say you screwed up for a while. And now you're down to this point. You've lost a lot of gigs.
This formula would apply. At this point, when you're in non-existence, you first of all need to find a communication line.
A communication line is real simple. It's a phone. It's going down and going to the rehearsal halls at the union and talking to people.
That's another one. You want to find all these different places that they have the general membership meetings, the monthly meetings, the union.
Go down. That's where you're going to use that communication line. And at that point, you want to do the next thing.
You want to make yourself known. Let them know your name, your instrument, your number.
To as many people as possible. Even if it's the janitor, you tell them. You give it to as many people as possible. You get it out there.
Now, one thing. This is like Ralph Pollack, who's a French horn player who plays with Frank Sinatra.
In this first two parts of this formula. Are you guys hanging with me okay? Everybody's okay? Good.
Ralph Pollack, he would go out on tours with Frank Sinatra. Well, he'd be gone sometimes weeks. They'd be on tours for weeks upon weeks.
He would come into town. He is actually in non-existence. His application of this formula, and this is real cool. I thought this was a stroke of genius.
He would show up in town. He would sit at home. He would call. He knew exactly when the shows were.
All the shows in town are generally at 8 o'clock. So there's a break between like 9.30, 10 to the next show is at either 11 or 11.30.
He would call every hotel in town between 9.30 and 10.30 and page himself.
He knows all the musicians are running around in the coffee shops, in the hotel, stuff like that. Paging Mr. Ralph Pollack.
And I'd be damned if it didn't work. I'd be like, why can't I? I always knew when he was in town.
It was like, Ralph, did I hear Ralph's name? It was almost like a subliminal message.
All of a sudden it's like, Ralph, yeah, I've been thinking about Ralph lately. It's like something. But that's ingenious.
It was ingenious. And he'd do that for like three or four days. And then he'd show up at the musician's union.
And he'd be like, Ralph, how you doing? It was like everybody knew he was in town already.
He was just like, boy, he zapped it right in. Other people, like you'll find Dave Evans does this really well.
I mean, Dave Evans like disseminates. He like puts himself out. He lets people know he's here and what he does to everybody.
He's skilled at it. It may seem a little obnoxious sometimes. He's incredibly skilled at it.
This guy survives. You know, observe this stuff. Anyway, okay?
So the next thing is discover what is needed and wanted. Obviously, if you're in non-existence, you're kind of getting your name out there.
Well, what kind of jobs you got? No, I mean, that'd be the next thing that would honestly follow, right?
So you've got to find out what the heck's going on. Well, we need some classical. We've got some classical contests going on.
You know, symphonic things. We've got a bar mitzvah. We've got some wedding things. We've got some Chinese funerals.
We've got a play. You know, whatever. You discover what's needed and wanted.
And then, number four, you obviously do produce that and present it. Okay? Is this kind of logical, guys?
Are you hanging in there? I don't want to make it too complicated.
Okay, so once you've done those things and adequately gone through that formula, you will actually arrive at this next point.
You're starting to get a few jobs. Others are now throwing you some bones. That's an expression for getting some things.
So I first started in the Bay Area. The very first person I ever took, I was 24. I'd already played with Kenton.
Nobody knew me in the Bay Area. I got off the road. Oh, no. I know what happened. I was incarcerated for three years in the Army.
And after I got out, I was in non-existence. So here I was. Nobody knew me in the Bay Area.
And I was trying to get out of this thing. Well, I started knowing Larry. I actually took lessons from Larry.
And he knew how I played. So when he couldn't play a job or he had a job that he didn't want to do, he would give them my number.
And boy, I'll never forget some of the jobs he didn't want to do was Johnny Bond. Remember Johnny Bond? Those are bones.
But at this point, even though you're getting a few jobs, you're getting some bones thrown your way, you're getting known a little bit,
you're still not making enough money to make the bills. And this also applies to like you're starting to lose jobs.
If you're coming the other way down this scale, from like you're playing all the time to all of a sudden you're getting less and less and less and less and less,
this would apply going the opposite direction. So if you're kind of losing jobs, this would apply.
Okay, so it's the danger condition. At this point in time, you would bypass habits and normal routines.
What this means is like you're still trying, man, you're trying to, you know, still not quite making the bills, everything's kind of pulling in, stuff like that.
Things are going up, but you need more outflow. You've got to get your name out there more. Get your face known more.
Get yourself out there playing as many things as possible, even freebies, as many things as possible.
It's a little bit sacrificial at this point, but it's like it's a promotional thing.
You wouldn't do this normally, and you'll see why in a little bit, but it's still a danger condition.
You aren't making all the bills, so you've got, man, you're still promoting yourself. You're still getting your thing out of it, your thing out.
Okay? Now, what this would be is like bypassing normal habits and routines.
If I'm doing the opposite, let's say I'm coming down the scale, right? Well, at this point, I've been screwing up.
You know, let's say I've been hanging out, and I've got to stop it. I've got to bypass that normal routine.
Let's say every night after the job, I've been hanging out, and now I'm not getting my practicing in because I spent half the morning throwing up and just trying to get human.
Well, I could kind of bypass something there. Maybe I'll just lay off a night or two, you know, so I can get my routines in.
Okay. The second thing would be handle the situation in any danger in it. Like, what's causing this?
First of all, if you're going up – you guys following this, I'm not going too fast. I understand this is like scale here.
Camera following me?
Yeah, I don't care.
Okay. So, let's say you're a new musician. You want your scale to go like this. This is a graph, you know. It could be a graph of income, right?
This is income. It's income, maybe even like that. Okay.
Let's say everything's been doing great. This is a guy that's been playing for a while, but let's say his statistics are all of a sudden starting to come down.
So, I'm working this both ways, you know, a guy going up, you guys learning and coming into an area of going – starting a career, and also a person that's going down
because obviously this data's got to apply to people that are kind of getting in trouble. If you guys get in trouble, you've got to – well, what can I apply here? What do I do next?
Okay. So, the handling of the situation and what's causing it, let's say we're going down, is you've got to kind of, you know, take a look.
Well, yeah, man, Bob always asks me out every night after the job and, you know, I just – I think I'm going to stay away from this guy for a little bit, you know?
It could be as simple as that. That's handling the situation.
So, as far as the other thing, as far as going up, it's a situation where, like, you're honestly taking a look at yourself, well, what am I doing here?
Well, okay, so, like, I'm just struggling and so I'm going to keep this promotion in. You know, it's not like you're a bad guy.
Then the third thing is know and assign yourself that condition. You're going to know when you aren't making bills and, you know, it's a little tight, but this particular condition,
that's why I wrote that stuff up there, starting to get a few jobs, getting some bones. You're going to be able to assign that condition.
Know that that's a danger condition and then apply these things.
Okay, the next thing is find out what you're doing that is wrong, correct it and get honest and straight.
Obviously, if it's like a continued acquaintance with quote unquote Bob, you know, disconnect from this guy. Get away from him.
He's not helping you. And then the number five would be reorganize your life so this doesn't happen again and it's like maybe get a little bit more of a schedule that you adhere to.
That's a reorganization. You know, okay, that's it. I'm not going to just leave it up to like I'll practice later.
I'm practicing at 10 o'clock whether I feel like it or not and you just get in that routine. This is when it's going to be done, you know, and you do that.
And this is when I go to my job, you know, my day job and then this is the job that I do at night and this is when I play at night.
Just make out a schedule. It could be as simple as that, it's reorganizing that, okay. Does that still seem clear, you guys hanging in there a little bit?
Notting heads, notting heads, nobody's sleeping yet. Okay, then the last part of the danger condition is form and adopt a firm policy that will stop this from ever occurring again.
Obviously, if you're going up, you're going through this period, it would be kind of a quick thing you're going through. It doesn't apply as much.
If you're going down the tubes at this point, you're obviously going to have to, just what I talked about, stay away from Bob or just stay away from a certain element or an environment that maybe isn't survival for you, okay.
Real simple. Okay, so now you're actually getting a few more jobs. You're going up this thing, getting a little bit more bread, you got contractors sometimes calling you, more bones are being thrown your way, your name's getting known and you're getting more monies, you now get to the state of emergency.
At this point in time, emergency still isn't like everything's grooving, right? You know, we're still trying to get the ball rolling there, but it's going pretty good.
You're promoting, so you're getting your product out, that's very good, you're playing those rehearsal bands, you're a good boy, and you're calling other players, you're getting some free gigs at this point, but you're actually starting to get more and more paying gigs.
Now, one thing that I did as far as promoting when I was doing this, when I first got to Las Vegas, the show I was in closed after eight months.
Well, hell, within the eight months, I'd bought a house, I'd bought a car, I mean, I was swinging, right?
I was instantly, my graph was like, it was going down real fast. I was in normal, you know, I was doing fine, everything's growing, it took a hard left.
Well, immediately I applied this thing, I, when I called people, you know, I promoted like a son of a gun. I actually kept a little card file.
My card file actually had names like, I'd call Tom Holden. Well, Tom Holden used to be a Claude Gordon student, so that was kind of a thing, I'd put on there Claude Gordon student, you know, there were a couple other guys in town that had that.
And as I started meeting guys, you know, I knew, well, God, this guy's a fanatic on knob pieces, little notes there, this guy likes boats, he's always out in the lake, he's always out in Lake Mead, man, every day off he's out in Lake Mead, so he likes boats.
Well, I'd call these people, and I'd use this data that I was acquiring, which helped me get more familiarity with them, okay?
It was easier for me to talk with them so that they felt more comfortable, remembered my name better.
I'd call Tom Holden, and what was he doing at the time? Oh, yeah, he was a guy that was out in the lake all the time.
So, I would say, first thing I'd say, yeah, this is Carl, and the first time I said, Claude said to give you a buzz. He didn't, but I mean, you know, that was, Claude said to give you a buzz.
And he said, oh, how's he doing? And then, that was a half an hour later, I'm talking to this guy, and then he's just telling me about his boat and stuff like that.
So then the next time I call him up, I don't tell him about Claude, I say, hey, how's that boat going?
Whew, 45 minutes later, it's like, and we're starting to be like real good friends.
We have, you know, things that we talk about each time and spend some time with, so he actually got me some jobs because now he felt familiar with me.
Well, there was a guy over at the, I'll show you exactly how I got, I was only off for three weeks and I got hired for the Flamingo Hilton, and I worked there for the next 11 years.
So the leader for the Flamingo Hilton was Mike Montano. He was from the Bay Area. I was from the Bay Area. I called him up.
I'm just calling him, you know, I had all my cart files, right, I called Mike up, and I'm just telling him, I said, Mike, I said, I'm Carl East, bop-a-bop-a-bop-a-bop.
I played the Dunes, I said, oh yeah, isn't that too bad about that show closing? Yeah, bop-a-bop-a-bop-a-bop.
And I said, I'm from the Bay Area. He said, oh, you're from the Bay Area? I said, yeah, yeah. And I said, well, who do you know in the Bay Area?
I said, boy, I know Larry. Larry Sousa! You know, it was like all of a sudden I had a common thing to talk about. Boy, on my cart it was like Larry Sousa.
Every time I called him up I'd say, hi Mike, this is Carl. Larry's doing fine. I hadn't called Larry at all.
But, I mean, it was like, it was my point of entry with this guy. Do you know that within three weeks I called him maybe four or five times.
I mean, he told, we talked for a great time. All of a sudden the lead player at the Flamingo had damaged his chops. He didn't play great.
Okay? He damaged his chops, and they were coming in with a new show that was very hard, and they just wanted him, they were going to have an act come out
and just fill in the time that they were getting the sets made and the music done and all that other stuff complete.
They needed some guy to fill in until he came back because he needed a rest. Great! It was two days. You know, he gave me two days.
So I played the two days. At the end of the two days they said, well, he's going to be off for two weeks. Can you fill in the two weeks?
I filled in the two weeks. I was tickled to death, you know? Meanwhile, every day I'm calling for my cards and doing that stuff, but I'm doing it now, playing now.
At the end of the two weeks, Mike Montano left. He left the gig, right? Some big steam with the contract or something like that, and he went over to the Riviera.
The guy, the lead alto player immediately like took over the conducting job. I mean, he was scuffling it himself, you know, and just trying to learn himself and take this new post,
which I'd get paid more for, but I mean, he was kind of trying to handle his area. He comes to me the last night, the very last night, and I'm getting ready, you know,
I'm packing up at the last night, and he says, the trumpet player has decided not to play the show, not to, he's not going to come back to the flamingo.
Would you like his spot? Well, yeah, maybe.
You know, it was like inside I'm going, yeah! So, and that's how that works. That's how that works. It's real. I tell you, this stuff worked.
Okay, so the second thing, the second thing is change whatever operating basis you had so this doesn't continue. This is more of a downsliding thing like this.
Let's say you were getting a little inconsistent about showing up to jobs or, you know, not keeping up your promotion or whatever the heck it was in keeping your job flowing.
But just like being dependable, consistent, not just playing, improve your product, I was always working for those type of things.
I'll tell you, I had a great reputation in the Bay Area. I was always 45 minutes to a half an hour before any show, any gig.
What that does, the contractors are basically, they've got so much other things on their mind, they don't want to have hassles with musicians.
They really don't want to see somebody showing up at the last minute because they're wondering, should I call a sub? Has he died?
Is he someplace stuck in the boonies that I can't get to? I need a sub. They, I mean, they go through incredible amounts. Think on this, right?
I was always there so early and so predictable that I got hired, they felt good with me, they felt comfortable with me.
And I was like, one of, I was like playing with the old guard. I actually, I was the youngest player that was playing around the Bay Area professionally,
like at Circle Star Theater and the Fairmont Hotel and doing all the recording and things like that because I was predictable.
I played okay. I actually played better than some of the other old guard, but they still had that insecurity thing, contractors are that way.
But that's fine, I was working jobs. Now, I had such a good reputation, one day I spaced a job. It was, I'll never forget it.
I was like seven o'clock and I'm like, I'm laying back, man, the job's at nine. I got about a half an hour to lounge around and get ready.
And I had to drive from San Jose to San Francisco. For normal beings, this is at least 55 minutes if you get lucky at a parking space.
Okay, so I had this, this ugly feeling welling up in me and I realized the job was at eight. And it's now seven, of which I should be halfway there at least.
And I should be clean with a tux. I race up there, man, I get through the shot, putting on a tux, I grab all my stuff, I'm down to the car,
I had a Volkswagen bus, and this is actually exciting, at the time I was working on VWs and I had this cherry down bus.
I had like carburetors on both heads, like a flywheel and all this stuff. Anyway, it went real fast.
I was screaming down the Bay Shore Freeway, and I mean screaming. I made it there in San Francisco in 45 minutes.
I went all the way to the Top Knob Hill to the Fairmont Hotel. And I mean, you know how you get, when you get real nervous and then you get this,
and the veins are like going like this, it kind of hurts. And I'm running up the hills, you know, from the parking space.
I go through the hotel and I got perspiration going everywhere and stuff. And I went through the Bat Kitchen, which we always went through,
and then I had to get up on this stage. The stage that was all, everything was pitch dark, and the stage was hit by like 20 spotlights.
I mean, it was like the second coming of Christ type of stuff, you know. I had to walk up on stage in the middle,
that they'd already been playing for what, what, 15 minutes. I'm telling you, I was like panic, hey, but here's what occurred.
The conductor's like looking at me, right? He follows me up, but he's, I mean, he's doing his job. There's an act going on stage,
and I'm crawling over guys and stepping on guys and putting my mutes down and stuff like that. And he's noticing me and stuff like that.
He finally got to a point in the show where the guy's like talking for a while. He came up to me. He leaned over the saxes.
He's like, he leaned over, and I thought, ooh, well, there it goes. I mean, the whole audience has seen me coming. He says,
are you okay? That's all he said. He figured, because I had such a great reputation, I was so predictable, he figured, you know,
the car had crashed. There had been something, you know, a plane had landed on my car on the freeway and got destroyed.
Or, you know, I'd been killed, and they'd revived me in the ambulance, and the ambulance driver couldn't figure out where to go.
I mean, it was that type of, like, I had a great reputation, and that's all he was concerned with. He figured it was some other point that was out.
It wasn't me. So, anyway, that's just a story on that, because, man, if you're there all the time, they love that.
Now, the next thing is economize. At this point, you don't want to waste time. You want to be real efficient. Call those people that you need to call.
Don't just promote to every level, Tom, Dick, and Harry, that type of thing. You want to actually now promote to the people that are actually important,
that are actually concerned with you working. Contractors, other musicians, other peers that are playing the same instrument you're playing, those types of things.
Okay? Yeah? No? Okay. It's still the same as it was. I don't know what else to do. Can you hear me?
It's just as good. Okay. So, and then, also, I put in here, at this part where it says economize, don't practice things that don't produce results.
There's tons of things you can practice that absolutely don't produce results. At this point in time, man, you're working. You're starting to work a lot more.
You don't want to be wasting time. Give routines that are actually accomplishing a certain thing. And when you practice, make sure you're accomplishing that.
I got to say, is Claude here? Okay. Larry Sousa, is Larry here? Good. Larry Sousa does practice. What Claude says, I mean, yeah, Larry lays off for a while and stuff like that.
But this guy's like a sleeping giant. I've seen him practice, and in five minutes he can accomplish what normally people take them several hours to do.
Because when he's there, he puts so much attention on what he's doing that he can handle things and overcome things and correct things and overcome whatever the hell he needs to do in a shorter period of time.
You can do that too. You know, that's why I said, like in my other lecture, when you're practicing or you're doing something, do what you're doing while you're doing it.
Has any of you guys played practice and stuff like that, thinking about a girlfriend or boyfriend, you know, or are you thinking about the bills or, you know, the car wasn't running right today?
Have you ever thought about different things while you were playing? Anybody hasn't? You know? And you're doing while they're doing it.
And if you guys really apply yourselves and do that, you can accomplish in a lot shorter period of time what it takes other people's life longer.
Do you get what I'm telling you here? I know it might seem a little nebulous. Do you kind of see that? Anybody not see that? Anybody embarrassed about raising their hand?
Okay. Now, along with this emergency formula that you'd be applying, you'd be, oh, you want to prepare to deliver, you've got your tools, you mutes and the horns, all the necessary things, you've got the necessary exercises, you know exactly what you need to do.
One thing that I did for preparing to deliver at this point is I've got, like you guys saw the other day, I had the first trumpet part to every show in Las Vegas. Isn't that amazing how I acquired that stuff?
Yeah? I would just go over there. I didn't even play the shows. You know, I'd say, well, you know what my ploy was? I'm teaching at a brass camp, and I'd like the guys to see what it really takes to play it, you know, what the parts are like on a show.
And the lead trumpet player was like, sure, that's how I got my parts. Yeah, I brought them here, but I brought the copies of the copies, right? That's how I got them. But I mean that was my little preparing to deliver.
And I'd look, you know, somebody would say it was my night off. Carl, can you play the Moulin Rouge show at the Las Vegas Hilton?
Yeah, that's that hard one. Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, what times? I mean, I'm already looking through the dang thing. I'm like going through my shelves and picking out the right show, you know, and I'd go over and play it.
I usually had more of a chance. I did a lot better on it because I was a little bit more prepared. I knew what to expect and things like that.
You know, it just, you don't have all of a sudden, you don't get this like, it doesn't bonk you on the head, and all of a sudden you get this incredible native ability, you know, being able to sit down and sightly to show flawlessly from sight.
You know, there's little ins and outs that happen and stuff like that. Now, the fifth one has become discipline. This is like, you know, established. Keep up your program for the calling.
At this point, you're doing pretty good. But you still need to keep your communication lines open. So keep that program, that little schedule.
Okay, every Monday. Every Monday and Thursday, I'm going to call people. Simple. Just keep your PR going.
And the last thing, at this point, the formula you would be applying is if everything is growing, you're making your bills, the contractors are calling you and incredibly remembering your name, and you're meeting new players and writers and contractors and all that stuff, everything is going in about this bag.
That's when you're in normal. At this point, don't change anything. Whatever you're doing, it's working. It's great. Mild discipline, you'll have things where all of a sudden you'll have a soloist come up like Frank Catarapic and you've got to go out and have a pizza and beer.
Well, it's okay. You just add that into your schedule. But, I mean, it's not like you're going to do this every night.
Then, okay, so, and I say, say, we're mild discipline because you're keeping things going. Okay, now, number three, if something gets better, find out what caused it and continue to do that without dropping your other actions.
Let's say that all of a sudden you've got a rise on quintet music or quintet work, okay? Well, maybe it was because one of the guys who was playing in the group, he's connected with a whole slew of other musicians that you hadn't even been associated with, and because he likes your playing, all of a sudden now your name is in that area.
Well, your new thing that you just discovered that helped you with your statistics going up in the brass quintet area is this guy calling more often.
Here's a terminal now to talk to to possibly get in on another area of players and jobs. Does that seem simple? Good.
Okay, then the last thing here, if something gets worse slightly, quickly find out why and remedy it. That's real obvious. If something goes wrong, handle it immediately so you aren't scuffling.
Okay, now, at this point, any questions? I know I went through this real fast. Oh, I went through it real fast. And anything even from that first statement I made.
Let's say you're joining a union or something like that, but you don't know anybody yet and you're not going to get enough union gigs to live on. Is there a real hassle using this account anymore while you're doing that?
Well, you know, it's funny, I joined. God, here's the soapbox again. Well, okay, so unions, unions I think were formed to help abuses by management.
I think over the years that the low-level think of both sides is one's fighting the other. They feel an adversarial point of view, right?
Management is getting sick and tired of like bop, bop, bop, bop, and labor feels like they're getting abused, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, and nobody ever gets together and thinks about, hey, let's solve this so that everybody wins.
They can't even think on that level, right? Which they better do pretty soon. I think there's abuses with the union. That's my next statement is I think there's abuses with the union.
I've seen actions of actually cutting artists being able to work, and I've also seen management where they abuse artists too.
So all I can say in reference to taking non-union work and stuff like that is that's a judgmental call. I've worked non-union stuff, I'll admit it.
I've worked scab gigs. When I came to L.A. and played for a while, I was kind of astounded at the recording gigs that were quote-unquote union gigs, but actually what they were is they were scheduled gigs.
The guys were paid in cash for the thing, and nothing's recorded. Nothing's recorded. And some musicians kept a separate little diary for that.
But I think we need to, I think if we just, the thing that I made a statement about earlier, about let's all work trying to get this culture back to work.
Artists are surviving better, and we're listening to artists and listening to live music. I think we'll do a little bit better, and that problem won't occur so much.
I can't tell you what to do. You know, you're going to have to decide. But it seems funny. I have seen musicians that were just starving and they finally had to do something.
They had to play some non-union stuff just to keep monies coming in, and because the union killed them. Just killed them, wasted them. Yeah?
You know, excuse me if I would like to interject a point concerning unions. I've been on both sides of the table. I have fought the unions and I have worked with the unions.
We are the union. And if that union stinks, it's because we don't participate in it. We let some guys that can't do anything else get elected, and then they foul it up for us.
I've seen this over and over. I was in the group in Chicago that topped with Jimmy Petrillo because he wasn't doing a job. And I saw it right then and there that if we want to improve our own profession.
The symphony orchestra went through this. I talked a little bit about this last night. I don't mean to take the spotlight away from you, Carl, but I think this is an important thing to interject to budding students.
I know what you're saying about the unions, but if it wasn't for the unions, the management would have us working for beer and pretzels.
I don't care whether you're in a symphony orchestra or where. And the reason that the symphony contracts became what they became is that the orchestra players insisted on representation and organized and actually pressured the union.
We formed an organization called Ixom, which is an international conference of all the symphony musicians. And I think in some towns like New York and Chicago, the jobbing musicians have organized and they have committees.
And anybody going into the music profession, I think that we need the unions, but we should improve it from within.
If our people are bungling negotiations like was bungled in Vegas, what you're talking about, and that was bungled badly. We need to force that union to work. The musicians in Seattle, the Seattle Symphony has pulled out of the union because the union was doing a bad job.
It's amazing how the union improved. And so it's us. It's up to us to do it.
Yeah, that's a good point. When I say union, it is from the viewpoint of you've got people that are running the union. We are responsible for putting them in.
It's just my point of reference was it's gotten to a point where unions and management haven't gotten to the level of think where they sit down real sanely and work out a solution that everybody wins.
It's like somebody's got to lose. That's their viewpoint. I've got to beat this guy. I've got to beat this other faction instead of thinking all along another level.
In Australia, they actually have a real sane viewpoint. They show up in court. They have a judge that actually handles arbitrations with unions.
The management presents their site. Well, we had a 65% drop in blah-de-blah in our product and our overhead and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
So all we can give the workers this year is a .5 increase in salaries because of blah-de-blah-blah-blah-blah. And they have all their stuff there and they submit it to the judge.
The management approaches them and says, the cost of living has gone up 10%. We've done this. We've done this. We haven't done this. We need house civilization, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, presents their case.
The judge goes away and comes back and says, okay, fine. So here's what occurs. It'll be a 3.5 increase in their salaries and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
And that's it. Nobody ever goes on strike. It's not a big deal. It's handled fairly safely. But you will have times where you will play, especially when you're younger and you're going up, an opportunity to play some freebies here and there or, quote-unquote, illegal things.
Yes, we need to make the union stronger. Yeah, we all need to take an active part in it because we're responsible for it.
Anything else? Yeah?
What stage do you need to join the union at? Like, we're starting out with church jobs and small local orchestras that start to move up. At what level does it become?
I got a call. It was actually a job, and I was going to get, quote-unquote, scale, and he asked, do you have your card? I said, uh, yeah. I have my card the next day.
Okay, anything else? Any questions at this point about anything? Okay, thanks an awful lot.