Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1992 - Carl Leach on Music Business



Okay, guys. First of all, let me kind of get an understanding of where we all stand here.
People that have been playing brass instruments for four years or less.
Raise your hands.
Eight years or less?
Okay. More than eight years?
Okay, so we've got, okay, so what I'm getting here is we've got like a cross section from getting close to being the beginning, intermediate, on up to professional, right?
So, my lectures this year, I wrote this book.
So, what I told you about it a little bit, what it was is for years and years, things are set and passed on via other players or learned by just my experience and things like that that are never written down for trouble players.
And what I did with my brother, my brother's a trouble player too. He played with the brass band for years and years and actually he's a terrific trouble player.
He's one of those guys that picks up anything and just does it.
But there was nobody ever like, had anything that recognized the problems that occurred throughout a playing career and then had solutions to handle them.
You guys are here learning the basics of how to make this pipe work.
And believe me, if you guys get it down, you're going to have less trouble.
But there will be times throughout a playing career when you will be beat up.
Just lately, I mean, I'm playing on the show now that I'm the only horn player and I'm with electronics, with tape and electronics.
And it is so loud that I wear earplugs.
What happens when you do that is you have the tendency to over blow.
And I'm playing so loud in the middle range of the horn, by the end of the night, I can't even play a high C.
Well, it's like Saturday night, we had three shows.
I ended off at 12.30, came home packed and drove here.
That's why if I said anything weird on Sunday, I apologize.
It's like that. It just happens.
So go through periods of time where you may be not feeling the best.
I'm trying to cataract.
I mean, things happen to your chops.
You get cut up and get bruised like any other muscle.
So how to solve those things, how to keep going.
You've got things that occur in a playing career and that's what we did.
We put that stuff down and the resolutions come.
So one of the things that's in the lecture that was planned was music, music business.
And I've got a chapter here which we'll get to and it's like I'm new in town and I'm looking at how do I start getting jobs.
So we'll go through that section.
And then any questions you have, any fears you have, anything that's ever come up, I'll answer.
And then we'll just handle all the rest of this stuff.
So you've got to treat this stuff lightly.
Okay, so just so you guys crack up, this is a guy on a sidewalk.
So I'm new in town and I need to find work.
This is going to be started by anybody that's coming up through the ranks, new musician, even a musician that played professionally got out of it and wants to get back in the scene.
You have to go through these steps.
So I would actually prefer you guys not taking notes.
I'd much rather you just duplicate exactly what I'm saying as you say it because you'll retain it better.
Because I don't want you worrying about the number and light and all that stuff.
It would work out a lot better if you don't.
So the first thing you do when you get into a town or you want to start getting out of a basic condition of non-existence,
nobody knows who you are, you need to call every musician possible, especially the ones that play your instrument.
So you call every musician.
The next thing you do is you try to play in as many music happenings as possible.
I don't care whether it's like a Japanese, you know, or Chinese, you know, or something like that.
You just play in as many events as possible.
Park, bands, 3D rehearsals, this, that, the other thing.
Because see, that's a promote itself, putting yourself out there.
Your name's getting out there, they're associating your name with a face, things like that.
Then when you start playing with other people, then you're getting to a point where you're meeting them,
you're starting to find out and you query people.
It's like when I first started playing in the Bay Area, I sat next to a guy in a rehearsal band.
Well, he's been playing professionally with some contractor.
So all I do is I just say, well, so, like, who are you working for?
You know, as we're playing the job, there's tons of time for that.
And you start building up a little bit of communication with this person and you get some affinity for them,
you start finding out what they're like, and they start telling you.
They say, well, I work for such-and-such, and you say, well, does he ever, you know, need guys?
Oh, yeah, sometimes, yeah, I can't make jobs sometimes.
So remember to take your number down.
And, you know, if I ever need you, that's how you do it.
That's how I started in the Bay Area.
I was playing in college, and actually what happened was in college, I went to college,
and then my second year of college, I was heard in a jazz festival in San Diego by Stan Kent.
So he hired me two weeks later.
And I went on the road for a couple of years.
And then the Army got me because it was during the Vietnam War.
And so I had to enlist.
At least I felt like I had to enlist because I wanted to get in a band.
I prefer being in a band than serving a rifle.
And so I did.
And luckily, I was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco for three years.
But by any time you're in the service anyway, you're kind of in non-existence anyway.
As far as the rest of the field, you know, I couldn't associate with other people
because when you're in the military, that's a 24-hour big job.
It's getting a little better when you actually have time or you're off and stuff like that.
But they could call me at any time and play for the opening of a mobile gas station,
whatever they wanted.
They actually had me, right?
And by the way, I did play for an opening.
So anyway, after I came out, I was in the Bay Area and I had nobody knew me.
Well, I started playing in a few things and Larry knew me.
I started meeting Larry.
And that's how I first met him.
And so actually, I wanted to take lessons.
I clicked on trumpet after I got out of the service.
I clicked on trumpet and I decided I'd go into computers.
Because I figured life had dealt me a raw deal when I'd gone into service.
And so my whole career was wrecked.
So I still had the itch to play.
So I found a horn because after the service, I sold my horn,
but it was specially picked out for me at the pond plant.
And the mouthpiece that was specially made for me by Bert Harry,
which I've picked with myself ever since.
And I found a horn.
It came with a mouthpiece.
I was real lucky.
And I started playing that and started doing jobs again.
Well, I figured I'd never given myself a chance.
I was 20.
I was 24.
I figured I'd never given music really a chance.
Now, mind you, this is after I played professionally with Stan Kepernick
and toured all around in the media, recordings, television.
I dug this show.
That comes with everything.
Concerts all over.
And so you guys don't mind me starting.
I'm kind of getting off a little bit.
But anyway, I decided to give Trumpet a shot.
And luckily, I went through a lot of people,
because I had names of the better players in the Bay Area, right?
Well, Larry's name was on that list.
Well, with the people that I called, he was like fifth on my list, right?
Of all these people that I was supposed to call.
Well, the guys at the top of the list wouldn't give me the time of day.
And it was kind of funny, because at the time when I finally got to Larry,
I was so bugged that I'd gotten turned down.
But I was like, you know, I have to settle for the fifth guy on the list, right?
And so I finally called him, and he was teaching at that time.
So I drove all the way.
He lined up a lesson for me.
I drove all the way from San Jose to San Mateo.
It was 43 miles.
I don't remember that, because I had barely enough money to pay for gas
and then pay for the lesson.
Larry didn't show up.
So I called Larry, and he said, oh, God, you know, he's doing thousands of things.
He was actually just working more than anybody in the whole town,
but he was doing like so many things, like he's playing two or three jobs a day.
And so he said, okay, next week you got three lessons.
And so I went the next week, and from that point on, we were pals.
And it was great, because he said, I've just been going through this book here,
and this is a good book here.
He says, let's go through this.
And I said, it's a Clyde Gordon book.
And we went through the Clyde Gordon book.
And I studied with him for a year.
And that's how I became acquainted with him.
And as he knew that I could play, then he started throwing me, quote unquote, bones.
That's what happens when you start meeting guys, and all of a sudden they can't make a job,
so they kill your bones.
That's kind of the term.
And that's how I broke in.
If it wasn't for Larry, it wouldn't have taken me long.
And Larry was the one that actually helped me.
Eventually I did Circle Star and things like that.
That's how you meet people.
So you're promoting yourself.
You get to know people.
You're going to associate with all sorts of people.
And they're going to start, you know, you pass out a number, this, that,
and the other thing pretty soon.
They're going to call you.
You're going to start getting loose pieces of stuff here and there.
And then, because you've been working very hard and you're putting out a good product,
you get called more and more and more and more and more,
and then pretty soon you're established.
OK, so that's how that works.
Now, when you talk to these people, let's say you get a number of a contractor.
Let's say he's Joe Chester Swedge, and here's his number,
and he contracts casual shows in town or some of the casual dances in town.
When you call him, give the name, number, and a brief background.
Now, if you don't have a background, here's what I want you to do.
I want you to mention the guy that recommended you.
That's how you can kind of supplement the fact like,
no, man, I haven't done anything.
If you don't give me a job, I still won't do anything.
You know, it's like I want you to – the thing here is you're trying to offset this inexperience,
which is real stupid now.
I mean, if you really think of it, everybody's crying for experienced people,
but how are they going to get experience unless they just do it, right?
How are they going to get a job?
So you offset that by saying – if he says, well, what have you done?
Just say, well, listen, I just played in a rehearsal band with Matt,
and he knows exactly what I can do if you can give him the buzz.
All of a sudden now he's associated you with a guy that plays regularly with him,
who he values his opinion, right?
So it starts sticking.
Now, you may have to call this contractor five times before he even remembers your name
because he's associated you with a voice.
That's the way contractors are.
But that's the way you start doing it.
So you see kind of the give and take there.
If you don't have a lot of experience, then supplement it with like so-and-so,
you know, mention their name, that type of thing.
Okay, now the – and oh, I put a note in here, too.
This is the thing that's real important.
Do not, when you're breaking into the scene or re-breaking into the scene,
ever get bugged with other players that treat you like crap.
You'll start finding out generally – generally,
kind of give you a generalization that's not natural.
Generally, great players will bend over backwards to help you
because they know what you have to go through.
Ones that think they're great won't give you the time of day.
So just a little bit of tidbits there.
Now, at this point, you should establish a calling program,
like let's say Monday and Thursdays or Tuesday and Fridays.
At this point in time, and are mixed with your daily schedule of practicing
and your day gig or whatever the hell you're doing to survive
so you can put food on the table, you start – have a disciplined program
where, okay, today's my day for doing such-and-such.
You call the contractors and musicians.
It's your outflow day, your promotion day.
And sometimes, when I first started – let's see.
In 1980, I was – I went and I was called to audition
at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.
I was playing in San Francisco at the time.
At that point in time, like I was doing most –
everything that I wanted to do in the Bay Area.
And there just wasn't enough work.
And you always have that thing in your mind at Las Vegas
and flights and all that stuff.
So I got a call to go and audition.
So I went down to audition and I got the job.
And I was imported to play at the Dunes Hotel.
Well, I started with a job.
I moved to town and nobody knew me.
I mean, I started in a job.
I didn't have to promote.
I didn't have to do anything.
Eight months after I was there, the show closed
because the whole hotel came under new management
and a show that had run for 19 years that they anticipated
running another 19 years closed.
Well, I was out of work.
And I was not only out of work.
I had very, very little communication line out
for the musicians to start searching for jobs.
So as soon as we found out that that was occurring,
I was on the phone.
And what I did is I actually,
because I didn't know a lot of people in town
and established that I kept a card file.
Now, I kept little notes like EY fishing,
you know, or jogs.
I knew Tom Holden.
Tom Holden was a Cod Gordon student.
So that was my entry point to Tom Holden.
I said, Tom, you know,
he was the lead player over the ballads right then.
Tom, my name is Carl H.
And I worked at the Dunes Hotel and stuff like that.
I didn't even tell him all what was going on.
As soon as the grapevine hits, man, everybody else in town knows.
It's a job post.
And I said, I came from Quad 2.
And he says, oh, yeah?
See, so I found a common area of agreement.
So I kept those little card things
because I couldn't, I was calling hundreds of people.
So that I could connect up.
And as soon as I learned who he was,
I didn't need to refer to him.
So it was like, oh, it was a mouthful.
Despite what Quad told him,
this guy was a mouthful.
All I had to do to establish some good communication with him
was say, Tom, I got this old proviance five seconds ago.
And he was gone.
It was like we were like an hour later,
we're still talking on the phone,
because we're talking about mouthpiece.
I mean, I tuned out everything he said.
It was like that.
And we became great friends.
But it was an entry point.
So I kept those little things.
There was a contractor that liked fishing.
And there was one guy I remember,
he knew Larry Sousa back in the Bay Area.
It was so long ago.
So I called him and said, hey, Mike.
I found out he was from the Bay Area.
He says, do you know Larry Sousa?
And I said, yeah, I know Larry Sousa real well.
I just talked with him last week.
And then all of a sudden we had a little bit of an agreement.
And I got to talk to him more.
And he was actually, three weeks after I finished The Dunes,
he was the band director.
He wasn't the contractor,
but he was the band director for the Flamingo Hills.
And their lead trumpet player had gotten damaged on a show
that they had, and they were redoing a show.
And they had this two-week stint that he wanted to lay out
to get his chops ready for the next coming show,
a production show.
So I came in there and I got to play the whole two weeks.
Well, at the end of the two weeks,
the lead trumpet player called in
and he was like, he couldn't play anymore.
And so they turned around to me and said,
well, do you want the gig?
And I said, yeah.
And that's how that started.
That's how I got it.
But if I hadn't been outflowing,
promoting myself all the time,
just keeping these lines going,
keeping a little discipline to make sure it got done,
you don't think, well, maybe I'll call so-and-so.
No, I called 10 guys on Monday.
I called 10 guys on Wednesday.
You know, that's the way I did it.
And I just kept promoting.
So anyway, and it's like,
I don't want you to get a wrong line here.
I even wrote it in here and said,
this is not to serve as a line of insincere chat,
but it's to help with establishing better communication
until you get to know these guys better.
So it's just a tool for you to do that.
Now, and these guys know you're looking for work
so you don't have to say, like, I'm sorry, but I can't, you know,
just say I'm such-and-such and blah, blah, blah.
You know, they know what you're doing.
But they did the same thing.
Now, the next thing is you keep on,
eventually you're going to start getting jobs.
Now, at this point, all those little bitty freebies,
you're going to have to start cutting out a few of them.
You're a little judicious about which ones you cut out
because you still want the ones that are enhancing you
or they help you with communication lines going on.
Let's say there's a rehearsal band down at the Union Hall
as opposed to one in the guys' backyard, you know,
and the one down at the Union Hall.
You kind of, like, associate with some of the guys
that are hanging around there or they come in and pay their dues
and, you know, you see up on the board,
sometimes they need a musician, you know.
So that one's a better one to kind of keep
if you're going to start cutting down.
So, and at this point, as you're cutting down those things,
as you're getting more and more work,
then you want to make sure you recognize all the successful actions
that you've been doing during this time that's at work.
And then at that point, it's like you're going to be working.
If you put out a good product, nothing can stop you.
And then there's a note at the end of this chapter.
It's like, it's extremely important to be honest
in your representation of yourself.
If there's a job that you cannot adequately handle, then say so.
Now, what this is, you establish your reputation
as being able to deliver what you promise.
That's real important.
There's guys that take any job in the world.
And there's a terrific number of players down in Las Vegas.
And he actually accepted a job playing pinkaloo trumpet
in an orchestral setting.
And he sucked.
I mean, it was so bad.
It was embarrassing.
He never turned down anything.
The thing is, you get real bad PR when you're, you know,
all of a sudden you get people walking away saying,
well, you may be good, but you don't want anything like that happening.
So be real honest.
You know, it says, hey, man, we've got a bebop session down there.
We've got some, you know, you want to come down and blow some jazz?
And you don't blow jazz.
If I got you, you better say, I don't feel comfortable with that yet.
You know, you don't have to, like, say, no, I don't do that.
You say, I don't feel comfortable with that yet.
You know, maybe you better get somebody else.
And boy, they'll really appreciate that.
And I've done that before.
I had a fake job.
The guy says, well, we're going to do just a bunch of fake tunes.
And in high school I've done a lot of tunes.
I've done with small groups because that's one of the things that I got started with.
But boy, I was not going to play with professionals that knew a thousand and one tunes.
You know, all the chord changes and stuff like that.
You know, I was died.
Horrible death.
So anyway, any questions on that particular thing,
on getting yourself going in an area that you haven't really worked in?
Any ideas?
So we're going to end this thing off, like, in 20 minutes or so.
Anything you guys ever fear?
Any guys, any problems, any worries you want to go through?
What are you ready to do?
Are you going to start doing some new job?
Are you going to just come out of church for a service or anything?
Just how do you know what you're ready to do?
Start from?
Well, it's funny.
A little bit of a necessity level.
I mean, if you're starving, the necessity level comes up quite high for you to get a product out that's adequate enough for your money.
But there's an awareness level there that you know you can do certain things.
You know, after you've practiced for a long period of time and played some solos and etude work and stuff like that,
you kind of have a concept that you can do certain things.
And, you know, sometimes if it's like a church thing, you know, they may say,
Well, do you think you're going to do this trumpet voluntarily?
We've got a wedding here.
We just want it for when she stumbles down the aisle.
Just to yell at me.
You know, I mean, just look at it and say, well, yeah, I can handle that.
Maybe that's a little bit out of the league.
It's kind of a league.
You know, it's tough.
I definitely haven't made good decisions in the past.
I mean, there's been times when I've stepped on it, too.
Nothing's been ever perfect.
But you have an awareness there.
You know you can kind of do something.
So it's a little bit tough.
There were a couple of times when I was getting a little bit low on breath.
I tell you, man, I worked on that product and I got it.
Any other ones?
What about playing with a group that doesn't have a very good reputation
for being musically competent for delivering your product
or being a professional?
Is that bad for you?
Well, so why don't you give me a little more data?
Yeah, I understand.
It's a brass quintet.
I usually lay that out of it because I don't practice delivering a product.
I practice just for the hell of it.
Well, you can probably imagine it's not like there's a city-wide reputation
of drawing dollars because they don't have a common goal
of reaching a certain level of proficiency.
So they probably don't have any notoriety based on that.
But I know what you mean.
What does that even mean?
Let's see.
Okay, let's say it was...
Well, I'll tell you, that actually brings up a thing.
When I first went to Las Vegas, guys that played production shows
were considered less able than the guys that played the showroom
because there was kind of a feeder system.
You kind of played production shows and then you worked on the star policy, right?
What the hell, man?
I'd done the star policy all in the Bay Area.
And I wanted to make money.
So I wanted to work day and night.
So that was ideal for me.
And it actually ended up, the star policy kept getting less and less
and less and less.
And those guys were trying to get into production shows.
So being associated with a production show, sometimes I felt that occurred.
So I don't know how that would have looked up if it got to that level.
It was like little clicks, a little bit of stupid game,
you know, there was a bit going on.
Have you ever been around people like that?
Strength players are terrible like that.
It was like little clicks, you know?
It's like they know who's up there doing this.
It's a certain thing.
You know, it's like they're stumped.
So, I don't know, generally I kind of approach life.
I've always been straight ahead and rather blunt about things.
I stepped on a few toes, but I kept clean.
My space was always clean, you know?
It's like if I went in there and did something, I did it to the best of my ability,
but I didn't like worry about the little games that were going on.
I kind of out-created that.
You know it gets sucked into all sorts of things.
I know exactly how I can screw up every one of you guys here by the end of the week.
I know exactly how I can mess you guys up totally.
All I have to do is draw your attention to something you're doing.
All of a sudden, your attention goes instead of being outward and handling things.
Once I introvert you on anything.
Oh, dang, that was great.
How did you do that?
You know, like he goes up and rips off a note or something like that.
Man, that was terrific.
How did you?
I noticed you're in all of a sudden, huh, he's in here,
and all of a sudden he gets into a figure-figure on it.
That's the worst thing to do.
That's like Claude's lectures.
It takes so much time with you telling all the problems that you go through,
so you guys identify with it and get rid of the crap.
All this stuff is, man, it's real basic stuff.
Take a big breath, shut up, and play.
That's basically all it is.
Except we have to go all this material, give you like umpteen lectures
because of all the data and the crap that's been led, you know,
the wrong data and stuff like that that's filtered down to us
and plus just misconceptions on that.
But it's all these little bitty things.
You don't want to get into words, you know, like that.
Don't get into figure-figure.
And brass players are the worst people on this planet.
I'll tell you, they're the most neurotic people I've ever met.
It's like as much as you guys will listen to Claude,
and then it's the tongue, it's the nose, this, that, and the other thing.
If I was standing outside on Friday at noon when you guys filed out
with a bunch of mouthpieces, and I was convincing enough,
I said, these are incredible.
I know I'd tell them.
I know there'd be one of you guys that would still go like, huh.
That's why this field's so screwed up.
It's so easy to do.
So anyway, I'll tell you about when I was first on the road with Tim.
I was young, I was like 19.
Man, it was just great.
I was with some high-powered son of a gun.
It was great playing with these guys.
But it was amazing because in between breaks,
every place we went all around the country, in between breaks,
at the end of the show, there were guys there that were like jumping.
Just out of the audience.
The audience, you know, we even played for dances.
Nobody danced.
It was just like right up there against the stage,
because it was like that type of band.
And they would pull out a mouthpiece that was in their pocket and say,
you think I can get a double C on this?
And the thing was, I was 19, I didn't even have a double C.
I was just playing in a band.
I was a good player.
And I'd look at it and I'd say, well, it looks good to me.
There's a hole all the way through.
That was my concept on music at that time.
I was like totally naive.
Everything worked for me.
When I wanted to do something, I did it.
Playing light.
And after you get a couple hundred of these people,
you get to a point, first of all, the first level you reach is like,
damn, that must be important.
That's a bad button, man.
When you feel self-importance, that's real bad.
Because that really gets you to a point where you think you're,
you know what, that's pristine.
And it sets you up for the time when you find out you've done.
And the next thing it did to me is just by contagion of aberration,
I started worrying about mouthpieces.
And I'd have a bad night.
Instead of going, ah, it's a bad night.
Ah, I screwed up.
Ah, I screwed up.
I was going, damn, I think, you know, hey, that was a bad night.
It feels a little big.
I feel like I'm falling into this thing.
And I got into the same game.
I mean, I still played well.
I still came out at the end of the bell.
When I needed to come out at the end of the bell.
But I was in the same problems that we talk about all week long with you guys.
I was in a world of hurt.
I was all of a sudden, I was thinking about this, that,
and I was going downstream.
Then I went backwards.
And I got sucked into that too.
So I ran into years of problems.
I had been for Larry.
And after I took from Larry for a year, I just said,
Dad, this is great.
Bob lives in my same state.
How lucky can I get?
So I started driving him.
And then I was, after that, everything straightened out.
But you have to be careful with those things.
Getting introverted on stuff.
You guys are going to go back to God knows where in Michigan or Illinois.
And here you have, you're going to be all pumped up.
And you're going to have this data.
And my God, I feel good.
I'm going to attack a real type of stuff.
And you're going to have some guy come over there.
And all they have to do is they don't even have to say anything important like,
Yeah, man, I'm doing this.
Claudia Gordon here, this is feeling real good.
I mean, it could be some role model, some other peer.
And all you have to do is something like,
That's all you have to do.
And it's going to introvert you.
Because the days you have a bad day,
or you forgot the rest enough and you kind of got a little wasted that day,
that's the day you're going to rest right there.
Maybe there's an exception.
That's it.
He was right.
And I got all the stuff.
I'm OK on that.
But maybe there's, maybe this guy has like bumps in his top of the lip or the mouth.
Maybe it's different for this guy.
It could be a simple guy.
So anyway, I just want you guys to understand it's very, very easy to get off on this stuff.
There's, if anybody had any, like, I'll read down this thing, OK?
And if anybody indicates this, raise your hand and I'll just talk about the area.
OK, I need more endurance.
Anybody, like, most of the stuff you're getting this week are going to help that with air, tongue working right?
Yeah, OK, so in situations like that, OK, you're going to have that.
It's just like if you were working in an office and there's some lame person there
because they're friends or they're the relatives of the owner, which happens.
That's just going to happen to you guys in life in general.
My concept on that is like you do the best job you possibly can and be as cool as you possibly can.
Keep all that criticalness out of there because that criticalness is the thing that sets you down
and gets you into games that you don't want to get in.
If you want to be a player that's playing all the time.
He was there for ten years and he was there for seven of those years.
He played so sharp that he was like wasting it.
And there were times when it was everything I possibly could do to not drop my horn and strangle that son of a bitch.
And I mean, I really wanted, there were times when I was having a tough time myself
and this guy is like really putting a bind on me and I wanted to kill him.
I wanted to actually kill him.
OK, so you were one of my other lectures.
What I did a couple of times is I actually, we would have a comedian that came on in the middle of the show
while the band would get off and just kind of stretch out and stuff like that
because the pit was like in an area where you couldn't see.
And I changed his slide.
Well the thing is, he was a bad musician.
I could have taken the slide out and he would have still been sharp.
That was his concept of where pitch was.
So his awareness level was low.
It didn't matter what I did.
It would help for a period of time.
And I mean, I would go through, I went through periods where I said,
Christian, man, I just think a little bit about your distance on the high side here
and it's just making me work a little bit higher.
He'd go, well, sure, yeah, man.
He'd pull out.
I mean, I'd see him do all this stuff.
He'd be playing along, but he had this concept.
And later on I'd see him go like, you know what?
So you're going to play with people like that?
Yeah, okay.
Do you have a decision of either playing the job or not playing the job?
So I got hurt by it.
I won't say I got a bit pretty damaged.
Then to the point where like I remember I woke up one morning
and I had a rough job and all I could think of was everything I could do
to keep my eyeballs on my head because I figured it was going to pop out.
And the next morning I got up and I'm going to play a few light routines
just to kind of save myself.
And my whole lead pipe had straight blood all the way down
and it was like there were some drops on the belt.
And it was like I ran to the mirror and I'm like, I'm checking out.
I mean, it healed, but I'd broken some blood vessel in my lips.
And it's just like as I was playing, you know, it was spraying out.
And I mean, it was impressive.
I actually got a lot of good stories out of it.
Those are the types where you say, yeah, back when men were men.
But there's been some times when I like the job that I'm playing now.
Honestly, at the end of the night I cannot play a high C.
Now the next morning I go through and I've got it in this book.
You know, it's like if you – I got a great one in here.
It says like last night I played great.
This morning I can't play at all.
That happens when you overdo, overblow, you're tired.
Those types of things are actually occurring.
So you need to do certain things.
You need to get rest.
That's very basic stuff because it is a physical thing you're doing.
As far as like rehabilitating the neck, when your chops are swollen
and things like that, you're going to have to play some light routines.
You don't even take them up in an area that challenges you.
You know, it's like in the book.
So the one – and this is – Clark told me this years ago.
That's one of the reasons why I did this book, because I had so much data.
I'm just talking with people that has worked.
You know, like if you're blowing out, just do Clark's number one.
Take a big breath.
And you play very, very light.
Make sure all the notes hit.
You know, you don't want to like be going so fast.
You don't go da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da.
You want to make sure all the notes ring.
And you only take it up to G in the middle of the song.
At that point in time, put the horn down and you go away.
You know, as a guy, if you use common sense like that, you won't survive.
If you're like the next morning, you're like, oh God, I've got to do it again by tonight.
You know, what can I do?
What type of routines can I do?
And you're beat up.
You're beat up.
Take it easy.
Be sensible.
Play something light.
You get the machine working again.
Get the air working.
Get the – knock off a little bit of the swelling on the chops.
Get the tongue working again, channeling the air.
Because any time you overblow or have to blow extremely loud, it pushes – you've got your tongue up here.
The air pushes the tongue down.
That's why you can't play a high C by the end of the night.
I'm blowing so damn loud, I've got tons more that can never fit through the horn.
And it just goes – pushes the tongue right down.
So the next morning, I have to start – I have to do some real light stuff to get that tongue happening again.
They talk about tongue position tomorrow, but that's what occurs in that.
So, you know, it's like – and you just have to go to the job that night, blow the horn out, play something with little knives, play something cute.
But man, don't like C. Have I still got it?
No, that type of thing.
If you haven't got it, who cares?
You know, you do the best you possibly can and get through it.
Okay, you know, it's dumb, please, just from my experience.
Have you ever used those dumb, stupid, tortilla potato chips and gotten one, you know, and then jab you and stuff like that?
Oh, man.
You know, I just – you know, I get cut from that.
And then you've got to play on it or something like that.
And any time I get cut or stuff like that, I'll get canker sore.
You know, and it takes a long time for it to heal.
You know, so it's like what I do is I take my phthalate.
I get a few tips of my phthalate, put it on there, and it's like you've got to be alone.
It's real close to childbirth.
But it's like, you know, what it does is it carterizes the meat for temporarily, and I can get through that job.
Otherwise, I mean, you just have to do it.
You can't just say, hey, man, I've got to play tonight.
It's like you're going on, you're going to play, and you say, look, listen, I'm real sorry.
I can't play tonight.
I got a little – I got an hour to do it.
The carterizes it.
So, yeah.
You want this job?
You know, it comes down to that.
Just get through it as best you can.
So there's all sorts of these things that I get in the book that hold how to get through that stuff.
Even with having diarrhea, I mean, we handle that.
That's a lot of fun when you're falling, right?
But as a matter of fact, it occurs.
You know, you have a body, so the body gets a little weird on you sometimes.
You know, shouldn't it?
It's not in the book.
So now my next lecture, we'll take up some more stuff, and there's also marking parts, which is in the book, too.
And we'll go through that.
But it's like, is there anything you guys want to talk about?
Like, we'll just take like five minutes to just kind of basically get any clear –
anything had happened, just kind of get an idea on how to resolve it.
Does that sound cool?
No questions about anything?
It's actually – it's a great business, and there is room for you to play as much as dark as it's gotten lately
because our culture has been overtaken by accountants who know absolutely nothing about life and put a lot of music.
And – but there's still a lot of jobs, and there's still a good career.
The recording industry is still going really good for good players.
And then there's more and more things that are happening.
It's just going in some evolution.
It's like I'm playing with a tape now, but they still want to record it.
Because occasionally the tape doesn't make it.
And that's what's real stupid, the chicks kicking their heels in the air with no music happening in the United States.
So it's like they realize that they're musicians.
Las Vegas is probably about the dumbest thing that's occurred to the music industry.
But there's still like lots of things happening in the Bay Area.
Bay Area has tons of casual work.
And of course, the classical field is fun and fun all the time.
More and more things actually are happening in that field than any other field at this point.
So it's like the best thing I can ever tell you about music is to put your nose to the grindstone.
Just be aware of what you're doing.
But by God, have some fun.
If you get serious about this stuff, get real dark, get introverted, it's a real pain.
It's like, you guys remember in high school when you had that turn paper and you kept putting off for the last minute?
That last minute, it's terrible.
It's how it gets, so you've got to just have a good time and stuff.
If you make a mistake, have a good laugh.
I know a couple players that their careers were ruined in Las Vegas because of contractors that could have mistakes.
And so then they got so gun-shy that you get careful and then you lose that jump on stuff.
You get careful on stuff.
They ruined it.
There was a guy that turned his mind back.
He played up to double S like I played up to middle C.
And it was phenomenal.
And by the end of his career, it sounded like a sixth string.
He would get it, and as soon as the mouthpiece got close to his face, all of a sudden all the muscles would start dancing on his face
because he was just so nervous about what he was doing.
He had no confidence in him.
And my director at the Flamingo was real cool.
I mean, boy, I pasted some on the walls there that will never get off.
And he'd be playing, you know, we'd be struggling there and playing, and we'd hit a clam or something like that.
And he'd look up at us and go like...
I was conducting and he was real cool.
Because he kept it light.
He kept it light.
It's the hardest situation I've ever experienced in my life is playing production shows
because not only are we playing the same show every night, six nights a week, sometimes seven nights a week, and they're hard.
And so you're getting the automaticity.
You know, it's real tough to break that.
You know, to do something every day like get on a bike, you know, and you're riding a bike.
It's like after a while, you don't even think about it.
All right?
You're kind of in big trouble because all of a sudden you're turned on automatic pilot, you know?
And now I'm playing the job, worrying about, well, I'm missing taxes and I guess I got those changed on my car.
I'm like, well, folks, look, what's going on here?
It sounds like you run into trouble because you weren't really there playing.
So it's like it's ruined tons of players.
And then it's like because there's high notes there or a demanding part, and it's there every night, twice a night,
it's not like you can one show just say, you know, I'm just not, you know, I'm not good.
I think I'll cool it on this show.
You can't cool a hygiene.
It's got like, wrap your toes around the chair legs and like hold on for dear life.
Take a big breath and have at it.
I've played with, you know, clues.
I remember when I first got to town, I had mononucleosis.
It was rampant throughout the whole familial.
I didn't even know that.
Most of the employees had it.
They were passing it to each other because they were going to the cafeteria and coughing on your food, you know.
And so I got it and I played.
I only missed one day.
And boy, that was a bit.
I didn't play that stuff.
It was still good.
You have to do it.
So yeah, people have a good time.
If it ever gets dark, it's not worth it.
Anyway, so we'll talk, I think, in two days.
We'll have another lecture and we'll do marketing parts.
But think about anything that's ever bugged you.
Even here now, I know there's probably some guys who don't want to wait until they come up and talk to me
because they're still embarrassed about the things that they want to talk about.
And you have to be real clean out if you're safe.
Try to come up with it and we'll talk about it because there's other people who have the same fears.
Everybody goes through this stuff.
All right.
See you guys later.