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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"You're only gonna be famous for another eight minutes..."

The other day, a friend at work read me a very amusing, bitter letter from The Austin Chronicle. We both appreciated how the author made his salient points over and over again, as well as the frequent profanity. If all Letters To The Editor were as good as this one, I'd read them every day. Here is the link to the webpage. And here is the letter, from the Sept 7 - 13th issue.

Date Received: Wed., Sep. 12, 5:02PM

Dear Editor,
I laugh heartily at the various cancellations for this years Austin City Limits Music Festival. "Exhaustion"? Are you fucking kidding? I have played music for 20 years and find the exhaustion excuse foolish and irresponsible. I am an Austin musician. Like most Austin musicians, I have a day job. My day job happens to be a cook. So, in my 13 years here, I have worked 12- to 18-hour shifts, loaded my drums, brought them to the club, played them, broke them down, unloaded them at home, than returned to my job several hours later. For no money. That's the going rate in this town to play, by the way. Nothing. These White Stripe/Winehouses we are currently dealing with are beyond comprehension. These assholes do not set up their gear. They do not transport their gear. All they have to do is exit their air-conditioned hotel room, pick up their perfectly tuned instrument, and wank for 45 minutes (as I feel the Stripes do). That Winehouse flash in the pan only has to poorly lip-sync to a silly record she put out. Now listen, as I said, I have played music for a number of years in this town and other towns across the U.S. Yes, you party. Yes, you feel exhausted. Cocaine, alcohol, and a host of other intoxicants will bring about a feeling of exhaustion. Who fucking cares? Play, bitch! Your responsibility is to strap on your instrument and play for 45 minutes in front of adoring fans, exit the stage, and collect a staggering check. If you cannot meet these silly requirements, then fuck you! I work 12 hours a day, lug my gear down to the Hole in the Wall, wait around for two hours with no drink comps, play a smoldering show, and get nothing. These assholes are turning down six figures cause they are "exhausted.” Wanna see exhausted? Try my life. Try any Austin musician's life. We're exhausted, you asshole. Giving interviews between margaritas and rails might be exhausting, then you have to get in your limo to the show, where all your gear is set up, and you just have to plunk out your derivative foolish shit for 45 minutes. Then return to your hotel while someone far more talented than you breaks down your gear. Have some gratitude for the fortunate, unearned life that has been dropped into your lap, and play the show. Besides, you're only gonna be famous for another eight minutes. Look some people in the eye that got suckered into buying your trash, and rock them. You can't play 45 minutes because you're too "exhausted"? Gimme a fucking break. -Justin Andrews

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