Response from Arkansas Red

Hello fans and fellow players,

Arkansas Red usually has an interesting story and point of view and I think this email I got from him is worth sharing. Here it is.

Yeah, I’m sure the TV people would have busted their butts to give you lots of air time with all the “big names” out there on the fairway. If there was any chance of getting before the camera, I’d have made sure that I had a T-shirt on or sign around my neck saying, “Bobbe Seymour’s Steel Guitar Nashville”. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a good cause, but along with you, I’ve been asked to play charity things, and if I can help musically I usually do, but golf or bowling? Forget it. I’d be about as welcomed as a lady of the evening in church with a wood’s colt on each knee. And if you do one benefit everybody and his “sister better than you” will be calling. I had a lady (?) a few weeks ago ask me to play background music while they had an art display/sales at a local art gallery. They wanted me for three hours. I asked what their budget was and this was the lady’s (?) reply. “Budget? Oh, there would be no pay involved. You would play and then we would give you a receipt for what you would charge and you could deduct that from your income taxes as a charitable contribution”. I told her I’d played my share of “pie suppers” (thanks Al Brumley Jr. for that line) and tax receipts don’t put groceries on the table. She was taken aback that I’d refuse such a worthy (?) cause. She said it would be great exposure for me. By then I’d had enough of her “artsy” twaddle, so I figured it was time to end this fiasco. I told her if I wanted “exposure” I’d walk down Main Street “nekked” during the five o’clock rush hour. That would give me a GREAT exposure. She hung up on me. About a millisecond before I did. Sheesh! They would not expect a roofer or a plumber to come out to their house and work for nothing, (knowing these people they probably would) but when it comes to musicians or entertainers they are, “cheap and easy”. I may be easy, but I ain’t cheap. I’ve found that the less you charge the less you are appreciated. I don’t charge a king’s ransom for my talent, but I make sure that it’s worth my time and effort. I’ve lost gigs from the “art crowd” around here for being “too expensive”, but I really don’t mind. By the way, the “eclectic ones” don’t tip either. When some two or three day big event happens in town, they import their entertainment from Springfield, Kansas City, or Tulsa and pay them big bucks, but when it’s a one day event “the local riff raff will do, and we can probably get them for nothing. We’ll tell them they will get a lot of exposure”. Right!!!! Yes, show business is my life…..but I can’t prove it.

Red ;?)

Thank you Red for your story and the insight. You’re making it easier for me to write these newsletters! LOL.

We regret hearing of the passing of Earl Scruggs. It’s a great loss to the entire music community. I’m a bit under the weather as they say so I’ll leave it like it is for now. There won’t be a newsletter on Monday, but I’ll be back next Thursday as usual.

Check out our monthly specials at www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.

The friend of all bar holders,
Bobbe Seymour
www.steelguitar.net
sales@steelguitar.net
www.youtube.com/bobbeseymour

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Hendersonville, TN. 37075
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2 Responses to Response from Arkansas Red

  1. Bobby Lee says:

    I couldn’t let this one go without a counterpoint. If you have sympathy for a cause, playing a benefit will make you feel good. Actually, any work for a charity you believe in can be very satisfying. If they throw in a tax deductible receipt, that’s icing on the cake.

    Arkansas Red obviously doesn’t have a soft spot for the charity that approached him. That’s fine. I’m just saying that all of life’s rewards aren’t measured by what they put in your wallet. Roofers and plumbers do donate their services to charities that they believe in. There’s no reason that musicians shouldn’t do the same.

  2. Jason Rumley says:

    Great post. A lot of things to be said. I agree with you Bobby, you gotta pick and choose what you do for free. Seems like so many bands wanna play they’ll take anything! I’ve know guys who started off playing for free and when they started charging for shows they actually booked more and better shows. If something is for free then there’s a reason for it!

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