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“I wish I was a musician. It’s such a glamorous, romantic life…”
Or is it? Let’s have a look at a day in the life.
6.30 am: Drive to the guy who owns the band van
7.15 am: Load stuff and leave for the venue
8.30 – 10-00 am: set up the equipment and test the sound
10.00 – 11.00 am: Wait
11.00 – 11.45: Play (note that the actual gig starts four and a half hours after we left home)
11.45 – 1.00 pm: Wait, possibly buy a hamburger
1.00 – 1.45 pm: Play again
1.45 – 2.15: Wait
2.45 – 3.00 pm: Play one last time
3.00 – 5.30 pm: Load all the stuff in the van again and drive home.
And that’s a daytime gig – imagine if all this happened at night. Because of course musicians always work when other people are free, just like cooks and cinema operators.
And all this doesn’t even take into account the hours and hours of rehearsing, or the money you spend on petrol, strings, pedals, speakers, lights, and other equipment. It’s like Michael says in the fourth book about Pax, Cutting Edge:
Sometimes he wanted to explain to people how much work went into a gig, that it wasn’t something you just pulled out of your sleeve, but that was the one thing he could never do. The whole point was that it had to look easy. If it didn’t, no one would be seduced by it. After all, who wanted their entertainment to look like hard work?