Free whores are the best whores by charles sangnoir Hello all - this time i have decided to let

you in on another recurrent misfortu ne inside the record industry: bad booking / show whoring. Quite often i hear artists comparing themselves to whores, in two distinct situa tions: when an musician is performing with another artist solely for the sake of earning extra cash; and when an artist is performing for free under the excuse of 'promotional purposes'. As for the first situation, i'll wrap it up shortly by telling you an episode wh ich most certainly broadened my view of things a couple of years ago: I once ran into a musician friend of mine which i hadn't seen for quite some tim e, and asked him how he was doing, career-wise. 'Well, i just came back from the states, been touring with X' (X being a very cheesy artist whose name is irrele vant to the matter). 'Friend, you are whoring yourself playing with such lousy a rtists just to make a buck' i said. His reply changed my whole way of looking at things: 'Well, who is the greatest whore? Me, playing music i do not enjoy in o rder to keep on making a living as a musician, or you - working in an office doi ng something you hate just to pay for your music? Who is actually whoring himsel f?' I quit my office job a couple of months later. Nevertheless, i have friends who do prefer to have a 'typical' job in order to s ecure their financial well being; A great friend of mine, and a very well known persona in the grindcore genre, considers whoring happens when you change/soften /adapt your music just so you can live from it. I can relate to that, but i don´t find an absolute truth in any of the above possi bilites - what suits you best is your own personal truth. As for the second situation, things tend to get trickier: I have been playing li ve for nearly 20 years now and i wish i had a dime for everytime a promoter or a venue owner asked me to play for free under the excuse of 'promotion': "It is g ood for you" they say "It will help you sell records" they say; " others have do ne the same" they say. Very well: of course i have played for free - several, co untless times - and sometimes it just might be worth it, i may agree. If your fr iend needs a hand, if that promoter who once held your hand is now through sour times, if there is a charity gig clearly in need of a boost - sure. But other than that - yes, you are being a whore, and a free one. Have no mistak es, you are indeed 'promoting' yourself: as the guy who plays anywhere for the s ake of anything. I have seen loads of venues, loads of festivals and loads of pr omoters having a delicious life on the accounts of cachets they could but do not pay, and many bands breaking up as a result of frustration or sheer economical impossibility. When live act pubs came to the conclusion many bands would play for free (or eve n pay to play as i have witnessed) in the hope of getting known and establishing a career, many convinced themselves they could keep on presenting live shows on a budget next to nothing. What happened? Suddenly you dont have a band circuit unless you are willing to pay for your own tour. And suddleny most venues are cr ammed with low quality bands eager for an illusion. Fortunately, however, there are still some exceptions. Yes, free whores are the best whores. Performing in exchange for a beer and a cl ub sandwich? I'll make my own at home, thank you.

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