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Let There Be Rock!

In The Beginning, The World Was Empty And Formless

The other day, I said Pensacola Beach needs a little help getting original Rock Music on the menu. Like in Genesis, the beach is empty and without form. Let's say, "Let there be light!". Or more appropriately, "Let there be ROCK!"

Let's adjust this empty and formless thing into a great opportunity!

Please don't get me wrong. There are plenty of cover bands here. More than you can shake a stick at. Matter of fact, my last band, regular JOE 2.0, was one of them. We did covers no one else around here did. That is, mostly people from the West Coast appreciated our schtick. Soon however, we started doing ska, some classic tunes and more "recognizable" tunes. Even as I tried to steer us towards originals, we sank into the deep. Glub, glub, glub. Down we went. Everyone lost interest and went their separate ways.

Everything we worked so hard for ended. I sold all my gear. I was washed up. And I simply didn't want to spend any more time digging that deep again without a good team.

I wrote a song about it here.

As they say, "That's show biz." Still as I sank into writing about how I felt about things ending, I reflected about what went wrong and why I needed to adjust my perspective. Let's face it, I learned a lot. Even as I began to get some help from folks out in California (and they really helped), I still wanted to do something more local. You know? Bring Rock Music here to Pensacola Beach?

I wrote a song about that, too. Here.

These two songs (among a few others) were just the inspiration I needed to go from empty and formless into something new. Let There Be Rock!

regular JOE 2.0 at 3rd Base Pub in Midway.

So, why don't I want to do covers? Read on!

Darkness Was On The Face Of The Deep

My darkness brought inspiration. Everyone feels sad, or mad sometimes. It's probably why Taylor Swift dates serially. There is depth in darkness. It's OK to dive in. But your personal darkness isn't the only kind. The music biz competes. It can be a very dark and onerous business.

Back in the day, song pluggers would pay radio stations to play their songs. It was called, "Payola." In the real world it's bribery. The practice is illegal. But, it's still goes on today. You can go to Music Xray, and just about every radio station who advertises there wants a bribe. Some in the thousands.

Plus, on the club circuit, everyone competes for the bottom. That is to say it's easier and faster to play Top 40 than it is to do something original. It's the same old songs, performed better or worse by either the same old people, or a new group of them.

More darkness? Well, clubs want you to play music their customers recognize so they loosen up and have a good time. Your job is selling drinks AND entertaining patrons. Notice I said, "JOB"? Yes. It's a job. Another term for job is "Just. Outside. Broke." What clubs don't want are customers who leave. But they also don't want a band so big they can't serve people. Cover bands are made and broken by bartenders. So, every band must balance the dark forces mounted against them.

Play covers, sell drinks, and then entertain. So, why bother? Well, that's easy. At least you have some fun. And that's better than a dead end job where there is no fun.

Through all of this, there is 1 rule: