It includes an F-bomb or two, but the screen legend's speech to college graduates highlights the inevitability of rejection and how you've got to keep working.
"Time goes on. So whatever you're going to do, do it. Do it now. Don't wait." —Robert De Niro
Here's a true music industry story that's stuck with me for 15 years. I'm keeping this anonymous because the story involves some transgressions by formerly powerful people, and although I like the idea of karma in action, I'm no snitch. As a rule, I avoid saying negative things about anybody, whether it's deserved or not.
A friend of mine was on tour with a newly successful artist on Sony who had a big hit on her first record. Although the gig had the potential of being very lucrative and prestigious, during this infancy, the pay was low, and the day-to-day tour life was devoid of the amenities that one might expect on a major tour. When the band was shorted on per diem, they agreed the bandleader should meet with management to try and fix the oversight and mend a few other issues. After a few unreturned phone calls, eventually management met with the band leader, who told management about the missing money. He started to mention some other issues when the management stopped him mid-sentence and said:
"I'm sorry … what do you mean?"
"I mean next. You musicians are interchangeable. There are a ton of players who want this job as is. We don't need a bunch of crybabies on the payroll, so … next."
My friend was quickly replaced, another player quit, and the rest of the band stayed on until the gig lost its momentum and eventually whimpered to a stop a few years later when the artist was dropped.
I don't want to be the person who takes delight in others' misfortune, but I guess I am that person because it was satisfying to watch that artist fade into anonymity. She had it coming, so yes, I do smile a bit when thinking about it. Today, as I type this, I wonder whatever happened to that manager, who I used to see behind the velvet rope at every industry event. It's occurred to me that I've not seen him for more than a decade because this former titan of industry is no longer relevant. I'm petty enough to enjoy his comeuppance as well.
No matter what dogma people may preach, I've found that we're not punished for our sins, we are punished by our sins.
I hadn't thought about this in years but was reminded of it last night during some insomnia-fueled reading when I stumbled upon Robert De Niro's 2015 class of New York University's TISCH School of the Arts commencement speech.
"When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense," De Niro tells the graduates. "You aren't just following dreams; you're reaching for your destiny. You're a dancer, a singer, a choreographer, a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, a photographer, a director, a producer, an actor, an artist. Yeah, you're fucked! The good news is that that's not a bad place to start. Now that you've made your choice, or rather, succumbed to it, your path is clear. Not easy but clear. You have to keep working. It's that simple…. Your motto, your mantra, your battle cry, 'Next!' You didn't get that part, that's my point, 'Next'—you'll get the next one, or the next one after that."
But what comes "next" depends on what you do now. Every step is contingent on the steps you've already taken. That artist and manager's "next" didn't include success in the music industry. There are a lot of factors involved in their descent from on high, but I suspect if either one of them treated people well, their "next" would've been different. They may not be successful, but they would at least be liked and people tend to want to work with or help people they like. No matter what dogma people may preach, I've found that we're not punished for our sins, we are punished by our sins. Treat people poorly and they not only won't like to work with you, but they'll also enjoy your failure.
My friend the musical director continued to work hard and be kind to people. Although there were some lean times for him, his "next" included consistent work as a top-tier touring musician, well liked and respected by his peers. He now tries to avoid working for people who treat others badly because he's learned that those gigs may dangle the golden carrot, but they rarely, if ever, fulfill their promise. All you get is a small paycheck and a slow beatdown.I love De Niro's motto, mantra, battle cry, 'Next!' Being fired, hired, ignored, revered, treated well, or treated poorly, it doesn't matter, you move onto what's next. What's next depends on what you do now. I can't wait to see what's next.
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.