For the Love or the Money? Which Inspires Your Passion?

Anybody worth their salt in this oversized sugar-bowl called the uni-verse is some kind of music-maker. Throughout history the most influential people have been artists and entertainers; not the kings and/or politicians; not the topsy-turvy clergy or the Caesar salads. The creators are the ones with their finger on the pulse of the populace; not the ones with their eyes on the polls or statistical data. Music-makers manifest data, they don’t recycle it. The truism of altruism.

Sometimes the quest for fame and fortune serendipitously leads to finding your hidden music, but usually it’s vice versa. The universe vice is the tendency to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, instead of just enjoying the rainbow or enjoining the pot. (The pot might help you enjoying the rainbow more.) Someday we’ll find it; the rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers, and… Kermit THE Frog.

Money is a symbol. Some have said that money is the root of all evil (it’s not easy being green), but it’s more like the king of all scapegoats. The almighty dollar represents options and what the handler of said dollar elects to do with those options could be said to be either destructive or constructive; the money itself is indifferent. So the question is: are you in it for the love or the money? In my opinion, currency is corruptive when the pursuit of it is the primary goal. Affluence is generally the byproduct of focusing on your life’s love – the music you have to share. “Give onto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Give onto God what is God’s.”

I’m starting to think that writing is just a process of talking to yourself and, if you’re lucky, your monologue might be interesting enough to draw an audience. If I focus on drawing an audience, though, I take my eye off the prize, which is making my music – which drew the #$%!?âÂ?¬ audience in the first place! “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out. Nobody sees you when you’re on cloud nine. Everybody’s hustling for a buck and a dime. I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine.” – John Lennon

Selling out is choosing the cha-ching over the intrinsic truth, which is you and your music. It’s a trivial pursuit, so if you’re bored with board games, don’t be distracted by shiny objects. The end never justifies the means, because there’s no such thing as an end; just a big front with a big back “Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” Chasing the middleman is chasing your tail.

You can’t serve two masters, and one of the masters is just a baiter with a carrot on a stick. Yeah, you’ve got it – a master baiter. These are the people who leach off of someone else’s music. Like when the creator of some great movie is pressured to squeeze out a sequel by greedy, seedy studio heads who have no interest in the piece, just a piece of the action. The writer of Casablanca let it end where his music told him it should end. Years later, some leach tried to write a continuation of the story and, of course, it bombed. Woman needs a man, man must master bait, on that you can rely. So following the money trail is actually a dead-end. It’s the source of the money trail where hope springs eternal; Clive Davis knows this. His music happens to be identifying this source in the various places it springs up, and he does so with unprecedented accuracy. Clive’s music is the process of exposing other’s music and sharing it with the world. Incidentally, he’s made a decent living for himself that way. If the money were his primary motive, however, he would have clung onto some flash-in-the-pan trend and sunk with that ship a longtime ago. When is the sequel to Titanic coming out anyway?

So are you a Money-maker or a Music-maker? Bob Dylan said “You’re gonna have ta serve somebody” and I think The Tambourine Man was right. Just think, if Shakespeare sat around shaking his spear, focusing on the payday instead of the play, he’d have written shit like: Romeo and Juliet – Part 6; Jason Goes to Hell.

Hey, you’re part of the one song and music be the food of love, so play on.

“We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams, Wandering by lone sea breakers, And sitting by the desolate streams; World-losers and World-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and the shakers of the world forever, it seems.” – Arthur O’Shaughnessy

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