Archive for September, 2010

This is nothing to do with music but something I wanted to share as it was very successful for myself .

I recently went on a diet called the HGC diet as quite honestly I was obese by definition and about 60 to 70 lbs overweight.

Years of sitting on Airplanes and eating too good and after concerts and a sedatory life style at a desk when I wasn’t travelling and there you go.

Gone was the running,walking,bike riding and roller blading.

I even broke my hand in Osaka roller Blading one night on the streets of Osaka when we were playing the Blue Notes.

Ask Danny Byrnes,Chicks Tour manager he got me to the hospital after a very painful night on Advil.

So after acknowledging my condition I embarked on the diet some 45 days ago.

I end off for 6 weeks tomorrow as one can become immune to the HCG Hormone.

At 242 lbs “it was time” to do something as I had failed miserably at all diets I had tried!

Today I am 198.60lbs which is a weight loss of 44 lbs in 45 days.

I feel great and its a life changing action to do.

So I want to pass it for anyone who may need to loose a little weight.

By the way while on the diet I was never hungry and I was only eating 500 calories a day.

There were no side effects and I handled several physical conditions I had going on including Cholesterol and  an impending Diabeties Type 2 condition.

Good luck if you try it.

I did mine under an MD’s supervision which I recommend and I did the injection method not the drops but both links are below.

So you’ll always be a sideman? PART 2 Addendum

Posted: September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

A very good accomplished sideman friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook that promoted me to add something to my original post.

To quote him he said the following:

“Great insightful post, Ron.  I would however like to add that you have to be careful not to presuppose that every musician wants his “name on the marquee”. For me personally, I’ve been content dwelling in the shadows and getting to work with the talented artists that I do. Being a sideman DOES have some plusses.  Just wanted to make that point.”

This is very true and as he says not everyone even wants their name on the Marquee and that I should have said so in the original post.

Its a very good point he makes as not everyone wants to be the  star but they are a star in their own way are both content and talented as sidemen.

Whats interesting about this post, without mentioning any names, is that this artist is probably one of the most reliable and competent sideman I’ve ever known and he is incredibly supportive of the “Star” he performs with on all levels and in all circumstances.

There must nothing more frustrating for a band leader than to have  a sideman who wants to be the leader.

That just does really work and they should iorm their own band.

Maybe the secret here is “to do what you are doing while you are doing it”  in whatever role you have in life.Do it to your maximum ability as reversely it must be a nightmare for a band that has a leader who does not want to be the leader or cannot lead the band.

Thanks to my dear friend for pointing this out.

There is a transition an artist has to make that is not an easy one to achieive especially in these difficult times.

As Shakespeare said ” To be or not to be that is the question

We’ve all been sidemen and some us are both content to be so and others have no choice but there is whole group of artists that want their own band and careers.

Being a sideman is a necessary part of ones progress as an artist in fact its essential but at some point if one wants to have his own band one is forced to make that transition and there is moment of decision.

When working with Chick Corea he tells the story of playing with Miles Davis and they were in the studio recording I believe (Not sure what album).

Chick is playing some particularly energetic and fairly long solo and Miles comes over to him and whispers in his ear “Chick why don’t you get your own band” and  walks away.

Well thats exactly what he did and his “be” became a bandleader with his own artistic identity and we are all better off for that decision.

Of course Chick is such a phenomenal composer and musician he had to go there as being in someone else’s band was just plain ridiculous as Miles observed and he couldn’t be contained within what was for him such a restrictive framework I would imagine.

Unfortunately we are not all in that position but I’ve noticed over the years with developing artists there is always a point when they have to make “that” decision.

It comes in different ways but it always comes and usually involves a decision where one turns down a well paid sideman gig to do ones own thing and its a difficult one to make.

But unless you make that decision you’ll never see YOUR name on the marquee and you’ll always be that sideman.

Many artists straddle the line and make it work but I’m not sure it actually works.

Its hard to envision many established artists as ever being sideman but they were?

Was Pat Methany ever a sideman I guess he was?

Chick, Sonny Rollins, Miles, Mahldau and Sting?

Sure they must have been but they all made the “decision” at some point and I bet there is always a story about everyone of those decisions that would quite interesting to hear.

I’m not talking about being a Guest artist/star with another headliner artist, I’m talking about being a sideman.

I’m not belittling sideman either thats not my intent as we can’t all be stars with our names in lights so sideman are essential to our business and nothing to be ashamed of but thats not the point I’m trying to make here.

However when record deals were plentiful, many great sideman got their own deals and even sold good quantites of CD’s/Albums but when push comes to shove it turned out they were still sidemen after all.

I would even go as far as to say these days the artists that are still doing gigs in their own name are all established leaders already and were so before the recent downturn in the music business.

Witness just how hard it is these days to develop a new artist in todays market place.

In my opinion there will never be another Beatles because the current music business model doesn’t allow or make it possible for the development time it takes for a band like the Beatles to come about which is a sad state of affairs and the subject of another blog maybe.

So some times one has to put aside any financial considerations and go for it?

Just go for it and turn down that sideman gig no matter how hard it is to do.

As Shakespeare the band leader said just before a gig at the White Swan Inn in Stratford Upon Avon in 1594 (he was 30 years old at the time)!

“To be a sideman,or not to be a sideman:that is the question:

Whether “tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,and decline that casual wedding gig as a sideman?”

My apologies William!