Friday 16 September 2011


When Bob Lefsetz' muse in turned on, there's nobody better than him. A few days back he wrote a post called 'Artists'. Here are some key points.

"As a result of crass commercialism, primarily MTV and now the Silicon Valley rush to riches, our vision of art has been skewed. Money comes first. It’s readily available to he who succeeds, and there are short cuts to ubiquity. But most people employing these short cuts are not art."

"So there are two camps.

One camp is peopled by aggressive individuals who want in. This is the reality television crowd. How can I make myself into a character, push ahead of so many others and get screen time? Remember the art kids in high school? They never grubbed for grades, they never fought to get ahead, they questioned this herd mentality/behavior, they hung back."

"So we have a world where the aggressive, normal people and the desperate poor will do anything to make it, get plastic surgery, change their soul and their sound to fit the desires of the man, of the system.

Ain’t that what "American Idol", "The Voice" and "X Factor" are? Do it my way, I’m an expert. The judge/advisor is no different from the principal, and if you think the art kids listened to the principal, you were home-schooled and have no clue."

"But don’t confuse commercialism with artistry. Most people are just passing through. Their stardom is brief, they’re puppets whose strings are pulled. When their moment is through, they get desultory day jobs or go back to college and move up the corporate ladder. An artist can’t do this. He can go to college to prepare himself to be an artist, but not a doctor, lawyer or manager. And he continues to create irrelevant of success, it’s in him."

"With the crumbling of old institutions, the time of the artist has returned. With less money in music, only the artists persevere, because they’re not in it for the money. There’s a reason why Joni Mitchell is an icon and Vanilla Ice is a joke."
Make sure you read the whole thing here.

Care to share?

1 comment:

  1. Whenever I was regularly creating music, people would always assume that I was doing it to be famous. They would look at me like I was a crazy person when I told them that, no, I did not want fame, I just enjoyed singing and writing.

    If I could make a living through music or writing one day, I would consider myself successful. If I got rich by it, I would consider myself fortunate. Fame is something I would put up with in order to continue doing something I love, but it's never something that I'd strive for.

    People who create in order to be famous are missing the point. Fame is fleeting, but true talent is memorable.