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voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

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The fallacy of “Oh, you just gotta tour…” For one thing, if I can get on my high horse for a moment, no one can tell me that you have to tour. I have spent the bulk of every year of the last 20 years on the road. And second, tour hard toward what end? There are so many young bands—and old bands—and everybody’s touring. Public interest is driven ever more rapidly these days, to the point where it’s like quarterly at this point what goes on the blogs and what they’re supporting. I really hope there is a way for somebody great—and I know a lot of great bands—to build an actual career out of doing what they do. It’s definitely not going to be me, at this point in my life. [laughs] I have a hard time seeing how many other people are going to do it without being, you know, multimillionaire rock stars.

Ted Leo. It’s nice to hear someone say this, because every time you go to a book conference and people start talking about book sales and the future of the author tour and how it’s dying and so on, there’s always some young buck who wants to make a big deal out of moving to the model of what musicians do. Authors should tour just like musicians, the young buck will say (ignoring the fact that authors do not have very much merch). And I’ve always thought, what musician can sustain that for their entire life? (And why are we assuming it will work for authors, anyway? Seems like many of them are authors precisely because they are not great at or not interested in public performance.)

Not that the current/old model is some great shakes either, just that I like to hear people who know about these things being honest about the impossibility of expecting creative people to put on a performance continuously for the rest of their life in order to have a career, because it gets us closer to figuring out another alternative altogether.

Filed under ted leo music books the future of creative people making money and other important things

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