The difference between a musician and a large pizza

What, entertainer Rob Neukirch (above) asked from the stage of a recent benefit concert, is the difference between a musician and a large pizza?

The answer: A large pizza can feed a family of four. The joke brought a big laugh but it also brought groans from musicians in the audience who know the joke is all too true.

Floyd is blessed with more good musicians per capita (like Martin Scudder at right) than just about anywhere except Nashville yet just about all of them hold day jobs because they can't support themselves or their families through their music.

Musicians love to play and many will play for free or for very little green and music venue owners in our area too often take advantage of that generosity. Sooner or later those of us who live in Floyd and benefit from the many varieties of good music available from the local talent need to realize that such talent must be rewarded.  More than one musician has told me recently that they may be moving from the area because they simply cannot afford to stay here and play for peanuts.

Remember that the next time you visit a local music venue where the musicians depend on donations from the audience.

All too often they take home less than $25 a night, less than many of us paid for the dinner we ate while enjoying their music.

We can't afford to lose the musical talent that makes this place so special. Below: Abe Goorskey and Chris Luster (top) and Windfall (Dave Fason, Keri Thomas Kovick, Mike Kovick and Rusty May) perform on stage at the Floyd County Store. Photos from a recent benefit concert arranged by Floyd guitarist Bernie Coveney (left). All musicians who participated donated their time to raise money to complete expansion of the Floyd library.

What, entertainer Rob Neukirch (above) asked from the stage of a recent benefit concert, is the difference between a musician and a large pizza?

The answer: A large pizza can feed a family of four. The joke brought a big laugh but it also brought groans from musicians in the audience who know the joke is all too true.

Floyd is blessed with more good musicians per capita (like Martin Scudder at right) than just about anywhere except Nashville yet just about all of them hold day jobs because they can’t support themselves or their families through their music.

Musicians love to play and many will play for free or for very little green and music venue owners in our area too often take advantage of that generosity. Sooner or later those of us who live in Floyd and benefit from the many varieties of good music available from the local talent need to realize that such talent must be rewarded.  More than one musician has told me recently that they may be moving from the area because they simply cannot afford to stay here and play for peanuts.

Remember that the next time you visit a local music venue where the musicians depend on donations from the audience.

All too often they take home less than $25 a night, less than many of us paid for the dinner we ate while enjoying their music.

We can’t afford to lose the musical talent that makes this place so special. Below: Abe Goorskey and Chris Luster (top) and Windfall (Dave Fason, Keri Thomas Kovick, Mike Kovick and Rusty May) perform on stage at the Floyd County Store. Photos from a recent benefit concert arranged by Floyd guitarist Bernie Coveney (left). All musicians who participated donated their time to raise money to complete expansion of the Floyd library.

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3 Responses

  1. As someone who currently is involved in running a music venue and has done this off and on for years I know the hardships of making ends meet on both sides of the story.

    It is a tough business as the general populous looks at music as a luxury item. One of my personal missions is to help keep live music alive in a time when cd’s, mp3’s, dvd’s, ipods, etc. have diminished the value of “live”.

    We need to look to the public for support. Often the cost of keeping a venue open is so high there is barely anything left for musicians. When I worked at the Pine Tavern we presented live music on the back of alcohol sales. At the Sun Music Hall where I work now, we get very little benefit from alcohol sales as it is Cafe del Sol who sells the spirits.

    I think we all need to go the extra mile, the public and the venues – to find a way to make this work for everyone. Maybe if we all work together we can educate the public on the fact that music is as important as food.

    Hee Hee…..and it is!

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