Business is as bad as ever for musicians. Actors complain that 60 per cent of the profession is out of work: musicians could justifiably claim that 80 or 90 per cent are usually without work. Playing in a band today requires dedication far beyond the disciplines most professions call for, and – despite what cynics say – a musician is never happy without work.
Keeping body and soul, guitar and amp, together is getting tougher. Inflation decreases gig money and pushes up equipment and transport prices and the musician is left like a forgotten debutante, all dressed up and nowhere to go.
But for those with grit and determination, the Rainbow's end means more than a deserted Finsbury Park. The rewards the business can bring – at times of inflation and at times of prosperity – make the endurance test of being a musician worth while. They're what spurred on people like Ritchie Blackmore, Alvin Lee and Elton John. They each survived a decade of penury and deprivation – not only financial but partly spiritual – to emerge in a world of total musical freedom, financial security for life and the soft embalming warmth of fame.
In the meantime we aim to help. We can't arrange loans for a new P.A. system, but we can tell you how to get more out of the one you have (next month).
We can't give you a new Marshall 4x12 cabinet but we can tell you how to pick up an old tatty one, completely recondition it and end up with a new cabinet at a considerable saving (shortly). We can't even lend you a Fender Stratocaster, but we can tell you about completely re-conditioning an old Fender (by Stephen Delft, coming soon).
Most important, what we CAN do is give someone a massive Carlsbro PA system (the lot) absolutely free. We're holding a giant competition next month and the first prize is one of the ultimate Carlsbro P.A. outfits.
There'll be lots of other prizes as well, so make sure you enter.
In the meantime, our aim is to solve some of the problems that beset musicians and provide information to ease a little of the pain.
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