Music Business As Usual (was: Over and Out With The Reed Section)
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 100 21:36:46 -0800
Subject: Music Business As Usual (was: Over and Out With The Reed Section)
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Forwarded-by: "Barbara Ballard" <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Metcalf, Steve on Fri, Jan 14, 2000 11:11 AM
On behalf of our newly-resigned leader, Wade Johnson (Flyboy USCG Ret.),
it is my sad duty to inform you that the Wade Johnson Big Band & World
Tour is disbanded as of midnight tonight.
It is with great regret and soul-searching that Wade and I have come to
this decision. Just a few days ago, things were really looking up for our
group. A new airplane, a generous government grant, and our groundbreaking
Pay-to-Play philosophy seemed to carry the promise of some high-exposure
Just in the last few hours before the decision was made, we had interest
from CBS Sunday Morning, a command performance before the King of Thailand,
the Vienna New Year's Eve celebration over Austrian Radio, and a Piggly
Wiggly supermarket opening in Opelika, Alabama.
But one must never count one's burritos before they're fully microwaved.
The last-minute NEA decision to withhold funding is regrettable, but
understandable. My ongoing involvement with the woman now known as "the
Sherry Rowlands of Hungary" has sidetracked what might have been a
brilliant political career in her country, and drawn the condemnation of
those legislators concerned with immorality in the arts in ours. I
apologize sincerely for my bad judgment, but I hasten to add that no money
ever changed hands.
The growing animosity between two of our key sidemen, Steinberg and
Carmichael, and the subsequent resignation of both, proved the final nail
in our collective coffin. What with Steve and Robert's departures, some
outstanding (in fact truly breathtaking) IOUs from numerous players, and
our wildly disorganized library of half-sketched arrangements for 5, 7,
10, 11, 12, and 15 piece saxophone ensemble (plus occasional clarinet
choir), it seemed wisest simply to pack up and go home.
Our last set at Borders Books and Cafe in Des Moines will be ending at
10:30 P.M. If you really need your head examined and are coming with us
on the remains of the C-130, we will leave promptly at 11:45, by which I
mean no later than 2:15 the following morning (absent any engine trouble).
You're welcome to what's left of the beer in the forward hold, but keep
in mind that the lavatories are out of commission.
Letters of recognition/recommendation are available on request. Those of
you who still owe the band money are advised to be a little more
responsible from now on. The next guy may not be as forgiving as I am. A
word to the wise is sufficient (somebody shoot me if I say that again).
Any unclaimed instruments or property will be given to Jaime and Esther,
and will be available from them after January 1, 1997, at their usual full
It was a joy and an honor to make music with most of you, and I wish you
all the very best in whatever you undertake. I leave you with the immortal
words of Zoltan Kodaly: "Yandelvayasna gladenwi stravenka." ("High hat on
2 and 4.")
© 2000 Peter Langston