Poor Bones' Almanac
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           POOR BONES' ALMANAC

I USED TO SAY THAT I WAS MORE EXCITED BY THE PROJECT THAT I WAS GOING TO DO NEXT WEEK THAN I WAS ABOUT WHAT I DID LAST YEAR (OR 30 YEARS AGO);

BUT ALAS,

I’VE FINALLY REACHED THE POINT IN MY LIFE AND MY CAREER WHEN I GET ASKED TO BE INTERVIEWED MORE OFTEN THAN I GET ASKED TO WORK.

I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE – I HAVE HAD THREE SUCCESSFUL CAREERS IN THIS BUSINESS. I LIKE TO THINK THAT I HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB, BUT I AM SATISFIED THAT I ALWAYS DID A GOOD PROFESSIONAL JOB.

I HAVE A LOT OF OCCASIONS TO THINK BACK TO THE TIME WHEN I WAS THE YOUNGEST KID IN THE STUDIO – THE PLACE THAT I HAVE HAD THE MOST ENJOYMENT IN MY WORK OVER THE PAST 44 YEARS….

IN THE EARLY 50’S, I WAS A STUDENT OF ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATIONS AT GEORGIA TECH AND A 6-NITES A WEEK GIGGING MUSICIAN AROUND ATLANTA. I MET SHELLY MANNE , MAX BENNETT, AND MEL LEWIS AMONG OTHERS, AND THEY ENCOURAGED ME TO COME OUT TO L.A. AND GET INTO THE STUDIO AS AN ENGINEER.

AFTER I GRADUATED IN 1956, I DID JUST THAT.

AS A MUSICIAN, I USED TO PRACTICE EVERY DAY; BUT AS AN ENGINEER, THERE WAS NOTHING TO PRACTICE IN BETWEEN SESSIONS, SO I BEGAN TO STUDY THE BUSINESS AND PEOPLE.

BY THE TIME I BECAME A PRODUCER, I HAD CONDENSED THESE OBSERVATIONS INTO A GROUP OF SHORT STATEMENTS OF SHOWBIZ ADVICE WHICH THE STUDIO MUSICIANS I WORKED WITH STARTED CALLING

"POOR BONES’ ALMANAC".

SOME TIME, BACK IN THE MIDDLE AGES, DICK GROVE AND ALLYN FERGUSON AND THE GUYS AT DICK GROVES’ SCHOOL OF MUSIC CALLED ME AND ASKED IF I WOULD COME OUT AND TEACH A WORKSHOP WHICH WE DECIDED TO  CALL "THE PRODUCERS WORKSHOP".

AND BY THE SECOND SEMESTER, I WAS WARNING THE STUDENTS THAT IT WAS REALLY A PHILOSOPHY COURSE (SINCE I CONTINUED TO PUSH MY ADVICE ON THEM AS WELL).

BUT OVER THE YEARS I HAVE HAD MANY OF MY STUDENTS FROM THAT TIME CALL ME AND SAY THAT THIS ADVICE HAD REALLY HELPED THEM GET THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES IN THEIR CAREERS.

SO IN A EFFORT TO MAKE THIS A PRODUCTIVE MOMENT FOR YOU, I WANT TO TAKE YOU THROUGH THE SHORT VERSION OF POOR BONES ….

1. YOU NEVER SAY NO UNTIL YOU’RE TOO BUSY TO SAY YES.

IF YOU STAY HOME WAITING FOR THE PHONE TO RING ... IT WON'T.

SO MANY PEOPLE OUTSMART THEMSELVES BY NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY THAT COMES ALONG (INCLUDING WORKING FOR FREE), WHEN TIME IS THE THING THEY HAVE THE MOST OF.

2. THE PERSON THAT FAILS IS THE PERSON THAT GAVE UP ONE DAY TOO SOON.

FORTUNE DOES PLAY A PART (NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY); USUALLY IT JUST TAKES TIME, COMMITMENT, AND PATIENCE; OFTEN IT JUST SUDDENLY HAPPENS AND YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE IT AND BE READY TO DELIVER.

 IF YOU CAN STAY IN THE BIZ FOR 10 YEARS, YOU WILL BE MAKING A GOOD LIVING IN IT – BUT PROBABLY NOT DOING WHAT YOU THOUGHT …..

3. KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN.

IT’S SOOOO EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE POLITICS OF THE BUSINESS AND ITS  CRAZINESS . REMEMBER IT’S PASSION FOR THE MUSIC THAT GOT YOU INTO THIS. WHEN THE BUSINESS MAKES YOU CRAZY, GO WRITE .. OR PRACTICE.. OR LISTEN TO A SYMPHONY.

4. THE SECOND HARDEST ANSWER TO GET IN HOLLYWOOD IS "NO".

5. THE REWARD FOR SUCCESS IS THAT YOU GET TO DO IT AGAIN !!!

6. IF YOU STAY ACTIVE IN THIS BUSINESS, YOU NEVER RETIRE … IT RETIRES YOU!

 

WELL,

BUT,

MAYBE TOMORROW THE PHONE WILL RING ……………..