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BaggyMan

Are you a bigot?

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Most of see us see ourselves as open minded inclusive sorts...or do we?

If you saw a band advert for "all white band seeks bass player, ethnics need not apply..." what would be your reaction? (some sort of indignation hopefully.)
Ok next up "all male band seeks bass player" Men only please.. getting tricky eh?, why? because we expect equal rights perhaps?

But

How many adverts for 'all female band seeks...." Hmmm getting trickier positive discrimination is allowed i guess

The point I suppose I am moving towards is how many adverts say:
"rock band need bass player, ability to play <style or level of accomplishment>> needed, otherwise age/gender/sexual orientation irrelevant" None to my eye.

Why do i bring this up, well as a 54 year old bass player, i have my own rock/indie band (this is a good point to attach the well tried labels of "dad rock", middle aged rockers ...blah blah). This last few years I have become more aware of ageism.

Let me expand that a little, the automatic assumption that someone who has played for 30 years+ is "stuck in their ways" and indifferent to playing well. Cant tell you the number of throw away comments here where I have seen the attachment of 'age' to being crap, or indifferent or uninteresting.
My band is well rehearsed, has good gear, and chooses tracks that only keep us happy as musicians people enjoy hearing. I would quite happily have someone in the band on merit alone and not look at their age or anything else for that matter.

Don't get me wrong there are lazy crap bands out there...age isn't the primary driving factor tho..

So are you a bigot??

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My biggest problem is explaining to the local Irish pubs that my band is four, white, middle-aged Englishmen.

It's the 'English' bit that does the damage. Age / colour / religion is of little interest to them. Whether or not we play The Pogues, Thin Lizzy, and ... erm ... "songs for the boys" is what matters.

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[i]Ok next up "all male band seeks bass player" Men only please.. getting tricky eh?, why? because we expect equal rights perhaps?

But

How many adverts for 'all female band seeks...." Hmmm getting trickier positive discrimination is allowed i guess[/i]
[i]-------------------[/i]

Either of those is OK in your post. The other bit isnt. But then people are entitled to ask this, its just not a band i'd be interested in joining myself

How many black rap bands would have a white man in their line up ? Its all relative in the end. I suppose it all depends

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Indifference is always your No.1 enemy as a musician. It's certainly not bigotry in my experience. Having said that, men in their fifties who are still playing in bands are largely seen as hobbyists and are incredibly easy to ignore no matter how many good/interesting musical ideas we may have... especially if we're playing a genre of music associated with a kind of youth cult (Rock and Pop).

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Maybe.

Unfortunately at least a small proportion of every act/artist's success is down to image; race, sex & age can all play a part in this - look at the general derision white hip-hop artists have traditionally been met with or imagine if a middle aged bloke with a paunch had come out singing all the Taylor Swift songs, yes there can be exceptions to the rules but in reality musical ability is not all that is taken into consideration.

On the other hand; as a man in his fifties do you really want to be spending your evening with a bunch of students?

I wouldn't let it bother you - if the add excludes you, let it be their loss & move on.

Edited by Lw.

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Haha it doesn't bother me personally, but I know quite a few players of a certain age who land up depping because they cant get into a band because of age.

Smiled when I saw 'paunch' that's stoutist that is haha

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musical style 'opinion Crosses genres as well btw , tried out for a folk band, played well all looked to be good, but they heard i was also in a rock band and dropped out because of that.
You play really well but....

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Seems to me that the 'bigotry' stuff at the start of the post is there as a lead-in to a heartfelt if entirely conventional wail about being rejected by bands (or impeded from applying) because of one's years on the planet being greater in total than the combined age of the rollicking pups who placed the ad.

I don't think band ageism has got anything to do with competence or lack thereof. It's because peppy young things don't want to spend time hanging out with people who remind them of their dad, may possibly smell of wee and gig a teeny rig because of their bad back. The other thing is that older men have usually lost whatever good looks they had by the time they're thirty and the mythical record company will immediately finger any uglies or crumblies as a no-no and demand their ejection before pen hits paper.

Keeping coffin-dodgers out of bands is good commercial sense. Music is an outpost of fashion and fashion is all about looking cute. Put three trim, handsome lads onstage alongside a superannuated warthog dressed like a sack of sh*t tied up in the middle and audience members from the age of 5 to 65 will point and laugh and cry 'Who is that silly old fool up there, prancing around like a spavined eejit? Who is he? Do tell?' and filming it on their smartphones and tweeting it as '!!!This OAP is in the wrong band!!!'

And rightly so. Once past a certain age one should put aside childish things like 'being in a band' and focus on technique, performance and a mastery of one's instrument. Once achieved, one should establish a loose collective with like-minded geriatrics and play jazz. I understand that it's big in Felixstowe so I can't see why it can't be rolled out on a national basis.
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Edited by skankdelvar

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The entertainment business is (probably) the only industry that can pick it's actors based entirely on looks. It's pretty important that it can.

You can hide the 'age' thing to a certain extent by sorting out the style of clothes you wear and looking after your weight, but most of all your attitude and body language are a dead giveaway.

Then there's the type of music you listen to and what influences you. Try and stay current.

.

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It's strange I was watching a band called blossom on TV and the all have Long hair and winklpickers. Really good music. I don't look like that at all, but I could easily play the bass lines. I wonder if they would employ me. I really doubt it. There are bands like Incognito that are way and beyond musically what they are capable of, or should I say technically. Bluey doesn't care what you dress like as long as you can play. Then again Prince wanted a certain look with NPG.I think your look is important. I thank Prince for what he did and looked like though. That was all part of the artistry.

Edited by bubinga5

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I'm old. I'm overweight (slightly) I'm bald. Why on Earth would I expect to be taken on by a band of 20 year olds who all look like Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissor-hands just because I can play well?

The same reason my tight leather black jeans have remained in the wardrobe for 17 years. I don't fit the bill (or the jeans)

It's not ageist, sexist, racist or any other ist. We're just not what they're looking for.

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We once refused to audition a guitarist, much to our then drummers chagrin because he was too tall.

He was a lovely guy and came to see us at a gig, which is something that would give you a plus mark right from the start in my book but he was amazingly tall

He was big enough to turn heads at the gig and our singer said to me that he couldn't see him in our band. This was before the poor bloke got to play a note and
I had to agree. I too think it would have looked odd. I can still see the unfairness in this but I let it happen.

Les

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[quote name='Les' timestamp='1483461800' post='3207329']
We once refused to audition a guitarist, much to our then drummers chagrin because he was too tall.

He was a lovely guy and came to see us at a gig, which is something that would give you a plus mark right from the start in my book but he was amazingly tall

He was big enough to turn heads at the gig and our singer said to me that he couldn't see him in our band. This was before the poor bloke got to play a note and
I had to agree. I too think it would have looked odd. I can still see the unfairness in this but I let it happen.

Les
[/quote]

In fairness though, wasn't your band called The Hobbits back then?

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[quote name='spectoremg' timestamp='1483460903' post='3207312']
I've always been slightly uncomfortable about the MOBO awards. Is there a MOWO awards?
[/quote]

thats always puzzled me too.
i wouldnt be fussed if our band enrolled a younger player and i think ingeneral that would be accepted, but the other way round just wouldnt work for most. but thats just the way it is in my eyes.

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[quote name='spectoremg' timestamp='1483460903' post='3207312']
I've always been slightly uncomfortable about the MOBO awards. Is there a MOWO awards?
[/quote]Yes I do wonder. Open a can of valid of worms you do though.

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[quote name='BaggyMan' timestamp='1483454158' post='3207221']
So are you a bigot??
[/quote]

Bigot = "a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions"

Probably yes at times. I usually keep my feelings to myself unless I feel threatened by said opinion. I think we all are to some extent. The thing is, do you choose to make it someone else's problem as well or recognise that you are just one amongst many others. If the latter it is probably best to compromise.

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[quote name='BaggyMan' timestamp='1483454158' post='3207221']
How many adverts for 'all female band seeks...." Hmmm getting trickier positive discrimination is allowed i guess
you a bigot??
[/quote]

My neighbour's daughter across t'road is a drummist. There must be an age gap of about thirty years between us. I mentioned that I was looking to jam and asked if she was interested. Already knowing what the answer would be, she said was already in a lesbian punk band but thanks anyway. She did promise me a CD however. The band folded a little after that unfortunately and I never got the disc.

Aw.

My disappointment was that her band didn't last the course. I have no problem with being rejected on the basis of age or sexuality. Why would I?

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[quote name='spectoremg' timestamp='1483460903' post='3207312']
I've always been slightly uncomfortable about the MOBO awards. Is there a MOWO awards?
[/quote]

The name of the Mobo awards is a bit misleading in that it's a celebration of certain genres of music rather than an awards based on the ethnicity of the performers - there have been plenty of non-black Mobo winners.

It's not really any different in intent than the British Country Awards or the Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Edited by Cato

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[quote name='spectoremg' timestamp='1483460903' post='3207312']
I've always been slightly uncomfortable about the MOBO awards. Is there a MOWO awards?
[/quote]

I believe this is because all of the other awards are deemed to be biased towards white artists, hence the need to focus on music of black origin to address the balance.

** Edit ** I posted at the same time as Cato who seems to be a lot more correct than I was :)

Edited by Mornats

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[quote name='Happy Jack' timestamp='1483454694' post='3207225']
My biggest problem is explaining to the local Irish pubs that my band is four, white, middle-aged Englishmen.

It's the 'English' bit that does the damage. Age / colour / religion is of little interest to them. Whether or not we play The Pogues, Thin Lizzy, and ... erm ... "songs for the boys" is what matters.
[/quote]

I'd have thought admitting you're 'Southerners/Londoners' would have killed the deal? :D

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I've been turned down for bands because I wasn't the same height as the rest of the "vertically challenged" band members or as pretty, didn't look good enough in Spandex and once because I didn't want to cut my hair in a DA and quiff, but I've been turned down the most because of my age. The first time I was told "you're too old" I was 20 ffs!!

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[quote name='Mornats' timestamp='1483464683' post='3207364']


I believe this is because all of the other awards are deemed to be biased towards white artists, hence the need to focus on music of black origin to address the balance.

** Edit ** I posted at the same time as Cato who seems to be a lot more correct than I was :)
[/quote]Originally the minority (black music) or whatever that is, has def become the majority in music today. Which I think Is good. But I think, like everything in life there some balance to be had. I think that's what Prince and his recruitment of band members was nodding at.Black, White Female, Male etc. . He cared because of the multi image he wanted to put across that music is equal. And he was right.me personally I'm going to say the right thing, and actually it's how I feel. I don't give a f*** what you look like, music doesn't care either

Edited by bubinga5

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