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Age & Music Priorities


Bluewine

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Glad to hear you're OK. I'm 64 in a couple of weeks and three weeks ago had my second operation on my right eye. Still on a mixture of eye drops every two hours.

First gig since beginning of September with the Grateful Dead tribute in Oxford tomorrow. Already had venue changed, time changed, availability of nearby parking unknown - and all for a unpaid gig for a completely useless promotor who has dragged us to play and then kept us waiting before. The rest of band are all part of the 'Oxford scene' which, quite frankly, sucks.

I'll show up, but if we haven't started playing within an hour, I'll leave. If I can't park within a distance I can carry my gear in from, I'll simply drive home.

Those are my priorities at this age - I'm not prepared to be messed about by a bunch of people who couldn't organise their way out of a paper bag. 

 

Revised a couple of days later - I was completely wrong!

The drive in was easy, parked on a back street a minutes walk from the venue - which turned out to be a proper music venue with stage, PA, lights & sound man who knew his stuff. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Edited by FinnDave
I was wrong!
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Hi Blue, great to have you back and glad you’re doing well. I’ve missed reading your posts.

I'm 63 and playing more than I have done for a long time.This is because I’ve been able to cut back significantly on other jobs. Semi-retirement, it’s great. I plan to carry as long as I’m physically able to. 

I’m playing in a busy covers band (done 6 out of the last 7 Saturdays), a originals indie rock band and an acoustic blues trio. The latter two being less active recently mainly due to COVID.

 What I enjoy a lot these days is working with younger musicians. In the covers band we have a lead guitarist of 21 and a drummer of 19. It’s great to see them get excited and enthusiastic about music and playing live. It rubs off on me.

 

Welcome back Blue, I’m looking forward to your posts about the USA scene.

 

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Hi Blue, glad to hear you are well and easing your way back into the madness,

 

Like most of you guys Bass is what makes life fun. I took early retirement 5 years ago, don't know where that time went 65 now. I'm with Mr Finn my attitude has changed and now more selective.

Think my first paid function gig was 1974. Everything has changed now, back then you could drive over and put a card in someones hand the phone would always ring. and you just needed a couple of good agents who knew the business to get you into places you didn't know.  Now the customer doesn't know from a website if your are genuinly a local band or a bunch of deps based 200 miles away. i don't want to spend hours managing a band persona on line (facebook twitter etc)  when the best website gets the gig and maybe not the best band.  

So Big band jazz is my main outlet now and enjoying it. No bad back, no Van on the drive, No web site to maintain with all that entails, (pictures, video, recordings), and No tax man to worry about :whoopass:    

Take it east out there guys

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Looking good Blue. Interesting post and really got me thinking.

In late teens I was still playing guitar in an 8 piece Soul Band all over the UK. Only semi-pro, but 3 of us worked  in the same building in Manchester and would often get picked up in the van Friday night and dropped off Monday morning and hadn't been home all weekend. Worst weekend was an Allnighter in Newcastle on Friday, followed by a late one in Brighton Saturday and ending up in Carlisle on Sunday.

When the band folded, 2 of us joined the House Band at a local nightclub.

Had a bit of a sabatical and came back playing bass and put the Soul Band back together with 4 original members.

Into my 60's we were regularly doing 60-65 gigs a year and I ended up playing with a typical Pub Rock band and a Jazz Fusion band as well.

Now the wrong side of 70 and after the enforced downtime of Covid, I've had time to ponder. We lost 2 band members over that period and I decided not to try and find replacements, I'd look for another band instead.

This time I am looking more for quality than quantity. Was asked to join a very busy band but really don't want 65 gigs a year anymore. 20 - 24 will be fine. So with a couple of auditions coming up, here's hoping.

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52 minutes ago, BassBunny said:

Was asked to join a very busy band but really don't want 65 gigs a year anymore. 20 - 24 will be fine. So with a couple of auditions coming up, here's hoping.

That sounds like a plan Bunny

That was when we started enjoying it more, a gig every other week seemed to be a good balance.

I would settle now for a small 60's band just playing the bass - someone else can do the P.A. and lighting duties, No chasing the gigs or running the Van, Bliss.

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On 26/11/2021 at 15:31, Stub Mandrel said:

Glad to hear the surgeon put all the bits back in the right order, Blue! Welcome back.

 

I'm assuming you mean musically? I'm just turned  59 and pretty sure I want more than another six years of music.

 

What do you want to do and accomplish at 65 plus years as opposed to  when you were 21

 

My ambitions are much bigger! By then I want to play some festivals and big gigs, record again (not that I ever did more than demos before) and also do a lot more one off stuff with different people.

 

What is your focus at 65 plus,writing, performance, recording , self study

 

I love performing.

 

What are your thoughts on gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21.

 

At 59 gigging is one of the few things that makes me feel 21 again. I hope that remains true at 65!

 

What type of folks do you want to work with at 65 plus

 

Friendly, competent musicians.

 

For those who want to join a gigging lucrative band I hope you can recognize bands with no connections or business strategy.

 

One of the best bands musically that I've played in  couldn't get a gig anywhere and a more marginal band has more gigs than they can handle 

 

Blue

 

 

Edited by Bluewine
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Hey Blue,

 

Good to see you back. I rarely reply to your posts but I'm very interested in what you have to say.

 

I'm not quite in the senior years. although they're approaching more rapidly than I'd like, but to answer your questions:

 

What do you want to do and accomplish at 65 plus years as opposed to  when you were 21

When I was 21, I was a complete mess. My 21st birthday was spent alone walking the streets at night; the only clear memory I have of it is standing on a motorway bridge trying to persuade myself not to jump off. I prefer not to think about it.

 

But after fast-forwarding thirty-odd years, I just want to catch up. I've played several different instruments over the years and when I finally landed on the bass guitar, I knew I'd found where I should have been all along. By the time I'm 65, I hope to have caught up to where I should have been ages ago. You can't turn back the clock, but you can shape the future. I now know where I want to be.

 

What is your focus at 65 plus,writing, performance, recording , self study

Well, at 57 plus, it's on performance, singing while playing bass, boosting my theory knowledge, improving my ear, strengthening my voice and building the confidence to front a band. I might never get there but knowing I can if I have to will boost my happiness and confidence no end.

 

What are your thoughts on gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21.

In my (later) twenties, theatre lighting design was my thing. I'd take any gig going as I felt it boosted my experience and put up with a lot of shite along the way. It taught me a lot, but if I was in the same line of work today, anyone demanding I put myself out by doing solo get-ins, fit-ups, technical rehearsals, running the desk at every show and doing the strike alone afterwards would get a two-word reply, the second of which would be 'off'.

 

These days, I think quality needs to take priority over quantity. Having said that, I have a day job so I don't need the money - I think that puts you and me in different places. I do it because I enjoy it. I don't mind the odd weekend gig where I have to set up the PA and lights, pack it down afterwards and put it in storage, but I think I'd baulk at doing that on my tod several nights a week.

 

What type of folks do you want to work with at 65 plus

People who aren't divas, and who recognise that a band is a team consisting of individuals who all have something to contribute and who can each need help with different things. I've been very lucky in that respect - our six-piece post-punk band have all outgrown the toddler tantrums and we work well together. 

 

I'm really pushing it and I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mate, take it easy and don't beat yourself up. I know what the pressure to perform feels like - the one time I've worn an adult nappy was when I was suffering from food poisoning and had to run the lights that evening - but your health must always come first. Look after yourself, Blue.

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Hi, I'm in my late 50's and have played bass on and off for years. I'm just back after not playing for around 15 years when I stopped due to not really knowing what to do next. I'd taken lessons for years and got told by my teacher that I was "better than most people out there, and just need to get out there and find a band".

 

Trouble was at the time that I had a very demanding job and all the bands I spoke to were looking for complete commitment. Some were talking about midweek gigs that were a 2  to 3 hr drive away and I couldn't contemplate getting home at 2 am to be up for work the next day before 6.

 

In the meantime I've been playing piano for about the last 5 years, covering the same genres of rock, blues and jazz. I have lessons every two weeks which focus on musicianship rather than learning songs. My plan is to understand the keyboard enough to play from leadsheets and be able to solo confidently and proficiently.

 

My overall musical objectives would be to try and find a local band with a more manageable schedule and probably with the purpose of getting better rather than earning money gigging but would like to get into a relaxed schedule of local gigs. As I face into retirement I want to spend more and more time involved in music as I've spent my entire working life engaged in high tech engineering and management, which is all very logical & left brain. However I don't have any plans to take early retirement and could see me continuing to work, at least part time, past retirement, more to keep engaged than for any financial reasons.

 

I do harbour a deep and long held desire to learn to play a EUB 😆, but would also like a 5 string fretless electric bass as well. So little time ....

 

 

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Welcome back.  Glad to hear that it all went well.  I can't cover each point in detail however here's what happened to me.  My initial musical  influences come from the late 1950s/1960s era and I started playing just pre-Beatles.  After a few years of Pop, British R&B and Soul I took a 23 year break for career/family/other interests, etc. During that period I pretty much only listened to the pop music of the day. 

 

I eventually returned to music to find styles, techniques, etc. had all radically changed.  Since then I've played in a number of bands each of a different genre and influence. This gave me the opportunity to discover some of what I'd missed during those 23 years and broaden my outlook.  Following radical surgery 14 years ago I found that the side effects were too problematic and I was unable to even think about gigging for a couple of years.  Eventually joined a covers band playing the area pubs however that was big mistake as I really wasn't right and after a year or so I walked. Eventually I had further surgery which fixed the problem meanwhile I had hooked up with a local Elvis, then in his late 70s, and played with him for 6 years. I was never a great fan of Elvis back in the day however learning his repertoire gave me a better appreciation of him and especially the TCB Band. I was in my early 70s and it allowed me to keep playing but at a much reduced level. It was a good band, no egos, only occasional rehearsals and all gigs were to raise money for local charities. 

 

Last year I moved away from the area and had to leave Elvis's band.  I knew no-one in the new area and was definitely classed as old so I resigned myself to never being in another band.  The local musicians wanted ads pretty much bore this out however a casual conversation whilst walking my dogs lead to an introduction to another similar aged musician who had a fairly new band playing funky blues and who just happened to be looking for a bass guitarist.  He's plays keys and sax and is well known in Cornwall.  The guitarist and the female singer are slightly younger.  No drummer at present, just drum loops however one may be added later.  The aim is to rehearse most weeks, in a morning, and gig once a month. They are a great bunch and very easy to get on with.  No-one has any ambitions, we're all far too old for that but we enjoy making music and will continue to do so as long as we can and there is an audience who are prepared to listen.  The current setlist is all covers however I have been categorically told that they are not as per the record and to play what I like so there is a mental and creative challenge for me.

 

So at 75 I'm 3 rehearsals in and the first gig is in 2 weeks time. Trouble is the GAS has started again. 

 

 

Edited by obbm
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23 minutes ago, obbm said:

. . . . t however a casual conversation whilst walking my dogs lead to an introduction to another similar aged musician who had a fairly new band playing funky blues and who just happened to be looking for a bass guitarist. . . .

 

Hi Dave, good news. As always, it's about who you know.

Edited by chris_b
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Regarding my earlier post about my gig this afternoon - I couldn't have been more wrong! Found a parking space a couple of minutes walk from the venue, the venue itself was a proper set up above a pub, with a proper stage, lights & house PA with a resident sound man who did his job very well, with the minimum of fuss. As a result, the playing was a pleasure, everything was clear as a bell on stage and we had a great time. 

The centre of Oxford was one big traffic jam according to the others who came through it, but I live miles out of town and just sailed through both going there and coming home.

I was also given my share of the money we'd been paid for the last gig we did (three months ago) as I hadn't seen any of them since. It was a worthwhile sum. so I have absolutely nothing left to complain about - damn!

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Glad you're on the road to recovery. I know you are aware of this, but don't push things too hard. We don't bounce as swiftly in our 60s as we did in our 20s and take longer to get back to full fitness.

 

As for what I want to do now I'm in my late 60s (68 last week), number one has to be playing good music with people I get on with. I'm fortunate in that money is not an issue for me, so it doesn't matter whether I get paid or not (although I don't do things for nothing unless the event itself isn't for profit - a charity gig, for example).

 

I'm trying to improve my music theory knowledge, which is a never ending quest and concentrating on keeping the fingers supple. 

 

Gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21? I'm less inclined to travel as far and don't want to be lugging equipment up fifteen flights of stairs, or to play in a dump or to people who hate the music. I'd rather go fishing or head for the golf course.

 

I want the people I work with at 65 plus to appreciate subtlety, dynamics and ensemble playing. Team players, if you like. I won't play with volume monsters or ego maniacs, no matter how good they are.

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Welcome back Blue.

 

Well I'm now 69 and still gigging - I started playing bass (aged 17) in 1969 to Youth Club audiences in Church Halls.  So to answer your questions....

 

What do you want to do and accomplish at 65 plus years as opposed to  when you were 21?  To continue playing live music as long as I can.

 

What is your focus at 65 plus,writing, performance, recording , self study?   Performing

 

What are your thoughts on gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21?  Still love it - Love it, playing live makes it all worthwhile.

 

What type of folks do you want to work with at 65 plus?  Level headed individuals (probably of a similar age) who also love playing live.

 

 

Take care Blue, stay safe and may your recovery be timely and positive.

 

Best wishes from NE Essex.

 

Chris

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On 27/11/2021 at 16:53, ezbass said:

Good to see you back, I was wondering just the other day how you were getting on, as I hadn’t seen you post for a while (you may have and I just missed them). Either way, glad you’re on the mend.

 

Thanks EZ Bass,

 

I'm feeling good today.

 

Daryl

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On 27/11/2021 at 17:01, lozkerr said:

Hey Blue,

 

Good to see you back. I rarely reply to your posts but I'm very interested in what you have to say.

 

I'm not quite in the senior years. although they're approaching more rapidly than I'd like, but to answer your questions:

 

What do you want to do and accomplish at 65 plus years as opposed to  when you were 21

When I was 21, I was a complete mess. My 21st birthday was spent alone walking the streets at night; the only clear memory I have of it is standing on a motorway bridge trying to persuade myself not to jump off. I prefer not to think about it.

 

But after fast-forwarding thirty-odd years, I just want to catch up. I've played several different instruments over the years and when I finally landed on the bass guitar, I knew I'd found where I should have been all along. By the time I'm 65, I hope to have caught up to where I should have been ages ago. You can't turn back the clock, but you can shape the future. I now know where I want to be.

 

What is your focus at 65 plus,writing, performance, recording , self study

Well, at 57 plus, it's on performance, singing while playing bass, boosting my theory knowledge, improving my ear, strengthening my voice and building the confidence to front a band. I might never get there but knowing I can if I have to will boost my happiness and confidence no end.

 

What are your thoughts on gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21.

In my (later) twenties, theatre lighting design was my thing. I'd take any gig going as I felt it boosted my experience and put up with a lot of shite along the way. It taught me a lot, but if I was in the same line of work today, anyone demanding I put myself out by doing solo get-ins, fit-ups, technical rehearsals, running the desk at every show and doing the strike alone afterwards would get a two-word reply, the second of which would be 'off'.

 

These days, I think quality needs to take priority over quantity. Having said that, I have a day job so I don't need the money - I think that puts you and me in different places. I do it because I enjoy it. I don't mind the odd weekend gig where I have to set up the PA and lights, pack it down afterwards and put it in storage, but I think I'd baulk at doing that on my tod several nights a week.

 

What type of folks do you want to work with at 65 plus

People who aren't divas, and who recognise that a band is a team consisting of individuals who all have something to contribute and who can each need help with different things. I've been very lucky in that respect - our six-piece post-punk band have all outgrown the toddler tantrums and we work well together. 

 

I'm really pushing it and I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mate, take it easy and don't beat yourself up. I know what the pressure to perform feels like - the one time I've worn an adult nappy was when I was suffering from food poisoning and had to run the lights that evening - but your health must always come first. Look after yourself, Blue.

 

Great Commentary,

 

I'm making several life health changes.

 

Blue

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10 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

Glad you're on the road to recovery. I know you are aware of this, but don't push things too hard. We don't bounce as swiftly in our 60s as we did in our 20s and take longer to get back to full fitness.

 

As for what I want to do now I'm in my late 60s (68 last week), number one has to be playing good music with people I get on with. I'm fortunate in that money is not an issue for me, so it doesn't matter whether I get paid or not (although I don't do things for nothing unless the event itself isn't for profit - a charity gig, for example).

 

I'm trying to improve my music theory knowledge, which is a never ending quest and concentrating on keeping the fingers supple. 

 

Gigging at 65 plus as opposed to 21? I'm less inclined to travel as far and don't want to be lugging equipment up fifteen flights of stairs, or to play in a dump or to people who hate the music. I'd rather go fishing or head for the golf course.

 

I want the people I work with at 65 plus to appreciate subtlety, dynamics and ensemble playing. Team players, if you like. I won't play with volume monsters or ego maniacs, no matter how good they are.

 

 

I hate to sound like an eletist. But, at 68 I have more of an appreciation for higher profile gigs and more upscale crowds.

 

Playing dumps, I'll pass on those gigs.

 

Blue

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11 hours ago, FinnDave said:

Regarding my earlier post about my gig this afternoon - I couldn't have been more wrong! Found a parking space a couple of minutes walk from the venue, the venue itself was a proper set up above a pub, with a proper stage, lights & house PA with a resident sound man who did his job very well, with the minimum of fuss. As a result, the playing was a pleasure, everything was clear as a bell on stage and we had a great time. 

The centre of Oxford was one big traffic jam according to the others who came through it, but I live miles out of town and just sailed through both going there and coming home.

I was also given my share of the money we'd been paid for the last gig we did (three months ago) as I hadn't seen any of them since. It was a worthwhile sum. so I have absolutely nothing left to complain about - damn!

 

Hi Dave,

 

How are you doing? Those sound like nice gigs.

 

Blue

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16 hours ago, obbm said:

Welcome back.  Glad to hear that it all went well.  I can't cover each point in detail however here's what happened to me.  My initial musical  influences come from the late 1950s/1960s era and I started playing just pre-Beatles.  After a few years of Pop, British R&B and Soul I took a 23 year break for career/family/other interests, etc. During that period I pretty much only listened to the pop music of the day. 

 

I eventually returned to music to find styles, techniques, etc. had all radically changed.  Since then I've played in a number of bands each of a different genre and influence. This gave me the opportunity to discover some of what I'd missed during those 23 years and broaden my outlook.  Following radical surgery 14 years ago I found that the side effects were too problematic and I was unable to even think about gigging for a couple of years.  Eventually joined a covers band playing the area pubs however that was big mistake as I really wasn't right and after a year or so I walked. Eventually I had further surgery which fixed the problem meanwhile I had hooked up with a local Elvis, then in his late 70s, and played with him for 6 years. I was never a great fan of Elvis back in the day however learning his repertoire gave me a better appreciation of him and especially the TCB Band. I was in my early 70s and it allowed me to keep playing but at a much reduced level. It was a good band, no egos, only occasional rehearsals and all gigs were to raise money for local charities. 

 

Last year I moved away from the area and had to leave Elvis's band.  I knew no-one in the new area and was definitely classed as old so I resigned myself to never being in another band.  The local musicians wanted ads pretty much bore this out however a casual conversation whilst walking my dogs lead to an introduction to another similar aged musician who had a fairly new band playing funky blues and who just happened to be looking for a bass guitarist.  He's plays keys and sax and is well known in Cornwall.  The guitarist and the female singer are slightly younger.  No drummer at present, just drum loops however one may be added later.  The aim is to rehearse most weeks, in a morning, and gig once a month. They are a great bunch and very easy to get on with.  No-one has any ambitions, we're all far too old for that but we enjoy making music and will continue to do so as long as we can and there is an audience who are prepared to listen.  The current setlist is all covers however I have been categorically told that they are not as per the record and to play what I like so there is a mental and creative challenge for me.

 

So at 75 I'm 3 rehearsals in and the first gig is in 2 weeks time. Trouble is the GAS has started again. 

 

 

 

Another great story.

 

Blue

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5 hours ago, Bluewine said:

 

Hi Dave,

 

How are you doing? Those sound like nice gigs.

 

Blue

Doing OK, thanks, Blue. Had a couple of eye operations that stopped me from driving for a while, but there were no gigs to miss. Managed to get lifts from other band members (or my wife for local ones). Had a pretty decent summer, some good gigs - played 2 12 hours of Grateful Dead in a country pub garden and was asked to come back a month later and do it again! Also played in the grounds of an Oxford College for a professor's birthday and got paid well for that. Will resume gigging with the Wirebirds once we've got a new drummer - the previous one has moved back to St Helena (island in the middle of the South Atlantic).

Glad you're getting back into action, miss your posts about gigging in the States.

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Just enjoying the music for its own sake. Re vamping some originals I wrote back in the early 70s and recording them for my own pleasure. Music study? Never been for me, too much like school work. Self taught on drums, guitar and bass and I like the happy accidents that lead me somewhere new.

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I played a gig a couple of weeks ago. The booker got the times wrong so we hung around for two hours before we played. Then the one hour drive back over the pitch dark hills with shredded fingers and humping the bass and gear upstairs when I got home. So I’ve cancelled the remaining two gigs in my diary and decided it’s time at 80 to finally pack up. If the Covid lockdown hadn’t interrupted the momentum I’d probably be playing a lot still.

 

But I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. Most of my mates from schooldays turned pro and did well for themselves and I was in a minority in staying out. But I’ve still played with in excess of 120 bands as a permanent or freelance (I’ve got them all listed in my little black book) and made some great music.

 

so, you guys, don’t ‘programme’ your retirement. Just keep playing and enjoying your stuff right up to the point when your body will tell when it’s time to stop. It’s a gift to make music - any sort, any standard - so enjoy it. A lot.

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6 hours ago, bassace said:

I played a gig a couple of weeks ago. The booker got the times wrong so we hung around for two hours before we played. Then the one hour drive back over the pitch dark hills with shredded fingers and humping the bass and gear upstairs when I got home. So I’ve cancelled the remaining two gigs in my diary and decided it’s time at 80 to finally pack up. If the Covid lockdown hadn’t interrupted the momentum I’d probably be playing a lot still.

 

But I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. Most of my mates from schooldays turned pro and did well for themselves and I was in a minority in staying out. But I’ve still played with in excess of 120 bands as a permanent or freelance (I’ve got them all listed in my little black book) and made some great music.

 

so, you guys, don’t ‘programme’ your retirement. Just keep playing and enjoying your stuff right up to the point when your body will tell when it’s time to stop. It’s a gift to make music - any sort, any standard - so enjoy it. A lot.

 

 

Yeah, I get it. I guess part of my problem is I'm retired and at 68 I look at things differently now. 

 

I talk big about getting away from dumps and 4 hour night gigs. However, If I can add $600.00- $700.00 dollars to my monthly income I'm going to do it.

 

68, some might say, time to give it up and others will say, thank God I can still do this.

 

Thanks for the content BassAce.

 

Blue

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