Musicians get more respect than cubicle drones, sometimes

I’ve had only four day jobs as an adult – and that was after I’d made a living as a steel guitar player for 30 years or so – and I noticed, among a few other things, that I didn’t get near the approbation that I’d been used to as a musician.

I’ve had only four day jobs as an adult – and that was after I’d made a living as a steel guitar player for 30 years or so – and I noticed, among a few other things, that I didn’t get near the approbation that I’d been used to as a musician. Nowhere near. I could be doing my job just fine, but nobody bought me a beer or gave me a tip or watched me work and marveled at my expertise and said they wished they could do what I could do, or sat in and did my job for an hour because it was just so much fucking fun. In fact, I got fired from two of those jobs. Heh, I’ve had hundreds of steel guitar gigs and only got fired from one of them.

As a musician I could work up a new lick or an instrumental and usually get a little positive input from the band or from an interested onlooker, but when I put in a little extra effort at a day job all I was likely to get were suspicious glares from management because they thought I might have a better idea than they did or some sneaky-ass-behind-my-back activity from sniveling underlings who just wanted to steal my shit so they could impress someone and get a promotion or a bonus or a better parking place.

Not to say that this kind of behavior doesn’t occur in the music business, because it certainly does, but from my experience it seems to be more rife in the Dilbert world, and talent and a sense of humor go a lot further in the music world than in cubicle land.

I don’t plan on having any more day jobs, because of the above, and because you have to drive in rush hour traffic and wear a seat belt and not drink anything stronger than coffee and dodge other cubicle drones and drunken illegals, and you rarely have to do that when you’re a musician – well, there might be some crazy Messicans out at 3am in Nashville when you’re trying to get home from a gig without getting a DUI. And, damn, it’s such a bitch driving anywhere when you’ve been used to professional smooth-ass ex-musician bus drivers who can get you to Oregon or Florida without throwing you out of your bunk or spilling your beer even once.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form. http://www.caligraphicsdesign.com/contact/

2 thoughts on “Musicians get more respect than cubicle drones, sometimes”

  1. Great post! And, I don’t recall ever having anyone in the office come up and want to “sit-in”, ask me for my autograph or tell me how the job I was doing changed their life! Oh, and let’s not forget showing up for work and having catering all set up in the back room before starting to work. I guest that’s why we call them “day jobs”.

  2. Yeah day jobs are a bitch. Not much appreciation and no one has ever thrown their underwear at me either. Damn my luck!!

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