please note: blog posted nearly a week later due to milling over whether to post it or not.
Well…. this is a blog i never thought i'd be inspired to write.
no… no…. not downloading or pirating music.
last night i performed at the ruby lounge in manchester (great venue with amazing sound btw!)
though the attendance was a bit ropey and drunk and ignorant people continued to talk at the bar throughout the ENTIRE fucking show… it was ok. i had a nice enough time.
however… the end of the evening was a real downer for me and a really unpleasant way for things to end.
i'm not going to name and shame. especially not on something like this….
a 'fan' who had previously been to other manchester area shows, been involved online, very supportive and such….
decided they were going to pocket a cd that they've been drunkenly slurring about all night saying that they couldn't afford it.
i had met them before and thought they were very nice and pleasant… and so very stupidly i didn't think anything of letting them hang around the merchandise area to sit down,
in fact i welcomed them very openly! i try to be as nice as i can to people. its how you gain respect, fans and support to continue making your art.
so as the evening was coming to a close and people were leaving once the show finished,
the person in question was drunkenly kissing/slobbering what i can only assume was a random person and falling on top of my merch area
CD's being on the complete opposite side in a box.
suddenly… smash. CD falls from inside their jacket pocket and on to the floor
they look at me. worried. somewhat startled.
very calmly i said "and a cd you didn't pay for came out of your jacket why?"
lots of drunk slurring. something about asking me to punch them to make it better. some complaints about not having money. more drunk slurring. trying to hug me.
i gave them a simple choice - you can either pay for it and take the cd…. or you can get the fuck out and no longer be welcome at any of my shows
after a very pathetic attempt at trying to hand me a bus pass instead of money. i insisted they needed to go right now.
you know what, one cd being stolen isn't a big deal.
it's not the loss of the cd and the cost of it's printing that upset me
it was the complete disrespect.
hell! at the end of the night i may have even just given them the CD!
as a thank you for coming down when they were low on cash. for trying to help spread the word of the show
instead they stole it.
the story aside, there are some points i want to make.
i would much rather someone downloaded everything i've ever made then steal a single CD from me
downloads… its up in the air for grabs. lets be honest about it. it's easy to download
but to actually take the physical item from the artist themselves? disgusting.
i think anyone who has any respect for art and music would rather not have the cd than steal it
even just fucking download it, then buy it when you have the money if you want it that bad!
i've had people buy cd's that said they had downloaded it illegally first because they didn't have the money at the time
i've also just had people tell me they downloaded it illegally and don't buy a cd!
it's ok. i just jokingly scold them and say its very naughty. but i know that the person didn't mean it personally. they just wanted the music… and they wanted it then and they wanted it free.
i can continue on knowing that happens. i don't lose sleep over it.
you'd be surprised how much of an artists income actually comes from merchandise sales
its not just a souvenir for you to take home. it's also that little bit extra which keeps that artists head above water.
it could mean the difference of a decent food shop that week… or living off of tinned spaghetti if its not gone well!
i can often double or triple any show fees, in merchandise sales
which is amazing! and also means i can take more risks and visit more places for shows because i know that i'll be getting that extra bit of money from my gypsy goods that keep everything financially viable
it means i get to share my art with more people and bring it to where people want me to without worrying so much, because there is that little bit of support at the end of the night from people who have enjoyed what they've seen and heard.
and damn kids. cd's and t shirts are fucking expensive to print. it's nice to get the money back!
at the risk of just throwing around lovely words like disrespect, disgusting, thief, vile, vulture, shameful…
i think i need to rap it up here.
but my point is - support artists you enjoy. show them respect. if you can't afford their wares. support them in other ways… go to a show. repost an event page… anything
just don't take from the source of this creativity you enjoy. it slowly kills it.
thanks for reading folks!
and if you would like to continue supporting me… my cd's, t shirts, bags and other such things can be found at www.joeblack.bigcartel.com
if you don't have the money? just share my website… tell a friend…. like the Facebook page… follow and RT me on twitter… anything. (links can be found below)