01/23/02 - 01:06:53
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I've had some time to think a bit more about why I felt (& feel) so pleased & excited by this idea.
Hold the tomatoes (i.e. don't toss yet), I know this may sound crazy, but: I really LIKE the idea of our giving the band a lot of money.
(Ok, thanks a lot: I'm now writing this from under my desk.)
The title of Eth's post expresses the way I'm thinking: We're talking about "foundations" -- in more than one sense of the word. Many of us have pissed & moaned here about some of the choices an earlier incarnation of the band made, particularly in the 80's, for what seemed primarily to be commercial reasons. (And that was during a period when there were far more AOR radio stations, clubs, etc., & more support -- at least financially -- from major record labels.) Times are harder now -- but, from an artistic standpoint, perhaps in the long run better.
When I think about what I'd wish for the band, (omitting those sappy personal wishes that tend to gush out on holidays) at the top of my list would be: ARTISTIC FREEDOM. (In other words: For them to be able to say "FYWDW3"...subsidized by US.)
It does take money to keep something like this going, & to provide enough of a cushion that choices can be made for artistic & not economic reasons; & money, too, to have good choices about who you hire, or who you're able to keep-- e.g. loyal roadies -- whom I trust we'd all want happy & giving their best.
The Jefferson Starship is not likely to get NEA grants (& that's probably a good thing) & who knows what will come from RCA/BMI. etc. But WE know them & believe in them & support their full autonomy: Why shouldn't we put our money where our ears are?
For me, the bottom line is this issue of the band having enough financial security to make choices according to their own artistic tastes & visions -- & not for any other reasons.
Also, from what I've gathered, via the grapevine & posts at other sites, the band took a big hit financially with 9/11 & the aftermath. For the future, I'd wish them enough security that there's no doubt ever about when people will get paid; that all of the artists (not just band members) can focus on doing what we love for them to do: creating the music we need & love.
Much of my life I lived from paycheck to paycheck, & so I don't treat $100 as negligible by any means. But it's less than I pay when a pebble cracks my car's windshield, when I have cavities filled, when some "big" rock group tours & we go out for dinner & to the show...
When I think about the happiness this band has brought me over the course of a lifetime (& I mean various configurations of the band, back to the Airplane), I am deeply pleased to think that some kind of regular, sustaining contribution could help me give something back. I'm sure that my experience isn't uncommon here: the band's music has helped me through some of the hardest moments of my life, has been with me at the happiest, most ecstatic times -- in fact, has CREATED many of the happiest, most ecstatic times -- Frankly, it would feel like a great pleasure...hugely satisfying ...to think we could help keep that going.
The business with titles & privileges, etc., reminds me a little of the court of Louis XIV: you know, when they were short on funds & started selling titles to the nobles. My guess is we could do without that. I'm of course delighted with the various "goodies" (Halloween was always my favorite holiday), but I'm not sure they're necessary, or that we need to have two tiers of fans within our community. As an experiment, we might see how many of us would be happy to "subscribe" without any other perks than what we've enjoyed all along, & are creating together here now...
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