During my last post, Tradition of Changes I was talking about what useless pressure band clubs have been putting themselves into, for the sake of cultivating tradition, which eventually is changing it. The thought of more and bigger is better, is just as stupid as Goliath. Everyone knows the story of David & Goliath which ends up with the smartest, more composed & trained of the both to win the fight, the fight which ended up with Goliath’s own death.
This is exactly what the band clubs are doing to themselves, make “BIG” things, which really and truly are bombastic but not smart and we are just making sure that we die in a few decades. Obviously, this is encouraging our dance partner to help in our death by being more selfishly demanding.
In a year’s time, I will be celebrating my 25th year of playing with my local wind band, Għaqda Mużikali Marija Bambina, Banda Vittorja, Naxxar. It was 25 years of ups and downs. but something always prevailed, and this is respect and commitment. Maybe I am fortunate to have started off with this particular band club, but what I am sure off is that nowadays respect to our clubs is just thrown out of the window the minute a student starts playing with the band. The biggest problem with this is that the band club itself is not even taking action to stop it from happening. As I said, maybe the committee had some issues with you, but the society can never hold a crunch on anyone unless something really bad had been done. To make it even worse, band clubs do not even have respect for themselves and always act with the selfish attitude of ” I am alright, love you (not) Jack”. How great it would be if you would know that Joe from Banda Il-Kbira cannot make it on the 30th of February as he has to play with his own band, so you do not even ask him to attend your own service? It would save a lot of grinches and useless fights and the “Għax ma kontx naf” excuse would just be something of the past and never used again.
The hot potato of it all… *drum roll please* … PRICES! How would you feel if your part-time boss wakes up one fine day and tell you ” OK Joe, your pay will now be of €12/€17 an hour on a normal day, special midweek occasions at €25 an hour, if you work on Sunday mornings at €20 euro an hour and a whopping €50-110 an hour on special days! All of these prices are after tax, obviously”? It would be great, right? It would tell you that your employer is financially stable, and hope he had made a good budget and prospect revision before handing this proposal. Can you imagine this happening on the contrary, as in you tell your boss how much you want to be paid? This is the reality we are living. Part-time musicians acting like pros. Some of which say they are pros just because they have been playing (holding their instrument) for x amount of years, where really and truly they only had music lessons from their local club and until they started playing with the band. Some musicians and newbies, who do not even have the strength to play for a straight 3-hour set, are setting the rule and the band clubs are just nodding their head and accepting it all. It is just pure madness. If the band clubs think, that to pay someone heftier will have a better player, you are completely wrong. If the band clubs that offer/accept a price which is way over reason, thinks that they are supreme to others, then you are not doing yourselves or any other band club a favor. You are just a hard rock near the sea being eaten up slowly by the tiny salt.
All the wannabe delegates & consultants & societies that think that they are good just because they shower money in front of the musicians’ faces and think that they are the all mighty than they are simply stupid, ignorant and arrogant. It would not take long when the society will stop and say, how come Mr. Joe is asking for a week’s pay for a 3-hour procession and you have accepted. It will come to bite back.
The musicians that think that by hanging a big price tag onto their name is going to make them a better musician, you are so wrong, and naive. You are just making yourself the talk of the town for your arrogance, and bit by bit you will be replaced.
It is really a matter of time where we will find ourselves in a position that either we moderate the prices or no one will have a place to play if not with his own band club, and only those band clubs which invested in their local product will survive the ice age.
It is really important to start building a common ground and understand each other if we want to be good partners and start dancing the Tango the correct & loyal way.