Wednesday, [9:59] AM
I never wanted to be a cop or a direct response copywriter and marketer…
…or any of the various other things I’ve done to make money to support my bad habits of sleeping indoors and having food with my meals.
The ONLY thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life since age 7… was be a musician.
And I guess I had a talent for it.
Even as a 7-year old, I played and sang all over the town of Barberton, Ohio.
I heard the word “prodigy” a lot from the adults. I didn’t really understand it… but I knew it was something good.
In my senior year of high school, our school jazz band went to a regional competition. The big carrot at this gig was they had three scholarships to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and they were going to award them to the best musicians there.
Now if you don’t know, Berklee is one of the best… probably THE best school for modern music. What Julliard is to classical music, Berklee is to modern music. And it’s damn hard to get into (at least it was back then.)
To make a long story short, I won one of those scholarships to Berklee… and boy, was I excited.
It was for $5,000.
That may not sound like a lot now… but with all the “quantitive easing” or whatever they call it… which REALLY is just indiscriminate printing of unbacked, worthless paper notes, slowly stealing your wealth away right under your nose while you whistle away unaware… fat, dumb and happy.
Oops. I digest. 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot an important disclaimer…
The Losers Are Going
To HATE This Post!
Where was I?
Oh yeah… with inflation factored in, the $5000 scholarship I was awarded is equivalent to approximately $20,000+ in today’s money. (If you understand the significance of that… and you’re not doing some very specific things to protect your wealth… things are going to get VERY bad for you, very soon.)
So to an 18 year old kid who never made more than $3.35/hour, a $5,000 scholarship was a LOT of money. Surely, that would cover four years at Berklee.
Sadly, no. That scholarship would have covered tuition and books for about one semester. And God knows how I would have paid for living expenses in the city of Boston.
Now, for many of my peers, this would not have been an issue. If their kid had been accepted into the best music school in the world, they would have either had the money to cover the balance… or could have borrowed it.
But not my family.
We were broke. We lived a pretty basic lower middle class existence. I was told that’s the way it always was… and would always be. (Isn’t that great mental programming to hear repeatedly while you’re growing up?)
I didn’t know it at the time but we even qualified for food stamps. Even though we were low income, my mother always believed in hard work… and NEVER accepted a hand out from the looting gummint.
Now she grew up in REAL poverty. Even went without shoes for months at a time when she was a kid. Food was pretty scarce, too. I mean, REAL poverty in Mississippi back in the day.
Her family was dirt poor… but not stupid.
They understood that anything the government gives was taken from somebody else by threat of force… or in some cases, ACTUAL force. Even DEADLY force if the “lootee” decides he won’t allow the fruit of his labor stolen by organized armed thugs in jack boots.
So my mom’s family refused to partake as recipients of the looting… unlike the tens of MILLIONS today who are not only happy to partake… they actually think they are ENTITLED to it.
The point of this ranting side trip?
Even though I had been accepted into the best music college in the world, there was no way I was going.
Because of lack of those worthless greenbacks.
Let me tell you… THAT was a huge lesson for me at that young age. I’ve NEVER forgotten the feeling of disappointment I had. Hell, I STILL have it. It remains the biggest regret of my life.
Anyhoo… instead of me still stewing over something that happened almost 27 years ago… let me have a little fun and imagine what it would have been like had I gone to Berklee.
Now imagine I’m sitting in my very first music theory class. And I’m being taught by some of the best music teachers in the world.
Not thumb-sucking losers who have spent their entire careers in academia, too scared and/or incompetent to make it in the real world.
No, I’m being taught by real working musicians who have honed their craft working their way up from from playing every dive bar, birthday party and barmitzvah they could… to playing the biggest and best venues with the best and most famous musicians in the world.
Guys who have successfully done what they’re teaching… for decades.
And I’m just some smart ass kid who has never done anything other than playing in some high school garage bands. I’m not even qualified to utter one single word in that class. But, I raise my hand and stupidly say…
“Hey Teach. I know how to construct a C major 7th chord. This is basic stuff. I already know this.”
Here is how that arrogance
should be dealt with:
(And don’t get mad at me for the “colorful metaphors.” It’s the Berklee professor saying this, not me.) 😉
“Listen to me you arrogant little sunovabitch. The reason you’re paying $100,000+ a year is to learn from the best of the best.
And let’s get something straight… you don’t know JACK SHIT!
You THINK you know how to construct major 7th chords because you read about it once. Or maybe played one a couple times with your pathetic little garage band.
I have constructed major 7th chords up and down with all possible inversions 18 hours a day for 15 YEARS… and sometimes in my sleep, too.
I started with NOTHING, playing on the street for coins, worked my ass off for decades… and have made the most EXTREME of sacrifices that you can’t even BEGIN to imagine… and for SURE don’t have the balls to even THINK about making.
And because of that, I’m in demand by the best, most successful and highest paid musicians in the world.
Yet I choose to share my knowledge with you, with the hope that amongst all the posers, wanna-bees, whiners and losers like yourself… one student… just ONE… will “get it”.
And they will roll up their sleeves and do the work…
…and make the sacrifices…
…and endure the slings, arrows, constant criticism from the losers and the soul-crushing disappointments…
…and will do WHATEVER it takes to be successful…
… and will pick up the ball from me and carry on the legacy.
And you, my ignorant and arrogant student, are quite obviously NOT the “one.”
So you have a choice.
- You can shut the f#%& up, wise up and accept the fact that you know NOTHING… and then MAYBE you’ll learn something… or…
- You can drag your arrogant, whiny, loser ass outta here post haste… and forfeit your tuition to the Berklee College of Music as a very expensive lesson learned.
I refuse to waste any more time with losers. It keeps me from the winners who really DO want this and are ready to actually DO something.”
That Berklee Professor
Is Really Tough, huh?
Well, at least that’s how I imagine it in MY mind.
And quite honestly, for the good of the students, that’s how it SHOULD be.
<start sarcasm/> Hmmm… how can I turn this analogy into a relevant Doberman Dan lesson? <end sarcasm/>
Oh, by the way, I should mention that, unlike the Berklee example, I’ll give you a refund and simply say “Vaya con Dios.”