Two big events tonight, and I’m sure they were both amazing, but I can only speak to one.
Our Winnipeg Jets took on the best team in the league, and won. That’s something, and I’m sure it was an exciting game to watch. Truth be told, I would have loved to be there, I’m sure. Tim Shorten should get some kind of medal for giving up rink-side seats. I bet nobody missed Tim at the game, but I sure was happy to see him (and his lovely wife Erin) at the Park Theatre, instead. There’s never any doubt that all 15,000 seats will be full at every single Jets game for the next 3-5 years (at least.) And folks will pay anywhere from $75-250 PER SEAT to go.
But how come it is that in this great city, we can’t find 100 people willing to pay $10 to see Scott Nolan & Joanna Miller record a live album (not to mention the rare solo, piano performance by Scott’s Leaderhouse bandmate Matthew Budaloski)?
I’m not a math teacher (thank God, although the way things have been going for me at school, you never know what’s next), but I can do the math on this one. Less than 1% of the folks dishing out to see the Jets went to that show. Hell, it was closer to .5%, and there was a big guest list (I’m actually quite pleased that I wasn’t on it.)
How much does the shittiest, most bench-warming player on the Jets make? I know the stars make millions, but I gotta bet that the guy who carries the hockey bags makes more than Scott Nolan. I’m absolutely certain that he makes more than Joanna Miller. But for my money, Scott and Jo are worth so much more. Sure, the Jets do dazzle and there’s nothing like being in that rabid crowd at a game, but there’s nothing like great live music, either.
Scott and Jo are out there working their asses off night after night for less than the Jets office staff make. Think Mark Chipman ever camped his RV van in a Wal-Mart parking lot, and was happy about it? Nope. Scott and Jo do, and with pride.
I don’t really even know the point of the rant anymore, except that it ain’t fair that a couple of folks who have brought so much joy into my ears and heart over the years don’t even register on the radar of the vast majority of those 15,000 some folks at the arena tonight. None of the Jets would ever take the time to honestly thank you for your support. Sure, they do the public appearances (when contractually obligated), but “thank you” is just a line they’ve learned to dish out. Are any of them really grateful for your support?
I know musicians are. Why? Because they’re real people too. They know what it’s like to work for a living and what it’s like to have to decide between buying groceries and a night of entertainment. It’s actually quite funny to me when musicians thank me (directly or as part of a crowd) for the support. I can’t even begin to explain how much these songs and these talented people have brought to my life. How many times I’ve escaped or dreamed or been inspired by a song. How much it means to me when someone with amazing talent knows my name or takes the time to chat with me. You want to thank me for that? Nah. THANK YOU.
I wish that there were more people who appreciated real, down-to-earth, talented, inspiring musicians. I’m not perfect; I get lazy sometimes and don’t go to shows or don’t show my support when I could. But I get it. I’m grateful. And I’ll keep doing what I can so that great people can continue to make great music. Since you took the time to read this, I bet you will too.
Hope to see you at a show some time.