It completely perplexes me. I don't put a lot of weight into it but it's an equation that I can't seem to solve. I call it an equation because to me it's not really a problem. I can't seem to sell tickets. In the past three Tuesdays I have held shows in my home town of Atlanta. They've been at three different locations, three different line ups, & three completely different types of shows all together. However, they all had one thing in common: they were all poorly attended. After ten years in this music scene I'm finally ready to admit that I don't get it. It's not like I've not tried to learn.
I feel like even in biggest successes, I didn't know what I was doing. When John Mayer & I used to play together it seemed that we couldn't draws flies until toward the end of our tenure together. It is to be noted that back then the Decatur music scene was much more exciting & flush with audiences at Eddie's even on a Thursday night. I've heard longtime Eddie's alums refer to the late '90's as "the good ol' days." I tend to agree with them.
I think it's just a bad time to be in the music industry. At least a bad time to be on the bottom rungs. People these days seem to have more of a disconnect with music than the generations before. When I was young, it was common to read interviews with grunge gods of the time regaling about the first time they ever heard Hendrix or The Who. Then I dug deeper to read that Keith Richards freaked when he heard Chuck Berry for the first time. Chuck was influenced by Muddy Waters & T-Bone Walker. It seems that most of the 'artists' today are more influenced by Madonna, video games, & the internet... or nothing at all. It's evolution. I was born 20 years too late.
I was originally very excited about these past three shows. I had meetings with people to brainstorm & make sure that all three, not just one, were a success on all levels. It was a very fanciful. However, in hindsight (here's the best part) I realized that I did everything that really matters to me. All three shows' content were second to none. The people who did come agreed (as far as I know)... & really appreciate everyone who did turn out.
It's not a very smart way of doing business & trying to further a career, but I'm somewhat glad that I've had this realization. It's helps me focus on what really matters. I was getting caught up in pre-sale numbers, head counts, & how many units I moved. I'm lucky enough nowadays to have two full time jobs (touring & making records, be it for other people) to soften the financial blow of a lackluster run of shows.
All I know is that Y-O-U played their hearts out tonight behind me & I tried my best to follow suit. I can't thank those guys enough. No amount of money is equal to what they make me feel like on stage... & this is the first time (but luckily not the last) that I've played with them backing me up. I'm now infinitely more excited about next Tuesday's Athens show.