Recently I was approached by a teenager who had seen me editing my music in the library. This is how our interaction went down:
Kid: “Whoa, are you a DJ?!”
Me: “No, I’m a guitarist.”
Kid: “Oh…” (walks away).
My oh my how times are a changin’. Dylan is still right. That’s why this past weekend was refreshing. Between the Grammy’s and MusiCares awards, we saw a renewed appreciation for actual musicians.
An annual event honoring the lifetime achievement of the greatest musicians in history wouldn’t be complete without a forty minute acceptance speech by Bob Dylan. On Friday night, the quiet recluse delivered the shocking forty minute spiel in a quick paced, poetic format that emulated his music.
Much of it was honoring the musicians whom he respected the most. Near the top of the list was Joan Baez and Jimi Hendrix. But then Bob went on to knock many of his critics and claim that groups such as Metallica have no place in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
“Many of the groups in there are not true rock ‘n’ roll,” said Dylan, to a chorus of chuckles from the crowd. “We (probably referring to himself, Hendrix, and other contemporaries) were the ones who got it.”
His words didn’t come across as arrogant, but insightful. Everybody in the audience, myself included, felt we were sponging up one of a kind wisdom from a one of a kind man.
It got me to thinking…. if MusiCares goes on another fifty years, who will we be honoring? DJs? Will the award be in the shape of a mixing station?
Sunday night was the star-studded, red carpet event that could only take place at a huge sports arena.
But once we got past all of the “what are they wearing” melodrama, the show itself became noteworthy. And I’m talking about Beck.
Beck won album of the year for “Morning Phase.” Most of us have never heard of it, I haven’t. But did you know that he wrote the music entirely himself? That’s pretty rare. Extremely rare nowadays. And he can play instruments! Shocking.
In the era of overly produced music, Beck showed us that it’s okay to do things the old fashioned way.
Beck performed on MusiCares this year, and I have to say he was one of the nicest people I’ve worked with for that show. He’s obviously soft spoken about himself, considering I had no idea about this great album.
Although I’ve never worked with Sam Smith he seems like a stand up kind of guy as well.
Here’s hoping that in the ensuing years we can maintain this level of modesty and musicianship from our artists.
For kids watching this weekend’s music festivities, you can learn a thing or two from these winners. It isn’t all about you, or about being in the limelight at all times. It’s about working. The harder you work to perfect your craft, the more positive results you will see.