Five-plus years now, and not a one of you has made a donation. I did an incorporation sale and sold three items. [Would you like an 8x12 print? Would you? I still have 97 of them after giving two away.] I put a lot of time into these recordings: getting gear packed up, traveling to the show—and when it’s Nashville, that’s two hours, setting up before while avoiding crabby sound engineers, recording—which isn’t just pushing record, but monitoring levels from time to time, then coming home, dumping cards, firing up an editor, and doing the best job I can from futzing and messing up and learning. I can spend just as much time with the photography, but I gather that more of you listen to the recordings than look at photos.
593 of you downloaded a show I did last February in Nashville. If each of you had given me just a dime, I’d have had gas money for that show. Give me a quarter and I can sock some money away to a fund for better microphones to make you a better recording. [I am as far as I will get with that rig without $400-750 microphones.] If it’s a sawbuck, then I can probably buy those mics.
I’ve always told people that I do this as a hobby and that I don’t plan to make this my business. That said, street fairs and flea markets are full of people taking their hobbies and passions and getting a little spending money out of it. A number of my crafty friends did just that at the beginning of October. I won’t lie: I envied the hell out of them.
This imbalance—me giving, you taking without giving back—has been especially brought home generally and specifically today, which is why this letter jumped the line. You see, I actually had someone pay me to record a show tonight—not much, but something. He really wanted the recording, and he knew that I didn’t know the guy. He also knew that I would do the best I could if asked. [I think that I did.] That someone paid me to record a show—blessedly 0.2mi from my house—was good not just in terms of being valued but because I could use the money right now. I’ve been un(der)employed since last September. You could help a brother out.
I’ll keep recording, and I’ll keep sharing when I do. But the lack of appreciation makes me want to stop recording shows and go back to just taking them in. It’s a lot of work documenting these things, and I’m glad that I had tape rolling for all of it to keep me up when I missed something.
I’ll keep recording, but you’re an ingrate if you keep freeloading.