More To Come......
I know about those blogger gremlins, as I have been beset by them too.
This is such an interesting post, Naomi. I am sure that many of us would fantasize that the music business is all sweetness and light and great fun, but you have exposed the seedier side and shown the pitfalls. I don't blame you for wanting out, and wanting to be nearer home and friends.
I had a taste of that kind of life - for my first 2 years working full time I was getting sent around the country on various short term (2-3 month) placements.
I'd start my first week in a strange town living out of a hotel, knowing absolutely no-one and feeling very lucky if I got to where I was supposed to be working ... (no satnav in those days) By the end of that first week, I'd try and get into proper digs but I'd still feel lucky to know anyone. I think books and games kept me relatively sane.
Hell of a life knowing that in 2-3 months, you'd be heading off somewhere else to repeat the cycle again. Glad I've had settled conditions (with one big disruption) for the past few years - it's good to have a bunch of people around who you can have a natter to.
Thanks for sharing the story !
Plenty of good stuff, dear. Are there any recordings around of any of these "live" sets?
You've painted a very real and painful picture of the truth that goes on in these clubs. The uncertainty, the loneliness, the frustration of the incompetent musicians. Naomi, I must say, you are EXTREMELY polished and professional. No one else could've pulled it off. I admire you and I wish I could've been around to see you perform in the 50s. J. wouldn't have been the only one giving you a hug. :)
What a life you have lead Naomi - and you came through alive!!
Moving to places and not knowing anyone I can kind of relate to, but I do have my husband and daughter with me... It is always a different experience if there is someone there to share it with you...
That was quite interesting to read. I wonder if life on the road has changed much since the 50s. Life of performers always appears to be so glamorous, but you have painted a different picture of the behind the scenes action.
Have a lovely week-end.
I never knew you were a performer. I suppose I should have, given your picture and all. You are a beaut! (Notice I did not say "were".)
When I see singers, I have never stopped to think of how they got to where they are. It sure doesn't sound like a fun lifestyle.
You should certainly write a screenplay based on these days. I love hearing these stories. Also, since you use so many pictures, you might want to go into "settings" and then "formatting" and change your number of days (it's at the top of the page called "show") so that it doesn't take so long to load your site and make blogger work so hard. I don't know what you have yours set at, but if you change it to 4 or 5 I think it would help.
Blogger is killin' me. Anyway, I always enjoy whatever I can get here. I have heard stories of the lonely lounge singers, lucky you got out. Insane asylums, sad to think they STILL exist. My great uncle died in one at age 37, put there by a wealthy, angry, father-in-law.
I think I have an idea how you felt.. I played in a band for a while and unless close to home (which luckily I was) no one you know would come. But I did always enjoy the fact that people were happy to have a band and watching them all dance made me feel good
I am glad to be reading about the human side of "there's no business like showbusiness"...
Hope blogger treats us all better and very soon!!
I think so many "outsiders" only see the glamour side of this business, never thinking about all you wrote about here. Especially that loneliness. It's a very tough profession, but you came through it with grace and style.
Hope Blogger improves for you.
Naomi- I just love these posts you do with the look back at your life. Fascinating and enjoyable to read
What a fascinating life you have led. All those singing gigs at small bars and hotels, with band leaders who couldn't read music... amazing! I love hearing about your life, it's so very different from mine!
Thank you for telling your story, I love hearing it. :-)
Hey cool story, you should write the movie.....use notepad to write your piece that way you wont loose it if blogger bellies up, just copy and paste....
I thought I was losing my mind over blogger's issues! Misery loves company....:) Well, at least it soothes my anxiety over whether i had done something to my own computer knowing that many others have been tripped up this week too. Id write something and then POOF, it would be gone after I thought I had saved it. It has been going on since mid week.
Loneliness can be so starkly soul destroying can't it? When it happens like you describe, it feels like it continues to spiral and grow in intensity. Discomfort magnified to a point where we have to almost surrender whatever our situation is (even if its a goal/dream of performing like yours) and try another path.
Loneliness it seems to me is such a complicated feeling because it houses so many others including anxiety, grief, doubt....and it taps away at our confidence.
I hadn't really thought about it in those terms until i read this part of your story Naomi....I can feel the visceral-ness of it....your example of visiting your friend clearly describes the desperation of it too.
can't wait to read more.
"...and no-one will know how unhappy I am about this because I am a professional" Well, now we know. Thanks for exposing the unhappy side of the exotic life on the road. Your descriptions and your memories are a joy to hear.
Wow. These are the things the audience never thinks about. And all just to be able to sing. I'm anxious to hear what turn your life took next.
Do I see flowers down there?
Blogger Gremlins, indeed! Yes, I know what you mean.
Great memories --you clearly describe a time that most people think was "easy," but in reality it sounds like a real scramble.
Very interesting to read your experiences. My mom was a professional musicians in the 30s and she talked about some of that back then too.
Blogger was causing me miseries on Friday also and I have no idea what it was as no clue bu6 saving was a disaster. Fortunately it was better by Saturday
What a great story---I can't wait to hear more. It is interesting to look back and reflect on the choices we've made, isn't it.
I LOVE reading your stories! As I said to you, you should certainly write a book based on your amazing memories. Thanks for sharing your story!
Have a nice week ahead!
Naomi, thank you for your comments about the Chinese lantern Festival, you are right, these creations are truly spectacular. I had no idea what I was going to see before we got there, but I was amazed at the craftsmanship and the INCREDIBLE SCALE of these beautiful diplays. Unfortunately we went on a very rainy night, but that was OK as it wasn't crowded. I was soaked right through to my undies by the time we went home!!! A couple more pictures still to post!
I can't imagine that lifestyle ... thanks for sharing :)
Naomi, I really do love reading your stories....I guess part of being a musician is taking the bad with the good...Forest would say, "It's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." I think going through those kinds of things makes you appreciate the "good times" even more. Glad to be back reading you again....I survived!
You have the gremlins too? I thought it was just me.
I never realised before how lonely a singer's life could be quite apart from the danger of being alone in un salubrious places. Usually when one is acting one is in a team. You showed great courage and I'm sure your own persona would be a protectiion but it must have been very scary at times.
Very interesting stuff Naomi! I just cannot imagine how hard that would be. You were VERY brave indeed!! No wonder you were lonely. I'm looking forward to the next part!
I love your posts. I gave you an award today. xoxo Me
I really enjoy these glimpses into your past. You make it clear that clubs and singing in them was not the glamour and glitz that it is made out to be. For the most part, you never knew what to expect. That is VERY nerve racking!!
Jason has often talked to me about the "dumbing down" of musicians these days. It's hard to find young people who are willing to work hard and learn to read music and really study it intently over a period of years. Nowadays, it's the easy way out for most which means the quality of musicians has gone downhill.
You faced a lot during those days you wrote about.
It was quite an emotional roller coaster, and I can see why you began to tire of it.
After reading this I understand why you have such a good energy about you. You lived life..and passionately so! Do you have any recordings..we would love to hear you!
Extremely interesting!! Can't wait to hear the next part!
It's always hard to keep going when the joy is leaving, especially when it's something you love so much. Obviously you eventually found your niche, and you have great talent... I'm just sorry the road was so rocky.
I love it when your posts are like this and share all the cicumstances you've made it through. You really were quite strong. I know this had to be so lonely for you. I wouldn't have made it as long as you did. I really am a big baby.
The photos you chose to go along with the story really worked well and I enjoyed them too.
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California