So I finally rented “Whiplash;” the recent film about drummers and it serves to bring up a point, a mission statement for me: Making music DOES NOT need to-or have to be miserable, or even troublesome. In fact, I believe the opposite; I believe with all my heart that most music, though it may require effort, practice, patience, non-paid time, expense, and potential disappointment SHOULD NOT and isn’t always chained to misery. And yes, I know sometimes it is..

Watching this determined young man, over and over in this flick exploding like a pack of firecrackers (never mind the basics) on the drums, only to slam his sticks down in disappointment and bloody fingers (see Ringo,) only shows two points to me: First, it gives the producers of the film validation for making yet another movie about the disconnect of people and true happiness, which somehow always seems to sell tickets. ??? Second, it will be viewed by budding musicians as a requirement for success, ala “no pain, no gain.” This is true to an extent: practice makes perfect. With learning to play music though, there is certainly no need to place any negative state of mind in your way-before you even pick up your sticks…..or picks.

In my career I have know quite a few really-negative, self indulgent, and usually inferior musicians who always seem to make everyone around them soak in their misery. There are many times you can read of musicians that are completely “your hero" that turn out to be lousy human beings. I have a been around a few and I have to say-they disappoint me and, in end I end up feeling sorry for them. They lose…but I lose too, sadly.

It’s one thing to be possessed by music; I certainly am, and I’m glad about that. I am also possessed by having happiness in my life. Between the two, they can work together in concert. Remember; music is a gift, not a curse.

The band leader in this movie deserves awards for how he portrays his character, that can’t be disputed. The character he played though, was a very talented jerk. Buddy Rich comes to mind. Possibly a chemical imbalance? Whatever…there is simply no need to be that kind of a teacher. Life is too short. For each talented jerk I have met in my time in professional music-I have met 10 princes, each as talented as the jerk, but a whole lot easier to make great music with. Happy, self-fulfilled folks…

Make music a happy place. Music=Joy. Don’t miss out….and don’t buy into this junk. “Star, Smile, Strong”—Broadway Danny Rose.

Cheers!

Jamie