The Road To Nowhere by Johnny Samson: A Review of Sorts
Okay, first off, lets give this book its full official title because it's important.
The Road To Nowhere: How to be a Successful Failure in the Music Industry
And it's the 'failing' that's important. You see failing in the arts - any art, be it writing, painting, theatre, or music - isn't actually 'failing', it's called creating. And successfully creating. Sadly, too often, artists don't get paid for this and we tend to live lives on our uppers, making ends meet; doing shitty jobs we hate to pay bills and continuing ever on in our creative endeavours. And this is where - sadly - most artists fall; successfully creating beautiful art, making music, writing words, painting pictures, without enjoying the financial reward that goes naturally with more conventional and mundane career choices the longer you do them.
Such is art.
And to be fair, it's like this for at least 99% of original music bands. And I know only too well, having played with two successful original bands, without actually being lucky enough to jump that last hurdle into celebrity success. Now, it seems, I'm doing this with my original passion of writing too. Artists, we're nothing if not passionate dreamers...
And so onto 'The Road to Nowhere' by Johnny Samson. It's not the type of book I'd normally read, it being non-fiction and all, but I'm glad I did. It's a book that looks back on a lifetime career in the music industry - from the forming of the first bands, to playing festivals, and recording music - without ever making that final step into that top percentile of success; scratching a living and making ends meet. It's a self-indulgent, wry, humorous reflection that covers pretty much every scenario playing in a band entails. From rehearsals to publicity, weird band mates, life on the road, promoters who do nothing, to festivals and gigs that rock, and if you've ever been in an original band (or even other types of bands) you'll recognise pretty much everything...
And so it made me chuckle.
No mean feat (I'm very grumpy).
If you've ever been in a band, want to be in a band, are in a band - at whatever stage of the original success pyramid (playing gigs to five friends in a church hall, to supporting big acts at national festivals) you'll either get an insight into what playing in a band is really like, or have a giggle at the things you've forgotten/endure/live in what is an easy pick-me-up and put-me-down book. Honestly, there should be a copy in every rehearsal room and recording studio; except maybe not where Deaf Metal Bands proliferate.
Plastic chair and all;
Easy pick-me-up and put-me-down read;
Few too many footnotes to keep track of, but hey, it was also part of the humor and fun.
4 out of 5 Stars for this Indie read from me.
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