There is a strike at York University, one of my professors left me feeling confused about where she stands. I considered raising my arm in class and pointing it out but realized it might add an unwanted conflict to my eventual grade. Age old problem of seeing and speaking up …or not. A musician wrote me to ask for advice about publishing between members of a band. Tread carefully I advised, the person who gets to cut the pie might be offended by your sense of entitlement. Treat it like chess, make your moves by thinking through worse case scenarios. Once found myself in a position where the leader of a band confided in me that other members might want part of the publishing, as if me being the older musician meant I would commiserate about how selfish side musicians could be. “But Joel”, I said, “if you honour people for their contribution you get something most bands rarely achieve – respect and loyalty.”
The idea that so and so is the son or daughter of someone famous doesn’t mean they have any of their that talent it just means their ear lobes might look the same. People get behind that line of thought in politics all the time. It’s like birth is a permission slip. Miles Davis picked Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane, Tony Williams and Bill Evans as side players because he saw their talent.
After the piano lesson, we passed an old organ and my student said “wow an organ, how does it work?” I plugged it in and told her to go ahead and try it. Then she pointed at the bass pedals and said “what are those for?” I said that’s for the bass. “That’s cheating!” she said.