There was a string quartet that played very well, good friends who shared the work and divided money evenly. People liked them, their reputation grew. Then Bow Wow Wow entertainment magazine wanted to put them on the cover. They were very excited, being on the cover of Bow Wow Wow was a big deal in their city. Then things got complicated, the first violinist called a band meeting and said Bow Wow Wow only wanted him on the cover, said they sell more copies if there is a one person on the cover vs. a group. The 2cnd violinist and cellist nodded in understanding but the viola player felt confused,
a) Why didn’t the first violinist insist Bow Wow Wow put the whole group on the cover or else tell them to forget about it?
b) Did Bow Wow Wow really insist on that or was the first violinist making a move to reposition himself as the leader?
After that the group never felt like friends again and the first violinist became the face of the band. A year later the first violinist was flying to concerts while the rest traveled by bus. He said this was just a necessary responsibility for doing advance press. He also stayed in his own hotel room while the other three shared one between them. They acquired a manager who insisted on new arrangements where the first violinist and the manager earned a higher rate than the rest of the group because of their unique responsibilities, like handling all the money. The viola player asked how they could justify that since the compositions in their repertoire were by long dead composers, the works were all public domain and what unique labour was involved in collecting money and depositing it? The manager and the first violinist thought that that was a hilarious joke and encouraged the viola player to check out audition night at Yuk Yuk’s.
Unfortunately for them he took their advice and started telling jokes at Yuk Yuk’s. He soon became a cult sensation in comedy clubs. Known especially for how many first violinists does it take to change a light bulb, how do you make a first violinist turn down and how do you know when a first violinist is knocking at your door? He left the quartet and moved to Los Angeles, acquired his own agent and manager. He made the rounds on the late night talk shows and when Bow Wow Wow reached out to do a cover story his manager didn’t return their call, they were too small. He didn’t like what he had become and he didn’t like the position he was in before. He thought to himself that nothing else in life has this problem. The trees, the flowers, the toads and the mosquitos, the grizzly bears, the salmon and the saint bernard’s don’t position themselves as though they need to improve their situation but he and everyone else he knew seemed to be disposed in this way.