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From time to time, this page will feature an article from Jimi on various topics, usually about the Network, but sometimes we may just let him ramble a bit! Take the time to read this, enjoy, comment, etc. - Thomas, webmaster

Vintage, not old

Jimi Yamagishi

TheSongNet.org

'57 Chevys. Chateau Lafitte '64. '59 Les Pauls. There are some things that are far more valuable than when they were new, because age has provided a maturity & quality that stands the test of time.

There's something inherently precious about something or someone that has a lil' history behind 'em.

Yet the traditional music industry keeps trying to tell us we need to be new, fresh, cutting edge & under 21.

Yeah right. James Taylor had a HUGE selling record recently, Paula Abdul is in the studio with a new project, Simon & Garfunkel are sold out for their entire tour, & classic/vintage rock dominates the soundtracks for commercials on TV.

Ironic when you think about it. The TV shows all have hip fresh music & grooves geared for a younger crowd, then the commercial break (where the money is) comes up & you get Led Zep in a Caddy commercial, Lovin' Spoonful in a GAP ad & Aerosmith doin' Dodge.

Once upon a time, somewhere between wars, life was pretty good, & people had lotsa kids. That was 40-50 years ago, & that generation is called the "Baby Boomers".

So, it stands to reason that if there were a lot of kids born around then, the general population is predominantly of that age. Some are trying to fake being younger, but there's a difference when the hair color hits gray instead of peroxide.

I recently reviewed a rocker from Phoenix. Great chops, co-produced with the legendary Michael Schenker. Endorsed by several companies, not bad looking.

And 40 years old.

Her name is Amy Schugar (.com) & she's right in the middle of a growing trend in the music scene, that's been overlooked 'till now but very viable. "I NEED to ROCK!" she explained. "I don't feel old, am in good health & havin' fun!" With a voice like Grace Slick in her prime, guitar chops like, well, the Scorpions, & a grin that lights up the whole theater, she's enjoyable to listen to & fun to watch. Unlike the current crop of teen angst rockers that just stand & pout into the mic, Amy's years of experience have taught her how to ENTERTAIN. More than that, her years on the PLANET gives her life experiences to write about that you know come from a real & honest place. She can CONNECT to the biggest part of the population with stable incomes that will buy her CDs & concert tickets, because she's ONE OF US.

Dennis Buddemeyer (misterbmusic.com) aka Mr. B, lets that touch of gray show. His songs reflect his age without feeling old. His song "Do-Wop Boys" is getting airplay, his CD release party was a well attended event, & the disc is getting excellent reviews. He's playing as often as he likes, no pressure to have a major tour. & many of the places he plays charge a cover-yup, people pay to see him play, not the other way 'round. On stage, he talks of his teenage son, his wife & his life, & the crowd acknowledges with a "me too" nod.

Jon Batson has songs placed in film & TV, & seeing him in concert is an EXPERENCE. It's the kind of electrifying performance that gets ya grinning because he's got years of honing his artistry to a sharp edge that'll cut thru to the heart of any audience. And I remember CJ Littlepage as a retiree with so many life stories in his music, a listener could sit for hours & never hear the same thing twice.

In listening rooms, coffee houses, bars & churches the demographic is changing. The young hip kids are aging, & their music is aging right along with them. The 5 dollar average for a beverage is cutting out the student crowd, just like the cost of a CD.  A 40 year old won't buy a heavily over-promoted top 40 disc, but will gladly shell out the same for GOOD music from a lesser known artist, often a more "mature" artist at that. I bought "Mizundastood" because of the songs. Written by 40 year old Linda Perry, not Pink.

No wonder the industry is crashing. Promoting to an impoverished youth when it's their PARENTS that hold the purse strings. DUH. The car companies got it. The 'Stones fan is the dude with the cash. The Police/Sting fan CAN afford that Jag.

The Indie nation is aware of what's going on. Real entertainment & great music is taking over for the angry raucous energy of youth. Best of all, this great music is more accessible & priced fairly because self produced CDs cost less to create, & are often truer to the artist's vision & voice. No, we're not talkin' bad cassette tapes in someone's living room, we're talkin' full on productions with all the digital processing & production values because boomers can afford it or have connections for that they've built up over the years that just couldn't happen for a 16 year old. Heck, I've worked with the same production team for over 30 years!

So if you're whining about being considered too old for this industry, shutup & get out there. There are plenty of places to share your music & your experiences. Invest in yourself. "The Industry" doesn't matter.

The major labels are not paying attention & it's too late for them to change.

There IS a market waiting for you, & its huge, with deep fat pockets. & more importantly, lots of love.

Because, you're one of us.

- Jimi