You Musicians Saved Me
I am not a musician. But you musicians have saved me during this pandemic. I’m a fan of music and especially enjoyed going to listening venues to hear live performances. Every weekend I’d typically have 1, 2 or 3 events to choose from within traveling distance. Facing the difficult choices. And then it all stopped.
I watched you find your way from being so nervous and uncomfortable performing alone to a screen, not knowing if anyone was out there, to answering our chats and saying hi as we logged on. I watched you all find your way through technology issues. Figuring out network conflicts and crashing and restarting again. You figured out how to record, to share, to find new platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Zoom and Twitch (as a senior my grandkids couldn’t believe I was on Twitch), improve your lighting, buying new microphones, and upgrading equipment. Some started streaming immediately almost daily, some eased into what are now weekly, biweekly, monthly or occasional virtual events.
I saw you supporting other artists, venues, and nonprofits by participating in their fundraisers. I saw your reluctance to ask for money to true gratitude acceptance to paying your rent. I heard from some who opened up about their challenge of being alone and the impact on their mental health and their reaching out for professional support and encouraging others to do the same if they were struggling too. I followed you on YouTube and found myself going down a rabbit hole to discover someone new.
In August I had a Zoom Birthday Party. Four of my musician friends each played a few songs to me and an audience of my friends and family near and far. Best Birthday EVER.
Under normal circumstances it would be a year or two before I would get see some of you in my area again. Thanks to technoIogy I got to see you several times this past year.
Some of my saviours from around the world: Dan Navarro, Black Feathers, Gary Stockdale, Berkley Hart, Ryanhood, Bettman and Halpin, Susie Glaze, John Zipperer, Joe Craven, Merlin Snider, Petty Chavez, Tall Men Group, Choir Choir Choir, Severin Browne, Michael McNevin, John Flynn.
Thank you to all you musicians who stepped up and found a way to save us. Your music made us laugh, cry, and think. I would guess we may have saved some of you too by showing up again and again and tipping when and if we could.
~ Bonnie Beckman
Bonnie Beckman is a Southern California music fan who is fairly new to the world of Folk Alliance. She attended her first FAR-West Conference in 2018 and was hooked.
In an attempt to keep us connected as we continue to find our way through these often stressful times, some in our extended community have been sharing their experiences, lessons learned and hope as they’ve dealt with Covid, lockdown, boredom, lack of inspiration, etc. We are all looking for ways to make lemonade out of the many lemons! This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at email@example.com or Marlynn Block at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.