What did I get myself into?

Kara DioGuardi

The music business is a mixed bag of events. There are times when everything is great and then times when everything seems to go wrong, and that happens within any given musical project. I am sure any musician will tell you of music jobs in their pasts’ that have been incredibly hard to complete. Recently, I was reflective about notes from the book “A Helluva High Note” written by Kara DioGuardi, the musical writer, producer and ex-American Idol judge.  She was invited on a three-day songwriting trip but instead of actually writing songs, “the trip’s activities consisted of watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food [and] leering at two strippers … as they performed sex acts in the living room.”  It sounds extreme, but every musician has had experiences that kind of “shook their faith” in the industry. Kara DioGuardi’s book made me think back to a time when I was doing horn arrangements for a band about to record an album. I had to sit there as several drunken band-mates hummed what they wanted in specific parts of songs. How I got through that night with good arrangements under my arm I will never know. At a young age, I got some needed musical experience and more importantly experience dealing with difficult situations. However, what is the cost of a musical career? Are situations like the nightmares DioGuardi went through normal rites of passage in the industry? I remember quite well many female vocalists telling me about certain producers and record executives who wanted “more” from them than their singing talents. Fact: there are many decadent people existing in all industries; the musical industry has its share of them. I am happy DioGuardi wrote her memoirs about her music industry experience. It will surely help the next young talented artist to understand the career they chose.

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