Episode 112: Michigan J. Frog

At some point everyone who wants to build an audience will have to make the difficult decision to try something that might not work.

Or, you can choose to never take a risk by doing work that is so predictable that it lies outside the possibility of criticism. The Peanut Butter Sandwich is a great example of this – it works, it has forever, everyone knows what it is and if someone is hungry and you hand them one they probably won’t complain. If they are hungry enough, they might even thank you.

This fear of doing something original, or losing the audience is the trap that cover bands fall into as well. A cover band can make a living playing someone else’s songs, but the upside is equal to the risk.

Mick and Keith took a lot of risk when they created the song Sympathy for the Devil. If I play it at the local pub as part of a 10 song set, I’ll get paid a pitcher of beer. I’ll do a good job, but that isn’t the point. You don’t get paid for the job, you get paid for the risk.

So are you the next big thing, or a successful cover band or worse? Something stuck somewhere in the middle?

Thank you,

Dennis Moseley-Williams