I was writing gig reviews – and CD reviews – for this little local weekly rag, The Capital Times. It was an early gig for me, I’d done a few other things but this was essentially where I got my start. Learned a few things. I was a freelance contributor, got the gig the way I’ve got most of them – by bugging people; you could replace a vowel anytime really – bagging people, begging people…but it’s usually bugging one way or another…anyway, I had only done a handful of gig reviews when I was sent to review Malcolm McNeill. Now, I quite liked this guy because my mum had one of his CDs and we’d played that a lot and he was doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra here and I think I wrote something along the lines of saying that McNeill was a “better” singer, technically, than Frank. (Gah!)
Anyway, the review never got published. I had a beef with the (new) editor over him favouring other reviews of albums, holding off on mine. They way I saw it then: the payment was in the publishing. I was trying to get a name for myself, build a folio, get published often. And (hopefully) well. Build up…
But he was holding off on my reviews. So I held off on mine. Told him to wait a week before I sent my McNeill/Sinatra review in. I never worked there again. Nor did anything that dumb again. Like I say, learned a lot on that early gig. Some important lessons. You’re never in the position of power. You’re always supposed to be grateful for the chance…and you turn up and meet your deadlines.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.