Dentists with Alembics

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chris DeVoe, Oct 4, 2019.

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  1. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise) Thread Starter

    At the moment I'm reading Rockonomics by economist Alan B. Krueger, subtitled "A backstage tour of what the music industry can teach us about economics and life."

    Really is a fascinating read, and he has various sidebars interviews with people like Max Weinberg. One of the sidebars was with CNBC economics reporter Steve Liesman, who also plays with a Grateful Dead cover band.

    He talks about the distinction between truly great players like Bob Weir whom he calls "mutants," and everybody else like himself.

    I'm good enough to keep pace with the mutants on a song that I know, but when they go off into LaLa Land, they leave me behind. A friend in the music business says they have a name for someone like me, but he told me I've proven myself not to be one of those people. They're called "dentists with Alembics." That's a rich professional person who can afford expensive gear but doesn't play well. They're a big group. Some of them pay musicians $500 to $600 a night to play with them. That's a business.

    This is why the money modestly matters to me. It distinguishes me fromt dentists. I'm not paying to play: I'm trying to make it work.​
  2. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Sounds fun. You got plenty of money to go around, you have tried every pleasure the world has to offer, why not paying a bunch of musicians to be your back up band have some fun in the garage on Saturdays?
  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise) Thread Starter

    Sounds pretty soul-crushing to the real musicians involved though.
  4. edenofflowers

    edenofflowers A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular!

    There's also "All the gear and no idea". But I completely get what he's saying, some people have to work hard to be as naturally good as others are. Then, of course, there's that element that I think only self-taught musicians have where they can easily go off-script in a moment of inspiration and redefine the boundaries of what's musically acceptable.
  5. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    I've learned that you buy what you can afford and makes you happy. If a skilled musician can't afford an Alembic, they need to get a better job. It isn't the Dentist's fault.
  6. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    Reminds me of a doctor in my area who had a fusion/smooth jazz band. He has a Dumble... Anyway, they were trying to learn an old Jeff Lorber's Fusion song, so he flew the whole band to CA and had Lorber teach it to them.
    longdist01 and Chris DeVoe like this.
  7. stetsonic

    stetsonic Forum Resident

    Well - love, youth and talent do have something in common... :)
  8. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    That's what they tell the dentists.
  9. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Sounds like a steady gig to me
    rednoise, Stone Turntable and zphage like this.
  10. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise) Thread Starter

    But he's not a dentist, he's an economist for CNBC!

    Seriously, his band actually gets paid for gigs, though a pittance compared to his CNBC income.
  11. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    "Dentists With Alembics" is the name of my second-favorite alt-bluegrass band, right behind "Podiatrists With Rickenbackers".
  12. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    It's great. Anyone who wants to play music should do it. Including the dentists.

    Just struck me funny. It's like the stripper that tells the guy all the other guys in here are creeps..but not you. You're different.
  13. Crimson jon

    Crimson jon Forum Resident

    I thought they were called Anti- dentites?
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  14. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues A man with a fork in a world full of soup.

    London, UK
    Always preferred the Tax Inspectors With Schecters, myself.
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  15. groundharp

    groundharp Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger

    California Day
    #1 "dentist-with-Alembic": billionaire venture capitalist Roger McNamee
    He has hired players such as G. E. Smith, Jack Casady, and Pete Sears to be in his bands. Uses a tour bus FAR more luxurious (and that's just looking at it from the outside) than any other band playing at a similar level. Pays for Fillmore/Avalon-type posters for every single show out of his own pocket. Easily the worst musician in his bands (Flying Other Brothers and Moonalice). Horrible songwriter.

    Smith and Casady have moved on (had their fill of soul-crushing?), but Sears continues to collect a paycheck. Sad, really.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  16. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Senior Member

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    A hearty appreciation for Public Defenders with Fenders.
  17. jwoverho

    jwoverho Licensed Drug Dealer

    Mobile, AL USA
    How about pharmacists with Les Pauls? Guilty as charged.:D
  18. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Senior Member

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Fat Cats with Strats?
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  19. neilpatto

    neilpatto Forum Resident

    Leeds, UK
    Tax man with Tokai?
  20. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Syracuse, NY
    Really? A good musician will make great music on any 300 dollar bass. And if he/she needs more income they can charge the dentist 50 dollars for a half hour lesson.
    Maurice and Chris DeVoe like this.
  21. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise) Thread Starter

    All those famous instruments played by famous musicians? Those instruments generally weren't famous when they bought them.

    There are exceptions... I'm a huge Todd Rundgren fan, and he wound up buying the Fool guitar that Eric Clapton had played in Cream for $500. He eventually had to sell it for a tax bill, and it's probably a collection of some investment banker.
    longdist01 likes this.
  22. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    John and George had a Dentist with Lysergics.
    forthlin and petem1966 like this.
  23. PsychGuy

    PsychGuy Forum Resident

    There's a really sad scene in an Adam Sandler movie where he is a rich guy playing with hired hands and going, "Wouldn't it be cool if we were all friends and just playing for fun ... " And the other guitarist replies something like, "Your time is almost up."
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  24. Recordingpianoman

    Recordingpianoman Forum Resident

    Gastroenterologists with Gretsches?
  25. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe RIP Vickie Mapes Williams (aka Equipoise) Thread Starter

    If I were in that situation, I would feel like a prostitute.
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