pussinbootsI was going to title this post, “Shameless Plea for Attention”, but I would be lying if I said it was shameless. There is something unseemly about asking for “likes” and “follows”. Really, if you have to ask…

The fact, though, is that I really do have to ask. It’s that important. You see, many years ago a mentor of mine let me in on what, at the time, I thought was the dirty little secret of live music entertainment:

When it comes to getting gigs, it is usually not a question of how good you are, it’s a question of how popular you are.

This is true, at least, in the minds of the people who are booking live music. I naively figured that to get a gig you sent a CD or tape to someone (yeah, this was a while ago), and if they liked what they heard they booked you for a gig. That seemed to make sense…that’s how I would have done it.

I was actually surprised when I was told that, when it comes to getting gigs, the only thing running through the venue manager’s head is: “How many people can you bring?” From the business’ point of view, it’d be better have Jeffster! play to a full house than to have James Taylor play to the wait staff.

These days, there’s a way to quantify the desirability of an artist or band: “likes” and “follows”. Before booking a gig, venue managers visit Facebook, Twitter and other sources to try to get a sense of the popularity of the band. For many, it’s the first barrier, and only after you get past that do you maybe get a listen.

So when musicians or bands seem desperate for your “like”, understand that all they really want is to be heard, to get their music out in front of people, and those opportunities only come, paradoxically, to those people who are already connected. So please, do your favorite musicians and bands a favor by throwing them a “like” if you like their stuff. It means more than you can imagine.

So, ahem, in my case (still feeling some shame here), you can show the love by doing one or more of the following:

Thanks, and I hope to see you soon, in person or at least on the social networks.