When I first met Benny Goodman he wouldn't talk about anything but clarinets, mouthpieces, reeds, etc. When I tried to change the subject, he said 'But that's what we have in common. We both play clarinet.' I said, 'No, Benny, that's where we're different. You play clarinet, I play music.'
Essentially, the popular musician in America must learn that his basic job is to entertain people, to make them forget their sorrows for a moment or two; in the same sense that any popular art form must aim at the same distraction value. Any such job as that is basically a young man's business. It takes a young man's energy to go traveling around the country, night after night in a different place, prancing and cavorting around in front of mobs of people all out to try to forget their problems for an evening. And for a young man it... Read more »
I'm not conditioned to be an entertainer. An entertainer pleases others while an artist only has to please himself. The problem with that is artists are misunderstood by all. I'm not interested in the clarinet but in music. we speak our emotions into music. An artist should write for himself and not for an audience. If the audience likes it, great. If not, they can keep away. My situation is the same. Let them concentrate on my music and not on me. I like the music. I love it and live it, in fact. But for me, the business part... Read more »