The problem with success is that it can be expensive to maintain. You might enter a raffle and win a Rolls Royce but what is the point if you can’t afford the fuel?
There’s been a lot of Amanda Palmer bashing going on over the last few days. If you haven’t heard about it (or her) here’s the brief gist:
Former Dresden Doll famed for dramatic and inclusive stage shows raises over a million dollars ($1,192,793 to be exact) to fund her self-released album and its accompanying tour through the crowd-sourcing website/phenomenon Kickstarter. As a consequence she is promptly crowned empress of the modern DIY model, “Exhibit A” for any anti-label argument and general pin-up for the “pay-what-you-want” philosophy. She then angers the artistic community for putting an advert on her website asking string and brass players to join her regular salaried ensemble for selected dates on her tour and perform for NO PAY.
Impressive numbers and recent controversy aside, she is pretty amazing, proving to possess almost Christ-like powers in converting her audience into acolytes, not to mention investors and contributors.
But the rules change when you become one of life’s winners. Palmer has drawn damning criticism for extending the crowd-sourcing model into the human realm, calling for fans to accompany her for “beer and hugs”.
It’s an interesting phenomenon. As a fellow chancer she has my sympathy. As a card carrying member of the Musicians Union I must, however, wield a pointedly arched eyebrow in her direction.
But my first reaction to any shit-storm is to find shelter rather than start flinging any of my own…