Opportunities to learn about the real deal

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There was a time when the popular music press weeklies used to run classified sections for young musicians to search for opportunities to join bands. I haven’t read the surviving publications in a couple of decades, so I’m uncertain about the drill nowadays.

One catch phrase that unfailingly showed up in the classified ads was “must have image”. This was in the days of the New Romantics, Goths and other post punk and new wave youth subcultures. They probably meant that prospective applicants should have a cultivated look already, so they wouldn’t come across as less than genuine when they eventually meet the stylists, photographers and videographers who would present them to audiences.

In the same newspapers and magazines, instrument and sound module manufacturers competed to sell their wares to young hopefuls. If you couldn’t afford to buy a new piece of equipment on a monthly basis, it was unlikely that you would get a look in for the high profile job opportunities.

Some of the journalists wrote articles and features that focused on making their readers understand the importance of inventive thinking and creativity, but their messages were often lost in the deluge of distractions that aimed to make young people part with their money, to make their dreams come true.

Then the television reality shows and talent shows came along and took over. How does a young artist get to see the wood for the trees?

Originally published on www.juwonogungbe.com on the 12th of November 2019