The price of a guilty conscience.

Have you ever bought a piece of gear or software you really didn’t need? Of course you did. Did you ever feel bad after you bought it? Did you ever feel bad before you even hit the buy now button? You knew you didn’t need it but you still went ahead. I’m guilty as charged and I know you are too.

As musicians we should be the most frugal group no? After all ASCAP isn’t much of a union in the way the Screen Actors Guild is right? We are left to fend for ourselves. No 401k plans, medical insurance or even social security. We have do put it all away by ourselves.

“My arms do things oblivious to my wishes and my orders. Buy. Buy. Buy more now!” – Soft Cell, Persuasion.

Large companies feed us adverts pandering to our wish to make great songs. However, it’s almost never the gear that’s going to make that happen. Piano lessons maybe but a new audio interface or filter plug-in… no. If you want to see gear lust in extreme effect look to the forums at Gearslutz. Threads go on miles long with people chatting about stuff they can never afford. I swear I feel dirty reading about which $1200 pre-amp sounds the best (Great River by the way!).

In truth it feels great to give in and be dirty; to purchase something I don’t really need. To open the cardboard box, remove the shiny inner plastic bags and smell new plastic and silicone. You can almost see drool in my Vermona DRM1 unboxing video. Should I be hard on myself? As an American I was raised to be a consumer. Is it my fault I have these feelings?

I’ve done well in the music business but the price of life has increased by a third in just the past 48 months. No one is paying me a third more. It’s time to put down the credit card right? Yet if I had the new Oscitron my new song could be a hit and then…

photo credit: Keegan Jones