Players and Listeners

19 Feb 2004|Christoper Ireland

Loved Tim’s blog yesterday on Garageband and its spread. It reminded me of my first boyfriend. His name was Steve and he was the lead singer of Dino & the Dinosaurs, one of the thousands of local bands that popped up in the Beatle’s wake. Steve played guitar and was backed up by a drummer and someone playing tamborine. I doubt that they were very good, but at the time, just the sound of the amp being plugged in was enough to get my undivided attention. To my 13 year old eyes and ears, Steve was the epitome of new possibilities and his band was going to revolutionize my life.

I think the band lasted less than a year. Cheap instruments and the thrill of new musical freedom was not enough to sustain the extraordinary time and effort it requires to become a good musician. And that’s why I thought of Steve when I read Tim’s blog. My household has Garageband, and true enough, there were several hours of rampant excitement over how it was going to “change everything” in terms of our musical entertainment at home. But I notice it’s gone unused since.

I don’t disagree with Tim–as someone who’s studied this market intensely for the past few months, I too think what Apple is doing in the music industry is masterful. But Steve Jobs’ market projections for musicians are, uh, larger than life. The vast majority of us are music listeners. There are very, very few consistent, dedicated players in the US. I suspect most are like my old boyfriend Steve–happy to twang a guitar as long as it makes him cool and gets him a girlfriend. If Garageband supports this use, it can last a little while.

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