They all did it for the money. They fought for every last penny — and rightfully so.
Yes, musicians love what we do. Still, “exposure” and “for the fun of it” don’t pay the bills. And to reach a professional level, time for practice and study is essential. A full-time day job is fine if you’re happy being an amateur musician (nothing wrong with that if it works for you).
You do it for love and 60 years later, when you’re dead (Rolling Stones excluded) they, the ubiquitous they, use your music to sell their wares. No wonder, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”
From the article “Let’s Write a Swimming Pool" By Steve Roller
The Beatles were already wealthy in 1964 when Paul McCartney and John Lennon sat down one day to hammer out a new song.
At the time, Paul says, “John would be getting an extension on his house or something, and the joke used to be, ‘Okay! Today let’s write a swimming pool.’ It was great motivation.”
Paul continues, “Then in the next three hours, ‘Help!’ appears from nowhere, you’d suddenly get the idea, this’ll be a hit, this is a good one. You become aware what you were doing was making money. Making good money.”
Most of these musicians don’t own the rights to their music, so they can’t stop what is done with it. That’s why you will see artists complain when their songs are used by a politician they don’t like, but can’t stop it. They sold their rights long ago.
Frank Zappa and Jerry Garcia both were millionaires when they died. They allowed and encouraged bootleg recordings. 70’s stars got their experience playing for free. Pizza places and high school assemblies. And, finally, a concert by King Crimson and the Eagles, mid 70’s, Phoenix, AZ. Eagles had to cancel. King Crimson did a double set. Severn dollars. Hall Of The Mountain King and Larks Tongues In Aspic. Try that today.
King Crimson -later ELP – were VERY good during the seventies, too. Classically trained Emerson would take an old, well known classic ( 1400s to 1700s) and “rock it up” to great fun.