The best way to get a real kick to the stomach is to ask your family members to listen to your music and to please render an opinion. Remember, these are the people who have seen you in your underwear, suffered through the growing pains as you learned your instrument, and saw every relationship you ever had with old girlfriends start and fail. These are the loved ones who must be there for you no matter what you eventually decide to compose, record, and produce. So, what is said in a family review of your music will likely always cause some discomfort. Those closest to you will perhaps never be able to see the artistic vision you have.
My Dad, in reviewing my first album, Under Cover of Darkness: “Well Tom, it ain’t exactly Pavarotti.”
My ex-mother-in-law, also reviewing my first album: “Gee Tom, you should send a copy of your CD to Dr. Jack Kervorkian, he could play it at work.”
And then there was a subsequent telephone conversation with my Dad, and I quote:
Tom: “Hi Dad! Guess what, my car was broken into, and the thieves stole my CD player and amplifier”
Dad: “Gee Tom, I’m sorry to hear that. Did they get any of your CDs?”
Tom: “Well now that you mentioned it, yes, they stole the box of CDs I had in the trunk too.”
Dad: “Now…that serves them right!”
Mike, my own brother, while in the studio producing Late Night Guitar: “Tom, working on arrangements for your guitar solos was like dressing Uncle Ader up in a tuxedo.” (Our Uncle Ader was a very simple man and always wore plaid flannel shirts, even in the summer :)
Marty, Mike’s composing partner: “Well Tom, I put your CD on my stereo last week, and when I started to listen my dog ran to the front door and started crying.”
My Uncle Paul: “Tommy, a great song is a perfect marriage of music and lyrics...and you’re leaving the bride at the altar...”
…Who needs the mainstream media and the press corps when you have such a loving family and friends!