The best way to get a real kick to the gut 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 your growing pains as you learned your instrument, and saw every relationship you've ever had start and fail. They have to be there for you no matter what acrid junk you eventually decide to record and produce. So what is said in review will always cause pain. Those closest to you will never be able to see the artistic vision you have. Period.
My own father: Well Tom, “It ain’t exactly Pavarotti.”
My ex-mother-in-law: “Gee Tom, you should send a copy of your CD to Dr. Jack Kervorkian, he could play it at work.”
A subsequent telephone conversation with my own father:
Tom: “Hi Dad! Guess what, my car was broken into and the damn thieves stole my Alpine CD player and amp.”
Dad: “Geez Tom, I’m sorry to hear that. Did they get any of your CDs?”
Tom: “Well now that you mentioned it, yes, they stole my CDs too.”
Dad: “Now that serves them right!”
Mike, my own brother: “Tom, working on arrangements for your guitar solos was like dressing Uncle Ader up in a tuxedo.” (Uncle Ader was a very simple man :)
Marty, my brother’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 when you have such a loving family!