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Distinguished SOTW Member
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What retirement? You're way too young to quit gigging. Plus, you have an 'in', so you should have no trouble working all you want. But it's a fine line you walk with a major day gig to take care of. I retired from my 'engineering career' but never stopped playing gigs. Now, I'm more rested, my equipment is in better shape, I have the horns I want, and I have the best attitude I've ever had - I'm totally relaxed on stage. Plus, the biggie - for the first time in my life, I have accepted what I do as okay. Not perfect, so I'm still trying to better myself, but essentially I'm good with the way I sound. And there is no career pressure in music for me anymore - at 66, I don't expect I'll ever graduate from the regional act level, and I'm okay with that too.
So, Rob, things have changed in the last few years, haven't they? Ear monitors, wireless mic, fantastic on-stage sound with low stage volume, incredible front-of-house, and with more and more older musicians and groups playing to older crowds, a 'mature' player is not out of place as he would have been back in the day. Wrinkles, white hair (if any) just don't matter anymore - it's what you do, not what you look like. And this will be true as long as you can play, because the 'graying of America' is just getting under way. The other aspect is, there are no young players coming along behind us doing this same music. I became a teenager in 1958 and I was already playing sax. This means any classic song you've ever heard, I played when it was on the Top 40. Consequently, I learned how to play the styles of the sax era, along with thousands of other sax players. Players learning today hear smooth jazz, not King Curtis. So enjoy the rest of your playing life and don't retire anymore, because you are desperately needed! They are not making any more of us.
 
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