"Music and the music business are two different things."
I had one of the worst "music business" experiences of my entire career this past weekend. After a really fun gig with two old friends I had a club owner (who didn't realize that I knew who he was) try to pretend he was a just bartender and that he knew nothing about my needing to be paid. Of course, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so I wasn't too put off at first, until the guy started screaming and cussing me out. He quickly went from rude, to downright mean, and bordering on scary. After I finally did get some cash in my hands it was, of course, short, meaning I had to chase him down and receive further abuse. In the end I secured the right amount of money, quickly made my way to the door, and put a new place on the list of places to never play again. (That list is incredibly short, by the way)
Initially I was feeling really down about the whole thing. Luckily I have a radical girlfriend who said to me, "Why are you down? You handled the situation really well, and you got your money. You won. You can handle this music business thing really well." When I looked at it that way I felt a lot better, because she was right, which then reminded me of that Erykah Badu quote. Music and the music business really are two completely different things. And as much as we musicians just want to play music, in this day and age where everyone is doing everything off their own back, we need to learn the music business in addition to all of our practice time. It's unfortunate that there are people like the club owner I met this past weekend, but there are, and we have to learn how to deal with them, because, unfortunately, there is always going to be another one like him.
The most important thing to keep in mind when these things happen is that it doesn't matter. Let that person be miserable. Don't let them bring you down. You play music, whether as a hobby or profession, which is a skill envied by a lot of people. And remember….