by Cameron Daniels
I recently attended a Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang concert at Winstar casino in Thackerville, OK. The scene was atypical for a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, six-time Grammy award winner and traditional Chicago Blues guitarist. After sifting through the thousands upon thousands of slots (I’m not kidding) to find the venue inside the casino, I settled into my seat in the emporium.
The crowd was a mixture of blues fans, old people looking for something to do and casino attendees who stumbled into the concert and picked up some of the available tickets. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert itself, being a large fan of all the Chicago Blues artists who arrived before Rock and Roll: Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter. His style is inimitable, not falling into any genre and at age 76, he still can play and perform with the best of them, so long as it ends before 10:00.
What was shocking to me, however, was the crowd itself. The crowd was older than the typical concert that I attend, but I was more shocked at the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd. Traveling to Oklahoma in a casino on a Friday night may not guarantee a crowd conducive to high energy, but I expected a little more respect and reverence for the blues legend. Most of the fans who knew who he was would sit and nod their heads as he played while those who did not know the words or songs would scream and drink more to pretend they’re having a good time.
Coming out of the concert (which, again, I thought was fantastic) I was struck at the late career of a six-time Grammy award winner. My image of famous musicians is that they strike it so rich by age 35 that they either: a.) burn out and die of a drug overdose, b.) lose all their money in a Ponzi scheme and then appear on Celebrity Rehab or advertisements in their later career, c.) retire early and only perform in rare “Comeback concerts” or d.) play just for the fun of it. I would categorize Buddy Guy in category D, but he seemed to still be performing trying to promote his album. His career took a long time to launch and I imagine it was not the most financially lucrative.
As a daytime Financial Analyst, I now picture my career ending giving personal finance advice on a cruise ship in my old years trying to pay off some debt I incurred.
Cameron Daniels works as a financial analyst in Texas. Hailing from the Greater Providence area, he is obsessed with following the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics and lets you know it ad nauseum. His other interests include chess, Good Will Hunting, Pearl Jam and playing piano. He also currently writes for Don’t Quit Your Day Job, a personal finance website dedicated to the night and weekend crowd. You can contact him through e-mail.