Dear 1999: Ethan Fein

In December of 1999 I was playing “Cats” on Broadway, and it was going to close the next year. I’m not sure if I knew that in December. Probably not. I did know that New Year’s Eve of 1999 was supposed to be the biggest night in the club date business of all time, but it turned out to be a flop. Hardly anyone had parties and hired bands. Many jobs were canceled when participants did not show.

I knew that after “Cats” there was no guarantee that I would get more work. So at that time, if I knew better, I would have done a better job of saving money for the lack of work which indeed did follow. By 1999 it had become quite clear that the music business was shrinking at a precipitous rate, and that what had once been would no longer be. So in that regard, I was not surprised, and my behavior the whole time up to then was in preparation for what was in fact a depression in the music business from which we have never recovered.

Dear 1999: All Participating Blogs

The past decade has introduced many changes, opportunities and surprises in the musician business. To end the decade, we asked the musician blogging community to help us answer the following question.

If you could go back to 1999 and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Below is the list of participating blogs.

Excerpts:“What I have seen and experienced in the last ten years leads me to believe that there aren’t any shortcuts (at least not ones that tend to last) and that people who become great at whatever they do tend not to chase their goals at an unmanageable pace.”

Rick Goetz

“Surround yourself with the greatest minds available. Find ways to befriend influential leaders, artists, educators, media voices, business owners, arts patrons, and other interesting personalities. These relationships will lead to fulfilling encounters and open many doors.”

Dr. David Cutler

“In a month or so, you are going to get a job offer. It’s a really good straight non-music job, well paid, with a world-famous organisation that no-one could reasonably object to working for. Don’t take it, though I know you will.”

Wayne Myers

Chris Hodges on Shagtastic Voyage
Dr. David Cutler on
Marion Harrington on Marion Harrington’s Clarinet World
Rick Goetz on Musician Coaching
Gary Melvin on Living Music
Billie Whittaker on Good Company
Jason Parker on One Working Musician
Ivan Orr on Grown Folks Music
Christopher Joel on
Adam Meinerding The Life of an Aspiring Musician
Heather Miller-Rodriguez on Lyrical Venus
Pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs on her website
Kriz Rodgers on It’s a Muzikality
GBAC on Low Man’s Lyric
Gregory Dudzienski on Ear of the Mind
Wayne Myers on I Am Taking My Ball And I Am Going Home
Dar on high voltage rock and roll
Ethan Fein on
Mike Lunapiena on Journeys of a Cellist
CharLena Pearson on Lgwrite’s blog
Carla Lynne Hall on
Jeffrey Paul Bobrick on I Love JPB
Dave Jacoby on sans direction
Christopher Davis on The Classical Guitar Blog
Bret Pimentel on Bret Pimentel, woodwinds
Cameron Mizell of
David J. Hahn of

Group Blogging Event on December 30th is organizing a group blogging event for all music and musician bloggers. The past decade has introduced many changes, opportunities and surprises in the musician business, and we invite you to discuss the decade with a synchronized response.

If interested, please write a response to the following question and post it to your blog on December 30th, 2009.

If you could go back to 1999 and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

The suggested title is Dear 1999.

Send an email to with the URL of your response (pingbacks work too) and we will post a list with links to all of the participating blogs.

For an example of a previous group blog event, see To a Mother Concerned About File Sharing

Thank you, we look forward to your posts.