Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Monday, November 10, 2008

What the Luck?

“Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work -- and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't”.- Lucille Ball:

“I don’t believe in luck, but I could sure use some.” – Randy Granger

I’ve been hearing luck attributed to success lately. Roger Moore said on a morning talk show recently that it was just luck that he got the James Bond roles and further that the idiom of success being 33% talent, 33% looks and 33% luck but that he thought it was actually 99% luck. A few other interviews I’ve come across lately all pointed to similar ratios of luck being most important. A major-label Native American flutist said he “just got lucky” when I congratulated him on an extended feature on Echoes the New-Age Radio program. I’m suspect of this attitude and make it a practice to never wish anyone good luck opting to say I know things will go well for them and reminding them to enjoy themselves etc. I meet a lot of musicians who know about the Hang and how challenging (understatement) they are to get right now. They always say how lucky I am to have one. I remind them I did Pay for it (maxing my credit cards) and tracked down how to find a used one. So lucky? If that’s another word for determined I guess so.

I don’t feel lucky. I do feel grateful and fortunate often though. I’m grateful I’ve driven over 11,000 miles this season and not been in an accident—especially through places like Oklahoma and Chicago where driving is a combat sport. I’m very glad my snarky mouth didn’t get me into too much trouble or get me punched out. I’m fortunate my carelessness with my instruments resulted in zero loss even while singing CD’s for an hour while my Hang and Flutes sat behind the stage for all to procure… Dang I need some roadies. Any takers? Ha-ha

John Lennon said that life is what happens while you’re making other plans. So true. I’m tempted to change my bio on my website and MySpace to a more truthful one like: “Randy…..an overly talented musician mired in self-doubt and prone to panicking at the lack of interest in his music and a total Gig-whore who will play at your house-cleaning for a discount.” Wouldn’t that be funny if all the musician profiles were that revealing? I had been feeling self-indulgently depressed so last week I vowed to make my performances about sheer enjoyment. It helped. Last weekend at the Dona Ana Renaissance Faire I gave up any expectations about the future and dove into the moment. It worked. I had such fun and even with over 450 vendors, five stages and between 35,000-40,000 people all of my performances drew excellent crowds and I made some nice coin. Yesterday I dragged myself down to our weekly Farmer’s Market a huge 10 block open air local growers and craftspeople market, and with my Hang and Native Flutes I Busked up a storm. The Hang is such a people, and money, magnet and I had crowds just circling me with all ages, races and types. No one was Republican, Democrat etc. everyone was just completely puzzled and smiling about this flying saucer that makes music. I must have said, “It’s called a Hung, from Switzerland…etc” several hundred times. I came home and ordered 1000 postcards with all my info to pass out at gigs.

Its funny people always talk to me while I’m playing and engrossed in my music. This used to irritate me but I have a better perspective and attitude now. The late Studs Terkell (he died on Halloween this year) said that “In our impersonal world of ours pretense is put at a premium.” I think my lack of pretense is why I’m approachable. That or they think I’m homeless. This summer I witnessed how unattractive pretention is in performers and hope all of you will set me straight if I get that way. I know working hard, being prepared, being authentic and working on your craft are what you do because you call yourself a musician—however, I would sure enjoy having an honest manager, a decent booking manager, a supportive record label and as much radio play as possible and I for one would love to be on the Echoes playlist. In the meantime I continue to make music because It is what I do and so far people enjoy it. Thankfully! The NMSU Dance Program recently commissioned a song from me they will premiere in December. A local NPR radio program asked me to compose a new theme song for them. I have a song on the INAFA 2008 Compilation CD. Yeah! My CD was #12 on the New Age Reporter charts. I’m playing at the El Paso Museum of Archeology. I'm on a Fundraiser Compilation CD for La Casa a shelter for abused women and kids, a serious problem here and I love what I do so even if I never get invited to perform anywhere ever again at least I can take my music to the streets any given day and bring people joy. Lucky me.

A couple of photos from the Renaissance Faire.