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December 10, 2008 / alunatunes

December 10-Keeping up with the Joneses


“Keepin up with the Joneses is killin me. She was just one more bad habit, I was too blind to see.” -Little Feat

I love this tune by Little Feat. Each time I hear the phrase keeping up with the Joneses, and I’ve been hearing it alot lately, I’m reminded of this funny song about a guy trying to stay one step ahead and constantly falling ten steps short. It’s a great anology for the spend trend our general population has been on the past few years. Purchasing the biggest, newest, shiniest whatever has now proven to be the downfall of many individuals, families and corporations. 

Musicians love the latest technology, the most current information and the best in instruments and amps and keyboards and drums. We really love being on the cutting edge, finding it hard to wait until items, particularly longed-for items, reach sale price.  We confuse wants with needs when instruments are the intimate tools of our trade and the symbols of our artistry.

When we purchase a new instrument, we are the envy of our peers and we glow in the acquisition of our new guitar or drums or whatever. But what actually drives that desire? It is the accolades of our bandmates and other musical friends who perhaps don’t have such a desirable instrument? Or did we truly “need” that new guitar because ours was in disrepair?

Learning the difference between internal desires and the external ego is important as we navigate life’s tricky path of needs and wants.  If we’re truly trying to not buy the earth ticket, should our trusty but rusty old instrument not serve us just as well as a shiny new model? Could a few repairs make our instrument good as new? Have we simply formed the idea that something new will make us better players?

Deeply consider the reasons you buy a new instrument. Remember, there are definitions of “old” that apply to musicial instruments. Older instruments are considered vintage, classics, often irreplaceable.  Are you purchasing something new to keep up with The Joneses or has your purchase been carefully considered over a span of time?  Is your purchase a want or a need? Learning the difference can keep us truly attuned to our inner spirit and away from ego based buying.

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One Comment

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  1. shays / Dec 11 2008 3:01 am

    And if you want to keep up with Little Feat’s “Joneses”, you’ll want to track down their now retired but long time road manager, Denny Jones! This is a man who spent his college days in a fraternity with Cheech Marin, Dick Enberg, and Howard Kaylan (Flo, of Flo and Eddy fame … aka, the Turtles)

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