As more festivals, performances and concerts are canceled due to the coronavirus shutdown, acclaimed hard rock vocalist Jeff Scott Soto has penned an essay in support of artists and creators of every size who rely on paychecks from touring and live gigs to make a living.
Soto, whose band SONS OF APOLLO was forced to postpone a number of European tour dates earlier this month due to the coronavirus pandemic, posted the essay — dubbed "An Artist, A Crisis And The Perceptions That Fall Between Them" — to his social media earlier today.
He wrote: "As an artist/musician who relies on touring, doing shows and appearances for a living, I have jotted down some thoughts that apply to a LOT of us, actually MOST of us, including the bigger 'rock stars' in the world all the way to the 'up and comers'.
"As I share and read all the concerns of the COVID 19 disruption to our lives, I am also seeing some horribly invalid and sometimes ugly perceptions about us artists not being as affected as folks with 'real jobs'. Can I please remind those who think we are swimming in endless pools of money, from the 'paid VIP meet n greets' to 'overpriced merch' to 'hefty ticket prices' that we, the musicians, come home with a fraction of these earnings in the end, not the lion's share you may think based on the pricing climate of going to shows today.
"For those of us artists who work pretty much year round, we're working to pay for the level(s) of life we bust our asses to afford. We may have graduated from sleeping on friends' couches to temporarily moving back home to affording our own small apartment to then finally buying a modest home (and so on), but we have the same concerns, bills, ups and downs, highs and lows as EVERYONE else…maybe more now because we are the embodiment of the old saying, 'nothing good lasts forever'!
"As I mentioned already, even the bigger acts who DO have multiple homes and cars, etc., STILL have to pay for the lifestyle they worked their asses to attain. If/when a tour is pulled midway from a crisis like this current one, we're still responsible for getting crew and band home, paying off balances of non refundable tour buses, hotels, production, visas, etc., ending up as us either doing that tour for free or losing most of what we thought we were earning to pay for that mansion, moderate home or one bedroom apartment.
"This is what WE are facing now! Yes, while I/we have the grace and good fortune to play/earn while all of you scream/cheer (and help finance the aforementioned), I/we/many have had to pull this 'plug' and now suffer losses offering zero confidence on when or how we'll be able to make up them up anytime soon.
"This post is by no means a 'cry me a river' moment, it's mainly aimed at those who hard working, 9-5'ers, paycheck to paycheck people who for some reason feel 'rock stars' have no place or entitlement to moan about this 'forced' time off. When we're lucky enough to put funds side or save for a rainy day, well folks, it may be raining for a while and there may be times it looks as if we're groveling for scraps, it's because many will be!
"I fear what could/will happen the next weeks or months unless there is a sure fire vaccine to put everyone at ease. Until then, please look after one another, don't judge, don't assume you know what we or your neighbors/buddies/complete strangers have or don't have, remember, perception is 90% of most in our lives, the entertainment industry is no different.
"Peace and love and unity to you all!"
Jeff Scott Soto's career spans over thirty years. He was first introduced to the public as the vocalist for guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen's iconic first two solo albums before going on to front esteemed hard rock band TALISMAN. He is also one of the vocalists for the wildly popular TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, the lead vocalist for super group W.E.T. (featuring JSS alongside members of ECLIPSE and WORK OF ART), and creative visionary for the more metal leaning Soto, among many other musical activities he has been involved in. He also held a stint fronting Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers JOURNEY and was one of the vocalists for the officially sanctioned QUEEN tribute QUEEN EXTRAVAGANZA. His incredible voice has led to many an artist inviting him to do guest lead vocals or background vocals on their albums, including, but not limited to, STRYPER, Joel Hoekstra, SAIGON KICK, Fergie Frederiksen, Lita Ford, STEELHEART, and more.
In 1994, he released his first solo outing, "Love Parade", followed by the acclaimed "Prism" (2002), "Lost In The Translation" (2005), "Beautiful Mess" (2009), "Damage Control" (2012) and "Retribution" (2017).
A little thought in my head yesterday, as we all have a lot more time on our hands, clearly won't fit on Twitter as text so if you're bored too, have a read! pic.twitter.com/wri7cu32tS
— Jeff Scott Soto (@jeffscottsoto) March 17, 2020
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