Friday, February 5, 2010

"Oh yeah? Well, you play like CRAP!"

LOL. It never fails. Every time I get in to an online debate with someone about anything that has to do with harmonica (and never has anything to do with anybody’s playing ability), the other guy in the debate will get frustrated and attack my playing, spewing what he thinks is the ultimate put-down. It reminds me of that hilarious scene in the movie “The Sandlot” where a bunch of adolescent little leaguers throw down their best insult: "You play like a GIRL!"

Yesterday I had an email exchange that went like this:

Hater- "You suck. You are an intermediate player!"

Me- "Uh, yep… I’ve always claimed to be an intermediate player."

Hater- "Well…. I was wrong. You are a BEGINNER!"


As I’ve written before, I am a PROUDLY intermediate harp player. I have NEVER been one of those pretentious twits who claim to be better than anybody else. Insulting somebody’s playing to make cheap points in an argument is reprehensible. It is a failure of imagination, no different than those adolescent boys in the movie.

In the last 12 months I’ve played 70 paying gigs, including one last night. That is not a big number, but it’s about what I want. (You can check the schedule in my band website to see where I've played.) This blog gets more than 500 hits per day, almost all of them from people searching Google for information about harp amps and gear. Am I the best player around or the biggest authority on all things harmonica? Heck no! But I am happy with my place in the blues harp community.

For you haters with a festering urge to insult my playing, I say, "grow up!" You’re acting like a 12-year old little leaguer.


Todd said...

Amen, brother. Rick, you're a valuable asset to the community, and whoever made that statement is an asshole and a coward who hides behind his monitor and would NEVER say anything like that your face. You're ok by me!

scooter said...

Ya dude, you suck. My dad can beat up your dad too.

Cute post. Truth is that most people are intermediate at best. I always just say I suck. People tell me that I play well and I just say thanks. It's not a competition....... or am I going about it all wrong ???


Ev630 said...

Meh. I've had that with my harp videos. People dig them but then I get into a debate about gear or a certain player and I get all sorts of crap. It's just BS.

Hey, I was sorry to see the huge OB thread was locked over at Modern Harp. What a shame. It appears you aren't allowed to point out the weaknesses of OBs. It's sort of an Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. A pity because the stimulating discussions are, well, the stimulating ones.

I dig your blog, Rick, even when I disagree on small points. It's ALL good dude.

Dave Eisner said...

Possibly the best scene in a movie you could ever site.

Next time you should respond with:

"You bob for apples in the toilet...and you like it!!"


"You mix your Wheaties with your mama's toe jam!!"

Great Post.

Robert said...

I appreciate your blog. You provide valuable and interesting content here. I wish I had 70 paying gigs a year. I like overblows but you don't - you're welcome to your viewpoint without people taking cheap shots.

Zack said...

I don't want to be mean, cause this is a joke, but do you got kids or do you just like watching kid's movies? hahaha.

Rick Davis said...

Kid's movie?!?! No, Zack, that is a coming of age movie. Anybody who was an athlete at that age can relate. The Sandlot rocks.

Mike Lynch said...

I always wondered about overblowing - why not just learn how to play the chromatic harp? That way, all of the notes will be in tune!

Ev630 said...

Ironically Zack, you prove Rick's point!

Play the ball, not the man!

Harmonica Notes said...

I don't know about this case but the guys I have run into who do th most insulting about how bad a player is are the guys who hide in their bedrooms and play "To get it right" and never go out in public to play.

I'm a newbie player I readily admit that but I have had more time in front of an audience a lot of players with years of practice.

A lot of guys on line never get out to play and they are generally the most vocal about someone elses flaws.

The hard part is putting it behind you. Insults hurt more than complements help. The sad part is insults are easier to get, especially on line.

Zack said...

Hahaha, it is an interesting move I admit. Haven't seen it in awhile.

Bill Kumpe said...

OH YEAH, and you're momma's ugly and your sister sleeps around. So what? I don't play well enough to throw stones at anybody and frankly, people who make those kind of comments usually have issues of their own to deal with. The ultimate questions are: (1) is the audience smiling when you play and (2) are getting asked to play again. If that's happening your playing OK. The rest is schoolyard stuff.

Rick Davis said...

I hear ya, Bill. Thanks for visiting my blog.

dennis moriarty said...

Rick. If the author of the insult lives on the east coast I'll steal a car (I'm unemployed) and run him over.... Keep posting my man. dennis

garry said...

well, the truth is, even if your playing did suck, it wouldn't matter. if you're providing useful information to the community, that's a good thing. i can find great harp players all over the 'net. but this is where i come to read about this stuff.

Ron Arnold said...

Rick, this is a cool site. I found it looking for Lady luck info, having read your inputs on MBH. Thanks for doing this. It will save some folks a lot of time and money!

HarpGear said...

Hey Rick, sorry to hear that this obviously highly advanced harp dynamo had to take to the low road and attack your playing level. He should worry about his own playing and spend more time practicing instead of slinging disparaging remarks at another player. We are all on the road of music somewhere. As long as we enjoy what we are doing and have a blast then the rest of the haters can send all the negative remarks they like.

I am sure that the player who made the remark is simply a remarkable player too! (Insert eye roll here)

Keep up the great work. Back to practice for me so I can try to keep the haters away! (Not Likely)


Anonymous said...

I am THRILLED that you #1 are 'only' an intermediate player like most of us mere mortals (I play 30 gigs a year - have a ball and even get paid - plus people usually say nice things and some girls flirt with me - even though i'm nothing so great either and shame-on-me i don't even overblow!!) and #2 you provide an incredibly wonderful service with all your various reviews!

Keep up the great work and blow man blow!

Rick Davis said...

Barry, thanks for the comment. I know many great blues players who don't overblow. They certainly could if they want to (I accidentally discovered overblows for myself in 1975) but they don't because to them tone is more importantant than technique.

Intermediate harp players rock!