Blogging from the other side of the footlights

That’s what the writer at is trying to do with this recently launched blog, though with some mighty big carve-outs in the blog’s permissible field of vision:

I don’t intend for this blog to be negative in any way. I prefer to keep my anonymity for obvious reasons, but if it were ever discovered, I don’t want to say anything on here that could hurt anyone or come back to affect me. In the end, if you pay attention to the posts that will follow, your chances of having an artist enjoy your company or not try to avoid you will improve.

A curious, if not altogether surprising, approach, this decision to frame the blog as an effort to equip fans with some information that might help them be less obnoxious to artists. This is a polite way of saying “this won’t be Jersey Shore for sg” and, to be sure, such an approach will certainly appeal to a certain subset of diehards who are ever on the lookout for tips about how to more effectively practice their fan-love on their favorite artists.

Still though … while censuring whole swaths of what life is really like for an artist in the name of not being “negative” makes perfect sense from a job security perspective, it will make for a lot less interesting blogging, I imagine. Here’s my prediction, anyhow, gleaned from very personal experience: the blogger’s ability to remain anonymous will vary in direct proportion to the blog’s candor about life on the road (and how savvy the tech set-up on the blog is in the first place).

In the meantime, there’s a lot to be said from an artist’s perspective that would be worth reading before we all get to the forbidden forest of negativity. That, and, the bar on artists’ blogs has been set pretty low by the most of the ones that are out there so far.

So, yeah … welcome, FAAP. Oh and … yes, a less clunky nom de blog would be nice too … I recommend putting your interns on that.

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  1. melvin klaudt wrote:

    Why do people want to voice an opinion and then hide? If I say something, and it turns out bad, most of the time I learn from it. It is like saying, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?”

    My name will always be attached to what I say, period.

  2. Steven wrote:

    Melvin - i do see your point. My only thought on the “hiding” aspect is really the fan’s fault. It seems that the majority of SG fans truly wear their heart on their sleeve. I assume the artist doesn’t want to risk fans getting upset, thus leading to them not buying tickets, putting in the offering, and purchasing music.

    and of course, we always like a little mystery and its good marketing to keep people coming back haha

  3. quartet-man wrote:

    I understand your point, Melvin. However, this is not only the artist’s living, but if they are in a group affects the other members by association.

  4. Aaron Swain wrote:

    The artist made a comment that further defined what they meant by not being negative:

    “When I said negative, I meant that I wouldn’t be putting anyone down individually or use strong language. My intent is mainly to use this blog as a place to vent about my pet peeves. Not only toward fans, but I do plan on sharing peeves about other artists in general (with no intention of naming names). There will be positive aspects of the ministry in future posts. The purpose is not to sound like I am miserable, because I’m not. It is mainly taking a comical approach things we encounter on the road.”

    His posts thus far have been pretty blunt and to the point, and while there’s not a thing wrong with that, I can see where anonymity is the best route. Fans can be pretty sensitive about things, and I have a feeling they would get pretty offended if they actually knew who the artist was writing this.

    For my two cents’ worth, blog on! It’s nice to read an artist tackling issues that I’m sure must bother the heck out of them all the time.

  5. EnoughAlready wrote:

    This is total arrogance from the “artist.” It’s no wonder SG music is losing fans every day and not gaining new ones. I do agree the “fan” should use good judgement when approaching, but let’s face it, a person that would do things like this will not “see the light” and stop the unsolicited harassment. If this were a more popular form of music a body guard and “germ” police might be in order. Oh don’t forget to get the barriers up in case anyone should rush the stage, Please! There are parts of any job that are unpleasant, but to act as if one is entitled to something just because they dress up in nice clothes sniff diesel fumes on a weekly basis and sing, for the most part, kareoke, is just wrong.

  6. melvin klaudt wrote:

    This all sounds good, however, anonymity can give someone a two edged sword with no reprisal effect. It also gives someone the liberty to say and do without much common sense thought process.

    I think people tend to respect me for my subject input more readily if I do not hide. And I believe people are more at liberty to respond to me, if they think I am off base in my thoughts. I am not perfect, and if somone can file off a sharp edge of my personality, I accept that.

  7. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    Dear author(s) of An Artist’s Perspective:

    Hear me clearly: YOU ARE A SOUTHERN GOSPEL ARTIST. You are a star only in your own mind, and possibly in the minds of the smattering of unsophisticated southern seniors who follow you around. Therefore, you are no position to lecture anyone about how to approach you properly.

    The next time someone interrupts you as you stuff your morbidly obese face at a Cracker Barrel and asks to shake your hand, you should consider yourself flattered that ANYONE would recognize you at all. It’s SOUTHERN GOSPEL. You may be too untalented or too lazy to make it in any other genre, but this is where you landed. Deal with it.

    This goes double for all you third and fourth tier groups extorting little old ladies to make the next payment on a bus you don’t need and can’t afford. Here’s hoping this recession thins out your herd a little.

    I can’t wait to ask the next southern gospel “superstar” I encounter if he or she remembers me from

    Soli Deo Gloria

  8. quartet-man wrote:

    Yes Melvin, there is that. People who remain anonymous CAN take advantage of the lack of accountability to overstep, say false things, or be rude. However, hopefully they have either told a loved one, spouse, group member, or someone who they are to help keep them in check. Of course, they have God to answer to ultimately.

    I stand by what I say, and there are people who know exactly who I am. I am from the old school of protecting one’s personal info online (to some degree), but am pretty open in others. However, I am a nobody as far as in the SG industry etc. My name if I gave it nor wouldn’t mean anything to anyone really if I gave it. I understand that SG stars are a little different in that regard, but that can be a double-edged sword.

    Yes, there are negative things in each job. Doctors have to be on call. Stars give up privacy and freedom. However, in each situation a little courtesy and common sense should be used. Don’t call a doctor on a holiday, 3:00 in the morning or weekend if you only have a runny nose. Don’t ask a doctor for free medical advice especially if you aren’t even their patient.
    Don’t be rude or demanding of a singer or actor. They are human, they need a little space or privacy. Now, I once bumped into a “star” who was a solo performer and has been tenured in two of the biggest groups out in public. I didn’t know if I ever would see them again, so I did ask for an autograph and said a few words. But, I didn’t act like I owned them or they owed me something.

    I can believe that people would interrupt an artist’s lunch or maybe even talk to them at the urinal. :D I understand because you are afraid this is your chance or they will leave if you don’t do it right then. But, I also understand how some fans can be so possessive, demanding, jealous, and yes rude.

    Now, I have a couple of suspicions on who this person is. No, I am not going to share them as they are hunches (one I strongly believe) and I have only circumstantial evidence. I don’t want to falsely accuse and really, even if I knew wouldn’t want to do that to them. They have a right to anonymity if they choose it at least if they handle it morally.

    I am not sure if this person is correct in their feelings or are being a bit difficult or ungrateful. Time will tell. I do understand though that artists are human and some fans (at least) need an education in boundaries and manners. Putting myself in the artists’ shoes, I would probably understand most were either excited, or just didn’t think things through. However, I am sure there are some who just don’t care or who feel they have a right to interject themselves places they shouldn’t and even feel they “own” the artists.

  9. quartet-man wrote:

    Oh, and Melvin, I do respect you and hope this isn’t taken the wrong way. However, to be fair, you really don’t have as much to lose as artists today whose living comes from this and whose futures could be affected by this. (Let alone ones partners). I don’t know how fans were back then (I suspect they were more starstruck as far as SG was bigger back then), but I also suspect fans might be worse in some ways today as far as feeling they have rights to more than they do.

  10. melvin klaudt wrote:

    # 8 & 9, From a monetary standpoint I might agree. However, from a responsibility to my Creator and the ministry of the family that I am Administrator of and carrying on, I feel more obligated to conduct myself in as much of an honorific manner to others as possible, being in this fleshly carcas. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but how did Christ deal with the masses? Shouldn’t someone upholding His banner, study more closely Jesus attitude?

  11. irishlad wrote:

    Whilst i was enjoying some of of our more verbose poster’s here, i thought i’d have a little fun over there :)

  12. Janet B wrote:

    I went…I read…I yawned.
    Really, it’s all just whining. Who can’t whine about their job? I certainly can…but I doubt anyone would want to read a blog about it. :)
    There are lots of thoughtless, rude, and brain-dead people out there. If you’re going to work out in the public in any fashion, you have to deal with it. Period.
    (I’ve asked for a shotgun under the counter at work to take care of such nuisances, but - as of yet - the boss has declined. Rats.)

  13. quartet-man wrote:

    10. Melvin, you have a point, but look what they did to Him. With that said, I am not talking about hiding behind anonymity to say bad things. However, you have a point in going to the people themselves. But, another problem is the internet is a different beast. Besides, this person isn’t calling out a specific person, more like calling out certain behaviors. Maybe that isn’t different, but in some ways it is like putting out a rule book saying these are the things you should and shouldn’t do and not so much this person did this to me and I am going to rake them over the coals in front of everyone, but do it anonymously.

  14. CVH wrote:

    Sounds like another waste of time. Many fans, especially the more rabid ones, are only interested in the gossip and “insider” dish. It remains to be seen whether this blog will be informative, insightful or interesting but it doesn’t look too promising. You can’t be real without being negative on occasion. And if the stated goal is to have an artist enjoy your company or at the least not avoid you, come on…we’ve all got better things to do.

    Ivan Parker?

  15. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    I don’t think that other blog (mentioned above) is going to make it. The author appears to be way too thin skinned. Plus, he had to drop a Great Commission bomb, which is always the last resort for a southern gospel theologian. Given his Pharisee-like rules about how a fan should and should not approach him, his reference was particularly egregious.

    Either that, or maybe I missed the part where Christ commanded us to make disciples of all nations so long as they aren’t trying to shake our hands at restaurants.

  16. irishlad wrote:

    CVH…i could be wrong,but i don’t think Ivan could string two words together on paper.A short-tempered health freak w/enough time on his hands to write a blog?….mmmmm.

  17. Wade wrote:

    CVH… Ivan is WAY to pretty to be eating pizza in public!!! Maybe if it was the outside smoking area!!! ;-) Love ya Ivan!!

    Let’s go see what IrishLad stirred up… I love it when ppl are thinned skinned!!!

  18. observor wrote:

    #5 - wow. Good stuff. lol

  19. CVH wrote:

    I think Doug needs to add a chat room to AVFL…then we could engage in all this chaos in real time.

    Soli - “the Great Commission bomb” - love it!

  20. Ode wrote:

    5, yes. SinGers say the darndest things- then he complained that many sg fans don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. Speaking of negativity…

    Agreed,first posts showed him unfavorably as a dime a dozen singer with ego 3 sizes too big, starved for attention, that gets his rocks off by insulting fans he sees as lame yokels.Claims that 95% of singers agree with him are troubling - if true, the approaching demise of the old genre is well earned.

    Based on ideas given for “further topics” it might be yet another gossip column under accompaniment of juicy kissing of we-know-what-part from the usual internet groupies with very flexible morality, they’ll cheer all his has to say

    (Yawning with Janet)
    Will check later, maybe it was just a bumpy start. So far just platitudes presented as profundity…

    #7 Soli for president!
    What is Gr. Comm. bomb? :) Must be some cultural reference I’m missing….

  21. Ode wrote:

    #19 :D CVH, great idea. Videochats are even better! He can outsource it to avery’s FB ;)

  22. Bones wrote:

    Melvin, You need to write a book. It would be very interesting. How your father met your mother, and thir minstry.

  23. irishlad wrote:

    20 Ode, “The Great Commission” is recorded in the very last 4 verses of the Gospel of Matthew were Jesus commanded his disciples to “go and make disciples of all Nations”.There is also a “lesser commission” in Matt 10..but that’s another story.I’m quite sure armed with that information you will have no trouble working out what ole Soli was on about. :)

  24. melvin klaudt wrote:

    Bones, I’ve been thinking about it. Thanks

  25. Ode wrote:

    Aye,thanx, Ilad. Still downt know what he meant by “last resort for *SG theologian* (thats an oxymoron:)” Maybe in due time.. My impression about old SG - its serviceable to us believers, but has little potential in attracting unsaved to God due to it’s peculiar demeanor and playing it safe with simple,milky, brochure-type lyrics

    As for lesser commition- SG in its current form is antithetical

    See, a Jew(ess) has special genetic makeup that equips us to effectively do 3 things that you, lovely gentiles, much less capable of - digest matza, nonstop flirt with a worthy object even when already being carried away to the cemetery, and detect/quickly discard all elitist, religious, sanctimonious bullshit .

    So SG can’t do Jews, unless they are already saved. :D

  26. LORIE ARNOLD wrote:

    Soli, your comment was rude.

    Sincerely, Lorie Arnold

  27. irishlad wrote:

    Ode.. matza? Translate pretty pls ,i’m trying to complete my slang dictionary. :)

  28. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:


    I really take issue with your characterization of my comment as rude. First, I didn’t ask you if you remembered me. Second, I did not approach you at a restaurant. Since I clearly followed all the rules regarding approaching southern gospel superstars, such as yourself, that I am aware of, I do not understand how my comment could be considered rude.

    Unless, of course, I am not aware of the rules regarding approaching Northwest Indiana southern gospel superstars, in which case I sincerely apologize. Perhaps you should start a blog so I can keep up.

    Soli Deo Gloria

  29. Hector Luna wrote:

    Soli, I had to re-read your comment again to appreciate it all the more. Wish we could treat southern gospel artists like “real ministers”, for “real ministers” are concerned with shaking hands, whether it be brethren or the lost, and thus concerned with The Great Commission.

    Good thing we aren’t star struck when we see a pastor that can exegete a text of Scripture so well.

    Or should we be?

  30. SteveSmith wrote:

    Lorie, Soli’s comments usually are rude. He pretends that he is trying to help the industry, but really just thrives on tearing it down.

  31. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    As always, Hector completely gets it.

    But you’re not fooling me…any southern gospel fan who likes Lecrae has to be at least a little star struck by that one pastor from Minneapolis…

  32. Hector Luna wrote:

    Soli, dat’s da truth. Also, tiny bit of stardom towards Chandler. However, I think I could carry on at least a 1 minute conversation with him.

    Alright, back to Rehab.

  33. Ode wrote:

    27, God’s curse, tastewise similar to a newspaper that passes for food in the the circles I traffic,among other legit options like grilled meat (exodus 12 ,deut. 16)Mislabled as “bread”.

    Matza is “bread” like a fundie SBaptist is “Christian” -still fits the definition, but usually disgusting .

    Jesus had it at Pesah seder(Passover dinner),or “Last Supper” in Christian tradition.

    I never liked it, it’s awful even if doctored. Just an additional perk of my converstion to Chrsitianity – no more eating matzot and no chance of marrying a Jew! God is good, indeed :D

  34. Ode wrote:

    29, Hector,i am puzzled, too .. If The Artist read all the way to The GC, how come he missed Matt 15? or do you americans read books from the end to the front, as we do now, too? Then he should have seen Mark 7..

    You like Lecrae? Highfive. I was to his concert in chicago last fall. Depth of the lyrics and general atmosphere was incredible.

  35. Hector Luna wrote:

    Ode, recently I’ve had more hallelujah spells listening to Lecrae than I have listening to anything in southern gospel.

  36. Melvin Klaudt wrote:

    Unless something is anointed by the Holy Spirit, it does not receive Hallelujahs, it only gets applause.

  37. Ode wrote:

    Melvin, are you saying SG songs lack the Holy Spirit? Why so? a lot of it is very inspired.

    If you mean Lecrae’s songs have no Holy Spirit then you are or sourgraping, or commenting on something you never listened to.

  38. Melvin Klaudt wrote:

    #35 & #37. I have not listened to Lecrae. I was responding to Hector. If a song brings Hallelujahs, it has to be inspired by the HS. If it doesn’t it only receives applause.

    Just one of my comments, I guess, that can easily be misinterpreted.

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