The first 3 months of 2016 have faded away. With them, any improbable hopes of a rapid ascension into the popular culture spotlight have also dissipated. Let me be clear, I never expected that kind of immediate success: I also never ruled out the possibility, optimist that I am (I buy lottery tickets with the same level of expectation). But, as April approaches, I think it’s a good time to reflect on how far I’ve come, and how far I still need to go. There are lessons to be learned and realities to be faced.
Lesson 1: Most older people don’t consume much new music. That’s not to say they don’t enjoy music or listen to a lot of it. Their tastes, however, lean toward songs from the past. They prefer their musical cocktails to be a mixture of equal parts music and memories. Oldies rule!
Lesson 2: While older folks may use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they do it in very specific ways. Their posts usually revolve around popular graphic memes of the moment, or pictures of their kids… or grandkids. Rarely do they post links to music, unless they are blasts from the past or quick snippets of their friend’s cover band performing at a local event.
This brings me to Lesson 3: Old people rarely “share”. Here’s an example of what I mean. When I released my first song, “The Christmas of Our Lives”, my son and I both shouted it out to our respective social media friends lists. Several of my son’s contacts shared the song almost immediately. My friends, well, not so much. Actually, only one shared it at all and that was several days after the song’s release. The “older” market is hard to reach and harder to crack.
Having said all that, it’s pretty much what I had suspected going in. That’s why I purposely used a pseudonym and no photographs on my promotional material. I was convinced that if I were identified as something other than young, the climb would get considerably steeper.
So, where do I go from here? While I am still not planning to tout my age, I am also not going to run from it. I have just completed a performance art vehicle which will afford me the opportunity to begin performing live. Obviously, in that environment, audiences will be able to discern my age (although I really am a young looking 103). I also realize that at some point my age may actually become a positive, should certain promotional opportunities present themselves. So, my plan moving forward is to continue releasing new songs at regular intervals while slowly folding in live performances. That’s not to say that at some point I won’t decide to toss in the towel, form The Partial Tucker Tribute Band and lead high profile demonstrations against ageism in a feeble attempt to gain popularity. After all, I’m not getting any younger.