Every Friday on this blog is “Makin’ it Happen Friday”, where I feature another musician who’s found a way to make a living playing music. I am constantly inspired by others, and hope to pass that inspiration on to you.
I only recently became aware of Josh Freese even though he’s been an in-demand session and tour drummer for many years. He’s recorded and/or toured with big name bands like DEVO, The Vandals, Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses and more. With a resume like that you’d think he be content to sit on his throne and let others front the band, right?
Wrong. He released his first solo record in 2000 and has just the follow-up, “Since 1972”.
But he didn’t just release a record. He used a method called Micropatronage to help finance the whole thing, and in the process received some pretty big press. I came across Josh as I was doing research for my own micropatronage program and realized that he had taken the concept to a whole new level!
In short, micropatronage is the idea that it is easier to find many people to give you little amounts of money than it is to find a few people to give you lots of money. To do this, you entice people with different “premiums” for different levels of contribution, kind of like Public Radio does during a fund drive. What Josh offered was truly inspired and spectacular.
He had low-priced levels where you’d just received the music. But he also had higher levels where he got really creative with the premiums. Included was everything from a personal thank you phone call to lunch together at PF Changs to Josh doing your laundry to miniature golfing with Josh and Mark Mothersbaugh from DEVO and a song written about you! This last level was the $20,000 level, and a 19-year old fan from Florida actually bit! Incredible.
Now there’s a musician who’s really Makin’ it Happen!
Here’s one of the songs from the CD for your listening pleasure.