Which is worse: perceived arrogance or false humility?

TheCheapGuitarist

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As guitarists and fans of music in general, we've all made critique of famous musicians (e.g., "all technique, no feeling", "invented rock guitar as we know it", "sloppy", etc.). But it seems that when people become famous, either one of two things occurs:

1) They suddenly become humble; or
2) They suddenly become arrogant.

We are conditioned to believe that those who gush admiration on contemporaries while downplaying their own accomplishments are "humble", and those who will claim credit for influencing others while speaking their negative assessments of others as "arrogant".

But have we considered the possibility that much of the "humble" behavior is strictly for the cameras and interviews, because they know it affects their reputations? And conversely, the possibility that the "arrogance" we see is simply people being truthful and honest? I read an interview with Joe Walsh where he said about EVH, "Why would anyone want to play like that?"

People like Carmine Appice and Michael Schenker get slammed for claiming they "invented 80's style rock", "influenced Van Halen", etc. But what if they're right? Should they not talk about it? And if they kept it to themselves and said, "awww, shucks" when someone praised their accomplishments, would that be a good or a bad thing?
 

RetiredUnit1

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I read an interview with Joe Walsh where he said about EVH, "Why would anyone want to play like that?"
I'm not really a fan of Eddie's solos but I appreciate the effort that went into it.

Eddie's favorite lead? Reelin' in the years..... I heard him say those words in an interview on KLOS!

And Joe shook my hand at an Eagles concert, just walking through the crowd.....
 

bottlenecker

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As guitarists and fans of music in general, we've all made critique of famous musicians (e.g., "all technique, no feeling", "invented rock guitar as we know it", "sloppy", etc.). But it seems that when people become famous, either one of two things occurs:

1) They suddenly become humble; or
2) They suddenly become arrogant.

We are conditioned to believe that those who gush admiration on contemporaries while downplaying their own accomplishments are "humble", and those who will claim credit for influencing others while speaking their negative assessments of others as "arrogant".

But have we considered the possibility that much of the "humble" behavior is strictly for the cameras and interviews, because they know it affects their reputations? And conversely, the possibility that the "arrogance" we see is simply people being truthful and honest? I read an interview with Joe Walsh where he said about EVH, "Why would anyone want to play like that?"

People like Carmine Appice and Michael Schenker get slammed for claiming they "invented 80's style rock", "influenced Van Halen", etc. But what if they're right? Should they not talk about it? And if they kept it to themselves and said, "awww, shucks" when someone praised their accomplishments, would that be a good or a bad thing?

Humility is very, very valuable, and it is the natural product of intelligence. Have you considered that it doesn't matter if humility is "just for the cameras"? A lot of people develop an increasing allergy to arrogance as they age, and it's because arrogance is stupid. We all have some, but we appreciate when people at least have the sense to cover it.

I think some old musicians who act arrogantly do so because either they were always dumb, or they messed up their brain over the years and it's not working well for them anymore.

I think old musicians who act humble have figured out some things I truly believe:
It doesn't matter who "invented" anything. The music industry is a scam. There's too much going on in life to get arrogant about how you played a guitar, or how many people liked your song.
The real value of music is social, and if you don't get to hang and have real connection with other people, it's pointless. Those connections require humility.
 

24 track

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I have been fortunate to work for several top name acts at one point or another and have met a few fine people along the way
I can tell you that people like Alice Cooper took the time to come out and shake hands with every on the crew and personally thank them, Bob Dylan treated his people like gold ,Kiss' Eric Singer made the time to come and talk to me for 40 minutes, straight, Dusty Hill made the time to acknowledge us , Elwood Francis was top of the line and showed me the guitar setup close up.
then there was Toby Kieth , OMG what an arrogant over stuffed sack of self rightious snot ( best friend is the Nudge). his arrogance was only superceded by his stage manager .

there is no cure for inflated ego, ,and there is a difference between ego and seeking perfection standards which can, appear the same on on the surface.
 

24 track

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Any good band I've seen or known has no doubt they belong on the stage. I think there is nothing wrong with knowing you are good, but I also believe if you don't recognize greatness in others that's when you run into trouble.
I have found the arogance is usually associated with people trying to assert them self into a realm of notoriety, the ones who have done it all all seem to realize that its a major effort to get the show on the road. it gets back to my addage that :
1) Rich people do not have to tell you they are rich
2) smart people dont have to tell you they are smart
3) talented people dont have to tell you they are talented

you just know
 

micpoc

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People like Carmine Appice and Michael Schenker get slammed for claiming they "invented 80's style rock", "influenced Van Halen", etc. But what if they're right? Should they not talk about it? And if they kept it to themselves and said, "awww, shucks" when someone praised their accomplishments, would that be a good or a bad thing?
They SHOULD bring it up; good to know where to place the blame.

People are going to be who they are. Humility is not always false; arrogance is rarely false.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Arrogance is odious, and I know no one who is falsely humble.
I do know a few big shots, and all the ones I do, are low key and cool.
I haven't met very many, but the ones I have are incredibly down to earth and kind. Talking to Johnny Marr (as in the Godlike Genius Johnny Marr) was like talking with a friend in the street.
 




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