How to Make $100 Million Playing Clarinet
And other oddities, oracles & opinions from The Honest Broker
Please step inside. I have some curios to show you.
I know it looks a little dusty here. But the merchandise is always new at The Honest Broker.
Where should we begin? I have some oddities and audio. And images and ideas. And, of course, idle amusements—we always keep those in stock. I’ve got a few opinions, too. But you knew that already, didn’t you?
Take a seat, and I’ll put everything out on the counter. Let’s get started…
I note that Jerry Garcia, future member of the Grateful Dead, was not a good fit with the US Army.
We will compare this with a very different performance review of Mr. Garcia below.
Now here’s a headline you don’t see every day.
How in the world can a clarinetist give away so much money—and even have a medical school named in his honor? He also set up the Avedisian School in a poor Armenian neighborhood, providing children with free education along with school uniforms and two meals a day.
That’s the story of Edward Avedisian, who built a fortune while earning a modest salary as a musician. But he invested his savings in the stock market.
According to the Boston Globe, Avedisian was a buy-and-hold investor, but he focused on initial public offerings (IPOs) and took a lot of risk by buying on margin. He was a self-taught investor, but read Investor’s Business Daily instead of Rolling Stone.
And his day gig? Avedisian played with the Boston Pops for 35 years and the Boston Ballet Orchestra for 43 seasons. Over the years, he also performed with Aerosmith, Whitney Houston, Tony Bennett, Luciano Pavarotti, Leontyne Price, and Big Bird from Sesame Street.
It’s hard to believe how much freelance writing pay has fallen over the decades. Back in 1904, The Black Cat magazine was offering a $1,500 prize for an outstanding short story (left). By 1920, they had raised the amount to $5,000 (right).
In response to my recent article on impersonating famous musicians, Miles Zuniga told me about a fascinating moment in Austin music history.
“A Dick Dodd (of the Standells) impersonator was arrested onstage in Austin,” he recalled. But the story gets better: “And then the real Dick Dodd took over and finished the show!”
Best of all, this was captured on video:
Random thought: Why don’t we have a Monty Python Cinematic Universe?
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