The Internet is invading our lives faster then even the prophets predicted, and as an independent folk musician I can say that it is almost a universally good thing for me. Happily, we are hearing less and less of those awful analogies about "on ramps" and "rest areas" and other road terminology. Maybe I will start referring to the road with computer terms to retaliate.

· The Internet lets all of you find out what I am doing & where I am playing without me having to print and mail things. I usually only do regional mailings, and if I have not played in your area lately, you might wonder if I died or got a job. Many of you are helping out by checking out my schedule and notifying your friends and relatives when I will be in their area. This helps get the word out. It makes it tough to recognize some of you regulars, though, when you show up on vacation at a far-flung gig, and I know I recognize you, but I am used to seeing you somewhere else. When I get a lot older and remember less, this could become a huge problem.

· If all of you had e-mail addresses it would save me thousands of dollars a year in postage notifying you about concerts. (SEND YOURS!) If all the journalists who interview me checked out my web site first (then you can learn what makes me tick and we can talk about interesting topics instead of my earliest muscal influences or whether I write the words or the music first.)

· I can post all sorts of information that I wouldn't bother to print and mail, such as guitar tunings, lyrics, my favorite CD's, the gear I use, plus old but still interesting interviews from magazines, etc.

· I can easily find out what the weather is doing in places I have to travel to, and track storms.

· I am a lot more likely to be able to actually answer questions from fans, which I like to do, and which pile up in embarrassing piles on my desk sometimes.

·The big companies that seem to control everything cannot keep me from getting my message out. With the centralizing and merging of media and radio, more and more air and print time and shelf space in the record stores are devoted to artists associated with large corporations, and fringe artists like me get pushed aside. If you want to know what I am up to, all you need is internet access. You won't find out reading USA Today, People, or Rolling Stone Magazine.

· I can keep in much better touch with my family and other musician friends who also have crazy schedules. (Somebody sends me a joke or a funny story almost every day. Now I don't have to sit in a smoky tavern to keep up on the jokes. Better for my health.)

· Unfortunately, there is less and less time to watch stupid Kung Fu movies (or write songs) in hotel rooms, and now that I can get useful work done on airplanes and hotel rooms and at Denny's breakfast counter, I feel like I am taking phone calls on the golf course. Can't get away from work, as if I ever really could.

BACK TO THE 1998 HARVEY REID NEWSLETTER

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