Jeremy worked for a merchant bank. He didn’t have the emotional abandon to be a rock star, so he muddled along playing guitar in groups, whose members were similarly encumbered by professional day jobs. He bought expensive equipment and worked diligently on his song collections. He also rose to some prominence at the bank, being known for his diligence and his ruthlessness. However, the amoral rapacity he brought to financial matters just wouldn’t transfer to his creative ambitions.
His latest group broke up when the drummer was transferred to a litigations specialist in Hong Kong, and Jeremy felt himself at a crossroads. He could not be both banker and musician. To his colleagues’ disbelief, he resigned and went to follow his dream, saving them a considerable amount of severance money as the crunch came.
Jeremy found a job playing in a Riverside café frequented by the bohemian middle-classes. He told the manager his history and his dream, and the man took him on immediately. Jeremy would sit on a stool with his guitar and work quietly through his repertoire. The customers would drink coffee and eat recherché salads and ignore him. After a few days however, this lack of appreciation began to irritate him. Next day he turned up with an amp, cranked it up, and began to sing out his soul, a banker no more.
The manager terminated his residency immediately.
“I’m a musician,” Jeremy protested, “I deserve to be listened to.”
“You’re shit,” replied the manager, “I just didn’t notice till you turned up the volume”
Jeremy carted off his equipment, to tell his girlfriend he was between gigs again.
“Thought a singing banker would be a laugh,” the manager explained to his chef. “But there’s nothing funny about them at all, is there?”