I am always hearing people complain about the high cost of music downloads and cd's, concert merchandise, and concert tickets? Do you ever wonder why musicians charge so much for performances? Most of the time, the musicians do not set these prices, it's the venues, the ticket vendors, the labels. Even so, they do seem to be higher than we'd like, but you have to consider that this is more than just a hobby to career musicians, this is how they live, this is their livelihood and sometimes the difference between being able to pay the rent or not. They don't get paid vacation, paid sick days, bonuses for outstanding performances nor for Christmas. They don't have insurance plans nor do they qualify for unemployment if the lose their record deal. They sacrifice time with their families on special days so that they can bring happiness to those who love music. Illness or personal affairs are not excuses for a bad performance. The next time you ask yourself those questions, try to remember that musicians are musicians because of the love of music, but that love doesn't pay the bills. After they pay the band, the venues, the promoters, the record label, engineers, production, stage crews, the merchandisers, etc, they're not left with as much as you think they are. (Unless you're one of the VERY lucky few who do happen to hit the right note and become a superstar but those are few and far between.) Yes, they choose this way of life, but that makes them no different than the rest of us, we all choose what we do. They just happen to be able to risk it to do what they love and I thank them and appreciate them for that. Thank you Charlie Woods for bringing this up today. Unfortunately, the way things are today and the current state of this country financially, the cost of most everything is going up and sadly that includes the cost of touring, recording a cd, mass producing those cds and making videos to support the singles and that cost filters down to the consumer. Don't blame the artist, they're just trying to make a living. Blame the times.