Meet Sage Gentle-Wing
This article was originally featured in Voyage LA, an online arts and music magazine.
Click here to read the full article on their page.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Sage Gentle-Wing.
Sage, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am actually from the S.F. Bay Area, but have lived MUCH of my career on the road, not only in the mainland States but abroad in Hawaii, And toured Japan and NewZealand, both in bands and as a solo artist in my own right, respectively. A true “nomadic” lifestyle if you will… I have been based at times over a 50-year career span in dozens of cities, including L.A, and San Diego, but also Austin, Nashville, Portland OR, Wellington NZ, Waikiki Hi, El Paso, and San Francisco, to name just a FEW,
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been both extremely difficult as well as extremely exhilarating for the whole ride since stepping into music as a serious player in 1966.
In terms of “struggles and challenges” I’d have to say I myself placed the heaviest “challenge” upon myself at the very beginning by insisting on making my “ living” at music, regardless of whether or not I was “ actually” able to do so very adequately or not.
That, however, forced me to put more emphasis on really developing my songwriting, guitar and performance skills.
Being GOOD really HAS sustained me in the clubs and restaurants etc., when “ fame and fortune (haha) never really materialized- at least not at the level we associate with that idea. I’ve been able get RESPECT for my SKILLS from everyone, but that has never (yet) translated to a good break in the biz. I have had several “ small” watermarks in that regard over many years time, however, having been “signed” four different times to small companies who were very supportive but couldn’t really do anything significant either. They all went under eventually, themselves! Each time I was convinced my shop had come in only to see it dissolve before my eyes.
So in a word – money – the lack of it – has always been THEE issue. The more recent challenge, of course, is – AGE. I’m 67. There is in fact, a lot of “ ageism” in the music industry. You fight that at every turn- even in local bars and restaurants where the average musician competing for local gigs is in the 20’s or 30’s. I’ve been told I was “ too old” to get signed even when I was 24 – in the 70’s, but surprise, I’m still here and better than ever, still healthy and working full time, writing and recording songs that have been SUPPORTING me in breweries and wineries- but SHOULD be on a much more visible platform. You can’t get there without other backing. I self produce my own recordings. It’s a VERY expensive and SLOW process- and I use good studios. I don’t even own a computer, sad to say.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Well, I’m a working artist but I DO have my own publishing catalog with ASCAP. I wouldn’t call it a “ company”. It’s necessary to have to get royalties from them. I’ve definitely gotten paid out in the past from RADIO play, but haven’t seen much in several years now due to internet policies like Spotify that pay in “ shares” as opposed to direct downloads of your music. You gotta sell in the millions now to much a very little amount. No one makes money from these “ platforms” except the big boys. It’s a horrendous model.
What I am “ known for” is being a great LIVE solo artist mostly playing His own original music and getting away with it in small clubs that in turn are known for demanding you play covers. I’d say that is a pretty great accomplishment all by itself?
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Having highly developed guitar playing skills in several genres, played authentically. The same goes for my songwriting skills – through my weakest link is marketing those skills to people who can make your career happen at a much higher level. I’m a “survivor” and that IS another skill.
$150.00- $500.00 a show
.99 cent downloads on my website
Address: 13117 Smokey Rd
La Mesa, NM 88044
Facebook: FB/ sagegentle-wing