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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceThe Business of Music(Moderator: BGuttman) Ringling folding, 800ish jobs gone
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Jhereg

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« on: Jan 14, 2017, 09:10PM »

Well, it's finally happened. Ringling Bros is folding. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ringling-bros-circus-ending-1.3936551

Posting this here because eighteen musicians are also losing their jobs. One more live music opportunity gone.
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 14, 2017, 10:12PM »

That's too bad
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 14, 2017, 10:38PM »

So sorry Megan. :cry:  I just read about this on the Internews, and wondered if you'd be posting about it on TTF. 

It saddens me, because I'm an "old guy" who not only enjoyed the circus myself as a child, but took my own children to performances when  Ringling Bros. / Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town.  It was always a great show.   Good!

Hope you can find a place to entertain the public with that Williams trombone after May.   Sing it!

Best wishes. 
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 15, 2017, 03:17AM »

This is so very sad. A whole unique way of life gone.... and a unique way of working as a musician.
I hope you find another outlet for your talent Megan and that you feel proud to be the last of a long tradition.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 15, 2017, 04:14AM »

When I was in the union, I had the opportunity to play a couple of times when Ringling Bros. came to town.  What a tremendous learning experience it was.  This is a sad day.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 15, 2017, 08:38AM »

Once I saw how animals are mistreated by so-called trainers in the majority of circus', I stopped going years ago. As a professional dog trainers and animal behavior consultant and knowing this abuse was not necessary - and it's not as if the circus' didn't know either, it's called expediency - refusing to participate with my wallet was my only choice. So here we have an unfortunate case of collateral damage.

If you have to ask the question "What's a few elephants or lions compared to the livelihood of employees?", then I have no other answer than what Gandhi said:
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Ringling Bros. has had over 30 years to remedy the situation through other training methods - they didn't.
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 15, 2017, 08:49AM »

Once I saw how animals are mistreated by so-called trainers in the majority of circus', I stopped going years ago. As a professional dog trainers and animal behavior consultant and knowing this abuse was not necessary - and it's not as if the circus' didn't know either, it's called expediency - refusing to participate with my wallet was my only choice. So here we have an unfortunate case of collateral damage.

If you have to ask the question "What's a few elephants or lions compared to the livelihood of employees?", then I have no other answer than what Gandhi said:
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Ringling Bros. has had over 30 years to remedy the situation through other training methods - they didn't.


I feel ambivalence; happy for the mistreated animals no longer abused and victimized, but sad for everything else lost.

Where else will we be able to have 50 clowns climb out of a VW!

...Geezer
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 15, 2017, 09:20AM »

Notable...

Ringling Circus prevails in 14-year legal case; collects $16M from Humane Society, others

Quote
The initial lawsuit claiming the elephants were abused was filed in 2000 by a former Ringling circus barn worker who was later found to have been paid at least $190,000 by the animal-rights groups to back their charges.

A judge rejected the claims following a 2009 trial.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 15, 2017, 09:49AM »

Once I saw how animals are mistreated by so-called trainers in the majority of circus', I stopped going years ago. As a professional dog trainers and animal behavior consultant and knowing this abuse was not necessary - and it's not as if the circus' didn't know either, it's called expediency - refusing to participate with my wallet was my only choice. So here we have an unfortunate case of collateral damage.

If you have to ask the question "What's a few elephants or lions compared to the livelihood of employees?", then I have no other answer than what Gandhi said:
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Ringling Bros. has had over 30 years to remedy the situation through other training methods - they didn't.

If you "saw" how animals are mistreated, why didn't you report it?

Or are you one of those who doesn't need to see abuse actually, you just believe every edited media you see online to be true and parrot all that PETA feeds you.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your incredibly ignorant opinion. As if I've never heard such comments from people who've never been to the circus before. Basically how dare you tell me what I have seen and have not. How dare you accuse good people of animal abuse. When these circus animals die because no one will care for them, I hope it's heavy on your conscience.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:02AM »

How 'bout we not make this one political?

A trombonist and fellow forum member has lost her job--one of a shrinking number of jobs in music performance. That's really all that's germane to the main part of the forum. If you wish to start a thread about animal abuse, (and believe me--I'm very caught up in that issue) perhaps "Purely Politics" would be the place to do so.
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:06AM »

I suppose th myriad videos of elephant trainers using the hook on them is falsified. Do you understand the science of reinforcement theory? Circus' belong gone, as do zoos. No one is doing any animals any favors by keeping them there. But that's generally of no consequence, right? You do understnad, that migratory animals chanined on one spot all day show neurotic behavior patterns - just to entertain humans. That is abusive. And when they "protest, they receive the hook and worse. one of the reasons Ringling Brothers stopped with the elephants. And why animals are now forbidden in circus' in several countries.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:07AM »

There's a time and a place for everything.

For example, I could go on a political rant about how people should be more careful at train crossings, or I can lament the fact that two members of Tower of Power are in the hospital after being hit by a train. I prefer the latter.

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« Reply #12 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:08AM »

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/10-countries-that-have-banned-wild-animals-in-circuses/
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:11AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-m-roberts/just-stop-hurting-elephants_b_11838414.html
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:16AM »

musicofnote, you have made your point. I think that is enough, and other members can back off this area too.
If anyone wants to continue, start a new thread in the politics section.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:17AM »

How 'bout we not make this one political?


Too late!


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« Reply #16 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:20AM »

I would expect you to also tell Jhereg to also cool it. He/she level some rather personal and direct attacks, whereas I did no such thing to him/her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTUol7VrHTg
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:22AM »

Dude, she just lost her job.  Give it a rest.

Megan is a trombone player.  She doesn't train the animals.  She's not responsible for what may or may not have happened.
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:22AM »

I would expect you to also tell Jhereg to also cool it. He/she level some rather personal and direct attacks, whereas I did no such thing to him/her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTUol7VrHTg

Read my previous post again.
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« Reply #19 on: Jan 15, 2017, 12:31PM »

Back to the topic:
My most sincere sympathy to you and the tradition that is ending.
And my most since thanks for the commitment and energy you and your colleagues put into keeping that tradition alive!
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 15, 2017, 06:28PM »

I would expect you to also tell Jhereg to also cool it. He/she level some rather personal and direct attacks, whereas I did no such thing to him/her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTUol7VrHTg

I do apologize for my tone, I am not usually so nasty, promise. However it would be nice if you could take a split second to consider a viewpoint other than your own (I know, I'm asking way too much here). You might have considered that as a circus employee, I have spent the past five years listening to comments such as the ones you've made here, over and over and over to the point of exhaustion. You are entitled to your opinion and so am I, but I don't need to hear it for the umpteenth time, no one else here needs to hear it at all, and I didn't post here to start an animal rights argument. As the mods say, this isn't the right thread for the topic you want to discuss.

Apologies to everyone, and if any part of this needs to be deleted I completely understand. Thank you for being patient with me.
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 15, 2017, 06:38PM »

Back to the topic:
My most sincere sympathy to you and the tradition that is ending.
And my most since thanks for the commitment and energy you and your colleagues put into keeping that tradition alive!

Thank you. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to do it! But it is a shame that no one else after this will be able to :(
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 15, 2017, 07:37PM »

I'm surprised they can't downsize it or reinvent it into something more modern.

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« Reply #23 on: Jan 15, 2017, 07:59PM »

I'm surprised they can't downsize it or reinvent it into something more modern.



There already are groups like that: Big Apple Circus, Circus Smirkus.  I don't think a resized RBBB can compete.

It's a sad situation; sending a bunch of gifted performers into a market where their skills are underappreciated.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 15, 2017, 08:20PM »

Looks like Big Apple Circus is out of the competition



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« Reply #25 on: Jan 15, 2017, 08:59PM »

Maybe Feld will buy it... that's one way to downsize.
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 15, 2017, 09:49PM »

I think the three-ring circus concept is problematic.  I went to a Ringling show in the 90s and felt that no matter where you sat in that arena, you'd be too far away from some part of the show to enjoy it.

I've been to a Cirque du Soleil show and that was entertaining but the best circus experience I've been to was a one-ring circus in Copenhagen.  Apparently that circus is out of business now too, however.

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« Reply #27 on: Jan 15, 2017, 09:57PM »

I hope Megan will correct me, but I thought the Gold Unit of RBBB was a one-ring circus.

I heard an animal rights activist on the BBC this evening claiming that animal acts are the reason people are abandoning the circus.  Yet the RBBB attendance after the elephants were removed seems to indicate otherwise.

I wonder how accurate the claims of poor treatment really are.  The pictures Megan posted of some of the elephant recreation seemed to show them having a good time.  Admittedly it's not as normal as running wild in the African Veldt, but they aren't subject to ivory poachers either.
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« Reply #28 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:21PM »


I wonder how accurate the claims of poor treatment really are.  The pictures Megan posted of some of the elephant recreation seemed to show them having a good time.  Admittedly it's not as normal as running wild in the African Veldt, but they aren't subject to ivory poachers either.

Bruce, it is easy to find this accurate information. The multitude of animals "owned" by the circus have already been bought and will continue a similiar existence without the privelidge of performing. Nothing political about animal equity, btw. But, yes, for another thread.

As for the musicians and performers, they will land on their feet. 🙂 I'm surprised the live musicians were even tolerated the last 10-15 years, honestly, if money had been an issue lately. Even the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (more well taken care of animals, right...😕) recently became canned.

I wonder if a 100 years from now the last person to actually play a trombone will make news for his or her final glissando...
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« Reply #29 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:24AM »

I feel ambivalence; happy for the mistreated animals no longer abused and victimized, but sad for everything else lost.

Where else will we be able to have 50 clowns climb out of a VW!

...Geezer

Washington DC?  :D :D :D
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« Reply #30 on: Jan 16, 2017, 05:07AM »

Lol. Good one!

We still have the circus alive and well in the USA. It's called "County Fair".

...Geezer
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« Reply #31 on: Jan 16, 2017, 06:03AM »

Well I guess this thread merits to be closed now.

Thank you musicofnote for bringing this thread completely off-Topic.
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« Reply #32 on: Jan 16, 2017, 06:17AM »

I believe you are referencing something from about 24 hours ago.

I think the point we are trying to make is: why do they have to fold up and take with it a slice of American culture, not to mention casting all those jobs out? There are other shining examples of circus or circus-like endeavors still apparently thriving. What's wrong with the ownership that they can't find a way to continue. Yeah, maybe they would have to re-invent themselves. Big deal. Not like it's been done before. Is this post political?

...Geezer
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« Reply #33 on: Jan 16, 2017, 07:37AM »

Maybe we see so much crazy, dangerous stuff on the internet every day that there isn't as much demand to see safer versions of it live at a circus.


So Ringling was already down to one ring? Not much room to downsize then.

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« Reply #34 on: Jan 16, 2017, 08:00AM »

I subbed a few shows for Megan recently.

They HAVE reinvented themselves since the last time I played it - I don't remember exactly when they changed from hiring locals to a self-contained band.  The music is very techno, no marches and gallops like before.

I thought it was an excellent show, very well received by the audience and was surprised at the low attendance.  Only one show looked close to sold out.  And ticket prices were very reasonable, I'm sure far too low to sustain it.

It's all not much different from the situation with orchestras.

Video games have changed the whole concept of entertainment. 

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« Reply #35 on: Jan 16, 2017, 08:38AM »

That's an interesting experience and observation. I guess we all have to get used to a "new normal" as is often said. It's sad and yet - if given the chance - how many of us would rather live the rest of our lives out in the 19th century? Progress doesn't ALWAYS mean for the better...

...Geezer
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« Reply #36 on: Jan 16, 2017, 08:55AM »


I thought it was an excellent show, very well received by the audience and was surprised at the low attendance. 

They like it if they get in but getting them in is difficult.

So basically it's a promotion and image problem rather than a content problem.







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« Reply #37 on: Jan 16, 2017, 10:20AM »

We still have the circus alive and well in the USA. It's called "County Fair".
Two very different things, my friend. One does find circus-style acts at fairs, but they're not the focus of the fair, and (with all due respect to the performers) they're not on the same scale nor of the same level of talent that you'd find at RBBB.

So Ringling was already down to one ring? Not much room to downsize then.
That was the Gold Unit; it was an attempt to offer a smaller-scale circus for smaller venues. RBBB shut it down a few years back. The Red Unit and Blue Unit are (soon to be were) three-ring shows.

As for downsizing? Consider that RBBB had to shut down the Gold Unit, which was, essentially, a downsized version of the show. Also consider that a downsized RBBB would have looked a lot like the Big Apple Circus, and it filed for bankruptcy in November of 2016.

RBBB has been remaking itself constantly for a long time. They abandoned the big top long ago. The sideshow and the menagerie are long gone, as is the traditional circus music. They've adopted some elements of "nouveau cirque" but have also tried to preserve the best parts of the classic American circus of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sure, they could go full-on nouveau cirque, but Cirque du Soleil has a 30+ year head start and has pretty well saturated the market.
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« Reply #38 on: Jan 16, 2017, 10:42AM »

I'm very sorry to see this venue go under, and see musicians and other entertainers loose their livelihood.  Children will miss out an an experience that brought many of us much joy in our youth, and we will miss seeing the wonder and joy in our children and grandchildren's eyes.
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« Reply #39 on: Jan 16, 2017, 10:46AM »

They like it if they get in but getting them in is difficult.

So basically it's a promotion and image problem rather than a content problem.


I'd agree with the promotion aspect for sure. Growing up in the 90s/00s I went to the circus (Shriner-related?) with my grandparents a few times a year and really enjoyed it. I can't remember the last time I've seen an advertisement for (any) circus, either in the Denver area or now the SF Bay Area. Part of that is likely due to cord cutting and not listening to the radio when driving, but still, I never saw billboards or anything.

I was never bothered by the image of the circus, personally. When I was little, I was too young to know anything shady; when I was older, the circuses had gone / were going to great lengths to improve their image and word of mouth, so....wasn't an issue for me. Bigger issue was I never knew when it was in town once I had a driver's license.
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« Reply #40 on: Jan 16, 2017, 11:14AM »

I have to wonder if it's a move on their part to divest themselves of 146 years of what they might consider to be baggage; by dissolving the corporation, selling off all their assets and eliminating all obligations & liabilities; past, present and future. Then they reform as a new entity and start fresh with a modern brand. Any plausibility here?

...Geezer
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« Reply #41 on: Jan 16, 2017, 11:21AM »

Jhereg, I have enjoyed from afar your blog posts about life on the train, in the band, with the animals, on excursions,

http://taz-39.livejournal.com/

You've had a very cool performing career thus far.

It's sad this chapter is closing - I have good thoughts for you and your friends and I'm thankful you shared your journey with us.

 Way cool
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« Reply #42 on: Jan 16, 2017, 11:40AM »

I have to wonder if it's a move on their part to divest themselves of 146 years of what they might consider to be baggage; by dissolving the corporation, selling off all their assets and eliminating all obligations & liabilities; past, present and future. Then they reform as a new entity and start fresh with a modern brand. Any plausibility here?

...Geezer

Not for Feld, the owners, since they will continue in business with other shows they produce (per an article posted previously).

The Ringling circus seems to be a show they produce rather than a company of its own.

It's not a bankruptcy so liabilities and obligations aren't made to disappear.

They probably have been letting old obligations run out and avoiding any new obligations for the last few years, knowing that this was going to happen.
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« Reply #43 on: Jan 16, 2017, 02:06PM »

I hope Megan will correct me, but I thought the Gold Unit of RBBB was a one-ring circus.

I heard an animal rights activist on the BBC this evening claiming that animal acts are the reason people are abandoning the circus.  Yet the RBBB attendance after the elephants were removed seems to indicate otherwise.

I wonder how accurate the claims of poor treatment really are.  The pictures Megan posted of some of the elephant recreation seemed to show them having a good time.  Admittedly it's not as normal as running wild in the African Veldt, but they aren't subject to ivory poachers either.

The Gold Unit was indeed a one-ring circus, although they used other parts of the arena too. It hasn't been a "true" one-ring on any of the shows for some time...acts transition from one ring to another. Because it was realized that having three things going on at once was kinda distracting. But you're right, even when transitioning like that it can be hard to see everything :/

The activist that you heard seems to be partly right. People aren't leaving because of the animal acts per se; it's more that legislation has been passed that makes it near impossible for a circus to tour with animals. If you're supposed to be in VA one week and TN the next week and CA the week after that, you have to know what the laws are about circus animals in each state. And with each passing year they've become more and more anti-circus. In VA there's a law that all animals must be exercised and watered every 4 hours during travel (this is impossible. You can't have elephants unloading alongside a live railroad track just because "it's been 4 hours", you have to do it when it's SAFE). In TN there's a law that the tiger cages have to be a certain height and there needs to be a sniper in the wings. In LA you can't handle the elephants in a certain way, and in San Francisco you can't use a bullhook, and in some CA cities you can't have elephants at all. So the choices are, fight that legislation...alone, since the general public doesn't usually care to show up to vote on it...pay fines that are very expensive but allow you to do something technically illegal, or modify your show to the point of ridiculousness for every single city we pass through. You can't just make the elephants disappear for particular anti-circus cities, they're living things for God's sake. So in that sense, anti-circus legislation (i.e. the presence of animals in the circus) is at least partially what caused this to happen.

But it's also true that the majority of everyday people would have liked to see elephants. They went to the circus specifically to see the elephants. So when the elephants were removed thanks to this legislation, the majority, who actually did want to see the elephants, had no reason to go to the circus any more. Tadaa.

About the animal thing, Ringling's elephants are Asian, meaning they are natively from INDIA, not AFRICA. Indian elephants are generally not poached. They are also domesticated, and have been for hundreds of years, just like the horse is in America. Culturally we are not used to thinking of elephants as "domestic", but in other countries they most certainly are. I agree with you that ideally elephants and other animals should be allowed to roam free in their natural habitat. However ending the circus does nothing to make that ideal a reality. Elephants and tigers, both from India, are clinging to the last scraps of habitat available to them (India has had a MASSIVE population boom in recent years). Tigers especially have about 7% of their habitat remaining. the other 93% has been taken over by humans.

As for animal abuse, many people have this "Water for Elephants" view of the circus. This isn't the 1920s. People who work with circus animals are college-educated, with degrees in animal husbandry, sciences, and veterinary care. Prior to working at the circus, they held jobs at animal hospitals (where you'd take your pet), zoos, pet stores, sanctuaries, etc. One does not magically become an animal abuser simply because one works for the circus. I am 100% certain that animal abuse has happened on the circus, especially in the past when requirements and animal protection laws were nonexistent. But it is NOT common, widespread, or acceptable to ANYONE. I would not be working here if the animals were being abused.

I didn't look carefully at the links and such shared by that person who was trolling earlier,  but I can guarantee that I've seen all of that media before and know an awful lot about its origins. If anyone has questions about, for example, photos of baby elephant training, I know where the images came from and why people tend to think they show abuse. If any of y'all have questions I'm happy to answer to the best of my ability. I know the animal staff here quite well and anything that I don't know from firsthand experience, I can ask about.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I'm happy to have a grown-up discussion on this subject (probably in the Politics section) if it can be done without nastiness  Good!

Sorry this ended up being so long and sorta back into the topic we were trying to get off of. But thank you for bringing up these great questions and thoughts.
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« Reply #44 on: Jan 16, 2017, 02:18PM »

Bruce, it is easy to find this accurate information. The multitude of animals "owned" by the circus have already been bought and will continue a similiar existence without the privelidge of performing. Nothing political about animal equity, btw. But, yes, for another thread.

As for the musicians and performers, they will land on their feet. 🙂 I'm surprised the live musicians were even tolerated the last 10-15 years, honestly, if money had been an issue lately. Even the Ft. Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (more well taken care of animals, right...😕) recently became canned.

I wonder if a 100 years from now the last person to actually play a trombone will make news for his or her final glissando...

It is accurate to say that circus animals have been abused in the past. It is not accurate, or right, to apply the horrible actions of a few horrible people to an entire industry.

I'm sorry, I don't want to keep dwelling on the politics of this, but if people are going to continue implying or accusing myself and the people I work with of animal abuse, I'm not going to sit quietly by and take it. It's a serious insult.
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« Reply #45 on: Jan 16, 2017, 02:23PM »

I feel ambivalence; happy for the mistreated animals no longer abused and victimized, but sad for everything else lost.

Where else will we be able to have 50 clowns climb out of a VW!

...Geezer

You're entitled to your opinion but I won't stand for people talking like all circuses abuse animals. Please stop. Or if you have questions, ask. I literally stand next to these animals daily.
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« Reply #46 on: Jan 16, 2017, 02:25PM »

Quite frankly, I'm more concerned about how they will treat you (and the other musicians).  Animal shows will continue.  How about Siegfried and Roy (I think one of them got mauled by one of their animals, FWIW).  They perform in Vegas.

And I'm sure your elephants are better treated than domesticated elephants of Myanmar or Thailand.
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« Reply #47 on: Jan 16, 2017, 02:25PM »

Jhereg, I have enjoyed from afar your blog posts about life on the train, in the band, with the animals, on excursions,

http://taz-39.livejournal.com/

You've had a very cool performing career thus far.

It's sad this chapter is closing - I have good thoughts for you and your friends and I'm thankful you shared your journey with us.

 Way cool

Thanks! It's been fun. On to the next thing :)

Everyone who's saying part of the problem was promotion, TOTALLY agree. We used to have to correct whoever was running the twitter feed, they kept posting the wrong info for the wrong shows and such. Ridiculous. Plus we weren't promoted on tv/in public nearly as much as in past years.
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« Reply #48 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:15PM »

Since it's been made clear that dissenting opinions aren't welcome. I think it's in bad taste to continue to make points in favor of the circus's treatment of animals. The fact that no one is arguing is more out of kindness or censorship than lack of valid opposition.

I was very supporting of Jhereg's position at first, but this thread is rapidly becoming a soapbox for those who criticize proponents of animal rights. As a proponent of animal rights, I feel very much attacked by this thread.

Keep it up, and you'll see things get out of hand post haste.

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« Reply #49 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:40PM »

Since it's been made clear that dissenting opinions aren't welcome. I think it's in bad taste to continue to make points in favor of the circus's treatment of animals. The fact that no one is arguing is more out of kindness or censorship than lack of valid opposition.

I was very supporting of Jhereg's position at first, but this thread is rapidly becoming a soapbox for those who criticize proponents of animal rights. As a proponent of animal rights, I feel very much attacked by this thread.

Keep it up, and you'll see things get out of hand post haste.



Agree and I apologize. That's not what I wanted at all. This post was to just let people know what happened. I'll go back and try to fix what I wrote, and if necessary hopefully the mods will delete the whole shebang. All respect to you, and let's get off this awkward subject.
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« Reply #50 on: Jan 16, 2017, 04:54PM »

I went back and tried to take my personal views out of what I said. I'm sorry for making you feel attacked, I know what that's like and it's not fun. I respect your views and opinion and I should not have soapboxed. A little over-used to having to defend myself at every turn, I think.
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« Reply #51 on: Jan 16, 2017, 05:31PM »

Well, OTOH - don't beat yourself up too badly. You have had quite a while to digest & process everything. Some of us have had about 36 hours or so on this thread. I think we're doing pretty good, considering.

...Geezer
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« Reply #52 on: Jan 16, 2017, 05:38PM »

Since this is a "Business" thread I feel the following is on topic.

As I read more details about the animal rights orgs' lawsuit against Feld Entertainment it's clear that they engaged in dishonest and illegal tactics to create the appearance of grounds for the suit including paying someone to commit perjury.

I think we expect more ethical conduct from something called a "Humane Society" than whatever they think they can get away with.

There are certainly far more egregious animal abuse cases in the US than circus elephants and yet that's what they chose to spend millions of donor money on. It's damaging to their cause and gives real animal abusers cover by making it easy to cast doubt on them in future cases.

They wasted time and money on a problem that didn't need fixing and did a lot of damage that didn't need to be.  When government does that citizens are outraged and demand change but it doesn't appear the animal rights orgs have addressed the internal failures that brought all this together.

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« Reply #53 on: Jan 16, 2017, 06:31PM »

Since it's been made clear that dissenting opinions aren't welcome. I think it's in bad taste to continue to make points in favor of the circus's treatment of animals. The fact that no one is arguing is more out of kindness or censorship than lack of valid opposition.

I was very supporting of Jhereg's position at first, but this thread is rapidly becoming a soapbox for those who criticize proponents of animal rights. As a proponent of animal rights, I feel very much attacked by this thread.

Keep it up, and you'll see things get out of hand post haste.



Euph,

Looks like BOTH sides are going to keep poking this bear.  jhreg responded to a direct prompt from a moderator (none of us are perfect, not even our favorite mods), then you generously noted you were holding back, then Robert came back in... at this rate the thread will explode and be shut down. 

Any possibility you can open a thread on the subject in political discussions, so this remains about the business of music?

I think, for those who want to engage in such a discussion, the topic important enough to warrant its own thread in the right area, and NOT be glossed over because it is not appropriate in this one.

I'm not well enough informed to open one, and probably wouldn't last long with the acrimony that will likely ensue.  But that doesn't mean starting such a thread would not be a good idea.

Just askin'
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« Reply #54 on: Jan 16, 2017, 06:48PM »

Since it's been made clear that dissenting opinions aren't welcome. I think it's in bad taste to continue to make points in favor of the circus's treatment of animals. The fact that no one is arguing is more out of kindness or censorship than lack of valid opposition.

I was very supporting of Jhereg's position at first, but this thread is rapidly becoming a soapbox for those who criticize proponents of animal rights. As a proponent of animal rights, I feel very much attacked by this thread.

Keep it up, and you'll see things get out of hand post haste.


We don't reject dissenting opinions about treatment of animals, whether at RBBB or a cocker spaniel breeding farm.  But going on a soapbox about how "so and so" is evil incarnate relentlessly will generally get a rebuke.  Especially when it's fairly far off topic.  We are discussing the closing of Ringling; and how they treated their animals is very much secondary.

As has been pointed out, if you want to opine or rant on animal treatment in the circus, or in Sea World, or wherever, start another topic and we can go at it hammer and tongs.
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« Reply #55 on: Jan 16, 2017, 07:47PM »

Bruce,
Euph was specifically NOT ranting, which is why I thought he'd be a good one to start an appropriate thread.
Trying to not pour oil on flames that will obscure the subject of this thread.
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« Reply #56 on: Jan 16, 2017, 07:48PM »

Since this is a "Business" thread I feel the following is on topic.



Since it's not "Business of Music," I feel you're wrong unless you're directly addressing the "Snake Charmer" act. The topic of animal abuse is suited only to Purely Politics.

We don't reject dissenting opinions about treatment of animals, whether at RBBB or a cocker spaniel breeding farm.  But going on a soapbox about how "so and so" is evil incarnate relentlessly will generally get a rebuke.  Especially when it's fairly far off topic.  We are discussing the closing of Ringling; and how they treated their animals is very much secondary.

As has been pointed out, if you want to opine or rant on animal treatment in the circus, or in Sea World, or wherever, start another topic and we can go at it hammer and tongs.

But it's perfectly OK for you to opine on animal treatment in the circus within this topic? Bruce, you've been one of the very few in this thread to raise issues about animal welfare. Most others are offering condolences or lamenting the loss of a way of life, and most of us are respecting another moderator's request that we cool down and keep things on-topic.

Jhereg has backed down and apologized. I've made no points about animal treatment in the circus or anywhere because I'm being polite. I think it's quite rude of you to keep making points about animal rights in your other posts when it's clear that your opposition can't answer back. You're like a dentist picking a fight with the guy in the chair who has five pounds of cotton stuffed in his mouth.
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« Reply #57 on: Jan 16, 2017, 09:05PM »

http://www.circusmusic.org/index.htm

"The Windjammers Unlimited is a 501(c)3 historical music society that is dedicated to the preservation of traditional music of the circus. This music is kept alive via live performances and recording sessions at the annual convention and summer meetings."

They just inducted Keith Green to their Hall of Fame.  Keith was the Red Unit's Bandleader through the time I used to play the circus in DC and Baltimore, and I think for many years after that.  He played trumpet on the show but he had also been a trombone player  - just like Brett Barlow, the current Red Unit Bandleader.

I would hate to see the tradition become merely "history."
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« Reply #58 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:01AM »

This topic has continued to run off the rails whilst I slept. I am not impressed with any of those commenting away from the direct issue of a business closing and leading to the loss of employment .
I don't want to shut this, but I will if it runs away again.

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #59 on: Jan 17, 2017, 04:48AM »

...

I would hate to see the tradition become merely "history."

Well, Minstrel Shows have become history.  Vaudeville has become history.

There are some areas in the World that seem to like circuses, but apparently it's not here in the US.
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« Reply #60 on: Jan 17, 2017, 07:58AM »

When I was young I looked forward to a chance to go to the circus.

Later on it became a bit pricey and I didn't go as often, but I still thought of it fondly.

I don't think it has the mass appeal that it once did.  I think that's kind of a generational thing. 

So if there is a lack of market, profitability goes down, eventually businesses close.  Sad to see the end of an era though. 
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« Reply #61 on: Jan 17, 2017, 11:13AM »

I think the golden age of the circus was when there was a large rural population and no television. If your lifestyle was getting up at dawn to feed, milk, and hay, then going to bed at dusk, the 'circus coming to town' must have been quite a spectacular (in the literal sense) event.

I'd still rather look at a circus than a video game, but kids probably get jaded when they can be wildly entertained through their whole waking hours, and see every possible and impossible thing accomplished with CGI. It seems like the things they'd do to modernize a circus would also make it more similar to other forms of entertainment. I'm sorry to see it go.
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« Reply #62 on: Jan 17, 2017, 11:34AM »

Their competition for family entertainment at the arena typically involves fewer people and moving parts: Globetrotters and Disney On Ice can likely break even with a MUCH smaller draw.

Their competition in the circus realm, namely Cirque du Soleil, appears to involve fewer people as well. They also have long runs in their own facilities, modern marketing, generally the appearance of a well oiled machine. Plus nothing on the animal side, where transportation and care costs are likely huge. No trains to maintain, for starters.

There are still small circuses around that set up their own tents down by the freeway, generally geared towards Latin American audiences around here. We also have local performing groups in circus acrobatics, fire arts, etc. that perform elements of a circus. Not all under one big top, alas, but these talents have outlets. 

It's sad for me to see a group disband, as opposed to "adapt and perform," but I suppose there's a time and place for everything. There's always a chance the name is revived down the road with a new, sustainable type of show.

 :)
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« Reply #63 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:00PM »

http://www.circusmusic.org/index.htm

"The Windjammers Unlimited is a 501(c)3 historical music society that is dedicated to the preservation of traditional music of the circus. This music is kept alive via live performances and recording sessions at the annual convention and summer meetings."

They just inducted Keith Green to their Hall of Fame.  Keith was the Red Unit's Bandleader through the time I used to play the circus in DC and Baltimore, and I think for many years after that.  He played trumpet on the show but he had also been a trombone player  - just like Brett Barlow, the current Red Unit Bandleader.

I would hate to see the tradition become merely "history."

I'm going to write an article for Windjammers, I think for their Feb/Mar editions. It'll be about what the modern circus band is (was) like. If I get a copy I'll share it :)
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« Reply #64 on: Jan 17, 2017, 12:01PM »

This topic has continued to run off the rails whilst I slept. I am not impressed with any of those commenting away from the direct issue of a business closing and leading to the loss of employment .
I don't want to shut this, but I will if it runs away again.

Chris Stearn

Understood. I'm very sorry for the trouble.
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« Reply #65 on: Jan 17, 2017, 01:29PM »

Animal discussions go here: https://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,97476.0.html

Let's keep this to a discussion of RBBB folding and why.
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« Reply #66 on: Jan 17, 2017, 02:35PM »

A big "thank you" to Euph for starting a needed thread in a part of the forum he doesn't regularly follow!
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« Reply #67 on: Jan 18, 2017, 06:59AM »



I think I'll keep this on my little toy train layout for old-time's sake.

Not to sound grubby or insensitive, but I have to wonder if all of the B&B circus ephemera will suddenly go up in value.

...Geezer
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« Reply #68 on: Jan 19, 2017, 06:08AM »

Too soon?

Well, think about this. You will still have to put food on your table. I'm not posting about you having "sticky fingers". I'm posting about people giving you things they have a right to give to you - like a Ring Master's uniform? An elephant's head-dress? A lion-tamer's whip? A clown's tricycle? A B&B bass drum? Etc. I'm imagining all those things having value on the collector's market.

Sure, you're used to seeing all those things every day and probably take them for granted. Soon enough, sadly, it will all be gone. Look at stuff with fresh eyes. Maybe selling some collectible stuff given to you can be a little "severance pay" that you probably otherwise will not get.

About 25 years ago, wife & I took an Amazon river cruise. One day, after re-boarding the boat, I saw a young lady with a native tribal drum. She traded a portable radio for it. What a souvenir!!! Now that was using her brains! Just sayin'...

...Geezer
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« Reply #69 on: Jan 19, 2017, 07:40AM »



About 25 years ago, wife & I took an Amazon river cruise. One day, after re-boarding the boat, I saw a young lady with a native tribal drum. She traded a portable radio for it. What a souvenir!!! Now that was using her brains! Just sayin'...

...Geezer

And somewhere in Africa, on the Swahili language "native tribal drum forum," someone is writing:


"I had Chinese-made 'tribal-drum-shaped object' that I trade for perfectly good radio. Gotta love tourists!"
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« Reply #70 on: Jan 19, 2017, 07:52AM »

And somewhere in Africa, on the Swahili language "native tribal drum forum," someone is writing:


"I had Chinese-made 'tribal-drum-shaped object' that I trade for perfectly good radio. Gotta love tourists!"

Lol. Usually. But in the above case I referenced, it was an 18-year old tribal chief. Quite an amazing young man - to be recognized by his tribe as chief as such an early age! The drum was certainly hand-made and used for tribal ceremonies. But being their chief, he realized that another drum could easily be made, while a radio (actually a small boom-box) could bring the world to his people. I believe he got the better deal and will, no doubt, be encouraging the members of his tribe to make things to trade for batteries on the next boat visit!

Anyway, my example was that many of us thought that drum was unobtainable. Everyone except that young lady - who knew how to approach them and knew what they really needed. And my point is that while the OP might be taking everything around her for granted, soon it will all be gone. And although those articles and others of their kind might seem unobtainable to her - you never know until you try.

...Geezer
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« Reply #71 on: Jan 19, 2017, 08:22AM »

Closing a business down is like killing something. I have been though it. It is painful, difficult and sad. The process of trying different things to stay in the game without giving up what you do is a often a lost cause. Realizing that the financial loses will devastate everything left in a sinking ship is an inevitable occurrence. Telling all the workers that there jobs are over is a very terrible thing to have to do. The worst thing is you cannot leak a possible closing to the workers or all your credit lines, customers and suppliers will abandon you effectively forcing a sooner close.

For me my company was a medium size graphics company. As regulations and taxes took more from the pie we tried to grow to make the overhead big enough to handle it. Then the collections process in the court system just killed us. We were a two generation company with long time employees.

This Circus made itself a legacy that entertained the world. The world changed and gave up on the Circus.

Again, closing a business down is like killing something.     
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« Reply #72 on: Jan 19, 2017, 11:41AM »

And somewhere in Africa, on the Swahili language "native tribal drum forum," someone is writing:


"I had Chinese-made 'tribal-drum-shaped object' that I trade for perfectly good radio. Gotta love tourists!"

I always thought the Amazon was in South America. :-)

Ronnie
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« Reply #73 on: Jan 19, 2017, 11:50AM »

I always thought the Amazon was in South America. :-)
I think that just makes the story better.
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« Reply #74 on: Jan 19, 2017, 06:00PM »

I always thought the Amazon was in South America. :-)

Ronnie

Ohhhhh!! I thought he meant he bought the tickets on Amazon.com!!!


Not really. You know---Americans and geography. We're always in de-Nile. We're also quite Volga!!
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« Reply #75 on: Jan 19, 2017, 06:11PM »

I don't see what your problem is, Euph.  The tourist swapped a Chinese made Boombox shaped opject for a Chinese made natimve drum shaped object.  The tourist could have spent more at the Souvenir Shop for an identical drum.

Everybody won.  The tourist got something not easily found at home and a source of great memories.  The Chief got a nice gewgaw that will entertain him until it needs new batteries (or maybe he can hook it up to a generator). ;-)
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« Reply #76 on: Jan 23, 2017, 08:58AM »

I enjoyed your Circus Band Blog very much! I too subbed in the circus band years ago, and it was a good experience! Your photos were fantastic too. The tragedy here is another loss to live music and the musicians that it employed.... But thank you so much for taking the time to do the blog and the photos. It was very enjoyable.
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« Reply #77 on: Jan 23, 2017, 01:40PM »

I enjoyed your Circus Band Blog very much! I too subbed in the circus band years ago, and it was a good experience! Your photos were fantastic too. The tragedy here is another loss to live music and the musicians that it employed.... But thank you so much for taking the time to do the blog and the photos. It was very enjoyable.

Thanks! I'm glad you like it :)
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