Forget the free download cries of Armageddon, the real #1 question the music industry, from label heads on down to small-town club owners, has been dreading the answer to is how it will survive in a post-Peter Kasen world. Well, now we'll find out: Kasen is hanging up his guitar, opting instead for civilian life.
The biz won't have the Almighty Kasen to kick around anymore.
You might remember Kasen for his hilarious February tete-a-tete with Blue Moon booker Jason Josephes, who committed the grave error of not knowing who Peter Kasen was when the Miami-bred folk singer came looking to book at gig at the historic U-District dive. Boasted Kasen at the time (all sic): "dont worry I wont bother you again, I will look into a much bigger venue, that doesnt ask me questions after 4 years of touring the USA, and sitting on 4 international labels, with distribution in tact! Dissapointed in your reply, I am far above small shows now, and get 200 dollars a night to show up regularly even in your city! Thanks glad I cleared up my level, and position with you, felt the need to fire back based on your attitude in both prior emails, not really a good way to be with a artist at my size."
Contrast this bluster with Kasen's farewell letter.
"Constant worrying about how to survive, pay for lodging on tour, releasing records every year, having a home to live in, even affording a real life where I can enjoy myself have become impossible on my own to achieve without outside funding in Music. I do not have anyone helping me pay for any of this, and because of having to stabilize now in America, after a year in Europe, I must be a bit selfish and focus on Peter Kasen," he writes (again, all sic). "The tour is canceled. I will not tour just to live in a Hotel, which is whats happening. Or for 5 or 6 shows over 2 months that are actually paying for me to perform! I will also not tour to not be paid appropriately for the money it costs to survive on a tour, without a label paying for even pressings of a CD or promotions. In turn I wont tour all over the damn world when people dont get that it costs a ridiculous amount of money to tour, to put on a show, and likewise venues need to realize as do fans, that this is not possible without financial help. When you get 100 dollars a night and not every night on such a long tour, to than pay out 70 or 80 dollars of that is almost stupid in reality just to lodge, drive, and eat. This has become a vicious circle of never-ending worry and stress and I am done with it. Always wondering where and how to stay somewhere, and gas up the car, and eat, is not what I want for my life anymore. I am tired of struggling, and wondering why I am not getting to where I should be in the Music Business."
So, naturally, where does an apparently destitute Kasen decide to put down roots? In San Francisco, where cardboard boxes rent for more than four-bedroom Colonials in Dubuque. Savvy move, big guy--best of luck.