Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



I did a background-talking gig. I read blog posts at a real estate convention while guests ate salads and drank, and ignored me. I should have played music. I said to the crowd, “Hi, I’m going to tell you how to manage real estate.”  The crowd listened for about five seconds, but nobody wanted to hear narrative comedy (a la David Sedaris) during cocktails. Also, I wasn’t properly introduced. I had to blurt out over the clanging of silverware, “Hi, everybody!”

That was my one-and-only background-talking gig. I have, however, done a lot of background-music gigs.

background talking gig

My essay “My Son the Sort-of Rock Star” was in the Washington Post, online, on Monday.

All rock stars. (2011 pic)

Which one is the sort-of rock star? (2011 pic)

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1 Gerald Ross { 06.01.16 at 9:08 am }

Background music gigs? I’ve done plenty. The good thing is they pay you when you are done playing. My most memorable ones? 1. The Fall Festival Of Savings at a department store in Kalamazoo Michigan. We set up in the ladies shoe department right next to the down escalator. 2. The grand opening of an ice arena. They put a rubber mat in the middle of the ice and we set up there. The skaters had to jump over the extension cords. The cold caused a crack in the side of my guitar. They paid us and my money went for the repair.

2 Ken G. { 06.01.16 at 2:19 pm }

I’d bet if Donald Trump were reading blog posts at a real estate convention people would pay attention. Actually, he’d probably be too busy wheeling and dealing with the crowd to get in front of the mike and, wherever he is in the room, his voice would probably be heard by everyone anyway.

3 Mark Schilling { 06.01.16 at 10:18 pm }

Background reading? Is that a thing? It sounds like the gig from hell. Great piece in the WaPo BTW.

4 Seth B. Marks { 06.02.16 at 4:05 pm }

Great story…not this one…the Wash Post one…Bet you’re feeling groovy.

5 Ken Goldberg { 06.03.16 at 8:32 am }

Feelin’ Groovy!

6 Mike Madorsky { 06.16.16 at 6:55 am }

I just read your article from the Washington Post. As you know, my middle daughter Sophie is studying at U Mich, musical theater. OF course, I worry as you did about her long term success in the that very competitive field. I hope she sees some success and recognition, as your son has lately had, and she doesn’t have to come home and “sell insurance”.

7 Steve Rome { 06.19.16 at 11:40 pm }

Mazeltov on your cavelliers article. I am a Celtics fan so I don’t really feel your pain. However, I so enjoyed that article. I am glad Lebron came home to you.
Be Well. Steve

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