Life's A Good Gig - Synopsis

Chapter 1: Street musicians of Tijuana The author tells about his forays into Tijuana, Mexico with his musician friend, Jeff Sheffield, to listen to street musicians. One of the musicians, an old man named Pedro Luna, becomes their special friend who gives them insights into the musical street life of Tijuana. The chapter tells the story of the life and eventual death of Pedro Luna.

Chapter 2: Music Philosophy 101 and-a 2 and-a 3 and-a 4... Cain expounds on the intrinsic value of music, why people become musicians and the different kinds of musicians. He explains the show biz aspect of the music business versus the pure musical aspect and the difference between artists and artisans.

Chapter 3: The Rise and Fall of American Music-A History of Gigs This chapter traces the history of American music from the early 20th century to the present. To illustrate how working musicians keep themselves employed, it gives true stories about gigs that parallel the evolution of American music fads.

Chapter 4:  Africa The Mother of Music This is about the powerful influence African culture has in music of the United States and music of Latin America. We are introduced to a fascinating character, Master Musician Titos Sompa from Africa who tutors the author in music. We learn a little about the Santeria religion and how it is similar and different from Western Christianity.

Chapter 5: Beautiful Cats A series of short biographies of musicians who have been significant in the author's life.

Chapter 6: A Latin Music Love Affair A Brief History of Latin Music and its effect on the U.S.A. This chapter gives an overview of the history various styles of Latin music. It tells the story of the illicit love affair between the music of the U.S.A. and Latin America and how these two musical cultures have been intertwining throughout the years.

Chapter 7: Latin Lovers Tells the story of how an average white kid from Seattle, the author, becomes involved with Latin music and culture. This chapter tells about the travels and adventures with musician friend Nick Meyers as they explore the musical cultures of Spain and Central America.

Chapter 8: The Name Game (name dropping that is!) A series of brief vignettes about the author's encounters with various celebrities.

Chapter 9: The Official Rules for Gigging Musicians An opinionated and humorous list of what should be a musician's code of ethics.

Chapter 10: Unofficial Glossary of Musical Lingo-and some silly musical terms Musician lingo defined.

Chapter 11: Don't Take It Too Seriously Here the author has documented many standard musician jokes.

Chapter 12: Dance Something I Can Play To A philosophical overview of why being a musician is not such a bad thing followed by a simple three-point philosophy of life.