Sturgill Simpson has a great line on the first song on his first album High Top Mountain, telling listeners “The most outlaw thing that I’ve ever done is a give a good woman a ring.” I always liked that line because he took something many consider mundane or even frightening — marriage — and made it a bit cool, a bit badass. It’s funny in the music industry — and to a larger extent in society — how we treat marriage as a bit of a downer, like a retirement for sexual ambition and a surrendering of passion. Most of us know that’s not true — many, many people in the music industry are married, and happily so.

Hardly any of us actually live the rock star lifestyle, but that seems to be the main product we sell people. Scooter Braun had a recent piece in Variety, part of Music Editor Shirley Halperin’s excellent Hitmakers series, telling readers “It’s never been such a good time to be a good guy.” Below is a little bit more of what he had to say:

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We need to change our status quo. Let’s start by acknowledging people who have balance and live their life with class, and not make it something that a 20-year-old newcomer to the industry doesn’t know about. 

Getting married, having kids, bringing home a dog or cat — these are all incredible experiences. How do we, the married masses of music, strike the right tone at our organizations? One way is through ongoing dialogue. Another is by creating a professional environment that supports families and gives parents the resources and time off they need for a family to flourish.

And maybe we slightly older guys can spend a little more time with the young fellas acting as role models and mentors, and maybe a little less time trying to live vicariously and encouraging frat boy behavior. Young guys have plenty of other people — namely other young guys — to egg them on. I’m not saying we need to lecture the younger generation and scowl or look disapproving when they describe their exploits. I just think we could do a better job creating a counter narrative that promotes respect for women and the importance of family within our own lives. Just a little food for thought before Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays guys.

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