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Real Men Don't Rehearse: Adventures in the Secret World of Professional Orchestras Paperback – May 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Justin Locke Productions (May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615130291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615130293
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Justin Locke spent 18 years playing bass with the Boston Pops before becoming an author and speaker. While counting thousands of rests as he played over 500 Nutcrackers, he could not help wondering about things like, "Why is Arthur Fiedler so famous?" and "Why does the entire orchestra love this conductor and hate that one?" One thing led to another and he started to write and speak about what makes some people so much better at performing and leading than others.

As you can see from the attached videos, Justin can tell a good story.

Justin worked with many of the greatest conductors of our time, including Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Fiedler, Henry Mancini, and John Williams. The thousands of concerts he played include the 1976 Bicentennial Concert with Arthur Fiedler, which is in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the largest audience ever at a classical music concert.

Justin is also the author of two musical plays: "Peter VS the Wolf" and "The Phantom of the Orchestra." These programs for family concerts have been performed for hundreds of thousands of children on four continents, in five languages.

Justin is an active professional speaker and would love to appear at your next event. Visit his website for sample videos and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
This book offers lots of wonderful anecdotes about the average hard-working musician's life.
ilprofessore
This is a book that you will not put down until it is done and will not give away because you will want to read it again.
Blue Lou
Justin Locke's book is a collection of about thirty-five anecdotes about his life as a musician with the Boston Pops.
FC22

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arundonax on December 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
As is usual for this time of year, there's more things to do than can get done; despite good intentions some things just seem to lag. One thing that I really wanted to to before Christmas was to promote a book that would just be perfect under the tree, but of course now I'm more talking about the tree in 2006 than 2005, but on the other hand, there ARE five shopping days left.

This book would be the instant classic, `Real Men Don't Rehearse' by myauditions.com blogger Justin Locke. I was checking out the blogs on this site and noticed a mention about his book, so I went to his website, justinlocke.com, read a few of the excerpts and within a few hours had gone to Amazon.com and placed an order.

This book is the best depiction of orchestra life that I've read since Harry Ellis Dickson's book, `Gentlemen, More Dolce Please', which is still a timeless description of orchestra life, funny anecdotes involving the Pops and Feidler, and most famously a summary of the stereotypes of how each instrument seems to attract similar personality types- you know, `cellists are passionate', `clarinet players are obsessed with equipment', etc. etc. (Another classic is Berlioz's `Evenings with the Orchestra')

Justin's book doesn't have that personality list (other than a description of the bass player personality), but it sure has a lot of the `inside scoop' about what it is like to play in an orchestra, professionally. Starting with the inevitable 1812 Overture anecdote (and everyone's got one! Trust Me!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon D. Teske on November 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Justin Locke shows the reader the deep dark secrets of the symphony. To those of us who actually play in a symphony orchestra as I do, much of it rings true. The section about the Boston Pops bass section having its intermission break has got to be one of the classics of the funny orchestral repetory. (Hint...malt liquor got substituted for normal beer, draw your own conclusions on how the 2nd half of the concert went.

For those who don't regularly get on the performance stage, but actually have to pay to get in the concert hall (my condolences) you will see that underneath our stuffed shirts, there are no stuffed shirts. You will find out what orchestra members really think about the absolute dictators (benevolent or otherwise) who think they own us...and how we can conspire not to get mad, but to surely get even. Justin Locke is very good at this (and so am I.) I laughed my tail off.

Jon Teske, violinist
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By violaplayer on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! I myself am a musician and bought this for one of my musician friends for Christmas. I started flipping through the book and knew I had to get a copy for myself. Lots of fun stories that both musicians and non-musicians would enjoy. Gives you an "insider's look" at the world of professional musicians. The chapters are short enough that you can read one or two before bed. (Although I just wanted to keep reading!)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dbldeac on April 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am three years back to my bass after a 14-year hiatus (why, oh why did I ever stop?)...after having played from grade-thru-grad school. I returned to find electronic tuners, end pins that actually work, blogs just for bassists, and Justin Locke's wonderful book. I ordered it via Amazon, and it was fulfilled directly by Justin (complete with a nice note on the packing slip.) I squirreled it away for vacation, and gobbled it up last week in one wonderful day. The back of the book bears a warning not to read in "the quietude of a library, as you're apt to break out into uproarious laughter." I would amend that to "anywhere in public" since I frequently found myself hooting, belly-laughing, slapping my thighs, and laughing so hard I snorted...with tears streaming from my eyes. This is really bizarre looking on a beach but I was having such a great time I did not care. Anyone who has played an instrument with a musical group - not just bassists - will delight in this book...but for bassists, it is a treasure.

Justin's perspective on conductors (oooh, he played with Fiedler and on tour with Mancini), stand partners, spinning basses (wonder if I can bring to our community orchestra) and symphony management idiosyncrasies are priceless.

My favorite passage though is about bassist attitude..."While I can only comment on the bass sections I played in, the attitude we always had could be summed up as, "this thing is pretty much impossible to play, we're doing the best we can, and we really don't want to be here anyway, so don't bother us with your prissy nitpicking."" Amen, Justin.

After all, as he notes, "...since bass players are so rare, you don't have to be terribly good, or even all that motivated, to be wonderfully successful at it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vallet Girl on January 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have to agree with the reviews before me, this is a very funny book. Consider this passage, describing a performance of the opera Fidelio: "So Jon Vickers started to sing all about what a drag it is to be chained up in a dungeon. One would think this would be self-evident but this went on for quite a while." The story that follows, about Justin Locke's fight with a defective stand light (will our hero be able to get enough light to read his music without burning down the theatre?) is hilarious. And that's just one of many such accounts. The author captures the craziness that lurks beneath the surface of just about any classical music event.

One bit of advice: you may wish to buy several copies of "Real Men Don't Rehearse". I've given it to a number of friends and they've all loved it. If you know anyone who could use a good laugh, get this for them.

And, most important, I hope Justin Locke will be writing another book soon. I'm sure he's got a lot more great stories to tell.
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