Dion DiMucci has been a constant fixture in the rock and roll colony of great artists since the 1950s. Now, even at the age of 72, his music is in high demand. An interview with “Dion” was recently published in The Wall Street Journal. No one would argue that he has musical talent. But he also possesses a philosophy that is common among most successful people. He was asked if he felt any bitterness towards those music executives who exploited his talent.
I didn’t get hurt as bad as a lot of people. With “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer” I reaped next to nothing in terms of cash. . . . Record companies. . . they didn’t pay you right. But they gave me something that meant I didn’t have to walk around destroying myself with anger. They gave me a career. . . . I was blessed. I’m 72 now, still singing and recording. The life I’ve had, the people I’ve known, the woman I love [married 48 years], the music I’ve made, the faith that fulfills me – it’s all a grace and a gift.
Keith Richards shared similar insights about how to deal with being economically ripped off. In his autobiography, Life, he mentioned that one of his trusted advisors/mentors ended up with the economic rights to the Rolling Stones’ signature song, Satisfaction. But he, like Dion, was motivated much more by the love he had for his vocation and the honor of having his name (along with Mick Jagger) as the author of this and countless other songs.
Productive people do not allow the loss of money to impede their path to success. As Richards said many times, “It was never about the money.” It was about the pride and joy associated with being the best in his field. Perhaps Shakespeare said it best,
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.