Love this. The idea that everyone who has earned something was somehow given it or had a leg up is victim mentality BS of the highest level. It’s out there if you’re willing to shovel the crap it takes to get to it.Gentlemen I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I have a degree in absolutely nothing. I’ve been willing to do jobs others aren’t at times they’re not willing to do it and I’ve always made plenty of money. Boom times, recessions or whatever. Did I survive 15 degree weather with winds cutting my skin and nothing but literal blood and feces the only hint of warmth? I’ve been there. That’s what I consider a “mountain of hardship”. It sucked but I went to work and paid my bills. These days I’m blessed to not work as hard but I paid my dues, dues many others aren’t willing to pay. So no, I really have no empathy in this regard. I was handed nothing and am a middle class slob with the rest of the middle class slobs and happy to be here.
To the OP, I totally loved having local music stores coming up because we didn’t have anything else back then! You paid literal MSRP for everything. So it wasn’t wine and roses, and the shop owners took full advantage of being the only place you could get instruments. Their business model played out and all of them went out of business in my area. No one wanted it that way, but as a struggling musician who wasn’t sucking a silver spoon, there was little reasonable choice in which price I would be paying. I bought what I could locally, but large purchases went to mail order. I miss the personal friendships in the same way some folks miss full service gas stations.
We do have one local store, all cheap instruments and school band equipment. Still, I’ll buy stuff there to support local business because I like to do that. Certainly not against that, but I’m not a bad guy when I spend my hard earned cash wisely and go for the best deal.