So many examples come to mind, but having just read Paul McCartney: The Life, I will share a couple here. The Beatles were making it big time once they got in their stride with Columbia, but they really hated that life on the road lifestyle which record companies pressured their artists to live. The ritual was “Make an album and now get out and sell it.” When as famous as they’d become it was very challenging being in the public eye.”
SO they wanted to break free from Columbia. Other record companies came courting and offered all kinds of bigger royalties and perks. But at the end of the day they were already making more than they ever dreamed. What they wanted was Freedom.
Not freedom to sit on a beach. But artistic freedom. And they got it.
It used to be that albums were produced fast because studio time costs money and arbitrary deadlines had to be met so they could get back on the road and promote. The Beatles were freed from this cycle and Sgt Pepper was the result. Weeks to record one song sometimes, to get it right.
Even after they broke up — and rich enough to shuck everything — they pursued their creative passions.
The Dylan story is similar in a sense. In addition to performing on his Never Ending Tour, which still hasn’t ended, he paints, does welding, started a whiskey business (Heaven’s Door) and follows his passions.
I find it incomprehensible that anyone could be happy doing nothing. It nothing else, it is supremely self-centered in a world with so much need.
Anyways, thanks for all the good thoughts.