In the late 1920’s an organisation for the Preservation of American Musicians was set up to protect the ‘live’ performance, due to burgeoning fears that the rise of the radio and record industries would put thousands of musicians out of work.
Apparently, musicians felt under such a threat that the organisation employed Larry Neive, a well known publicist, to launch a campaign to stop the ‘rot’. Larry, pre empting David Blaine, decided to organise a continuous ‘live’ string quartet performance, one in New York and the other in Washington to lobby politicians to extol the virtues of ‘live’ music. These performances were supposed to continue, uniterrupted for a week. However, after 36 hours, two of the musicians gave up, both having been offered work, one to play on a hit record and the other to be appear on the radio.
Therefore not only was the stunt disbanded, but it had been undermined by the very threat it was sparring against. It proved a point that many musicians actually went on to make healthy livings both of out radio performances and from making recordings.