Jon's not ever done this for the money. He would have happily teched around with his friends for the rest of his life, occasionally putting up prints of his better photographs on Tom's website, without ever thinking twice about having more than rent and beer money. He's still not used to the revenue his album--his first album as a member of Panic instead of the guy who filled in for Panic--going into his bank account every month like clockwork, sometimes lager and sometimes smaller, but always far, far more than he could have ever made pressing buttons on Verismo machines and taking inventory on cookies and muffins. That was never even going to be his job for more than a summer; when he went to Columbia he thought he could maybe open a studio someday, a small place up north that took pictures of confirmations and weddings and color-coordinated families that would fund his less lucrative photography habits. Even that wouldn't have come close to the kind of money he makes as a member of a successful, touring band.
He remembers what it was like when Panic just started to get big--not the part where people started to know Ryan's lyrics by heart or the guys' faces on-sight, but the slowly dawning realization that the concerts had sold out
and whatever financial problems they had, or their parents had anticipated them having, weren't an issue (at least, in the short-term). He was only seeing the touring revenue off that, not even the album sales or a big percentage of the merch, and it was still enough for him to pay off the few thousand dollars in student loans. And to purchase the Leica M6 Classic he'd been coveting since he was 10.
It's strange, the things a person can get used to. He's not rich, and probably never will be, but if someone had told him when he was seventeen that he'd be in a band again, touring all over the world and making enough money to retire on--if someone had told him that, he doesn't think seventeen-year-old-Jon would have believed them. He's grateful for everything that's happened to him, and pretty aware of how lucky he is, even when stuff gets hard. But this is so much more than he ever thought he'd have that sometimes he wishes he was still a tech, fiddling around on other people's guitars for two hours with the rest of the time to himself, on his own guitar.
Only some of the time. Most of the time he wouldn't want to be anywhere else, no matter how much you paid him.