Who am I? What’s all this writing about?
I’m a working music business artist manager. I’ve been in love with music since I old enough to listen and in the music business since 1971. I’ve been a recording artist, worked in radio @ WMEX Boston in the early 70’s, worked in retail – Discount Records in Harvard Square, worked in records – Island, RSO, Elektra, Warner Bros / Reprise and DreamWorks Records. After DreamWorks closed it’s record division I moved away from the corporate music companies. I no longer wanted to be a part of a big corporate label – although I had some wonderful times – Warner Bros in the 80’s was a fantastic musical environment. I wanted to work even closer with artists and embrace this new internet oriented music business so I starting doing artist management and music consulting. In the beginning I never wanted to meet artists in spite of the fact that I had a lot to do with a whole bunch of successful careers. One of four things can happen in the music business with artists. 1 – A great person can make a bad record and it breaks your heart. 2 – A rotten person can make a bad record and that’s fine. 3 – A rotten person can make a great record – and if you meet them it can ruin a wonderful musical experience. There’s no law that says great music is made by wonderful people. But once in a great while something really wonderful happens. #4 – A great person makes a great recording. The best of all worlds. As a manager I’ve made a choice to no longer work with anyone except the 4th kind of artist. My mission statement would be described as “Working with music I love & people I like & embracing the musical world as it exists today with all its technological changes”. When I travel and observe, I see more people listening to more music than ever before. That’s a wonderful thing. The only real difference in the music business is that the method of delivery has changed. We still offer a “record” – a recording of a musical performance. (Well, let’s be honest some “records” are no longer performances – they’re “contructions”). From 45’s and LP’s to 8 Tracks and Cassettes to CDs and now Digital Delivery. Yes there are financial challenges every time a delivery system changes and yes sometimes the staid and once secure Acme Horse & Buggy Company is upset by the new fangled automobile. But let me say again – today more people spend more time listening to more music than ever before. My challenge as a support person to wonderful musicians is to help them find their audience. Often the tried and true approaches work – touring and radio. But more support in those areas is dependent on an already existing and growing fanbase. What’s the key? The same as it’s alway been – Word Of Mouth. No radio station, no tv show, no magazine, no internet blog is as important as one friend saying to another – “Listen to this song – I love it”. In spite of all my experience this blog is really about my education in learning from people who love music about how they find, discover and nurture the musicians that make the music they love. Many of the blogs I post will be business emails that I send out to broadcasting programmers about the progress my artists are making. So people reading will get to see inside that radio and record world. I appreciate any feedback you may have for me – Marc
PS. What’s the magic in music? What moves me? In almost all cases it’s the songwriting. On occasion there is an amazing singer(s) or a uniquely special guitar player but even then – it’s the songs that make the difference. Music attracts people but the lyrics sell it. It’s the emotion in the words that capture people’s hearts.
PPS. If you follow along with this blog you might discover that developing artists takes years and years. There are virtually no “overnight sensations”. And those that do burn brightly quickly – usually burn out just as fast. The real music business – working with real musicians – is a long haul. And sadly many tremendously talented musicians never get that opportunity to be heard by the audience that would most appreciate them. If you do fall in love with the music and artists that I feature here – please help them. Spread the word, tell your friends about them. You are their best hope!