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Re: (TV) Arista/Clive Davis (was Re: Kral comments)

    Thanks Joe, well said on right on the head! M T C

> From: Joe Hartley <jh@brainiac.com>
> Reply-To: tv@obbard.com
> Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 21:15:39 -0400 (EDT)
> To: tv@obbard.com
> Cc: tv@obbard.com
> Subject: Re: (TV) Arista/Clive Davis (was Re: Kral comments)
> "Michael Carlucci" <michael@recordsnyc.com> wrote:
>> On a smaller scale I can tell you what a nightmare my own bands
>> situation was. We made our Chrysalis record for under $60,000 ... [and]
>> ...after the first 2 months record sales were at 30,000 which isn't bad
>> for a first time out major label record. Certainly enough for the company
>> to recoup their investment. WRONG!
> No, this is right.  30K records sold certainly covered the costs of making
> the records, getting them to the radio stations and stores, and probably
> the cover art as well.
>> When you have to factor in costs for 2 different promotional posters, a
>> ridiculous contest to send someone on a skiing expedition in Aspen Colorado,
>> (snip) ear-muffs to give out, phone calls for promotional purposes
> This is where it gets criminal.  Why is it that the artist, usually the
> ones least able to shoulder the financial burden of a 6-pack of imported
> beer, never mind a trip to Aspen, has to foot this bill?
> (Answer - to keep the assholes from paying taxes on the money.)
>> (The label...) considered the record over getting it
>> to the #4 position in the Rolling Stone Magazine college chart which was no
>> big feat since we had reached number 5 with our last indie LP. The idea was
>> to have Chrysalis get us to cross over which they did not.
> Again, if it ain't #1 with a bullet, the labels don't care.
> In that light, I see why Patti would have a strong loyalty to Clive.  When
> the predominant question in the industry is "What have you done for me
> lately?" (Van, you're cut.  Bonnie, you're cut.  Warren, you're cut.),
> the fact that Clive kept Patti even though she didn't (couldn't) break
> even against the evil accounting, shows that he *has* been committed to
> the art (and artists).
> Now, on a tangent....
> Aspen?   ASPEN??   Aspen, fucking Colorado??  The only reason this came
> into existence is that some A&R person (Roget gives weasel, asshole, slimeball
> and douchebag as synonyms) wanted to go skiing on the company's dime.  Did
> any of the band go skiing?  No, they probably couldn't get the time off
> at the job that was paying the rent.  Did label execs?  You bet your ass.
> How does this sell records?  How does this generate airplay?  It doesn't.
> Never has, and never will.
> I've been on the radio end of this at the college level - I've got some
> interesting stuff over the years, like an Orchestral Manoeuvres In the
> Dark (OMD) pillowcase that was pretty cool, and some excellent posters,
> but this stuff doesn't help much.  It's just a way for the label to spend
> their money and write it off.
> It's doubly sweet, in that they don't take the loss directly, but pass it
> along to the band, so rather than say "We lost $90K on Winter Hours" and
> take the loss, they get to say it's the band's fault, and if they ever happen
> to actually MAKE some money down the line, they'll be standing there with
> their hand out.
> So, though I may be boring some people to tears with this, how the hell
> DOES the next Winter Hours or Television or PSG (or even those bands!)
> use the new technology to bypass the corporate middleman bullshit?
> I guarantee that whoever figures out a way will make a bazillion dollars,
> and spend a good portion of that on legal fees battling the labels who
> will bring suit because it's all they know how to do.  Keep that in mind
> the next time you buy some blank tapes for your 4-track; the industry was
> so sure that home taping would kill music that they got the US Gubmint to
> put a surcharge on EVERY blank tape, since everyone just uses them for
> piracy, right?  And don't even get me started on DAT...
> The modern eqivalent to DAT is the CD-R.  Same argument - a perfect copy
> will always lead to piracy.  Thus the new home stereo CD burners can't use
> the standard data CD-R's at 35-50 cents per blank; you've got to get the
> special CD-Rs that have the surcharge on 'em so that the label gets their
> money anyway.  (Side question: does any of that money go to the artists,
> who would get a piece of a CD sale?  I'll bet you a nickel none of that
> money gets down to the artists, but I don't know for sure.)
> There *are* some cases of serendipity, though:  Nick Lowe made a million
> bucks off of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?",
> not because Elvis did a brilliant cover, not because the world discovered
> what a brilliant band Brinsley Schwartz was, but because an insipid cover
> of it found its way onto the soundtrack album of "The Bodyguard."  Thanks
> to the success of Twitney Houston's cover of a Dolly Parton song that was
> bought by every slop-sucking idiot in the country, Nick made a few cents
> every time that album was bought.  It made Nick a rich man 20+ years after
> he wrote the song!  Unfortunately, that's the exception to the rule.
> OK, I PROMISE I'll stop now.
> ======================================================================
> Joe Hartley - UNIX/network Consultant - jh@brainiac.com
> 12 Emma G Lane, Narragansett, RI  02882 - vox 401.782.9042
> Without deviation from the norm, "progress" is not possible. - FZappa
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