Keep those rags and machines hummin'

One distinguishing mark of the "old" music business, i.e. the one before downloads, the one that made buckets of money, the one where half of my friends used to work, was that it was so big that folks on say, the classical side, had no idea who worked on the rock side. Even within the same company. They were different planets.

Even in today's shrunken music business, that can still happen but perhaps only in Gotham. Last Thursday for me was the kind of day in New York where the level of stimuli either drives you to the edge and makes you certain that your expiration date for fleeing is fast approaching, or, conversely, reassures you that there's no where on earth quite like this, it's highly likely you'll never leave and so should already be thinking about either Queens or Jersey as your final resting place.

Most of the day, I had a string of meetings with different people from different ends of the business: indie label publicist, classical music indie publicist, indie rock artist, indie rock band, major label A&R person, and the beat went on. Locales visited included the East Village, the Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, the West Village and finally, dear old wonderful Brooklyn.

Amidst all the worrying, much of it genuine, was this priceless tidbit from an old friend, publicist, been in the biz 20 plus years, who after inhaling a veal parmigiana the size of a stingray, lit a cigarette and gave me one of those roll–the–head moves that means, why worry?:

"Hey, if the business goes south, I'm going to open a car wash. I mean think about it; you work only seven months, standing outside all day, in nice shorts, holding a stack of money, taking twenty dollar bills from people…?" The sentence ended non–verbally with a shrug and a what–am–I–nuts smile.

And here I am thinking the music business is devoid of creativity and good ideas. Thanks Steve for setting me straight.

Tony Brown's picture

I don't know If I said it already but ...This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)A definite great read..Tony Brown