Saturday, February 26, 2005

Where diamonds were halos

Woke up early this morning; a lot of errands to run. Feeling as near to normal again as I have in the last two weeks; my horoscope says I shouldn't have to worry about my health, so I'll take that at face value (at least momentarily). It doesn't hurt that the day begins with the sun shining, good coffee and blog time.

A lot of you know me; have worked with me and travelled the same road of ups-and-downs in the music industry. Read this letter on Coolfer; it mirrors so much of my own experiences; the things I would have liked to have said after being caught in the crosshairs of "downsizing" and my calling the "executives" on their so-called "open-door" policies. Uncanny how the letter's author is also now a former employee of Warner Music Group (where I spent my 5 1/2 best years). To me, what has taken place at that company over the last four years is not only a travesty but a crying shame. Talk about destroying the (genuinely) good (and respected) name of a company. A big shout out to the author of the aforementioned epistle.

A friend asked me recently if I would ever think about or actually return to working in the music industry; while I don't qualify resurrecting a disbanded rock group as a return, but rather working a full-time career job with a record label or booking agency, et al., my answer was a firm (and somewhat emphatic) "no". Simple reasons:

a) why return to an industry that is at its' most uncertain and unstable?
b) everyone I worked with has also left the industry behind and moved on to greener pastures (myself included)
c) where could I go? Nearly all of the record labels that you could want/hope to work for have all dissolved in corporate mergers or bankruptcy court
d) I'm now 40 years old. It's was the dream job of my youth. Enough is enough. Time to grow up
e) there's isn't anything of even remote interest happening within the industry (for me). It's a big empty nothing--like the Emperor's New Clothes.

As many of you do know, working for the various labels was like a religious calling and yet now, I couldn't care less. I still keep an eye on things, but it's more for the necessity than the desire. Finding a niche market where an "old" band can play a show or sell their wares is pretty much my target/scope. And by logic (which I've said before in a prior posting), most musicians (read that: musicians) now prefer to have their own websites so they can sell their music, etc. directly to their audience without the middle man (the record company) robbing them blindly. Comeuppance, perhaps, for the presumptuousness, arrogance and short-sightedness of the labels? The question becomes why would I want to work for a record label?

I'm fortunate; I did it all--lived every dream and cliche that I had and didn't know I had. Now it's over and I don't miss it. I treasure the memories but life is about progression, not remaining on a treadmill.

I'll keep my Atlantic Records varsity jacket, though.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home