I didn’t write this but what do you think?

January 1, 2010

Bob loves to rant and usually I ignore his posts because they are SO negative and yeah, he doesn’t offer solutions but what do you think about this one??


—– Original Message —–
From: “Bob Lefsetz” <bob@lefsetz.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:58 PM
Subject: My Screed

> I’m sick and fucking tired of people telling me to be more positive. To
> focus on solutions rather than problems. Don’t you get it, it all comes
> down to the MUSIC!
> That’s what I love about this business. You’re either a player or a
> supporter. There’s a clear divide. That’s the difference from the movie
> business. Even a five year old can tell you what’s wrong with filmed
> entertainment. The acting was bad, or the story wasn’t believable, or the
> sets were phony. But ask a fifty year old about a record and he’ll shrug
> his shoulders and say he liked it or he didn’t. That’s about as far as it
> goes.
> So, you’re sitting there trying to be a manager, or a booking agent, even
> starting a label. And you’re frustrated, and dipping your toe in social
> media, reading marketing books. I’m gonna tell you, that’s all bullshit.
> Find one great act and the doors will open to you.
> The major labels triumphed because they had the best acts. But then they
> got greedy, the execs started thinking they were the talent, they broke
> the cardinal music business rule, that we all bow down to the creator. If
> you’re really that talented, make your own damn music. This happens in
> the movie sphere, producers become directors. But when was the last time
> a record company president became a best-selling artist? When did he even
> make a record?
> And for you frustrated artists, I’ll say it one more time… Your lack of
> success probably comes down to the fact that you’re just not that good.
> Sorry, the truth hurts. And if you’re the king of klezmer or the new
> Philip Glass and want to complain that you’re not on “American Idol”?
> Wow, how do you cope every day, are you really that far from reality?
> Just because you’re good at something, anything, that doesn’t mean the
> whole world needs to pay attention.
> What does the public like? Melody. A good voice. A beat. These aren’t
> immutable rules, and it’s the cutting edge that we tend to become enamored
> of, but if we can’t sing your song and think you can barely sing it
> either, GIVE UP!
> Or practice a ton more.
> Yes, practice. That’s how you get better. Sure playing every night in a
> bar helps. But you’ve also got to challenge yourself. You’ve got to test
> your own limits, learn more than three chords, not so you can use them so
> much as you become aware of the POSSIBILITIES!
> If you’re a musician, listen to a lot of records.
> If you want to write lyrics, read a lot of books.
> Doctors go to school to become M.D.’s. Why should you be able to be a
> world famous music star without putting in the work?
> The hardest thing to do in this business is find a hit act. You can be
> the best manager, the most tenacious agent, but if you don’t have a hit
> act, you’re doomed to failure. Speak to a concert promoter. He’ll tell
> you there’s no way you can get people to come to see a stiff act. Even if
> you pick them up in limos and give them good seats.
> A great act can make a ton of business mistakes, have a less than great
> manager, a rip-off label and STILL make it. A third-rate act with the
> best team is still a third-rate act.
> I think it’s great that you’re looking for innovative ways to do business,
> that you want to challenge old models. But some things never change. And
> what never changes in this business is it all comes down to the music.
> More than ever. In a world where anybody can make a record and the
> audience doesn’t concentrate on one outlet, not even one format. Some
> people listen to NO radio. Others watch NO television.
> But that doesn’t mean greatness will go unnoticed. We’re all looking for
> quality. And, if we find it, we tell everybody we know. So, a great act
> gets traction. But takes a long time to make it. Shit, the Kings Of Leon
> would have been gargantuan right away fifteen or twenty years ago. Now it
> takes that long just to get people to pay attention.
> And maybe KOL weren’t that great in the beginning. To think that talent
> needs to emerge fully-formed is to think that babies can do calculus.
> It’s a long hard road to becoming a musician. Short cuts might deliver
> success sooner, having your songs written by the usual suspects and
> working with an experienced producer might give you a leg up. But there’s
> no real foundation, you’re going to fall back to earth if you don’t do the
> work.
> Everything I write, all the innovation, it only applies to GOOD ACTS! The
> question is, what choices do you make if the act has talent. If it
> doesn’t, GIVE UP!
> You’re not entitled to a gig in the music industry. People don’t need
> records the same way they need food. If you can’t associate yourself with
> a good act, you’re going to starve, no matter what your desire.
> Finding great talent and bonding to it is a skill unto itself. Don’t rail
> against Irving Azoff or Jimmy Iovine, this is what they do BEST!
> And until you do it as well as they do, you’re gonna be broke.
> Sorry.
> —
> Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
> —
> http://www.twitter.com/lefsetz
> —


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