Music Publishing Summit

Commentary on the business and funny business of the Major Music Industry with an Independent Music Industry point of view.
Included for Free: A healthy dose of Music Culture Snark.

Your New Video Rock Star (for a minute)

image

So, this is what you get when viral = success. We live in a world where attention is so splintered, that a singularity can happen and spread like the flu (no matter how much you wash your hands). 

That dastardly good-looking man, with all the class up there in that photo, is Psy (name he makes stock options by- Park Jae-sang).

If you do not know who he is, or why this is being written, then consider yourself lucky and carry on with your merry life. For the rest of us, there is no redemption… but there are lessons. 

Mashable wrote a nice article on how much Psy will make this year:..about $8 million. Not bad. But the deeper story is that his income stream is made up mostly of endorsements and then split among digital downloads, royalties, and advertising rev share. It may or may not be surprising to you that the least amount will be made off of “the world’s most watched viral video on YouTube (nearing 900 mil views)”

It is right here for the uninitiated- and I’m sorry:

http://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0

Todd Wasserman had a great quote: 

"As Psy’s income shows, singers these days are sort of akin to tennis players, who make modest incomes from their sport, but can pull in seven- or eight-figure salaries with endorsement contracts." 

Imagine that? There’s a new model to grasp onto. The Tennis Player music model. Play a lot, look good, start branding early, and have a personality. People may not remember each game (show or performance), but they will remember the culmination of work.  

But the deeper story is that this happened. Yes, this is actually still happening. This is real. Take a look at his backstory, he has 5 albums, he’s been controversial. HE was self-backed and then went to a label. Mostly though, he’s known for outlandishness. He had fun and MADE A BIG FREAKING PROMO VIDEO. That’s what drove this. Not radio, not live shows, not a label, not some bearded hispter blogger-  specifically YouTube! 

No one has the answer as to why this particular song project was specifically a hit. Perhaps it is the feeling of South Korea right now to be frivolous, maybe it’s the uncanny (bordering infringement) comparison to “Pump up the Jam,” or even the strength of EDM right now. Who freaking knows?

What we do know is this: Video. We see it time and again. Video, specifically YouTube video, is the strain of DNA through the dentist kid to Rebecca Black, and now our friend Psy.

Drugs and Music: Whitney, Winehouse and Michael

   

Look, these aren’t the first three music talents to die too early from drug abuse, and sadly, they won’t be the last.

But, this isn’t just about drugs. This isn’t your tired old rant about legalizing drugs; although I am strong proponent of that.

Clearly, in almost all of these cases, the culprit was prescription pharmaceuticals, but almost just as clearly, the damage had been done long before.

The point is this: legalizing drugs is just one step in solving this problem. Accepting the truth about drug use is really the goal we should be setting. We must accept that drugs are part of culture, drug use is part of what we do. I’ll spare you the coffee, cigarettes and alcohol argument here and lets also put aside  advil, nyquil etc. I mean illicit drugs for recreation.

People, lots of them, have done and currently use cocaine. Yep, they do. More people, lots of them, have smoked and continue to use Marijuana / Cannabis- nearly a 1/4 of the U.S. Adult population admit to it (so the number’s probably higher). Still there are plenty who use meth on the weekends or drop some E, or plan a camping trip with some ‘shrooms.

If you drill down into the industries, you’ll find drug use “hotspotted” in creative industries. But also realize that if you are in a bar (the kinds with shots and pretty people), pretty much every single person working there has done coke at least once and most drink the equivalent of what would be considered alcoholic proportions of alcohol weekly.

Drill down to the music industry and the numbers become nearly all encompassing for use at some time. And that’s ok. Seriously, it is. Whether you want to believe it or not, much of your entertainment (Music, Comedy, Movies, Books, Advertising Spots, Television) is fueled by drug use, especially the really good stuff. I know, it’s not popular to say it, but it is absolutely true. This is not to say there are burnouts barely turning out work that is only driven by drug use. No. I’m saying that most of the people who create  this entertainment use some sort of drug. Not all, certainly. And the drugs are not the primarily driver, but rather just part of the process. It’s part of a lifestyle that allows a human to drive themselves beyond what you can do.

Think about that. Whether it’s a touring musician, a Movie set, a crazy writer or a traveling comic) Working 16 hr days with physical, emotional and ego all clashing to bare a soul of performance so that you can enjoy it, is difficult. No one asked them to do it, but there is a point in creative pursuits when you understand just how all those who came before you did it. You hear that the Beatles put their 10,000 hrs in by playing 6-8 hrs a night in Berlin, but then you realize that they did by using Benzedrine and uppers. Oh! That’s how they became the biggest band in the world. But, that’s not part of the official story is it?

This would be a good time to dispel the myth of Drug genius- that’s not the point here. I’m saying geniuses who do drugs. And there are just as many talents whose work is genius who do not do drugs. the two are not mutually exclusive. But, it is undeniable how many “greats” have used drugs.

We don’t have to go down the list of greats – Mozart, Ella, Janis, James Brown, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter, Dylan, Stones, Michael, Winehouse, Houston. on and on and on.

What does that tell us? That drug use has some merit in art. In fact, it always has – it’s just been whitewashed form the historical record. Keep in mind, for most of human history, save the last 100 yrs or so, all drugs were “legal” and society accepted its use as, well, useful. No need for that lecture here.

Now, not everyone is the same and we should separate out the genetic pre-disposition to addiction in many of these cases. There’s depression and bi-polar disorder, as well as family history at work here. But the dirty truth is that most people (the vast majority) that do drugs, do not get addicted. They do not die. They do not lost their home. They are fine parents. They hold great jobs. This is true in music as well. Most who do drugs reach a point where they may smoke some weed, but really fall off the hard stuff; things to do, kids to raise etc. But they did do them and you do love their work and yet, if they get busted with drugs they are suddenly seen as damaged. Or if they die, we think, “well, they just couldn’t beat the demons.”

We like to separate talent from the tragedy of drug overdose. We like to think  our music heroes are fine, if they could only quit the junk.  But the grander point here is acceptance. If drugs were legal and we all agreed that a certain unknown percentage of people will fall to addiction for many many reasons, we could also agree that  healthcare  and counseling for that person would be a welcome relief and perfectly acceptable medical way to handle a medical problem. Not a last chance, not a court-ordered mandate under the threat of jail. Not criminal, but caring.

See, the message now is: “Get sober, by our means and definition for at least for a couple of months, prove it, and we won’t lock you up with other criminals like you. ”  ANd oh yeah, it’s gonna cost you big time.

This too often results in an “illicit” drug user substituting another “legal and acceptable” drug – methadone, propofol, oxycontin, anti-depressants etc. I’m not saying some counter-drugs aren’t useful, but too often they seem to be the eventual cause of death because they are “accepted.” Freely dispensed in a system where you can attain multiple prescriptions and buy it legally from a guy in a white coat. Why on earth is it more acceptable to give Amy Winehouse methadone than heroin and a bottle of vodka?

The message should be: “Get help and here’s where. Try everything. Treat the underlying problem and deal with the addiction long-term. We’ll try as long as it takes, because a life is worth it.”

People find sobriety in different ways. For some, it is psychological therapy coupled with physical addition, for some it is really just a matter pain and stimuli. Yet, our system now is setup where if you find you need help with an addiction, you must sneak into a rehab facility and you better have tons of cash. Sure you can join AA, NA and others and might find good support there. But that road is a long and bumpy one. If you happen to be busted with drugs, you are court ordered to receive the state’s version of addiction therapy, whether you’re addicted or not. This is a tragic waste of time and money, and it impedes on true addicts getting help in an shared-experience environment.  The fact is that most of our “Drug criminals” are not addicts at all. They may not even be users.

So, lets pull this back to focus. Too many people die from drug abuse, on that we can all agree. And if you are adamantly against drug use and the like, understand how prevalent and pervasive it  has been and continues to be – EVEN WHILE HIGHLY ILLEGAL. The point is our system is not working when people of unlimited means, talent, care, support groups and worldwide adoration die before our eyes. We are complicit here. We knew, Belushi had a problem,  we knew Kurt had a problem, we knew Layne had a problem. We knew, they knew, everyone knew. It wasn’t money or access, or friends that prevented these people from getting help. It was the help itself, what it represents in our society. A weakness, a “couldn’t make it” judgement. It is tantamount to losing. It should be celebrated. Thank goodness our medical minds and psychologists have the tools and expertise now to beat a drug problem. That was not always the case. As a community we should celebrate when they walk out of addiction centers, not peer when they are trying to sneak in.

Never mind that this is 100x harder for a regular person. If Joe at your job goes into rehab, he will probably lose his job, his healthcare, your “previously never challenged” respect, and coincidentally he will be given some sort of a glass ceiling of trust that is nearly impossible to break through and massively succeed.

You see, legalization won’t fix this, but it will help us accept reality. We as a society have to be okay that our student’s teacher might have gotten a bit too drunk last night – just like we did. We might have to accept that our favorite rock star snorts coke off a stripper’s belly once in a while, cause the guy that just served you drinks at the bar did the same thing in the bathroom stall. We gotta be ok with a director who takes addys to get through an epic 36 hour editing session so that you can see that next blockbuster film.  In most cases, drugs do not  keep us from being good teachers, workers, talents or friends or parents. Sorry. I know you want a black and white world, where drug use is bad and sober people are all good. It’s just not the case.

Until we, as a society, accept the reality that drug use happens (often and all around us), and that people get way too drunk on many nights of the week and slip a pill in at the end to make it through this life, we will see many more tragic deaths.

Accepting that not all drug use leads to abuse or death will allow us to be open to accepting to help for who struggle with abuse, ensuring they stay alive long enough to beat it.

Spotify Orgasm

Spotify

Good lord, the music biz baited breath was palpable the other day when after months (years?) of speculation, the sky opened up, the sun shone through and a little Swedish company called Spotify launched. Finally, the music business would be saved! Wait, I thought Apple’s cloud was gonna do that? Wait, wasn’t Amazon’s cloud or Google’s— jesus I get so confused! I mean Bob Lefsetz keeps telling me everything is dead but Live and subscription and lo and behold, here’s the subscription. And I assume it’s in the cloud. Duh.  I hate to disagree (actually that’s not true) but I think some sober thinking is order. Maybe subscription will work and save all of the labels who are not signing anyone and losing sales from those that are…..

A colleague of mine wrote on this here: Ain’t No Sunshine: Music Clouds

I will reiterate the point here. There are so many problems with the idea of a subscription/cloud model that it may in fact HURT the music industry’s tentative relationship to fans to the point of breaking. As we race toward completely digital, we are not really inline with what consumers/fans want. They do not want subscription, nor are they adopting the cloud. They want a simple way to build and keep their collection. Subscription is great with the first part but not the end result. Miss one payment…. there goes your collection. 

Not that Spotify isn’t great, it is. I was fortunate enough to get it the first day (thanks guys). I’ve been listening to some old Van Halen and reacquainting myself with early Heart and Jay-Z. I’m keeping the free model for a while so that I can gauge the ad level usage on it. So far, not bad. The female VO is not terrific and the guy VO has a strange sub-accent, but the banners are relevant and I love Coca-Cola- so it got me there. I also like the paid placements of Khalifa 420 and LMFAO, nice offers. 

One problem, as a music supe, I have tons and tons of music in my iTunes and Spotify also shows that too. Basically if it is in your iTunes it is shaded, but a strange thing to have so many of the songs I am searching for anyway. I wonder if people with large collections will have the same problem. 

My big pet peeve? No BUY NOW fucking button. It’s mind-boggling to me that any rightsholder signed on to this (especially in the free service) without an option for a BUY NOW call to action. I know the UK has one. I also know it will probably come about and that their model is about subscriptions so, it’s kind of counterintuitive. I get that. But it’s stupid. 

As for selection, it’s great. I asked my gal for the deepest cut she could think of (she’s very good at this) and she said: “Make a Circuit with Me” The Polecats. Bam there it was! That’s a good sign. 

So, is it good. Yes. But, I happen to believe that the future of the music industry lies within the independent community. Double the amount of releases, much more talent and expertise is happening and risks are being taken. Meanwhile, labels have stalled signing and it has turned into more of an M&A business. So, is Spotify good for the future? No.

The actual number per spin that an artist gets is in some dispute but it is no more than…0.0031 at full share. You don’t need to be Michio Kaku to figure out anybody needs a hell of lot of spins to make a dime at rate. And who do you think will get them? Legacy artists and label pushed new music. I did it. I went in for Fleetwood Mac and didn’t even look to see if Elevaters are on there, cause I know they are not. Even if Spotify (or the next subscription model) signs direct deals with independents, the payout rate is really not worth the graphic file. 

Is it great for a fan? Hell yeah! Bunches of tunes, a few ads, get it on my mobile. It’s awesome, until it’s not. Until you do not want to pay $5 or $10. Then what? By that time, there may be NO MORE CDs printed of those albums and certainly no stores that sell them. (RIP Borders). As a fan, I hope you understand that if you kill the CD, you will HAVE to buy music monthly to have any. That is kind of scary to me. 

So, as a savior for the majors concerning revenue, it’s gonna totally help. For the whole music industry meaning the other 60% of the music that you never hear about or see in an RIAA report or Billboard chart…. it’s going to kill it. 

Ooooh, Old Billy Idol. Wow Flesh for Fantasy cool! Back to Spotify. HA!

The Band Did What?

There was a time, not too long ago, when a band came into town and people at the Hotel where they were staying were a little freaked out. Motorcycles through the hallway, TVs escaping the balcony, burrito wall races, the arid stench of weed, sweaty leather, the Mudshark incident (google it) and many more. It wasn’t all men by the way. Ask Jane Weidlin about nights in the bathroom Go-Go’s style. This is the stuff that kept night managers up in the morning.

The thing is, like or not, great (not just good) bands were like this: Jimi, Zeppelin, GnR, Crue, Janis, Runaways, Allman bros., Van Halen.

To bands, it was a game, a playhouse of sanity after hours on the road and a full night of being fawned over in hot lights. It wasn’t an act, it was an experience and part of the show; albeit all-night long and with many “special guests.” This is what Rockstars did. The lifestyle as so brilliantly penned by Cameron Crowe in Almost Famous: “The buzz. The chicks, the whatever , is an offshoot of the buzz.”  Nowadays, if a band said that- they would be paid by “Buzz Energy Drink” to tweet it on a PPC basis.

It was important, it was the epitome of what life can be. Young and free, sexual and experimental. The idea was: you in your office job toiling away at crunching numbers cannot do this, but we can and we should; we must…. for you. Everyone at the party knew it wouldn’t last forever and that is exactly why it was important to do it all, do it right and big. Unabashedly carefree - isn’t that what a true Rockstar is? 

In short, dangerous.

But sadly, that time is gone. Hurry, name me one dangerous band…one band that will be picketed by churches… one band that bars are afraid to let in… one band that a Hotel will simply not let stay there… Buzzer! Nope there isn’t one. Hotels would be happy to have those nice boys from Akron, The Black Keys; hell they probably used their music in a commercial. What about Foo Fighters? Naw, they’ve done their time, still cool at Daddy Rawk, but Taylor sort of ruined the party (which is a good thing). Maybe Gaga you say? Puhlease.. she’s too busy signing checks and directing little assistants to snap this and sew that. That chick couldn’t possibly party all night, she’s busier than Obama.

"Shit, can’t lose the sponsor, better not have sex in this elevator."

New Rockstars do not see the world as their oyster to explore and expand, rather it is their marketplace. You are no longer fans and groupies, you are the consumer. At least groupies got free signed music. Fucking money. We will soon have no stories of crazy hotel room nights that make Grandma blush. Nope, soon it will just be nice meet-n-greets with the kids and some epic Xbox-on-the-road stories while sipping a nice organic wine that the drummer’s girlfriend is trying to launch with startup money. No wonder rock magazines suck, there’s nothing to report of note.

Look, I’m not saying the lifestyle was all roses, we lost a great many to it. But they most likely would have otherwise died a slow death of boredom, depression and repression; plus we would have never enjoyed their music or lived vicarious through them.

There is plenty of safe for work music and safe for facebook videos and safe for tv commercial bands…

I crave some danger.

Did Losing PeeChees Kill the Music Industry?

If you don’t know what a PeeChee Folder is, go read another blog- because you probably cannot legally be on the internet alone.

 This is what they looked like “Virgin”

Virgin Peechee

But every kid I knew, drew all over ‘em. Some would do the whole mustache thing in the tennis player, others (possibly closeted jocks) drew cocks on the runners, but my crowd? We drew band names. Bic pens and a boring Earth Sciences teacher  is a deadly combo.

Here’s what one really looked like:

used Peechee

Look at that thing of beauty! Bauhas all over, Killing Joke. Awesome. In addition to the pre-requisite Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd- mine had VH, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard (pre-pussy album). Normally, we would draw the logos of the bands on there. The flared wings of Van Halen were so bad ass and sharp angles of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard were completely definable.

Van Halen  iron maidendeff leppard

They’re just fonts today, easily downloadable and easily used. But I still like the hand drawn ones. Which got me thinking….Kids don’t draw band logos anymore, why would they? Where would they? Hell, paper folders for school have been dead long ago, remember this beast?

Trapper Keeper

Ah the Trapper Keeper (just try not to hear Cartman’s voice, you must!)

It is my scientific opinion that the loss of PeeChee Folders and the introduction of shiny plastic things: Trapper Keeper, DayMinder, Disney Bastard-branded Notebooks, Waterproof folders, Laptops, iPads…..  ALL killed the Music Industry!

That’s right, it wasn’t downloads or Napster or crappy-corporate-Fan-soulcrushing-campaigns. No sir. It was the loss of kids attaching to their tribe, by inking their satchels! 

How the fuck are you supposed to draw a band logo on Plastic? It just feels wrong and looks worse. What band has a logo today? Foo fighters- FF. kinda. But not really. Not like they did. And don’t come at me with your iPad gyroscopic 3d logo man! It’s not the same.

You know I’m right. 

Dead Air

dead air

Dear Live Music Band: 

I would like to introduce you to a radio term. Dead Air. It’s a phrase that is used when the cart machine breaks, computer freezes/buffers/reboots, the DJ takes too long of a piss break, or the Microphone amp goes down and on and on. Normally this occurs right after a song is played- they’re pre-programmed you know? Basically, you are listening to music and then you are listening to nothing: Dead Air. 

DJs, Producers, board engineers and certain Program Directors have all been fired for failing to get something, anything, on the air immediately. (I worked at a radio station where we logged the absolute highest number of calls during a Dead Air incident- let’s just say they weren’t calling to say thank you) It seems lazy, it’s a lack of foresight and it comes off as amateurish. It’s not always their fault, after all technical difficulties can happen anywhere; but to the listener, it’s tantamount to a crime. All they care about is getting that aural candy. Hell, they don’t even care if the DJ comes on and starts talking ad infinitum about the dumb celeb of the day. In fact, most of morning radio is built upon just that. 

But talk alone is annoying-  except from that rare entertainer- the listeners do want music. They want it behind the commercial spot, they want it in the bumper as the DJ explains the next contest and they want it on it’s own as an experience of storytelling. 

When the music does come back on in these incidents, something funny happens. Normally, many songs are played in a row as to keep the listeners from fleeing and it is a small token of apology. The truth is, PDs and producers are huddling to make sure there isn’t something systemic going on that could cause Dead Air again, but nonetheless, the end result is a good one for listeners.

What does this have to do with a Live Band? I am sick to death of seeing bands turn around from the audience to talk about the next song. I’m tired of hearing…. nothing or worse, tuning. Do not have Dead Air. Talk to your fans if the drummer has to tighten his snare, get the bass player to tell a joke if the singer must take a breath and drink water. 

 If you can’t see the correlation, I may not be able to sway you. You are the Radio station and the similarities are striking:

Your live show should feel like a radio set. First there is a playlist (setlist), songs that you know people like and some you want to turn them on to. Three songs in a row, station identification (Band name clearly stated), 2 songs in a row, followed by an ad (your merch table), station id, followed by exploratory cool music (your new songs), followed by a contest or fan inclusion on air ( facebook photo tagging, special request songs, birthday ditty, give away a shirt and get a fan on stage) followed by your hits, station Id, followed by the sign-off (telling them where you’ll be next and big closer song).

This is basic stuff, we’re not even talking about ‘how’ you play the music. But this has got to stop. No more Dead Air. 

Thank you.

Blavatnik Can You Spare a Dime?

Brother can you Spare a Dime

Big news today that Len Blavantnik won the Bid for Warner Music Group. This is not the place to get into the debt ($2bil), the purchase price ($1.3bil in $8.25 a share) and whether or not WMG is worth it. For the record, when the company starts to separate Warner/Chappell, slashing workforce and repackaging the legacy catalog for sale…. count me on buying all of Van Halen. 

I’ve probably ranted online and in public too much about this process, but I will reiterate one major point here. 

1) The Major Music Labels (the big 4…3… 2?) will not survive unless they decouple themselves form stock ownership.

Corporate stock ownership and the rigors of meeting quarter-over-quarter, year to year growth goals is simply antithetical to any kind of art commerce. I write about this further in my book, but when Music is released at a corporate level it is purely treated as a widget; and the goal is simply to sell more widgets than you previously have (and make higher margin while you’re at it)

Overly-simplified, look at it like this: 

IF Artist A blows up one summer, and there is not an equally hot-selling, established Artist B in cycle for fall, the overall Q to Q growth will look negative. Now imagine if Artist A goes all experimental on the next record; then that segment of the P&L sheet based on Artist A alone will show massive Loss. On a corporate balance sheet, whether in the division, publisher, label, group and especially parent company level -  it is completely discarded that there was stellar profit from Artist A that last “summer” release. They just see less GROWTH or worse, lack of it. 

Different time, different place, I know- but consider MJ’s Thriller. It’s the Bible of records, meaning: best selling of all-time and it will always hold that distinction, especially post-mortem. 

Every single, album, video, movie he did after that was a “negative-growth product”- which is the most fucked up way of looking at success I could ever imagine. 

Why the Picture?

Well, as it turns out “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” also “Buddy, Can You…” (written by E.Y.”Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorney)  is partially a Warner/Chappell Property and there have been recordings on the Warner Music Catalog. Yep, I’ve actually licensed it. Actually, I think Next Decade Entertainment runs it’s admin now, but never mind that for now. 

I couldn’t possibly write about the defining history of the song as well as Philippe Mora tells it in the fine 1975 eponymous documentary film. Well worth your time find it here

Good Luck Mr. Blavatnik, I’m sorry you missed the party.

Greetings from the Summit. It’s all Happening

Hello all, the move is complete and this is the new place to be entertained by my crazy musings on the Music Business. You can still read me most months in Performer Mag, but I will be posting some of those exclusives here as well. 

ITsallhappening

We are still planning on rolling out the Music Publishing Summit Events nationwide, but slowly. It’s been a tough economy and we want to make sure our mini-conference is affordable and provides real value for all independent musicians. So, stay tuned.

Thanks for dropping by, some of the older posts can be found here on this blog or here at

Zimbio: http://www.zimbio.com/member/stjamesmedia  (at least while they are in business)

SXSW: Fuck Record Deals, Tech and Movies Rule.

I was approached by one of my larger clients (fairly big in online publishing) to write a piece on SXSW- since I would not be attending this year. I immediately took the editor’s assignment sheet and started to breakdown the research needed. Then I realized what they wanted me to write on: “find, explore and suggest from experience, the top people to follow at SXSW on twitter, you know 3-4 actors, directors, programmers, agents.”

Anything seem missing? Something that starts with Mus and ends with ic? Even though there has been a steady march since ‘94 to include Movies and Internet cos, this year was really the first in which SXSW’s evil plan to take on all media came to full fruition.

Want some proof?   It’s estimated that 17k registrants go to Film/interactive vs. 12k for music. There are 888 companies doing business at SXSW.

George Carlin~ A Fucking Master

George Carlin deserves respect from all who ever heard him and laughed to near pee-pee land. His wit and relentless pursuit of wisdom through simple observation is seldom matched today. I saw his last HBO special “It’s Bad for Ya” and I was, well… disappointed. He had lost some venom and what little left there was, seemed a bit forced. I think he had mellowed a bit, maybe found some happiness in the Vegas desert. Another of his last works was “When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops” a book that has sold well over two million copies and will surely rise further now.

However, did you know in 2006 he won a Grammy for that very same titled Audio Book. And it wasn’t the first time: From His Biography: In 1972, Carlin released the comedy album “FM & AM,” on Little David Records, which won a Grammy Award and was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. It was the first of four successive Gold records that he would release during the first half of the 1970s.

Carlin has recorded eighteen albums of stand-up comedy and four audiobooks. Ten of his albums have been nominated for Grammy Awards. His most notable collection is the 1999 release George Carlin: The Little David Years, 1971-1977, a seven-CD package that includes several home recordings that he made when he was twelve years old

George Carlin

It may strike you funny that the Bump would write about a comedian. What does it have to do with publishing? Well, obviously, there are many ways to be in the Music Business and we tend to forget the Foley Artists, the Sound Mixers, The Sound Designers, the Amp Makers, the Guitar Luthiers, and often: the Comedians who outsell us all.

Here’s to your George- You shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits Helluva Guy!

Ed McMahon to Join New Johnny Carson Show.

After years in development, cost overruns and network interference, Johnny Carson is set to launch his new prime-time late, late, late  “Tonight Show in Heaven with Johnny Carson.”  Sources familiar with the negotiations have been ruminating about the lack of sideman talent, saying that contract disputes have been holding up production. Initially, Carson Productions was considering using Danny Kaye or Bob Hope, but Ari Emanuel, the agent for the two, has said that there were never “serious discussions.” Hope’s management added: “Mr. Hope is enjoying his time on the best golf courses in heaven and writing a memoir about his time with the USO. He appreciates the consideration but is already slated to do a Variety hour with Dean Martin, launching in the fall.”

Carson Productions will be holding a news conference today from the Yahweh Media Center (off of Gold Paved Mansion Road and Hail Mary St.) and will announce the long-awaited addition of Ed McMahon as the official sidekick for the show. Contract details were not available, but sources are speculating that Mr. McMahon got a deal in line with “A-list” sidemen in the ever-after.  Some time will be allowed for paperwork processing and work permits as McMahon has recently moved to the area.

Mr. McMahon released this statement through his P.R. group (Haveanicelife PR Beverly Hills) “I am excited to rejoin Johnny, as it has been many years since we have spoken to one another. I am sure the old chemistry is still there and I believe audiences throughout the universe will recognize the special bond we have.”

Additionally, the bandleader position will be held temporarily by Jimi Hendrix until Doc Severinsen can reach an agreement with the Network and production company. Mrs. Severinsen is not pleased with his plans to join the show anytime soon. Mr. Hendrix said in a written statement, “Doc is a brilliant cat man, nothin’ can touch those lips and armature, but horns aint my thang you dig? I’m just doin my thing for Johnny and the people and can’t wait to jam with McMahon. I hear he is a bad ass trianglist.”

 

Network jockeying is a tough business in Paradisio as the viewing migration has changed to a far younger demo within the Kingdom of God. Nielsen states that nearly 43% of new viewers are opting for internet only viewing and broadband is still trying to gain wide acceptance. In addition, the numbers for Purgatorio are way down, citing lack of programming and exciting new events. Ratings in Hades have been surging for late night programming; a recent survey indicated a full 100% penetration into the underworld for all demographics in all time slots. Bon Scott, a citizen of H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, lamented the lack of adult viewing and the confusing switch to digital signals, “This digital switch was really confusing and to be honest, I do not see much difference in picture quality. I am also VERY disappointed in the adult viewing choices, outside of Family Guy, we have basically nothing to watch. Johnny’s show will truly be a Godsend!”

Johnny’s launch week will feature guests: Lucille Ball, Tom Snyder, George Carlin and performances by “Crazy Fugue” a new supergroup band featuring Wolfgang Mozart, Randy Rhoades, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Cliff Burton and Janis Joplin.

Executive Head Writer Aaron Sorkin said there are some surprises planned as well, “We are going to ‘resurrect’ favorite characters such as Carnac and really delve into the new media world with “heaventxt,” a new media that allows viewers to interact with the show’s sidekick Ed McMahon in real time. It’s very exciting!” Mr. Sorkin also explained how the process of writing for a show on a different ‘coast’ is a challenge, “I normally email about 20 pages of material but with Johnny’s new show we are using Twitter as it is the preferred method of communication in Heaven. It is hard to write a 1-1/2 show using 140 characters at a time. Generally, at the end of the week, Johnny and I Skype and get a feel for what needs to be revised, it’s challenging but very rewarding.”

More news to come.

Hey Queen: Here’s Your New Singer!

So, Paul Rodgers is no longer in Queen, a relatively new development on May 15th, but not shocking- he is nearly 83 yrs. old and has that whole other band Bad Company. Last night, the audition was complete for the new singer. Adam Lambert lost the American Idol Prize- well played wily Kris Allen, with your light touch and “aw shucks” stunned demeanor. This means that Adam Lambert is the “Daughtry” of this year. Free to develop his own music and out from under the crushing contract. But he is no writer and will probably have everything chosen for him. He is also obviously Gay or Bi, which is fine, but hard to sell a rock album in Peoria (where so many of the votes come from).

The solution? Adam Lambert- the new lead singer of Queen.

It is a perfect solution. He can ‘come out’ gracefully. He can do all the theatrical stuff and it will make sense. He might even reignite the possibility of a new Queen Album. Brian May- give me a call, or call Dave Grohl he has my number and lets get the deal done!

Big Time Props: TY

Last week, this little lovely blog hit over 50,000 readers. Just wanted to take the time to thank each and every one of you all for checking in and giving us some love. Now that it is a serious blog, hee hee- We are going to take this week to upgrade the site and make it prettier and easier to navigate. There will be some posts of course but not daily and it may be offline for a day as we switch.

Here are some questions that many have written in about.

1. Will you be doing another Music Publishing Summit?

Yes and No. The format will be slightly different. We are in talks about doing a series of them possibly associated with different expos and seminars. But, we will keep you posted.

3. When is “The New Music Business Model 2.0″ book coming out?

Not Sure. It was slated for Summer 2011, but much of that will depend on Apple’s Cloud plan. 

4. Can we advertise on your site?

We are working on this, but honestly, we are good right now. We are looking for 1 or 2 premium sponsors only.

WWBD: What Would Bob (Marley) Do?

Would you like some “No Woman, No Cry” Visine? How about a “Jah Jah Cookie Jar?” For a limited time, cause we can’t do this all day you know, I am gonna throw in the “Three Little Birds” Alarm Clock, the “Get Up Stand Up” Ab Machine/Stair Stepper and as a special gift: you also get the “Stir it Up” MultiMixDrinkerator all for $59.99!

A nice little private equity firm, called Hilco, has convinced the Bob Marley Estate that they will “respectfully” exploit the licensing of all Marley products. Here’s the thing, I agree without outside management, because anyone who has tried to license music form the family can tell you it was very difficult in the past- much like Hendrix. Hell even Weinstein couldn’t get it for a film on Rita’s life: no woman, no cry.

So look below into his eyes, do you think he would have liked this?

WWBDMarley

Quoting Variety: “Aside from clothing and video games, other licensed product categories will include footwear, accessories, food and beverages, collectibles, musical instruments, computer products, stationery and paper goods and restaurants and hotels.”

Again quoting from Variety (VMusic:) “Hilco, a private equity firm, will also develop the 2010 Bob Marley 65th Anniversary program and be responsible for the One Love, Tuff Gong, Three Little Birds, Catch A Fire and Relics of Antiquity brands.”

Full Story Here

Man, its a tough one to swallow. But, maybe Hilco, a private equity firm, will absolutely trust that the man was a shaman and a musical genius of genre and treat the brand with respect…. Wow, I almost wrote that whole sentence before busting out in LAUGHTER.