9/04/2010

So, if you wanna be a rock and roll star…or The Gospel According to Bob

Blogger, piracy apologist, former major label executive, and all-around curmudgeon Bob Lefsetz, is at it again. This time, he's got the formula for rock 'n' roll stardom. Oh, yeah. Lefsetz is high on the mountain top. (You have to scroll down a bit past his ususal rant to reach the promised land.) But, is he right? What say you?

1. Know that people are looking for music. They’re inured to listening online and on the go. More people are listening to more music than ever before.

2. Know that the money is not in music. The money is in tech, on Wall Street. It’s not about theft of recordings, it’s a change in society. Music doesn’t drive it. There’s more money in sports. You’ve got to play because you love it.

3. It takes longer than ever to truly make it. The old wave insta-stardom the major labels specialize in… Those acts never survived the hype in the eighties and nineties, why should they now? Overexposed, they’re thrown on the scrapheap in just a few years.

4. Practice makes perfect. Just because you can make music, put it up on iTunes and YouTube and…doesn’t mean anybody should listen to it, that anybody should care. Marketing means less than ever before. Hell, if you truly want to make it as a musician, you’re better off cutting the Internet cord and practicing and gigging for five years before you put your music online, where people will find it. But traction will be slow. And you might not get rich. Are you willing to sign up for this route?

5. Don’t listen to anybody with a toehold in today’s music firmament unless they’re in the live business. Everybody else is caught up in the tsunami of change and just wants you to keep the old paradigm going. They’re clueless. They’re royalty still living in the castle trying to fend off a public that’s been maligned and is joyous in tearing down old institutions by ignoring them. Yes, that’s how the impact of Top Forty wonders has declined. The public is ignoring them.

6. If you’re a fan, don’t believe anything you read in the mainstream media. Trust your friends. If you find something good, continue to tell your friends. Protest high prices. Support your favorite acts. What the old guard doesn’t understand is this is instinct, to only buy what you can afford and only promote what you like. They’ve been living beyond their means selling crap so long the whites of their eyes are brown and they’ll say anything to maintain their lifestyles. That’s not about music, but money. But now you only get money if you make it about the music.

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