AZOFF & MSG LAUNCH NEW MUSIC VENTURE
September 6, 2013
"We have a shared vision for ways to do things that are artist-friendly and fan-friendly,"
-- Irving Azoff, who will serve as the new venture's Chairman and CEO.
I was fortunate to have worked for Irving Azoff during my time as a SVP at MCA Records.
In 1983, I joined MCA Records as VP/Promotion after 14 years at Capitol. I came to the label two weeks prior to Irving's arrival, hired by the label's EVP at the time, industry veteran Jerry Sharrell. Jerry told me Irving was coming to the label, and I asked him "Why would Irving leave Frontline Management and all his success to do this?"
Jerry said, "Why don't you ask him when he gets here." And that I did.
The very first day he arrived at MCA, he walked into my office, shook my hand, and said "What the hell did you leave Capitol for to come to this shaky label for?"
"I came to play, and I came to win." I replied, and then threw the same question back at him.
"I came to win as well ... I just looked at all the company's resources and thought if I put a great team together, we can't help but score some points on the field and eventually win. More important, we're going to have fun doing it."
It was an incredible experience to be there as he completely rebuilt the label from ashes to an industry leader in very short time. He ran the company by allowing his key executives to be decision-makers on a daily basis, and encouraged us all to live, eat and sleep the music we loved, so we could win for the artists we represented, and for the label. The corporate culture he created was in sharp contrast to what MCA had ever experienced, and when he left the label (with the top three albums on the Billboard Top 200 chart), Irving said "We proved the inmates could run the asylum."
When Irving left Live Nation, he was very vocal about why he did so. (You can read about that here: Irving Azoff on Why He Left Live Nation: Running a Public Company 'Sucks' )
This week, "Less than a year after both severed their ties to Live Nation Entertainment, Irving Azoff and James Dolan are joining forces again. The Madison Square Garden Company and Azoff Music Management have reached an agreement to create a new music, media and entertainment company called Azoff MSG Entertainment, they announced Wednesday."
The plans for the company are bold and will include music management, TV production and live events, digital branding, and a whole lot more.
Read the story at TheWrap.com
My best wishes go to Irving and James Dolan for great success in their new venture.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
A MUSIC COURSE THAT MIGHT REALLY HELP YOU IN THE INDUSTRY
Getting any job in the music industry is incredibly tough these days. The opportunities have certainly diminished overall, but it seems like there will always be a need for personnel in the areas of Law, Finance and Technology.
This week the Berklee School of Music launched an in-depth new online course from Berklee Professor Peter Alhadeff: Music Business Finance.
In this course, students will learn to apply the critical tools of financial analysis to leverage talent, assess the potential of music enterprises, and drive new music businesses. A practical course on its own, Music Business Finance is also part of their upcoming Bachelor of Professional Studies of Music Business online degree. Learn More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
SPOTIFY CONNECT LAUNCHES
Spotify has announced the launch of Spotify Connect, a new home audio experience across your phone, tablet and speakers.
Spotify made the announcement on its blog: "You've just walked through the door, listening to your favorite playlist on your phone. With Spotify Connect, simply hit play on your living room speakers and the music instantly fires u, right where you left off. making sure you never miss a beat. Then pick up your tablet to keep controlling the music from your sofa, or seamlessly switch the sound to your iPod Touch in the kitchens docking station." Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
A GREAT BEATLES RESOURCE FOR FANS
Have you ever heard chattering, voices, or odd noises in the background of a Beatles song? ... wondered who sang "She Loves You" at the end of "All You Need Is Love?" ... heard stories about what John sings at the end of "Baby You're A Rich Man"? ... wanted to know which Beatles song, played on the radio the world over, has an undeleted expletive in, where it is, and why it happened? ... wondered where the famous edit is in "Strawberry Fields Forever," and what the Morse code in it might mean? ... puzzled over strange voices in "I Am The Walrus," "Yellow Submarine," and "Revolution No. 9"? ... or wondered about these backwards messages about Paul ... ?
Thanks to a Facebook post from Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast With The Beatles (the BEST Beatles radio show on the air anywhere, in my opinion), I got the chance to check out the website 'What Goes On...The Beatles Anomalies List'
I've already spent about a few hours on the site (yes, I'm an over-the-top Beatles fan), and will be going back for more. If you're a fan, check it out!
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
* 25 Greatest Soundtracks
* Rod Stewart's Blistering 'Maggie May'
* Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury | Under Pressure Vocals Isolated Track
* Fall Music Preview 2013: The 52 Hottest Albums
* Music Photos of the Week
* Van Morrison Revisits 'Into the Mystic'
* Fred Stobaugh, 96, Becomes Oldest Artist To Appear On Hot 100
* 19 Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped (Part 12)
* Jon Stewart Dresses Up as Miley Cyrus on 'Daily Show' Return
* Why VOD's Popularity Is a Mixed Blessing for Indie Film
* Nokia: Selling phone business to Microsoft painful but necessary
* 11 new gadgets
* Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is here
* Digital drives $2.9 billion in game-spending in Q2
* All the gadget news out of IFA 2013
Short News Items ...
MAYER SEZ HE'S DONE WITH FAME, DEPT:
Promoting his new LP, John Mayer says he's done chasing fame. "I didn't have any fun when I was trying to keep it elevated," he says. "It's almost impossible. Now, playing shows is all the fame I need." Then again, he just reunited with on-and-off flame Katy Perry.
IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT 'AMERICAN IDOL,' DEPT:
Fox confirmed on Tuesday that Jennifer Lopez (Returning because, well ...what's she been doing lately? Nothing) and Harry Connick Jr. (When was last time you heard his name?) will be judges on the next season of 'American Idol' along with previously announced returning judge Keith Urban.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, DEPT:
The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' along with 12 other Fab Four albums, plus records by a slew of artists from Bob Dylan to Marvin Gaye -- will finally be certified Platinum in the United Kingdom following a change in the way the British Phonographic Industry allots such distinctions, The Guardian reports. In the past, the BPI would only give out Silver, Gold and Platinum sales awards to record labels that specifically requested them, but now they'll be doled out automatically once an album passes the right sales threshold in the U.K. (60,000, 100,000 and 300,000 copies, respectively).
This week was a cause of celebration for Elton John, who received the first-ever Brits Icon award for artists who have had a "lasting impact" on U.K. culture. As part of the ceremony at London's Palladium, John also performed for the first time since having his appendix out in July, the BBC reports.
GAGA NEW STUFF:
Lady Gaga played eight songs from her upcoming album, ARTPOP, on Sunday in London, in a theatrical show streamed online for the month-long iTunes Festival. Too Short and Twista delivered verses on a hip-hop banger called "Jewels & Drugs." Read More (And all the videos are now available on YouTube)
UH-OH, ALMOST OUT OF 'BLOOD':
HBO Programming Pres. Michael Lombardo said on Tuesday that the vampire drama 'True Blood' will end its run next year following its seventh season, which will launch next summer. In a statement, Lombardo called 'True Blood'— which saw the departure of showrunner Alan Ball prior to its sixth season — "nothing short of a defining show for HBO."
ANOTHER ROCK STAR MARRIES ANOTHER MODEL, DEPT:
U2's Adam Clayton, 53, married Brazilian model Mariana Teixeira (much younger, duh!), his girlfriend of four years, in a low-key ceremony at a Dublin registry this week. The bassist proposed to Teixeira at Carnival earlier this year, the BBC reports. The couple had been expected to wed in the south of France.
Hillary Clinton's support for gay rights has earned her recognition from the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The former secretary of state, senator and First Lady will receive the foundation's inaugural Founder's Award on October 15th, The Associated Press reports.
YET ANOTHER REASON TO NOT LIKE KANYE WEST:
Kanye, like J-Lo, plays for dictators, and it drew a rebuke from the Human Rights Foundation for his performance at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev, The Associated Press reports. The HRF and others have said West's private performance on Saturday legitimized the Nazarbayev and the country's various human rights violations.
PONO NEXT YEAR:
Neil Young's music service Pono, which will provide listeners with downloads of high-resolution songs made to sound like their initial recordings, is almost ready to roll. It's set to launch in early 2014, according to a Facebook post written by Young. The goal is to restore music "to its original artistic quality, as it was in the studio," says Young, a noted dissenter against MP3 technology. "So it has primal power." Read More
AND ALL THAT JAZZ:
In his new autobiography, "Learning to Listen," jazz legend and online instructor Gary Burton shares his 50 years of experiences at the top of the jazz scene.
CLAPTON UNPLUGGED REDUX:
Eric Clapton is re-issuing an expanded and remastered version of his smash acoustic album' Unplugged' this fall. The set includes two discs and a DVD of his entire MTV Unplugged set, as well as never-before-seen rehearsal footage.
SO, IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE IN CLEVELAND, CHECK IT OUT:
The Rolling Stones will be honored at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 18th Annual Music Masters Series, which begins October 21st and runs through the 26th in Cleveland. Dubbed "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It): The Music of the Rolling Stones," this year's series will feature a week of interviews, panels, films and other educational programs, concluding with a conference at the Rock Hall about the Rolling Stones' impact on pop music, followed by a tribute concert at PlayhouseSquare's State Theatre.
2PAC BROADWAY SHOW:
A musical based on the life of Tupac Shakur is coming to Broadway. According to The Wall Street Journal, the show, Holler If Ya Hear Me, was developed by veteran stage director Kenny Leon. The production will center on what Leon calls an "unconditional love story" with an "anti-violence" message.
100 ALBUMS AND STILL GOING:
The most successful British male singles artist of all-time in the U.K., and second only to Elvis Presley, will bring out "The Fabulous Rock 'n' Roll Songbook" in November.
Randy Ostin, a former music executive and the son of legendary Warner Bros. Records president Mo Ostin, has died. He was 60. Ostin died July 28 after a four-year battle with cancer, according to an obituary published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times. Randy started out in the promotions department at Warners label Elektra/Asylum, and among the hits he broke were "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne, "Blue Bayou" by Linda Ronstadt and the Queen rock anthems "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." He later ran promotions for The Eagles' 1979-80 'The Long Run Tour' -- building a long friendship and association with the band -- worked at Warner Reprise and RCA and became an investment partner with nightlife impresario Mark Packer of the Tao Group.
British journalist David Frost, best known for his interview with former U.S. President Richard Nixon, died of a heart attack on Saturday at the age of 74, the BBC said on Sunday. Frost was a pioneer of broadcasting for more than half a century, and hosted the program 'That Was The Week That Was,' which cast a satirical eye over the week's news. 'The Frost Report' brought together John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett in a sketch show which would influence many comedy writers, including the Monty Python crew.
Quotes of the week
"Look at me doing all the talking while you sit there doing nothing. I feel like I'm co-hosting the Oscars with you."
-- Seth Rogen, poking fun at pal James Franco during his Comedy Central roast, via EW
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Bruce Springsteen On Fence About Playing Assad's Birthday Gig
RUMSON, NJ—Sources close to Bruce Springsteen confirmed yesterday that the rock legend continues to have mixed feelings about accepting an invitation to perform at Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad's upcoming 48th birthday party.
"I mean, he's a big fan, and the money's good, so it's a close call, ya know?" Springsteen reportedly said of the upcoming gig, in which the 63-year-old musician would be expected to play a 45-minute set with the The E Street Band at the Presidential Palace before al-Assad, his family and several high-ranking military officers. Read the rest and laugh
And also on The Onion, this says it all about the Sryian situation: Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon