The task myself and Adam had yesterday was to chat about our experiences of the music business to the next generation as such. Bearing in mind these young coves were spending their time and money studying the subject and seem to wish to plan their future careers in the business it was best that we kept it light.
It didn't take to long to get dark though.
It don't take a monkey to work out (or even simply notice) that the music business is in a state of turmoil at the moment. It's as clear as the nose on your face. The majors are downsizing and outsourcing, purse strings are tightening, shareholders are worrying .... we have the downturn in the economy to deal with, the homogenisation of radio and music tv, the Russians are coming, the world going to be invaded by giant ants from Mars blah blah blah!
My take on it is that from primitive times man has always sought rhythm and melody and always will whatever the source. So if the traditional record companies are finding it tight then they're going to have to bend with the wind and adapt .... it's called evolution. Some may go the way of the Caribbean Monk Seal, the last lonely one of whom breathed it's last in 1952 poor bleeder, while some may adapt and grow stonger. In my experience though having worked at independents and majors is that the bigger the beast the slower it reacts which may be good for music as a whole as the independents may have the chance thrive.
Well that's what I told the students anyway, I obviously didn't want to paint the picture of one massive, multinational dictating everything we listen to kind of like an horrific, all encompassing factory complex churning out several different shades of shite .... but all shite nevertheless.
We also tried to instill a bit of Dunkirk spirit into the business students in that they're actually in the right place at the right time when all of these changes are taking place. Nowadays record and publishing companies love their intern programmes and their little bits of paper which say that Joe Bloggs has studied the music business. Who gives a toss really about whether you have studied the business if you have ears made of cloth though?
All the great old labels which sadly were at some point were started by mavericks .... Motown (Berry Gordy), Island (Chris Blackwell), Virgin (yes Branson too back in the day), Creation (McGee), Atlantic (Ahmet Ertegun) .... the list goes on.
Sorry, I am rambling a bit off and on point here but it's my blog and I'll do what I bloody well like!
Where was I? Oh yes, we did try and be positive for the students and I think we did succeed to a certain extent .... a little at least. Yeah, we did! Those fresh faced little cherubs have it all in front of them and if they have the ears and drive to match the qualification there's no reason why they can't succeed. I just hope they don't go to the dark side too soon!
Now, back to my belly. Dinner is on the table. I may come back later to amend, add and update this blog because I think I rambled incoherently and it doesn't make for sensible reading. I know what I mean though and that's what counts innit? Issit?