Tuesday, February 21, 2012
STRINGING YOU ALONG
Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits has re-entered the Billboard charts at #6 with only ONE DAY worth of sales since her death. Four other Houston albums are now within the top 200 sales on Billboard. There have been more Whitney Houston albums purchased within the last week than all of her sales figures for 2011 & 2012 until her death.
By now most everyone on the planet knows that Whitney Houston has passed and many people feel real remorse over her passing. Personally I do not want to see another Whitney Tribute, listen to another Whitney Mix or read another “I knew Whitney Story”. Keep your Whitney photographs and imagined tall tales concerning her, out of my sight.
All you record executives, radio station personnel and studio workers that either worked on a project or promoted Whitney should now be extremely quiet. When you saw her self-destructing not one of you spoke out or offered her any solace. What you did was take her money for the work she could present you and totally overlook everything else. Now you’re crying over how she ruined her life. Regrettably this selfish attitude has become more prevalent as this business grows technologically.
This concept of “Stringing someone along “ so you can use them has been masterminded into a Destructive Game. Let me give you a few examples.
“I’m going to do what I have to do to get that money”
“Love him? Girl I can’t stand him, but he got that paper.”
“Why don’t we partner on this record.”
“I really respect you and your knowledge, why don’t you mentor me?”
Sadly more and more people are so immersed into making money that the skillful art of personal relationships has almost completely vanished. Because we use an impersonal means of communication we now are developing a culture that thinks impersonally. Tricks and games abound and one of the greatest games is stringing someone along (also known as Lying), until you use them for your personal gain, and then discard them completely.
A certain seasoned record executive has worked over 30 years within the music industry; his relationship with radio station owners, club owners and multiple types of media owners is legendary. When a new record executive was asked about him he answered with significant prejudicial baggage. “I don’t know him and I don’t want to know him” This brilliantly talented person was ignored based on the erroneous concept that he was “old school” and not relevant to today’s industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. His personal relationships can currently get more music on-air, in print, within the distribution chains and momentous publishing exposure than most major label teams.
Before the advent of today’s technology most entertainment industry people had to speak to one another frequently to keep relationships together. Someone physically called a radio station every week to get the stations newest music adds and drops, another person called retail to find out the top sellers and new breakout music in each community. Small events were normally created around lunch or dinner, so radio, record, press and retail store people could meet, enjoy the moment amongst themselves while being told the virtues of a new project or artist.
At conferences small groups either at the bar, restaurant or lobby gathered and major deals where initiated based on new and developing relations. The basis for most radio promotion jobs was that the radio announcers were friends with record execs BEFORE they were offered a position. Friendships were formed that produced jobs and assisted families for years.
Today’s industry is fast becoming a use you until I don’t need you any more business model. A model that discards seasoned executives with years of knowledge and solid relationships for a quick hit group of executives only out to fatten their own pockets.
There is an easy way to change this model. Start communicating with one another. Young executives take a moment out of your schedule and call an older music exec. Seasoned executives make it a point to share your knowledge and history, there is an entire generation awaiting you.