Inside the Music Business

By Tony Barrow; Julian Newby | Go to book overview

4

Artist management

The artist’s manager is a much-maligned figure in the music business. The manager takes too much from the artist; drives too hard a bargain with the record company; earns a percentage even when the income has been derived from an activity in which he or she has had no involvement whatsoever; and enjoys all the fun, the glamour, the money, but doesn’t have to sell his or her soul on stage night after night or burn out in the studio for months on end.

What does a manager do anyway? At the very least, an artist’s manager does everything the artist cannot or will not do in terms of planning, organization and negotiation. And if the person in question is an effective, creative manager, he or she will do a lot more besides.

Before moving on to answer that question in detail, however, a word of warning: if everyone who’d been asked to manage a singer, songwriter or band had taken up the challenge, there would be an awful lot of discarded, dejected and even bankrupt ex-managers wandering the streets looking for work. Many of them would be sporting black eyes, broken arms and legs and possibly worse. It is a trap so many artists and their friends fall into. The authors of this book couldn’t put a figure on the number of times they themselves have been asked to manage this band or that singer. So many artists reach that stage in their careers (usually while they’re still amateur) at which either their egos or the level of activity they have reached tell them they need, or think they need, a manager. And usually the first

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