Magazine article Marketing

Mail, Music and the Monster Hit

Magazine article Marketing

Mail, Music and the Monster Hit

Article excerpt

I was once asked by a Sunday paper to write about my biggest mistake. It was difficult - there were so many jostling for the title. For instance, my many careers in the pop music business.

I failed to become a disc jockey: Jimmy Saville warned that if I did my marriage would collapse. It did anyhow, so he was wasting his breath. I squandered a small fortune trying to sell records off racks in Sweden. I lost money in a deal I had with a recording recording studio off New Bond Street. I was even a flop in "artistic management". My partner could spot a mug pretty quickly, and ripped me off.

Three young members of the Bird tribe have inherited this clearly masochistic interest in the business, so I am disturbed to see that record sales are down and that a few weeks ago Our Price even had to fire the man they hired from Woolworths to help them.

The slump is attributed to the economy, but I suspect that it has more to do with lousy records. When a synthesised band like Snap can get to number one or a hairy fascist with a sore throat like Axl Rose is seen as a genius, you know you're in trouble. Another problem is record marketing, which has not changed very much over the years, still relying for the most part upon silly clothes, blatant lies and persistent plugging.

These reminiscences came to me a while ago when somebody approached me asking for free advice. He told me in great secrecy that he had a terrific idea for selling direct. I wasted some time evaluating his marketing plan, but he never got back to me. …

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