Unplugged & Uncensored: An Insider's Guide to the Music Industry
Friday, January 06, 2012
When I started out in this business of music, I had limited, hands-on experience... but a ton of enthusiasm.
I always knew that the power and inspiration music sent through my veins was an important part of what I wanted as part of carving out a career. It just so happened that this 'career' had to be cobbled together with lots o' time, patience and then only after getting a bunch of mistakes under my belt.
After a college fantasy job of promoting concerts at Notre Dame, and a double fantasy come true hanging with a Bruce Springsteen's tour in London, I got a 'real job' in Boston. Whenever I could, I would leave the day gig I had to get on the road to 'follow my bliss'.... as it was called back then.
I learned about the music business from going to music conferences and seminars all over the country. I would fly to a strange city, rent a hotel room, find my way to the conference and parties, hopefully with an open bar somewhere in the mix. I would soak everything in, ask stupid questions and network like hell with no one who cared about me and my dreams... and I loved it!
It was great... but wasn't cheap... even with the free booze.
I found that this was a very expensive way to learn.
Ultimately, the reality was that I was in huge conference rooms with hundreds of others just like me, wanting to be in the music game. My alone time with the 'experts' was limited and the competition to get attention from the panelists/players was practically impossible.
I learned that anyone who can help get someone a gig, a job or some short cut on getting planted in the music industry got all the attention. I had nothing to offer, nothing to trade, or give away, so it was tough starting out.
Jump ahead 20 years, I've been running my own artist management-record label business. I still go to conferences and panels, I'm still learning, reading, and working hard to be the best at the game that I can be.
Recently here in my hometown, the Boston Center of Adult Education (BCAE) gave me the opportunity to create a one day music seminar we are calling: "Unplugged and Uncensored: An insiders guide to the music industry".
I'm thrilled how it came together!
We'll have a panel of experts. Actually it is my dream panel of artists and entrepreneurs who know what DIY is all about. Our attitudes are fiercely indie, we are all in the trenches doing things our own way... and surviving in what is the most turbulent time in the music industry.
The BCAE folks gave me the license to create what I think is the best value for anyone interested in music/creative businesses either on the stage or behind the scenes. Managers, agents, bookers, promoters, musicians, songwriters, fans and those who want to find out what the heck is going on in our creative world would benefit from this.
After spending thousands of dollars attending seminars and 20+ years of being in the trenches of the music business I came up with this seminar. I'm extremely excited about this opportunity. It will benefit anyone in the creative fields, not strictly limited to the music world.
I wanted the seminar to be intimate, so we are limiting this to 100 participants. We have built in time for dialogue, questions and networking. We will learn from each other.
I wanted artists and industry speakers with a national profile with lots of experience to pass on. There will be lots of lessons, warnings, war stories and success stories of how we all are thriving in our own way in a completely different music industry from what was around when I was starting out.
Hope you can check it out.... let me know if you have questions.