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Friday, September 7, 2007

managers in music

Almost finished a hilarious book written by Simon Napier Bell, writing about the British music business. Sometimes a huge disillusion, but always very funny. The Who, breaking down their guitars and dressing in mod clothes? All thought out by a manager. The only thing they shared with their mod fans was the speed use. That's how the stutter in 'My Generation' came about: the stutter of a speed freak. There was sheer opportunism all around. Remember the singer John Paul Young? (Love Is In The Air, You Left Me Standing In The Rain, huge worldwide disco hits in the seventies and often sampled afterwards). Napier Bell had bluffed in a meeting with a record company in Melbourne he had a superstar waiting for them, so they booked a studio for the next week. He almost forgot, but standing on a balcony at a party in Sydney, he suddenly remembered he was supposed to be in Melbourne in the studio the next day. So he approached the man smoking next to him: "Can you sing? If you're able to remember a song by tomorrow afternoon, I've got a first class ticket for you to Melbourne.." That man was John Paul Young and he earned millions by smoking a cigarette at the right place at the right time. And the list of anecdotes goes on. But I won't bore you with them all.. :-)

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