Simon Napier- Bell- On Management
This week, we’re delighted to welcome a new contributor to Skrufff, music industry legend and bon viveur extraodinaire Simon Napier-Bell.
As a manager, Simon handled the careers of stars including Ultravox, Candi Staton, The Yardbirds, Marc Bolan, Japan, Asia, Boney M, Sinitta and Wham!, while as a writer he’s published three great books about the music industry: ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Black Vinyl, White Powder and ‘I’m Coming to Take You to Lunch: A Fantastic Tale of Boys, Booze and How Wham! Were Sold to China’.
Simon’s latest book- TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY a complete history of the music business is being funded via crowd-sourcing site Unbound and Skrufff will be publishing excerpts from the book over the next few months.
Simon Napier-Bell: “Management is a wildly up and down occupation. If you’re standing at the top of a stadium looking down on a hundred thousand people stomping and cheering at your artist, or popping another bundle of cheques into your bank account, or being hailed as the Svengali behind the new icon of youth culture – it feels good.
But when your nitwit rock-star, out-of-his-head on drugs or drink or self-admiration, tells you to cancel the gig with a stadium full of expectant people waiting for the first chord, or wakes you in the middle of the night with a call from Rio de Janeiro to say he can’t go on stage because he has no clean socks – it feels less so.
In the end, though, you have to see it from the artist’s point of view. He’s the one who’ll be booed off stage if he performs badly, or slated by the critics if he makes a bad album, or shot at by some maniac just for being famous. The artist takes all the emotional hits and needs you as his friend . . .
. . . not to mention his business adviser, financial negotiator, career planner, performance critic, song editor, health counsellor, image stylist, drug facilitator, spare wallet, bail poster, relationship solver, shoulder to sob on, apologiser in chief for all the dumb things he does, and someone to blame when it all goes wrong.
You see? Easy as pie – any old slob could do it!
Simon Napier- Bell’s next book is TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY a complete history of the music business.