Simon Napier Bell: the Dodgy Business of Popular Music: The Future?
Simon Napier-Bell (who previously managed Wham, Marc Bolan, Japan and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (during his Yardbirds phase) is back in Skrufff, delivering a short series of excerpts from his must-read new history of the music business book ‘TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY- the Dodgy Business of Popular Music’. (Click here to download/ buy: http://amzn.to/1nZFlM2 )
Simon Napier-Bell: “Being a musician was always poorly paid; being the star was what made you a fortune. And stars were the lucky ones.
Not always the most talented; they were the ones who arrived at the right moment, were prepared to let the industry manipulate them, and had just enough talent to build on their moment of good fortune. And that’s how it will be in the future.
New entrepreneurs will arrive on the scene with new ways of making money from music. New stars will arrive too, chosen for the same reasons they alwayswere – talent, looks, and acquiescence with the system.
Most likely they’ll also be taken advantage of as before, that’s simply the way of the business – new music, new stars, new hypes, new rip-offs. It should be accepted and enjoyed.
Some people take it a bit too seriously. When ex-Fugees singer Lauryn Hill walked out on her recording career in 2011, she wrote on her website, “I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise.”
She was wrong to be so dismissive. The business of popular music has always been a compromise between music on the one side and commercial interests on the other.
To be ‘true’ artists in the purest sense of the word, singers and songwriters can go and sing in the garden. To make money from their music, they need to enter the music industry – a world of greed, corruption, self-interest and fun.”