Do you sometimes read or hear about extraordinary people doing great deeds, changing the world for the better and are you then thinking to yourself “Fuck! I should have been one of those guys!”
I do, sometimes. When our fans write to us, when we see them at shows and when I see the things they do for us. The way they selflessly and without ego dedicate their time and energy to spread music, it awes me every time I see it.
I’m a music fan of course. I go to concerts, I tell my friends about new bands I’ve found and so on. I have posters on my wall and I think Ennio Morricone is probably God. But I dedicate my time and my great efforts into spreading my own shit, boosting myself, telling the world about my own greatness.
The way our fans interact, showing us and everyone else their enthusiasm, giving us all the extra energy we need and at the same time spread our music, is of course great for us. But we are not the only band that enjoys this. Fans and independent bloggers, putting in ten times as many hours into finding new music than any A&R have ever done, keep fighting to introduce us to new, formally unknown, great music!
Even though a lot has changed, still a few powerful people hold more or less monopoly on the channels that spread music to the world. We often come across those guys. They generally seem mysteriously uninterested in new music. There seem to be almost nothing that tires them more than having to hear a new band play.
I don’t know how many music biz VIPs I’ve heard claim they know a hit when they hear one. And I didn’t really believe any of them. They know a marketing plan when they see one, they know a guy who knows all the right people when they meet one, they know a significant sync when they see one and they know heavy rotation on a radio station when they hear it. But most of all, nowdays, they know a youtube hit when they see one. And guess who made it a Youtube hit? You did.
Fans, we love you. Not just because you are rubbing our egos, but because you are crucial to the survival of music innovation. Fighting that monopoly, finding other ways to spread interesting music. Because you guys, if any, know a hit when you hear one!
3 thoughts on “Fans, fans, fans!”
Speaking of fans and promotion, Record Store Day is Saturday, April 22. While a lot of people will be celebrating Earth Day, I’m going to celebrate Record Store Day.
Ennio Marricone is great. I remember my mom took me to see “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” in 1968 soon after it was released. I was 10 years old. She took me to it as a consolation prize for me going with her to see “2001 a Space Odyssey” and sitting through it some weeks earlier — quite a feet for a hyperactive 10 year old. I thought the music in “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” was the coolest. I’ve loved Spaghetti Westerns and Marricone’s music ever since.
The Internet has sure changed the music industry and the old guard has had a lot of trouble adjusting to the changes. There’s a big difference between making a hit through over play, hype and marketing, and the fans choosing a hit because it’s plain good music (although there are viral hits that I can’t figure out the appeal, and a lot of music I think should go viral that doesn’t. I guess I’m not one to say I know a hit when I hear it). The Internet has opened up the whole realm for people to experience music from around the world and become fans of musicians and groups in far off lands.
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Seeing 2001 a Space Odyssey as a 10 year old sounds like a handful. What were your thoughts about it then? Did you understand anything at all? The Good, The Band and The Ugly must have been the best consolation prize ever!
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2001 made no sense at all when I was 10, but I was really into all the space stuff and moon landings at the time, so I found in visually interesting enough to sit through it. I’ve seen 2001 a couple of times as an adult, and I still don’t understand it. The Good, the Bad and The Ugly was great. We were still pretty rural here in the wild west in 1968, and we had horses in those days that I rode a lot, so the GB&U gave me lots of things to play out on horseback. Now that I’ve seen several Akira Kurosawa movies, I have even more appreciation for GB&U, “A Fist Full of Dollars” and “For A Few Dollars More”.
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