I didn’t write this piece, Bob Lefsetz did. But it inspired my Saturday, so I thought I should share it with the rest of you. There so many parallels between the music industry and what we do here (apparel, branding, publishing, web, etc.) This essay is about all the things The Hundreds thrives off of… swallowing the leader, charging the lead, and death from below. While the dinosaurs get stuck on their hamster wheels, it’s our turn as the next generation to take the torch. We just can’t sit by and be patient and civil anymore,.. we came into this world pissing our parents off…
Don’t stop now.
“Rolling Stone” is afraid to put Deadmau5 on its cover. That space is reserved for Elton John. After all, they’ve got to sell magazines.
I love Elton. Although reading the story he comes off like an old queen who may be sober but is still spreading too much love, like an inebriated college student.
I was in college when Elton broke. I just downloaded his ’74 Christmas show today. You’ve got no idea how good he was. And maybe if we took away all his money and his toys he could be that good again. But I’m not sure, because even if Elton wrote another “Your Song” it wouldn’t be a hit, not without beats underneath and Jay-Z toasting in the middle and Alicia Keys adding background reflections.
You see you play to the mainstream, you buy insurance. There’s too much money involved.
But if you’re young and dumb, if you’re in high school or college, you’re not interested in insurance, you believe you’re going to live forever, you want to surf the zeitgeist. And it’s this tastemaker population that is truly into music, driving the culture forward, not radio, certainly not record labels, certainly not the big promoters figuring out their platinum packages and Ticketmaster kickbacks.
The biggest story in music last year was the Electric Daisy Carnival.
This did not come out of nowhere. Pasquale had been promoting for years. In a territory too dangerous and too marginal for the big boys to care about. But it was Electric Daisy that sold 185,000 tickets at L.A.’s Coliseum. Let me inform you, U2 no longer sells every ticket. But people are clamoring to go hear DJs.
Let’s not talk about the music. Sure, Elton was about melodies and lyrics, but the shows were always about a good time. Getting high with your buddies, watching the parade of people, becoming energized by what came out of the speakers.
Those days are back.
We’re living through a revolution in music. It’s akin to what happened in Tunisia and now Egypt. The public has had enough and the old powers are shocked and won’t let go.
First it was overpriced CDs. The Net gutted that paradigm, allowing you to steal or buy the one track you needed.
Then the Top Forty crumbled. That format might be dominant, but that’s like saying Chi Chi Rodriguez is number one on the Seniors circuit, but he’s not, the leaderboard is peopled by never was duffers and club pros looking for some satisfaction. Tell me why we should care again?
And Electric Daisy triumphed when everybody else was stiffing.
And “Rolling Stone” won’t risk putting Deadmau5 on its cover.
In the days of yore, MOST PEOPLE had no idea who was on “Rolling Stone”‘s cover. When the magazine was making its name. But now it’s complacent and the youngsters don’t care about it.
The Deadmau5 story is almost unreadable. Instead of putting an expert on it, they assigned a no name. If there are facts there, you miss them, because the article’s so poorly written. Remember when the articles cut like butter?
We are living in unbelievably exciting times. Everything’s up for grabs. If you’re making an album for money, give up, almost no one buys one. Even the vaunted Dr. Dre’s release will probably stiff, be this year’s “Chinese Democracy”.
Because you can no longer shoot for the stars. You’ve got to be grass roots baby. You’ve got to care about your audience. You’ve got to focus on music. You’ve got to love the lifestyle more than the money.
essay by Bob Lefsetz