Thursday, November 30, 2006

Technology vs Content...and Strategy.

Music is a DRIVING force in my existence. It soothes me, stabilizes me, and provides me comfort nearly every single day.

Riding in the car, my music is EXTREMELY loud, and very crisp, and balanced through a well respected, and adored sound system.

If you looked through my IPOD, or my CD's here is a list of music you would find.
Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills ans Nash, Neil Young, YES, The Police, Rush - and various other bands that make up a large part of what I would term, "classic rock."

I respect people that can enjoy and appreciate newer music, but for some reason the recent and new bands - do not "hit me" the same way that Jerry Garcia, or Keith Richards does.

One thing you should know -- is 99% of the time -- I listen to the bands that I've listed above, in a "LIVE CONCERT" format -- I rarely listen to studio releases, as I've made a hobby of acquiring bootlegs, and rare live soundboard copies of shows. I blogged a piece about collecting live music, and the DILEMMA I WAS FACING, that I've yet to answer.........

But, I must say - THE GRATEFUL DEAD has so much of a impact on me, that they truly altered my outlook on life, BEYOND MUSIC.

I learned a few valuable lessons as I toured this beautiful country many times, "Who are the Grateful Dead, and WHY ARE THEY FOLLOWING ME?"

In every time zone, in many states, and places I had never been - but most of all, the many people that I came in contact with, that enriched my soul.

We all shared a common bond.


Now mind you, some people came just to party at the concerts, and especially at the end of the Grateful Dead's touring days -- the "scene", became folks in cities and towns across the country, that came to the concerts and venues, more to drink and tailgate -- than they did to see, amazing music. Make no mistake -- the scene grew steadily from the early 80's straight through to 1995......

One major attribute that sticks with me is the ability to live life, and allow your content to flow freely. Allow your creativity to end up where it may - with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. The band came out and played nearly one hundred nights a year for many consecutive years, and allowed their shows/concerts to be taped by the audience. (Some nights they were horrid, but it was all part of the experience, and then one night, you caught "Jerry's magic" that severely dented your being)

The Grateful Dead effectively led the way for what we see happening now in the media world, and content and distribution circles.....they were visionaries - and possibly we can all learn some lesson - and look at the, BYPRODUCT OF THEIR SUCCESS. What did their concept of releasing content, (their live shows without strings) what impact did it have, possibly unforseen over the years?

Early Record Labels (Warner) tried in vain to keep the DEAD from allowing their concerts to be taped - for fear of "diluting their product." The labels were worried that their business would suffer (and it did) by the unleashing of, CONTENT for free, on a mass scale with no commercial gain......

Had a record executive with vision, asked the band early on -- to continue their practice of allowing the audience to tape and record the shows, and in return - the record label could have, a fixed percentage for 35 years of ALL concert receipts and sales...... you think that would have worked for the label?

I believe so......and that is why - CONTENT OWNERS and PRODUCERS must look at "creative ways" to be compensated for their hard work and effort, they cannot rely on standard 20th century guidelines. Technology will not allow it.

I'm afraid the - BUSINESS AND COMMERCE SIDE OF ART AND CREATIVITY, IS FALLING FAR BEHIND THE ABILITY TO DISTRIBUTE CONTENT, and it is out of fear - rather than a visionary strategy.

Warner Brothers made a HUGE mistake in 1973 by fighting with a band (Grateful Dead) over creative rights to live concerts. If any visionaries at Warner, would have "thought out of the box" -- the revenue stream (of potentially attaching themselves to the gross sales of each concert,) the record company could have potentially dwarfed any gold or platinum record in the pipeline. Keep in mind the Grateful Dead toured until 1995 - and from 1986 to 1995 were continuously amongst the top touring bands in the United States.

I write this because today I helped a good friend (who is both a artist and a producer) explore a new way to "profit from creativity."

Creativity, is needed urgently not only from the artist and producers -- but from the BUSINESS side of the table as well.

Technology and The Social Angle, that the media world is taking - DEMAND IT.

My favorite musician GETS IT.
His name is Steve Kimock. He is the BEST GUITARIST IN THE WORLD.
Have a look/listen for yourself -- this is called "Hillbillies"
Its from 4-3-99, Great American Music Hall, SF.

4.3.99 - Hillbillies on PCP - Steve Kimock guitars, Bobby Vega bass, Alan Hertz drums, Ray White vocals, guitar


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