The “good old days” when there was a staff of 100 impassioned people working on your record. Oh wait, those 100 people only worked a maximum of 10 records per quarter. If yours wasn’t on the “priority” list created by the label, nobody did a damn thing for your new record. You didn’t know that? I understand, it was a well kept secret. While I’m waxin nostalgic, I’m going to dredge up a link to the brilliant essay written by Producer Extrordinaire Steve Albini, who produced and engineered Nirvana’s “In Utero” album. This essay, which I read while I out swam the other sharks in the tank at the label group where I worked, informed my sensibility about what was really going on in the music business at it’s most successful time in history. Way back in 1993 I saw the future coming. By 1996 I knew without a doubt the house of cards would be tumblin dice, I just didn’t know when. In 2004 I found out.
It was devastating, even though I knew the train was coming, I was not prepared for how I felt after losing the job and lifestyle I had become very accustomed to.
Fast forward to 2013. I don’t make a six figure salary with a car allowance and $0 co pay for my health insurance anymore. I do not get flown across the country to see a band play and stay at five star hotels on somebody else’s dime. I don’t have a staff of young upstarts to hang out with, impart wisdom to and lavish great reviews upon. Guess what? I am happier, and by far a more humble and grounded human being.
I’m still in the music business, I license music today. My partner is a recording engineer. We live in a small town 100 miles for New York City and don’t struggle to pay for our home, land or food for the 100 lb dog who has taken the place of children in our lives.
The good old days were fun to be sure, but the present is a gift I would not consider returning.
Check out Steve Albini’s essay http://bit.ly/1ewKqnT