Band showcases always seemed a bit odd to me when I was an A&R consultant ie talent scout.
It’s hard getting a vibe on a band when you and few other record company guys are the only ones in the room. Showcases usually happened in these old musty rehearsal spots in Hollywood or a club would open early and that anxious band praying for their big break would perform.
It’s awkward. Watching a band play for a handful of people who “got the call” or “heard the buzz” but it was a big part of the job; making sure you got the call and kept your ears to the ground. I always thought the best part of these showcases was networking and seeing who else got the invite. I’d see some real heavy music industry veterans along with the occasional celebrity. Including Ringo Starr, which left me speechless for days. And I even bummed a cigarette from Leonardo Decaprio at the Dragonfly in Hollywood. Now that guy is a star, whatever “it” is he’s got.
Showcases usually happened around the lunch hour so it provided me with the perfect escape from Rhino where I was drowning in the “oldies” and needed to get out of the office and hear something new. And I took great pleasure in knowing that I could sneak out of my day job, and see a band for RCA during lunch. It provided a certain thrill and most importantly I felt validated. I was getting paid to sell the older hits like the Roy Rogers Box Set (You’ll see my name inside the liner notes of that collection) and find the new “hits”. If it was an industry showcase or a club show in St. Louis, I had it down to a science where I could work both jobs no problem. Sometimes I would leave Rhino at the end of the day and fly to Portland that same evening to see someone like Elliot Smith and be back at my desk at Rhino the next day by 9:00 AM. I often wondered what my co-workers did at night but I was certain none of them did what I did, otherwise I’d see them out our or maybe even in Portland.
Personally there’s no substitute for seeing a band in their own backyard, playing for their fans, on their own terms. That’s how you got to see their gears in motion. Wanna taste good Italian food, go to Italy.
I know it’s been a long time since I posted and I’ll keep moving along. I’ve got a lot to cover still.
Also, look for a new shirt design to celebrate my second year of Rockonomics: Tales from the Pit
A video Interview with Jordan Shapiro.
More of the Rontrose video interview from last year.
More informative Q & A’s with music industry folks along with people involved w/ the Supersuckers. In fact, I’ve got a Q & A I’ll be posting in the next week.
AND obviously more stories, commentary, and contests galore. I think I might even giveaway an iPad one day soon.
So let’s get the first contest started… Email me here firstname.lastname@example.org some questions and I’ll pick out my favorite to answer by the end of this month. My favorite question gets this XL Leather Jacket from my friends at Hot Leathers…