2010 in review (Blog Stats)

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 30 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 795kb.

The busiest day of the year was November 16th with 95 views. The most popular post that day was Selling the Gig by Cheryl Hughey.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, facebook.com, digg.com, iphone5g.net, and the-best-twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ron moss, ron moss blog, ron moss management, we are number two we try harder, and lady gaga business manager.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Selling the Gig by Cheryl Hughey November 2010

2

“We are Number 2 but we try harder” May 2010
2 comments

3

Lady Gaga vs Producer reveals interesting problem for a Manager March 2010
4 comments

4

About March 2010
1 comment

5

Why I admire Artists March 2010

An excellent article on selling your gig.She says it all and more. 

Excellent stuff.

Thanks Cheryl

Ron

Cheryl Hughey

 

 

 

 

Selling the Gig

 

 

 

 

by Cheryl Hughey 

 

 

After a lot of hard work, you’ve been invited to play at the biggest club in the area. You’re elated. The excitement builds as the date draws near. The mojo is flowing and you’re ready to own this town.  The phone rings and the venue representative tells you that the city’s hottest monthly magazine wants to feature the act on a full page spread.  That amazing photo you sent via email had sealed the deal. It was just what the editor wanted but you need to send a high resolution copy ASAP to make the deadline.  Unfortunately, you have no idea where the original is located. You try to buy some time but it’s a bust.  Without a high resolution image, the magazine will not run the feature. You’ve been sunk by not being prepared.


Sadly, this story is based on an actual event that happened to a handler of a national act. As any working musician or supporting professional in the business knows, getting press and packing venues are all part of the game.  How well you draw a crowd determines your assumed value.  If word gets around that you’re pitching hard but not delivering the numbers, you may find yourself in a bind. However, learning to maximize publicity opportunities can increase your worth and improve your relationship with venues.

What are the things needed to help you sell your brand and put butts in seats? Below is a list of the basics everyone needs in order to effectively promote a concert:

At least one high resolution photo by a seasoned photographer

-The photo must be current. Nothing is worse using a decade old photograph and not being able pull it off in person.  Avoid Photoshop abuse.  Overcorrection is obvious.  Cheesy “cut and paste” backgrounds are for amateurs.

Updated biographical information

-It pays to hire a professional writer. A solid biography says you’re serious to any reporters reading it.

-If you’re a solo act with a band, provide the name/instrument/website of each band member in advance to the venue. There are fans that love their sidemen. It’s your job to show them off.

-Don’t forget that all information must be verifiable and accurate. No cheating.

Quote page

-This is a list of things the press has said about you previously. Keep each quote short and simple, as it will help the venues create flyers or e-blasts for the event.

Description of the set

-What type of music are you playing the night of the concert? This helps the venue accurately sell you…especially if you often play in various configurations or genres.

-Send at least one copy of the current CD to the venue publicist in advance. Landing a preview of the concert can be dependent the timing of getting materials to the newspaper.

Video

-If you have a professional video of your band, send it in advance to the venue for potential television news coverage.  Do not send uncut footage or send YouTube links.  You need to have the actual video file.  Also, the video needs to be of superior quality for a news team to use it. Rough video shot by a home camera that hasn’t been edited will more than likely not work. Just because you posted it on YouTube and its gotten lots of hits does not mean it is of broadcast quality.

-Note:  The term “B roll” is sometimes used to describe the preferred style of footage.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-roll

I hope we’ve provided you with some helpful tips.  Use these tools wisely and you will be well on your way to creating a solid reputation for being in charge on and off the stage.

Contact:  cheryl@cherylhugheypromotions.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Cheryl Hughey

Executive Director

Cheryl Hughey Promotions

347-878-6610

www.cherylhugheypromotions.com

www.twitter.com/cherylhughey

www.facebook.com/cheryl.hughey

Original web site: http://www.lynnbriggsunplugged.com/

This is nothing to do with music but something I wanted to share as it was very successful for myself .

I recently went on a diet called the HGC diet as quite honestly I was obese by definition and about 60 to 70 lbs overweight.

Years of sitting on Airplanes and eating too good and after concerts and a sedatory life style at a desk when I wasn’t travelling and there you go.

Gone was the running,walking,bike riding and roller blading.

I even broke my hand in Osaka roller Blading one night on the streets of Osaka when we were playing the Blue Notes.

Ask Danny Byrnes,Chicks Tour manager he got me to the hospital after a very painful night on Advil.

So after acknowledging my condition I embarked on the diet some 45 days ago.

I end off for 6 weeks tomorrow as one can become immune to the HCG Hormone.

At 242 lbs “it was time” to do something as I had failed miserably at all diets I had tried!

Today I am 198.60lbs which is a weight loss of 44 lbs in 45 days.

I feel great and its a life changing action to do.

So I want to pass it for anyone who may need to loose a little weight.

By the way while on the diet I was never hungry and I was only eating 500 calories a day.

There were no side effects and I handled several physical conditions I had going on including Cholesterol and  an impending Diabeties Type 2 condition.

Good luck if you try it.

I did mine under an MD’s supervision which I recommend and I did the injection method not the drops but both links are below.

http://www.trimnutrition.com/

http://www.hcgdiet.com/

So you’ll always be a sideman? PART 2 Addendum

Posted: September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

A very good accomplished sideman friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook that promoted me to add something to my original post.

To quote him he said the following:

“Great insightful post, Ron.  I would however like to add that you have to be careful not to presuppose that every musician wants his “name on the marquee”. For me personally, I’ve been content dwelling in the shadows and getting to work with the talented artists that I do. Being a sideman DOES have some plusses.  Just wanted to make that point.”

This is very true and as he says not everyone even wants their name on the Marquee and that I should have said so in the original post.

Its a very good point he makes as not everyone wants to be the  star but they are a star in their own way are both content and talented as sidemen.

Whats interesting about this post, without mentioning any names, is that this artist is probably one of the most reliable and competent sideman I’ve ever known and he is incredibly supportive of the “Star” he performs with on all levels and in all circumstances.

There must nothing more frustrating for a band leader than to have  a sideman who wants to be the leader.

That just does really work and they should iorm their own band.

Maybe the secret here is “to do what you are doing while you are doing it”  in whatever role you have in life.Do it to your maximum ability as reversely it must be a nightmare for a band that has a leader who does not want to be the leader or cannot lead the band.

Thanks to my dear friend for pointing this out.

There is a transition an artist has to make that is not an easy one to achieive especially in these difficult times.

As Shakespeare said ” To be or not to be that is the question

We’ve all been sidemen and some us are both content to be so and others have no choice but there is whole group of artists that want their own band and careers.

Being a sideman is a necessary part of ones progress as an artist in fact its essential but at some point if one wants to have his own band one is forced to make that transition and there is moment of decision.

When working with Chick Corea he tells the story of playing with Miles Davis and they were in the studio recording I believe (Not sure what album).

Chick is playing some particularly energetic and fairly long solo and Miles comes over to him and whispers in his ear “Chick why don’t you get your own band” and  walks away.

Well thats exactly what he did and his “be” became a bandleader with his own artistic identity and we are all better off for that decision.

Of course Chick is such a phenomenal composer and musician he had to go there as being in someone else’s band was just plain ridiculous as Miles observed and he couldn’t be contained within what was for him such a restrictive framework I would imagine.

Unfortunately we are not all in that position but I’ve noticed over the years with developing artists there is always a point when they have to make “that” decision.

It comes in different ways but it always comes and usually involves a decision where one turns down a well paid sideman gig to do ones own thing and its a difficult one to make.

But unless you make that decision you’ll never see YOUR name on the marquee and you’ll always be that sideman.

Many artists straddle the line and make it work but I’m not sure it actually works.

Its hard to envision many established artists as ever being sideman but they were?

Was Pat Methany ever a sideman I guess he was?

Chick, Sonny Rollins, Miles, Mahldau and Sting?

Sure they must have been but they all made the “decision” at some point and I bet there is always a story about everyone of those decisions that would quite interesting to hear.

I’m not talking about being a Guest artist/star with another headliner artist, I’m talking about being a sideman.

I’m not belittling sideman either thats not my intent as we can’t all be stars with our names in lights so sideman are essential to our business and nothing to be ashamed of but thats not the point I’m trying to make here.

However when record deals were plentiful, many great sideman got their own deals and even sold good quantites of CD’s/Albums but when push comes to shove it turned out they were still sidemen after all.

I would even go as far as to say these days the artists that are still doing gigs in their own name are all established leaders already and were so before the recent downturn in the music business.

Witness just how hard it is these days to develop a new artist in todays market place.

In my opinion there will never be another Beatles because the current music business model doesn’t allow or make it possible for the development time it takes for a band like the Beatles to come about which is a sad state of affairs and the subject of another blog maybe.

So some times one has to put aside any financial considerations and go for it?

Just go for it and turn down that sideman gig no matter how hard it is to do.

As Shakespeare the band leader said just before a gig at the White Swan Inn in Stratford Upon Avon in 1594 (he was 30 years old at the time)!

“To be a sideman,or not to be a sideman:that is the question:

Whether “tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,and decline that casual wedding gig as a sideman?”

My apologies William!

.

I get many requests to manage upcoming artists and bands etc.

Its tricky to respond and not discourage them in doing so and every manager does have one or two developing artists that he believes in but in some ways an artist has to “earn” a manager.

There is no income for the manager with the developing artist and there may never be any and even managers need to eat and pay their rent and expenses.

There seems to be this point when an artist has so much going on that they have generated for themselves that they have to have some serious help such as a management company.

We call it handling the minutia and there is plenty of it to handle.

Booking the Travel,Book the band,payroll,PR liaison scheduling interviews,prepping the dates,organising the tour in general,comp tickets and backstage lists and on and on.

Plus lets not forget all the personal stuff such as….. the Drummers girlfriend just ditched him…..the Guitarist wants to play of his own songs…the singers cat died and so on.

Bigger acts have tour managers and Personal assistants (PA’s) to assist but these artists are not the problem we are discussing here.

Besides handling the minutia the manager is really responsible for the big stuff such as getting the the record deal,the agent,the PR company, Independent Radio promotion and full liaison with all those people.

There’s plenty to do with the successful and expanding artist.

But here we have the artist who is just getting going in these difficult times. He has a view gigs for his band and is doing his demo’s or CD , maybe he’s playing in other bands as well and lets say he’s even having some success and creating interest which is ideal and an essential part of this scenatio.

You get the idea and its going to be difficult for this artist to find a manager for many reasons not the least of which is there are not many good ones.

So whats the solution?

GROW YOU OWN

I’ve seen this work and in fact I’m a product of the concept.

I know many managers who started as Road Managers,PA”s ,Tour Mangers,Promoters,Roadies, Publicity assistants etc.etc.

Then there is the other level where lawyers,agents,producers and record Company employees and execs become established artists mangers which is a different scenario but almost the same idea.

So how do you do this?

Look around you as there are always friends who (and this is the big PLUS) love the artist or his music even mates,girlfriends or wives can qualify.

These later two have an added problem as there is an emotional attachment and if things go wrong that can be very skicky.

Plus I’ve noticed wife/managers sometimes have a hard time, its not 100% but it can happen.I’m not sure why but I believe its to do with the phenomena that a wife,husband ,girlfriend,boyfriend,relatives have a hard time being objective about the one they love and sometimes management takes that objective unbiased point of view.

So look around those people around you and evaluate if there is someone thats shows interest and has potential and see if you can work something out.

There’s a million ways to get started and it depends entirely on the circumstances as usually money is at a premium.

They can help set up the band,make calls for you,drive you to the gig whatever you need.

But there is an important part of this idea here and that is you want them to learn the business so give them responsibility and a chance to do so plus see if the can handle it that responsibilty. As they develop put them on more of your lines and relationships and introduce them to people so that they can take those lines over for you.

Of course there are many variable factors such as their aptitude and ability but if they have what it takes they can be a better manager than anyone you’ll ever find elsewhere.

Time is a factor as this may not be a fast process so its takes time and it would be nice to pay them something as soon as you can.

There’ll be a point when you can enter into a formal agreement with them as a manager or assistant and they then go on percentage basis but more about that  some other time.

If you think all this sounds far fetched thats how I started as a Tour manager with very little idea what I was doing but I learnt fast,I had to.

For example I know a drummer from a band he was playing with that now manages several major jazz artists and still manages the original artist if played drums for.

I know a photographer that was a fan of an artist that now manages that artist and several others.

I’m sure there are many similar stories in fact I’d go as far as to say there is not a successful manager out there that doesn’t have a similar story.

Many major artists now have their ex lawyer, agent ,producer or Record Exec as their manager which though a different scenario is still similar and shows their is no school for managers.

Oh that there were!!

Its an idea so give a try if it makes sense to you.

I came across these 3 links on the Crazed Hits Web site and found them very interesting.

For managers the 360 deal forum is very good as this is a fairly new concept for Record Deals.

The Chris Blackwell interview was really surprising as I heard odd things about him over the years but here talks a lot of sense.

If you are looking for a record deal then Peter Paterno’s interview is a must see.

http://www.crazedhits.com/forums/showthread.php?t=677 The 360 Deal with Don Passman as moderator

http://www.crazedhits.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265 Chris Blackwell Island Records President

http://www.crazedhits.com/interview-peter-paterno/ Attorney Peter Paterno

Very informative if you are interested in whats really going on in the music business these days.

Enjoy

Maybe I’m getting old ( I am 66) and out of touch I don’t know but I found the MTV Awards TV show incredibly boring and extremely childish.

Besides NOT one memorable musical performance it was all about how one looked and what one said and just how many times you could use the F word it seemed to me.

Thank goodness for Sandra Bullock at least someone with acting ability and some class (I know the kiss) but who wouldn’t want to kiss Scarlett Johansson.

But the constant use of  F word …..what the heck is that all about?

We all (well not all) use it, I know I do, but it seemed like the total way to get off on the MTV awards was to use the F word whenever possible.

So what , so you know the F word and you said it on TV?  WOW!

Its like my 11 year old grandson who cracks up when he says it and his parents don’t here him (Heaven help him if they do hear him).

So it was, to me, just a bunch 11 year olds with no musical or acting talent (Tom Cruise and the girl from “Up In the Air” excepted) who have wonderful bodies and pretty faces and lets give them an award and let them swear on TV?

They are not musical awards or film awards at all unless one likes “Vampire” movies but just teenage style awards with the F word thrown in.

The irony is that those speeches that used the F word were unintelligible!!

One speech I heard was just a bunch bleeps and I have no idea what the guy said and I think it was a top film award.

“Whats the point?”

*Great staging and lights though and the camera work was brilliant and the dancers were amazing I’ve got to say that.

I think one of the greatest enemies and at the same time, for an artist especially, one of the greatest assets is an “EGO”.

Its impossible to be an artist with any talent and to not have an “ego” or a sense of ones uniqueness and talent maybe a better way of saying it.

It is essential in fact and part of what is needed to stand out there and perform.

Anyone who stands on a stage and starts performing his art and expecting, dependent on the ego’s degree, to seek the admiration of that audience MUST have an ego but does he also have the HUMILTY?

When the ‘EGO’ takes over, look out, as in my opinion the artist is lost.

I have personal experience and I know my ego collapsed my career or was certainly a major factor in it’s demise.

It is a very humbling experience believe me.

I remember one artist I worked with who started to “loose it” as his career hit a bad patch  and demand this and that and one of his demands involved some legal matter so I had to call his attorney.

On explaining to the attorney the demands he said “oh sh.. he’s started to believe his own bio” which is a great way of stating the situation.

This is maybe more a lesson in life experience but I find humility so refreshing and something an audience gravitates towards in the end.

There is nothing better to experience than sheer talent with humility…don’t you think?

To see some amazing performance by an artist that takes ones head off delivered with humility is a stellar experience.

Of course the greater the performance the more ego one can show.

Ego is something a manager has to deal with and both allow and control or not let get out of control at least.

The manager often gets to see a level of the ego that the artists audience never experiences but I think an audience can sense it if its over the top.

I was trying to think of artists with great talent and yet humility.

How about John Lennon,John Coltrane,Michael Brecker, James Taylor,Andrea Bocelli to name but a few you may or may not agree with my choices.

A little humility whoever and whatever we are or do, I believe, is an admirable quality and much more pleasant to experience than an ego which after a while becomes extremely boring.

Good site called CRAZED HITS that has video interviews with top Music Execs.

One has to registar to go on but its worth it.

Like this one with Bruce Lundvall of Blue Note Records.

http://www.crazedhits.com/forums/showthread.php?t=676

Basic site:

http://www.crazedhits.com/