Wednesday, February 07, 2007

We Should Have Sold This One

Back in the 80’s I formed a band with the intentions of becoming rich and famous. I figured, “Nobody cares about artistic merit anyway, so why not forget about that and embrace the business?” I convinced my brother to forgo his penchant for writing quirky pop-tunes with odd time signatures and abrupt tempo changes and instead deliberately "sell out" and aim for the commercial market. I remember during one recording session, the engineer commented, “I don’t understand you guys. You dig the music of XTC, Peter Gabriel and Thomas Dolby but you play this?” [Another day I'll post the tune he was referencing.]

In any event, it was the end of 1983, and my brother penned a song he called “Big Brother.” We recorded it with high-hopes of cashing in on the 1984 hype. Our manager schmoozed his way into a meeting with a major publisher and played her 3 or 4 of our numbers including the freshly recorded “Big Brother.” She loved it but wanted to buy the rights and pitch it too one of those 80’s hard-schlock hair- bands. She offered to buy it outright and take my brother’s name off of the writing credit. Money wasn’t discussed – we just said “no” because we thought we were going to get signed by virtue of that song.

In retrospect, I think we should have bargained to let her shop the song but keep my bro’s name on the credits. We were inexperienced. This was perhaps the second biggest mistake we ever made, right behind the one where we actually believed that we could somehow make a career in the pop-music industry.

Click here to listen to "Big Brother."

3 Comments:

Blogger M.T. Vanus said...

Shelz! Yep. We shoulda sould it.

5:37 PM  
Blogger bobby lightfoot said...

Mr, I REMEMBER 1983. This IS 1983.
This is the 1983-est. I would have been sitting on my 17-year-old ass in th' front row thinking you were GODS.

One of you would have made out with my sister and I would've been IN. She was ROCKING. She was like th' third chick in Human League.

This is like th' sort of cool pop end of the '83 spectrum. This is your Au Pairs and Souxsie end of things. Ministry. I like it, not just because it reminds me of jerkier times. 1983- "Synchronicity", The Fixx, "Let's Dance", The Talking Head's Summer of Beatledom.

And four hairy young rebels from th South were sneaking onto the scene with "Radio Free Europe"...

4:15 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

High praise indeed Bobby. It's nice to know that someone with talent and taste doesn't think we sucked.

5:54 PM  

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