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Old 07-18-2005, 07:59 AM   #1
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Review: 'On the Record' ... by Guy Oseary*

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By Devlin Smith, Contributing Editor
2005.07



"So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star?" went the old Byrds song. The band's advice: get a loud guitar, some tight pants and you'll be on your way. Of course, actually making it in the rock business, whether on stage or behind the scenes, takes a little more than that.

As a teenager, Guy Oseary, chairman of Maverick Records, wanted to know how to break into the music business. He read books to get the answers but found that most of them didn't give him the answers he was seeking. Now, after getting the success and making the connections, Oseary has written his own book for all the kids like him who want to know how to get their own big break.

"On the Record: Over 150 of the Most Talented People in Music Share the Secrets of Their Success" features Q&As with a variety of the best known and most successful artists, producers, songwriters, managers, label executives, attorneys, and television and film people working in music today. Included among this impressive lot are Bono, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, producers Daniel Lanois and Nellee Hooper, and U2 manager Paul McGuinness.



Each participant answered the same 12 questions, hoping to give fans and aspiring rock legends an inside look on what it takes to shake up the music business. The questions are:

*Did you have a mentor or someone who inspired you? If so, what have you learned from that person?
*What was your very first job in the music industry, and how did you get it?
*What was your first big break? The first great thing that ever happened to you…
*What elements of your job make you want to go to work every day?
*What qualities most helped you get to where you are today?
*If you knew everything at the beginning of your career that you know now, what would you have done differently?
*What is your greatest lesson learned?
*What are some of your favorite albums?
*Did you have any posters on your bedroom walls as a kid? Of whom?
*What are some great shows you've seen?
*What are some of your favorite songs?
*List up to 10 things that could be helpful to someone breaking into the business.

The majority of this project's participants were incredibly forthright and upfront in answering these questions, talking with great passion and honesty about the profession they're in and the mistakes they've made. The advice many of them have is to manage the balance between art and commerce, both having to peacefully coexist in order for someone to truly exceed in business. That, according to Bono, is one of the great lessons Paul McGuinness imparted to the young U2. "Another thing Paul McGuinness hardwired into your thinking was a sense of taking responsibility for the commerce as well as the art," Bono said. "If you value your gift, you should know how to bodyguard it."

Perhaps the greatest lesson offered by the luminaries in this book, though, can best be summed up by the lyrics of another great '60s song—"All You Need is Love." As cliché as it sounds, all the truly successful people featured in this book have love—love for their craft, love for their genre, love for their audience and love for the people they work with. "The problem is everyone is in such a hurry and the business of music takes over from the music itself," Blackwell said. "But if you really love the music, if you really enjoy the music, then patience is not a problem to have, because you're enjoying the whole process of what is happening; you're not in a big hurry to get on to the next thing."

Whether you want to be an artist, a manager, a record producer, work in A&R or direct music videos, it seems that to make it in the music business, love really is all you need.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
"But if you really love the music, if you really enjoy the music, then patience is not a problem to have, because you're enjoying the whole process of what is happening; you're not in a big hurry to get on to the next thing."
If one is a U2 fan, then patience is a MUST! The time between U2 albums since 1984 has been 3-4 years, hardly the pace of the Beatles or even early U2.
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