Musical Industry Quotes

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" The whole music business in the United States is based on numbers, based on unit sales and not on quality. It's not based on beauty, it's based on hype and it's based on cocaine. It's based on giving presents of large packages of dollars to play records on the air."
--Frank Zappa
"We live in an age of music for people who don't like music. The record industry discovered some time ago that there aren't that many people who actually like music. For a lot of people, music's annoying, or at the very least they don't need it. They discovered if they could sell music to a lot of those people, they could sell a lot more records."
--T Bone Burnett
"I never met an asshole in the record business I didn't like."
--Irving Azoff
"Modern music is people who can't think signing artists who can't write songs to make records for people who can't hear."
--Frank Zappa
"Just because it happened to you, doesn't mean it's interesting"
--Dennis Hopper
"Just because you can record, doesn't mean you should."
--Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Music
"Independent labels take nothing and make something out of it. Major labels buy that something, and try to make more out of it."
--Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Records CEO
"When you hear my records today...you hear a vanilla sounding artist with no black inflection, although I was trying to imitate what I heard."
--Pat Boone
"You go through stages where you wonder whether you are Christ, or just looking for him."
--David Bowie
"You've gotta be business savvy really, or else you get the piss taken out of you."
--Melanie B, Spice Girls
"Actually I don't know if honesty is a strength or some kind of weakness."
--Ani DeFranco
"That's not easy to find in a corporate world, somebody who cares about music."
--Michael Penn, musician
"It's magazines like HITS that have to label things."
--Nina Gordon, Veruca Salt
"I'm a snake oil salesman as much as anyone else, but I try to keep something for myself...I don't kiss the world's ass."
--Freedy Johnston
"Anybody that forms a group, writes songs and releases records and says they don't care if people like them are complete liars."
--James Dean Bradfield, Manic St. Preachers
"I mean the Cranberries could go on and take a shit and the people would probably love it."
--Jon Spencer
"Music is a big machine that would go on with or without me."
--Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20
"Music should be about bastardization."
--John McCrae, Cake
"Rap fans are quick to forget what they appreciated just last year."
--Trugoy, De La Soul
"In this business, the first rule is, never act out of desperation, because there is always someone out there looking to sucker you."
--Kevin Czinger, Volcano Entertainment Founder
"In the music business bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, I believe smaller is actually better."
--Chuck Kaye, Dreamworks, SBK Publishing
"When we had a record blow up, we really knew how to put it through its paces. It wasn't groping through a voyage of discovery."
--Steve Vining, Windham Hill President
"To sustain hatred is a very difficult thing to do, year after year. It's exhausting."
--Nick Cave, alternative rock musician
"The problem with alternative radio is that it has no fiber at all, and is giving itself it's own enema."
--Mike Halloran, former KUPR PD
"The hardest thing in the world to do in this business is start a band nobody's heard of."
--Tom Whalley, Interscope Records
"If we do our job...Music's not black or white, it's green."
--Jim Caparro, PGD
"Going to radio with a rap record prior to going to the consumer is like having no foreplay with your girlfriend."
--Lyor Cohen, Def Jam/RAL
"There would be no new school without the old school."
--Vivian Scott, Epic Records
"Money had never been the main thing for me. It's the legacy that was important."
--Barry Gordy, Motown Records
"Our whole preconception will be what's going to make the kid push our button and not someone else's."
--Bruce Kirland, Capitol Records
"We'll take advantage of the changes going on in the music business because we're lean and mean."
--Miles Copeland, IRS Records
"That's the shame about Miles Copeland; he's evil, but he's got a heart of gold."
--Dave Wakeling, General Public
"If this company is about anything, it's about discipline and staying focused."
--Jimmy Iovine, Interscope Records
"We're starting to climb. I've got my fingers crossed, my toes crossed, my testicles crossed...And it's painful too I might add."
--Rick Michaels, WENZ Radio
"We are the Beavis and Butt-head generation, whether we want to recognize it or not."
--Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins
"People don't buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions."
--Scott Young, Wherehouse Entertainment
"You can't control the public from itself. If they get good tickets, the scalp them. If they get bad tickets, they bitch."
--Fred Rosen, Ticketmaster
"People don't want to see a whole lot of crap anymore than they want to see one piece of crap."
--Wayne Forte, ITC
"The moment you have the promotion department going one way and the marketing department the other, you're fucked."
--Larry Stessell, Mercury Records
"American music is something the rest of the world wants to listen to. Our job is to make sure they pay for it."
--Jason Berman, RIAA
"I've probably put together more deals backstage at concerts than by telephone."
--Michael Lippman, Lippman Entertainment
"You've got to feel comfortable with people telling you your shit stinks."
--Andre Harrell, Uptown Entertainment
"I'm a survivor in a business that constantly rejects you."
--Dick Clark
"My bass player came up to me and said, 'Sarah, when are you going to start being a bitch?' And I said, 'That's why I have a record company."
--Sarah McLachlan
"I never had the feeling I ever had to make a dime doing anything."
--Rick Rubin, Def American
"I hate to say this, but at the time, (late 70's) it was like the smart people liked punk and the dumb people liked Journey."
--Howie Klein, President Reprise Records
"Kill all the major record company presidents."
--Howie Klein, 1978... KSAN Radio Show-the Outcaste Hour
"I've made hundreds of legendary records that people talk about that didn't sell."
--Jerry Wexler
"Without freedom of expression, good taste means nothing."
--Neil Young
"I think anyone with less than 10 years experience in this business starting his own label is looking to create a disaster."
--Russ Regan, Quality Records
"Listen, the easiest way to get laid by a girl, or get rid of her, is to write a song about her."
--David Crosby
"I love sinking my teeth into things."
--Samantha Fox
"When we make a decision on which group to sign, we don't foresee a goddamn thing."
--Cliff Bernstein, Q Prime Management
"Without music, the greatest marketing plans in the whole world don't mean shit."
--Eddie Rosenblatt, Geffen Records
"Without marketing plans, the greatest music in the whole world don't mean shit."
--Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Marketing
"Who could have dreamed in 1965 that the alternative society would eventually multiply to such extraordinary proportions that it becomes our mainstream."
--Bill Graham
"I want to hear the word 'cherish' about 5 times."
-- Clive Davis, Arista Record (listening back to an Air Supply song during a mixdown in the studio)
"If the milk industry can make their product seem sexy and increase consumer demand, there must be hope for music."
--Gary Arnold, Merchandising Manager, Best Buy
"So many record companies turned me down, they said I sounded like a Chipmunk."
--Brandy
"Being a manager or agent is similar to renting an apartment. Having a record company is like owning a home."
--Rob Kahane, Trauma Records
"I think the second you feel you've gotten somewhere, you're nowhere."
--Michael Goldstone, VP A&R, Epic Records
"You're a local band until you get a record contract, then all of a sudden Bruce Springsteen is your competition.
--Sammy Llana, The Bodeans
"I don't listen to music, I hate all music."
--Johnny Rotten
"I don't think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow."
--BB King
"He took my music, but he gave me my name."
--Muddy Waters on Mick Jagger
"If KISS is a dinosaur, damn straight I'd rather be that than a mouse."
--Gene Simmons, KISS
"We're the McDonalds of rock. Were always there to satisfy, and a billion served."
--Paul Stanley, KISS
"Don't try to explain it, just sell it."
--Colonel Tom Parker
"The way I see it, rock n' roll is folk music."
--Robert Plant
"I wish there had been a music business 101 course I could have taken."
--Kurt Cobain
"Rock n' roll does for music what a motorcyle club at full throttle does for a quiet afternoon. The results bear passing resemblance to Hitler mass meetings."
--Time Magazine, 1956
"Rock n' roll is poison put to sound."
--Pablo Casals
"In Los Angeles, they don't want you to fail, they want you to die."
--David Geffen
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
--Hunter S. Thompson



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