Clay Aiken -“Sharp Elbows And Brilliant Insight…”

I found a very interesting site on the internet. Music Industry Quotes To Live By is an unique list of quotes about the business of music. I thought some of the quotes were interesting enough to share with you.

For ease of reading, the quote is in black and then underneath, in red, is something about the author.


“Consumers have musical choice? What musical choice? In our society we choose only from what we are given to choose from, and that choice is determined by 5 major media corporations who control the exposure outlets that consumers depend on for their entertainment.”  ~ Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Music

Current faculty member of the Audio and Music Business Program at the Art Institute of Seattle, where he teaches courses related to the promotion and marketing of recorded music.

Owns FourFront Media and Music, a consultation service based in Seattle that helps musicians develop marketing and career plans.

“Record companies like to make money, and that is their only goal. They do not care about the content that they sell – they care about maximizing their profits. It is because of this that I hate record companies with the same passion that I hate venture capitalists. The record companies do not try to foster a creative environment which rewards musicians who serve their respective niche, but create an environment which attempts to market a small amount of music to the largest audience possible. ” ~  Numair Faraz

No information about Numair Faraz could be found.

“In Los Angeles, they don’t want you to fail, they want you to die.” ~  David Geffen

David Geffen is an American record executive, film and theatrical producer and philanthropist. He is one of the three founders of Dreamworks.

“I think the second you feel you’ve gotten somewhere, you’re nowhere.”  ~ Michael Goldstone, VP A&R, Epic Records

Michael Goldstone is a music industry executive in the United States. He has worked with many record labels, including DreamWorks Records.

In May 2008, Goldstone launched the indie label, Mom & Pop Music Company together with Q Prime management.

“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

Jason Berman is a member of the Recording Industry Association of America.

“I’ve probably put together more deals backstage at concerts than by telephone.”  ~ Michael Lippman, Lippman Entertainment

Early in his career Michael observed that record producers and songwriters, are artists in their own right, and lacked proper guidance. Michael started a management firm representing select recording artists and for the first time ever, created a business managing record producers and songwriters ensuring that all players in the creative process were protected and properly rewarded. Hailed as an innovator in negotiating entertainment contracts, his advice is often sought after by his colleagues. Michael’s intuitiveness for brokering diverse talents and commitment to the success of a project is renowned and maintains his broad power base within the industry.

“I’m a survivor in a business that constantly rejects you.”  ~ Dick Clark

You all know Dick Clark!!

“It’s almost impossible to stay in the music business. It’s a long term play for almost no one. To triumph you must have sharp elbows and brilliant insight. If you think the guys running it now are stupid, you’re wrong, you are. They might be acting out of self-interest, they might be all about the money, but what they know could put you back in kindergarten.” ~  Bob Lefsetz

Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Famous for being beholden to no one and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.


What do you think? Most of these quotes are pretty negative about the professional music business.

Do you think the quotes convey the correct picture of the music business.

Maybe you have a favorite music quote. Would you share it with us??

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