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Seminar 4

Artist Management

Index List of All Seminars -- Free Lite Version
All Seminars Must Be Read In Order!



SEMINAR 4: ARTIST MANAGEMENT


Greetings!

OK, last session we left off with you in Part IV, mixing it up in the music business. You were trying to get a record label to record your song.

Let's say at present you are still out plugging your song and positioning yourself to be available to the right people at the right time. You are doing the legwork...doing more legwork.

You are persistence waiting for the pay off!

And walah...you finally succeed!! You get Bingo Records to sign a mechanical licensing agreement (via your music publisher's mechanical licensing agent--the Harry Fox Agency) which will enable the label to record and sell phonorecord copies (CD's, records, or audio tapes) of your song!

At this point, the songwriter's work, relative to this particular song, is done. However, the work to bring his song to fruition is not. The songwriter will now simply watch while the record label and his music publisher do their work. It is now when they will earn their "cut" of the action.

Now is when people and businesses "hook up" and come together to produce the sellable product...to move on to fruition.

It is like several armies merging together and moving forward on a wider and more powerful front...all with the same goal and destination in view.

Understanding how all these merged businesses and people work together will be your next challenge. You must understand and know the "whole enchilada"…

The songwriter pushes his song, the music publisher juggles all the licenses, the label is producing the record, the recording artist is working hard in the recording studio, and the artist's manager is "doing his thing." You have now come to the high traffic crossroads part of the music business!

Here is where you will really need the SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #4, along with the access it gives to the SMP Hot Links…you will find out how these players relate so they can actually "Take Care of Business."

The SMP Membership Full Text Version of Seminar #4 has in depth detail to include these additional topic discussions:

1) The Recording Artist
Artist Step-by-Step Development -- SMP Hot Link

2) The Artist's Personal Manager
Artist Management -- SMP Hot Link
Manager or Talent Agent?
Booking Agents -- SMP Hot Link
Problems with Talent Agencies
The Artist Manager's role in Promotion and Publicity
Promotion -- SMP Hot Link
Radio - Airplay - Charts -- SMP Hot Link
Publicity -- SMP Hot Link
The Artist Manager and Related Statutory Regulations
Legal Notes -- SMP Hot Link
The Personal Manager/Artist Relationship
The Personal Manager's Fees
Artist Management Agreement -- Form Contract Purchase Online
Ongoing Personal Manager Evaluation

Go To SMP Membership Full Text Version -- Index List of All Seminars
Get Your SMP Membership Password Here!

If you think you can "get by" without knowing the above information…

Think Again!


A REAL STORY?

Here is a little adventure story of someone who thought they could "get by" without knowing….this story is fiction reality of sorts. The names have been changed to bring humor to an otherwise sad story.

Girl Bruce, after playing in LA clubs for five years decided he needed a manager. By coincidence, Johnny Bozobusiness, a local unemployed "talent manager" approached him after a gig. He asked Girl if he would be interested in hiring a business agent to tie up loose ends and maybe pull a few strings in the front office of one of the majors--Dud Records.

So, they talked.

After lying to each other for a few minutes about previous accomplishments and dropping each's quota of names, they talked turkey.

Their agreement went something like this:

Girl: "Johnny I would like you to be my business agent. You know, shuffle money, coordinate, and keep track of things in general. I will give you 20% of the gross receipts. OK?"

Johnny: "You got it, it's a deal."

Johnny's no dummy however. He got burned when an artist walked on a verbal contract last time out.

Johnny: "We'll put it in writing--my secretary will type it up."

Girl: "Sounds great!"

So, Johnny scribbled down what was said and had his sister type it up on some fancy 30 pound paper. They signed it and another artist-manager association was off and running.

About a year later an A&R man from Dud Records signed Girl to cut an album. It turned out to be a bullet. In a few more weeks they had a monster on their hands and everybody was wheelbarrowing the money to the bank. Everybody was happy--right?

Enter Blonde Ambition at "The Drug Abusion Blues," or just "The Blues," as it was known locally. It was the nightclub where Girl, Johnny, and the band hung out.

Blonde Ambition: "Hi Johnny! How come Girl hasn't shown."

Johnny: "He's not coming. He said you guys partied too hard last night--said to tell you to drop by his place tonight."

Blonde: "Oh, yeah? And what are you up to tonight Johnny?"

Johnny was really up to nothing, but flashed a great idea when he realized Blonde was flirting with him!

Johnny: "Well, I've often thought of leaving the country. Maybe go to Saudi Arabia and start a paper route. You know, self-employed, big money, early retirement..."

They both laughed. Johnny always had a good one-liner. Blonde liked that about him.

Blonde: "Well, Saudi Arabia is a long way away. But maybe to get the feel of foreign adventure we could go to Mexico tonight! I know it's no Saudi Arabian paper route, but it could be the start of something good!"

Johnny was lost for words for a second. After all, Blonde was Girl's girl.

Johnny: "I'd love to but I just remembered I have to meet Girl at my place tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. to go over next month's gig schedule.

Johnny felt safe.

Blonde Ambition: "We can make it back. I know a place right on the border. If we leave now we can catch the last hour of Happy Hour! Come on, I'll drive."

Johnny: "Why...why...why not!"

They dropped Johnny's car off at his place and bolted.

Next morning Girl called Johnny at 8a.m. Just the recorder answered. So, Girl figured Johnny was down at the corner coffee shop trying to bury a hangover. He figured he could stop by and grab a cup himself.

When he pulled in he saw Blonde's car! It reminded him that she never showed up at his house last night. Then, through the window, he saw Blonde sitting next to Johnny in a corner booth!

Girl pulled a U-turn and headed home.

He called Johnny's place and left a message on the recorder-"You're fired!"

Johnny returned home. His answering machine was blinking red. He played back his messages. He freaked when he heard the notice terminus.

Johnny quickly looked up an attorney's phone number in the yellow pages-"First consultation free." He called and set an appointment.

Johnny met with the attorney that afternoon. He took his contract with him. The attorney read it over and asked Johnny if he had kept his part of the contract. Johnny affirmed that he had.

The attorney noticed the contract lacked a termination clause. He told Johnny it was his opinion that Girl could not fire him and would have to continue to pay Johnny his 20%. Unless, of course, Johnny agreed to the firing, or failed to continue to perform his part of the agreement.

Johnny called Girl and told him what his attorney said. Girl hung up and called a competent and well respected music attorney.

To make a long story short, the music attorney got the contract declared illegal by the courts. He proved Johnny had and would continue to violate state law by performing some of the duties required in the contract. Namely, when Johnny "coordinated" Girl's nightclub performances he did so without the proper state license, i.e., he acted as a licensed talent agent while being unlicensed.

That is the good news.

The bad news is Johnny was ordered by the court to pay back $40,000 in commissions he had already received from his illegal activity.

A week after the bad news the State Employment Department called Johnny. They told him someone had filed for unemployment compensation benefits and gave Johnny's name as their employer.

Since Johnny had hired, paid, and fired band members and sidemen he was recognized by the state as an employer. He consequently owed back workmen's compensation insurance payments. He also owed disability insurance payments.

Soon, other government agencies contacted Johnny. He owed back state income withholding tax, federal income withholding tax, federal social security taxes...

When the snowball stopped rolling Johnny owed about $70,000. The leasing company repossessed his Jag. He had to sell his house and move to a studio apartment near the La Brea Tar Pits. He was unemployed.

But wait! Is everything that happened in this story gloom and doom? No! Blonde Ambition moved to Aspen with Girl's music attorney. She now drives a Jag!


Here is a list of mistakes our fictitious business manager made:

1) He did not seek competent legal counsel when he drew up his artist/manager contract,
2) He violated licensing laws,
3) He violated employment laws,
4) He violated tax laws,
5) The attorney he finally did consult after disaster struck was incompetent in the field of entertainment law, and
6) He became romantically involved with his bosses' girl friend.


The consequences:

1) His "contract" was declared illegal by the courts,
2) He had to pay back $40,000 in commissions already received,
3) He lost tens of thousands in future commissions,
4) He had to pay state and federal agencies $30,000 in back workmen's compensation insurance,
     disability insurance, income withholding taxes, and employer and employee social security taxes,
5) He lost his job,
6) He lost his house,
7) He lost his car,
8) He lost his high living life-style,
9) He lost his friends, and
10) He lost his shot at "true love."


Of course, Johnny was a loser in every sense of the word. He suffered from both self deception and legal ignorance.

Yes, unfortunately, it is often the case that artist/manager associations have ramifications of which one or all parties involved are in varying degrees ignorant.

Consequences can be devastating!

Be smart…Join SMP Now and get informed BEFORE you too get burned.

Next session we look at the Record Company and the Recording Contract.


*R*


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