[Dixielandjazz] N.O. Jazz Fest sold!?!?

TCASHWIGG at aol.com TCASHWIGG at aol.com
Thu Apr 1 13:59:04 PST 2004

Hi Charlie and all: 

 My sermon of the month. Sorry it's long.

That does not surprise me at all, Clear Channel has been buying up everything 
and event and venue in the live performacne industry that has been or is 
successful, including all the major live music promotion companies and festivals 
around the world.

Their programming of this years Jazz & Heritage festival is a perfect example 
of what this article says and it is not an April Fools joke unfortunately.

They have one of the headliners this year as The Steve Miller Band  a pop 
rock act from the 70's that I used to book, they have absolutely nothing to do 
with Jazz or New Orelans heritage at all, even though Mr. Miller is and can be 
an excellent Blues Guitarist whenever he wants to be, which is very rare.    To 
have him ( now a fat old guy singing turnon pop songs to teenagers conjures 
up some pretty weird images), as does booking him on a festival like NOJ&H.   

The Clear Channel folks claim that they want to present the music more 
Americans want to hear, which is BS they are presenting only the music that they 
play on their radio stations and force feed to the public, don't believe it try 
and get a song played on the radio or book your act on one of their shows.  
They own and are responsible for the Smooth Jazz Syndrome as well and a lot of 
the garbage they call Jazz that they are force feeding the ears of the baby 
boomers and yuppies of today who don't know any better because they have never 
been exposed to real Jazz.

It sucks big time folks, but it will indeed creates some interesting 
opportunities for the independent promoters to start presenting alternative festivals 
and concerts to attract all those folks they are ignoring with their marketing 
approach.  This is not something new, MCA tried to do the same thing about 40 
years ago, ( Control the Record and olive Concert Business) It failed 
miserably and was also broken up by the FCC and they were prevented from monopolizing 
the industry by law.   

History repeats itself folks, and here it is again forty years later trying 
to do just that.

Clear Channel is already experiencing some major backlash problems around the 
world with their operation methods and total greed corporate policies and it 
is only a matter of time before their empire will start to come apart at the 
seams as the good and talented people who they bought get tired of having 
everything they worked for years to build be destroyed by the Corporation mindset, 
which does not play well with Creative people, like musicians, arrangers, 
producers and promoters.

There day will come.

Been there and done that, and while I do play some of their events I do not 
like what I see happening, My next CD however is gong to be a real shocker to 
most of you as well as them, because I see where they are going and I am 
preparing a project that I believe can get a bunch of Old Guys on their radio charts 
within the next year.   Since we are the guys who invented the styles of 
music they think Americans want to hear, it is really no big deal to go back and 
redo what we did thirty years ago and modernize it to fit their so called new 
format,  they don't even realize what happens artistically int his business, 
because they are  all run by accountants and lawyers and salesmen mostly with no 
musical aptitude at all and only recognize a Hit song when they see the 
accounting sheet telling them that it sold two million copies.  Then they pat 
themselves on the back and have Gala parties and hand out trophies to each other 
for their creative genius.

Remember Every MAJOR Record Label started as an independent small label, they 
did not build them into major labels they bought up all the music and 
independent labels and producers to make themselves a big powerful Major Label.


Tom Wiggins

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