The Confession of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill

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Thursday, January 4, 2018


Mike Spitzer, guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen's old manager, wrote the following: "My own view is the music industry is tougher than ever before.
The hardest time in history to be a musician as a career.
Why ?
(1) Music sales revenue are only 60% what they were in the 80s
(2) Due to the internet and so many other forms of entertainment and distractions today, people comment in surveys that music is less important in their lives than what people felt 40 -50 years ago.
(3) Many younger people comment that music is more a secondary background activity to them and not a primary source of entertainment
(4) Music equipment sales reflect this changing cultural changes.
Companies like Gibson, Guitar Center and other music companies are in deep debt or even bankruptcy reorganization.
Electric guitar sales are down 40% compared to 30 years ago alone.
(5) With such scattered audiences today, stardom means less than decades ago.
A musician or actor can be on a hit show -or- have a platinum record today and still be unknown to 95% of the general public.
Far different than back in the days of Hendrix, Beatles, Zeppelin, etc..
With these challenges in mind, I don't feel an artist or band can afford any weak links. Everybody involved must be top notch at what they do .....
Great guitar + great singer + great drummer + bass + clean production, etc..etc...
As they say ... a chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
I think this also helps explain the enduring success of bands like Iron Maiden and Megadeth who still fill 60,000 seat arenas around the world today just like they did 25 years ago."
It's a sad world we live in- gone are the days of kids playing actual musical instruments and GARAGE BANDS. I think the average kid just listens with the ear buds to whatever is on Spotify on their iPhones and doesn't give a rat's ass about musical virtuoso playing and talent. Country, rap-crap and pure shit seems to rule the day. That said, thank God for the Orient/ Asia, Germany and the cult following a lot of bands still receive in the U.S. (albeit on a club or small theater level). In fact, in Japan and Germany, CD SALES STILL ECLIPSE DOWNLOADS!

TWO BIG OBSERVATIONS]): 1) just as the classical music people enjoy is essentially Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, etc. (many years/ centuries ago; finite and over), are we NOW at a point where, cult bands aside, is the golden age of ROCK MUSIC over (1960's-1980's)? Grunge may have "killed the hair bands" but the hair bands came back (at least to play to rib fests, small clubs, etc.)- Grunge and Alternative came and died in the 1990's...what do we have SINCE then? Briefly Nu-Metal shit like Korn and Slipknot, the boy bands, tons of rap-crap, "country" that isn't even country (I hate that stuff, but I digress), and "pop" music a la Taylor Swift and Katy Perry and their ilk...GONE ARE THE DAYS OF KIDS PLAYING IN GARAGE BANDS! To follow-up on this point: 2) Did you ever notice that, when you enter a store or restaurant or anywhere else they play music these days, with a few exceptions, it is as if music began in 1960 and died in 1990! I HEAR NO NIRVANA, GRUNGE, OR ANY OF THE SHIT it because the music of those decades (1960's-1980's) was the CLASSICAL MUSIC OF ROCK, so to speak? It had MELODY AND could hum it, etc.? Imagine trying to eat a meal to Nirvana's Rape Me or Pearl Jam or that rap crud LOL...SAD. The average kid listens to Spotify with their ear buds on their iPhones and doesn't give a rat's ass about talent. Pity.
to add insult to injury, nowadays, even the winners of AMERICAN IDOL, the Voice, and Rising Star (cancelled after one season LOL) are almost dead-on-arrival after "winning it all"...people just don't care like they used to. That said, thank God for the older generations of people (40 and up) and ALL ages overseas: THEY still go to concerts and actually buy cds (in Japan and Germany, CDS STILL SELL VERY WELL). It is heartening yet sad to see classic bands come to town- they are usually relegated to small clubs and theaters and almost no young (under 30) people are there.

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