RIP, Tom Petty

I came late to the music of Tom Petty.

I’d heard songs on the radio, but the pivotal moment came when my friend Jon Grier, at the time, an engineer at Music Annex in San Francisco, brought me into the control room to demonstrate the studio’s new Genelec monitoring system.

He put on “Learning To Fly” from the album “Into the Great Wide Open” which had just been released. I was completely blown away. The music was deeply human, 100% pure, and it sounded GREAT.

I immediately went out and got my hands on every recording I could find. I have been a huge fan ever since that day.

Tom Petty’s music beautifully captured that poignant human experience of striving, falling down, and getting up again for another try. To me, his songs were filled with hope, and tinged with melancholy.

His catalog was remarkably consistent, and his records always sounded extraordinary, with some of the best production of the time.

Tom Petty was also one of the first musicians to take on the major labels for their egregious manipulation and mistreatment of artists. His advocacy inspired many musicians to become business savvy and stand up for their work.

I highly recommend the 2008 Peter Bogdanovich documentary “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream” if you haven’t seen it.

RIP, Tom Petty.

Thinking Different(ly): Creative Music in the Digital Economy

On January 15, 2013 I gave a presentation to alumni of The Royal College of Music in Stockholm Sweden. The topic was music careers in today’s economy – musical entrepreneurship and developing multiple income streams. Here are the slides featuring case studies of several entrepreneurial musicians and a basic overview of the principles music publishing and licensing.

A fresh look at Artist-to-Audience Communication

In this video clip from the recent Rethink Music conference in Boston, KU’s Nancy Baym (see her new blog: Online Fandom) makes the point that artist – fan collaborations are creating  economic transactions that aren’t generally factored into discussions about declining music revenues.

There’s a lot of work that doesn’t have to get done anymore because audiences do it…fans want to help – Nancy Baym