Posts Tagged ‘Lefsetz’

October 6, 2013

I’m a fan of Sinead O’Connor (hell O’Connor is my Mom’s maiden name).  When she broke on her first record, people had never heard a voice quite Sinead’s. Recently as most of you are painfully aware, Sinead wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus, and ended up tearing down all of us in the music business…and especially men. That’s like saying all plumbers’ smell (everyone who listens to radio in LA knows that’s not true, Mike Diamond is the “Smell Good Plummer”). Not every man working in music is selling sex.

It seems to me that Miley is in control of her career and knows exactly what she is doing.  A manager’s, agent’s, label exec’s, publicist’s, lawyer’s, business manager’s job is to take the vision of the artist and make it reality.  If they disagree with direction, maybe they can bring it up a few times, but once too often and they will all find themselves out on the street.

No, Miley made the call on the image and direction for “Wrecking Ball” and believe she does respect herself (Can you say Madonna?). No one in their right mind working on Miley’s team would tell her to dress like a bear on the VMA’s and “twerk”. At the same time, it is their job to support her and I would do the same thing.

When tweeting (follow me @jimlewi) and posting (friend me @ about Miley’s performance on Saturday Night Live…it was very good… more than a few of you thought my accounts had been hacked. That’s funny!  If you go back and watch, you will see Miley can sing…and act.  She was better than most of the hosts they have on the show…and cast too.  Didn’t act nervous…not even a little.  So Miley likes the way Sinead cut her hair in the video for Prince’s “Nothing Compares To You”.  That doesn’t mean you have to “mother” her…and certainly doesn’t mean you should put down everyone that works in the music business. There are very few of us on the other side of the mic that have “yacht money”.  Maybe a couple… Sinead must be thinking of Jay and B.  Most of us do it because we love the job…the music…working with artists.  As Lefsetz has pointed out many times, if you want to make a lot of money, you go into banking…NOT music.

Sinead if your vision, image and directions involves putting down those that work in music business…and I was your manager, I would support you.  For now, I’m offended.



June 4, 2013

Take yourself back to the Pollstar Conference in February.  You’re walking to see one of your favorite people speak.  Someone you know on the peripheral… from meeting once and through the web…someone you would love to have as your best friend as you believe he or she is a genius… then you run right into them.  That’s what happened to me in LA with Seth Godin.

We only had a few minutes to catch-up as he was literally walking into the ballroom to start his talk.  So we touched on Aspen (where we met as he spoke at Aspen Live in 2004), staying up on the music business through Lefsetz, and stealing ideas.

You see I told Seth that I’m constantly stealing his ideas, but always gave him credit.  His comment back, “go ahead and steal them…take credit for them”…and he meant it.

Without knowing for sure, I believe the most important thing for Seth is that his ideas continue to spread.  He genuinely wants you to succeed. You, yes you, not him.  He writes a blog every day, religiously (which is incredible in itself), which is free for you to read.  Seth gives away his books online, not all of them, but I bet if you asked, he would send you a free copy of any of them.  Why?  Because his mission is about change, not making money.  The money comes because of the caring…and sharing.

I will continue to steal from Seth Godin, Bill Graham, Abraham Lincoln, P.T Barnum, Steve Jobs, my friends, TV Shows, movies, every book, article, tweet and blog that I read…but will always give credit where credit is due.

While catching up on my Seth Godin blogs tonight, I came across the gem below.  Please share it…sign-up for Seth’s daily blog at, buy a few of his books (I can say with much bias that they are all great but you may want to start with Purple Cow, Tribes, Spreading the Idea Virusand of course the one that got us all hooked, Permission Marketing) and it’s ok to share them, Seth gave you permission.  

Learning by analogy

The story of Hansel and Gretel is not actually about Hansel or Gretel.

You are surrounded by examples and lessons and case studies that clearly aren’t exactly about your project. There’s never been a book written precisely about the situation you are facing right now, either. Perhaps one day they will publish, “Marketing Low-Cost Coaching Services to Small Businesses Specializing in _Graphic Design in the Upper Peninsula for Dummies” but don’t hold your breath.

Marketing, like all forms of art, requires us to learn to see. To see what’s working and to transplant it, change it and amplify it.

We don’t teach this, but we should. We don’t push people to practice the act of learning by analogy, because it’s way easier to just give them a manual and help them avoid thinking for themselves.

The opportunity is to find the similarities and get ever better at letting others go first–not with what you’ve got, but with something you can learn from.

And the opposite is even more true. We over-rely on things where the specifics seem to match, but the lesson is obscured by the trivial. Sometimes when we see something happen that we can learn a conceptual lesson from, we instead jump to conclusions that the specifics are the important part.

Remember that the next time you have to take your shoes off before you get on an airplane.


January 29, 2013

Honestly, based on an article comparing Dodge Dart sales to Honda’s Civic, the advertising might not be working…but thought you would be interested in the Dodge Dart Registry

The concept is Kickstarter meets a wedding registry, where family members, friends, etc, fund a piece of the car till it’s paid for.  In theory, this should work well with high school and college students…although I haven’t seen any data to back that up.  Regardless, Goldenvoice has been doing a layaway plan for Coachella and Stage Coach Festivals and believe they do well with it.  

So what do you think about crowd sourcing live event tickets?  Will it work?


Since you still haven’t seen a recap of Aspen Live 2012 yet (you can always read Lefsetz‘s take now, I figure we can combine the Pollstar and Aspen reports. 

Are you going to be @ Pollstar?  This is not the year to miss as the keynote speaker is marketing guru and Aspen Live alum Seth Godin

Also, I’ll be moderating the “Nurturing Mid-Level Festivals” panel at 11am on Thursday, February 7th. Please join us as we explore how these festivals have competed and thrived while others have faltered.




October 26, 2009

I wanted the next LiveWorks Newsletter to focus on marketing but needed a little inspiration.  It came in the form of a radio commercial for U2.  What caught my attention was that it didn’t sound like one produced by our business.  It sounded professional.  Then I realized that’s because it was paid for by Wal-Mart…to me that’s actually a good thing.  And then I read what Lefsetz wrote on U2 last night and I was a bit bummed  Is Bob for the tour and U2 or not?

Back to the ad…it was just awesome.  What I got out of it was that the biggest band in the world was coming to down…they had new music…a new album @ Wal-Mart…and of course the “360 Tour“.  It sounded exciting, like you needed to be a part.  It was the U2 Experience!

For years I’ve harped on marketing the concert experience versus tickets going on-sale on a day and time.  U2’s tour is called 360 so right away you get a sense of what you are in for.  The radio spot comes on and envelopes you in U2 music, the band’s show and tour, the new album, and where you can get it (available at Wal-Mart).  The Lefsetz Letter’s opening last night almost took all the wind out of my sails as he pointed out that the biggest news on the U2 tour was the stage.  This is great!

With U2 360, you know you are in for an experience.  I love U2 and have since I saw them in high school when they played for free at SUNY Albany.  Now I love their marketing.  They know how to connect the dots.  Do you?  If you aren’t sure, let me recommend someone who does. 

Years ago, I had the good fortune of working with Jolene Pellant while she was a VP of Marketing for what was then Clear Channel Entertainment.  She had passion, knowledge, tenacity and relationships.  Jolene was willing to go the extra mile.  Cut to this past spring.  We needed help with the marketing around The Great American Food & Music Fest.  We needed a quarterback.  I called Jolene who now runs a company called “Yes Dear” with her partner Mike Gormley.  Within days everything was organized and all pistons firing at the same time.  The Fest had a well-organized plan that was implemented step-by-step by Yes Dear along with our “Best in the Business” PR team, Elaine Garza and Jada Williams from Giant Noise

So, here is three pieces of advice.

  1. If your marketing needs help call Yes Dear @ (310) 203-9007 and speak with Jolene or Mike
  2. Need the best PR people for festivals and events, call Giant Noise @ (512) 382-9017
  3. If you are a U2 fan, go see U2…if you can afford to

Don’t forget that if you have any plans to go to Aspen Live (Dec. 10-12) this year, I really need to hear from you soon. or (310) 385-2800.

Speak with you soon…