Industry Profile: Mike Chadwick

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Mike Chadwick, managing director, Essential Music & Marketing

Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, likely hopes this is another Summer of Loveóat least amongst European Commission regulators, and independent labels and distributors.

In the dog days of this summer, Universal Music Group has been working on fine-tuning a concessions offer that may help it earn a final approval from European Commission regulators in a $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI's recorded-music division.

Earlier, the European Commission had raised objections about the impact of merging Universal and EMI; expressing considerable concerns that the vast catalog to be represented by Universal would hinder competition within the global music marketplace

The merger would give Universal control of more than 36% of the global music market, and in some markets, including the United Kingdom, Universal's market share would reach a whopping 40%.

To counter anti-trust concerns, Universal has been reportedly proposing a slew of divestitures in the European Economic Area (EEA) that could benefit the independent label and distribution sector, including:

* In the UK, the rosters and catalogs of Parlophone (excluding the Beatles), Mute, Chrysalis (excluding the Robbie Williams catalog) and Ensign would be sold. This would include Pink Floydís catalog, and the recently concluded new deal with David Guetta, along with his catalog.

* EMI Classics and Virgin Classics.

* EMI's share of the NOW brand and compilation business.

* Sanctuary, Co-Op, and UMG Greece plus several European jazz labels.

At press time, however, IMPALA, the Assn. of Independent Music (AIM), and the digital-rights group Merlin continue to oppose the Universal-EMI deal.

A few weeks ago, Patrick Zelnik, founder and CEO of French independent label and distributor NaÔve and co-president of IMPALA, dropped a bombshell in an op-ed he wrote for the Financial Times in favor of the merger.

News quickly broke that Sir Richard Branson was keen in buying back his Virgin Music if it came on the market; partnering with Zelnick, who launched Virgin in France in 1980. In an ironic turn, Virgin may no longer be part of the divestiture deal.

Meanwhile, Mike Chadwick, managing dir. of London, UK--based Essential Music & Marketing, contacted the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee to clarify his stance on the proposed merger.

This came after Lucian Graingeís testimony in June to the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights that contained an allegedly selective quote from an interview Chadwick gave to the British music trade Music Week earlier this year.

"Mr. Grainge suggested that I believed the proposed merger was a positive step for the business,Ē wrote Chadwick to the Senate Subcommittee. ďIn fact, my interview offered a view in which I questioned whether the merger would be good for the music business.

"To clarify further, my company is a sales, distribution and services company and tends not to compete on label or artist signings with Universal or EMI, however I nevertheless believe that the concentration of market power that would result from the merger would be a negative step for the industry and for independents.

"My considered view is the increase in market share and market power of the merged company would give it too much leverage with important gatekeepers such as radio, TV, music magazines and other media, as well as across retail.

"Therefore, although the transaction could free up certain artists, given Universal's enhanced market power, those artists would have significant difficulty in accessing media and commercial outlets on level terms. A merger would also enhance Universal's ability to abuse its dominant position in the emerging digital market and this would be certain to disadvantage independents in their ability to compete across the world."

Chadwick started out in the music industry in 1976 as a sales assistant at the Bristol record store Revolver Records. He became a joint owner of Revolver Distribution in 1981, and then purchased the company in 1989.

In 1990, Chadwick and Jeff Barrett, co-founded Heavenly Records signing Saint Etienne, Flowered Up, East Village, and Manic Street Preachers.

In 1993, Revolver and Play It Again Sam, owned by APT, merged to create Vital Distribution with Chadwick as managing director.

In 2003, Chadwick launched Essential Music & Marketing with Martin Goldschmidt, owner of Cooking Vinyl Records.

Today, the Cooking Vinyl group of companies is comprised of: Cooking Vinyl Records, Essential Music & Marketing, and Cooking Vinyl Music Publishing.

In Jan., 2012, the UK firm opened CV America in New York as a full-service company offering North American labels strategic global marketing, and distribution services, and offering creative marketing services in North America to labels from all round the world.

Initially founded to offer all-in-one marketing and distribution services to independent labels seeking to release across the UK and Europe, Essential has grown steadily into a powerful distribution force throughout Europe.

Its label roster includes Cooking Vinyl, Arts & Crafts, Stoneís Throw, R&S Records, Shout! Factory, Surrender All, Cheap Thrills, Fat Possum, Megaforce, Vagrant, and others.

In 2012, Essential has had a clutch of major artist and label signings including: the Blue Nileís Paul Buchanan; No Sleep Records for European distribution; Fierce Panda Records for the UK and Eire; a deal handling physical distribution across Europe for digital aggregator, The Orchard; and providing label services across Europe for Betty Wright, and DragonForce; and providing European distribution for the Lojinx imprint.

Were you surprised that Lucian Grainge mentioned you in his testimony to the U.S. Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights?

I was flabbergasted. I really was. The article that was it taken fromÖI mean the comment was taken slightly out of context.

Slightly out of context?

I am being kind here. But the weird thing is the way that the independents have now broken ranks. Last week, Music Weekís front cover was ďIndies Torn Over Universal-EMI OfferĒ And there were two pages of comments from various people in the independent business.

For the first time in the UMG-EMI merger process, disunity is being seen among the European and UK independents who had seemed to be in lockstep in their views against the deal.

The majority of the IMPALA board has voted in favor of Universal-EMI providing that divestments are sufficient.

Patrick Zelnik and others argue that any divestments shouldnít fall in the hands of the other majors or private equity funds.

Itís better for everyone if the divestments fall to the independent sector than to investment funds, VCTs (Venture Capital Trusts) or to Warners. Obviously, Warners could pick up some of this stuff as well.

Itís an interesting situation.

I knew that you were going to ask me about this. I have thought about it for a long time. Is the world better off with four majors? Is it better to have Universal, EMI, Warners and Sony BMG? Probably yes. The status quo has been maintained for a few years now. Everybodyís market share is reasonable. The independents are flourishing under that system at the moment. I think, generally, that the independent sector is very, very strong.

We all know that if the Universal-EMI deal happens then Warners are sort of out of the running. They are the small fry. They are half the size of Sony and half the size of Universal. So what will happen? Sony will gobble up Warners, I guess. Then youíd have two majors.

Increased concentration of ownership could hinder the Independent label community in terms of achieving economic parity and market access. In truth, however, the majors have always had a lock hold on the marketplace.

Absolutely. But the independents have carved out a sizable chunk now. In the UK, we are looking at about 25% (of the music marketplace) now which is substantial (for the independents). Is it scary for one company (Universal) to have more than 40% of the market share? Probably.

Not just market share, but being in a position to influence the commercial terms of doing business.

Commercial terms, absolutely. Apparently, Lucian said that they will come to an agreement where they wouldn't pursue MFN (most favored nation) status at the expense of Indies.

Nevertheless, Merlin, AIM, and IMPALA have had to fight every step of the way for the indies against the majors in recent years.

I totally agree. Look, without AIM, without Merlin and without IMPALA, the indies would be nowhere in this. Nobody would care anything about our opinion. The fact that we have got this really strong international trade body, IMPALA, is fantastic for the independents. It is a very, very powerful voice for us. Itís very unfortunate that it has split, that we are no longer talking with one voice. It weakens us. It weakens us at every level in these negotiations. But Iím still not convinced that Universal divesting large amounts of content is good for us. Iím not 100% convinced of it. Iím not sure where I am on this at all, really. I would much rather maintain the status quo, I think if we can.

IMPALA also opposed acquisition of EMI's publishing business noting that while the market share of a post-merger Sony/ATV-EMI would be less than Universal's share, it would be the biggest in the music publishing.

Yes. But thatís gone through (at the EC) anyway hasnít it?

A big disappointment?

To be honest Iím not that au fait--not up to speed--on the publishing side of things. (That EC decision) just seemed to come very quickly and quietly. In one minute, it was being talked about, and then it was being done. What was discussed or what controls were there against it?

Whether these huge amalgamations or mergers are good for the music industry is questionable but they can be really good for the indie labels and distributors. Unhappy artists will likely gravitate toward companies like you.

Yeah, low hanging fruit just pops into our garden. Absolutely. The fallout if it goes through, regardless of what the divestments are, the fallout is going to be very, very interesting from what crosses markets, and what is available to the indies. The trouble is that all of these things cost money. When you take artists from the majors, thereís always (discussion) of advances and things like that. As long as thereís enough money around, great. Then fantastic. Iím sure there will be opportunities; an opportunity for us as a distributor, and an opportunity for Cooking Vinyl the label as well.

Essential does not generally pay big advances.

Thatís true. We have done well with some of the (ex-major label) artists. We did the last Duran Duran album over here. That did very, very well. We did the last Faithless record over here. We do work quite a lot with managers and artists directly that have been dropped by majors in the past. Itís a growing part of the business for us.

With their own labels, artists receive a greater share of revenue than with being with a major.

Absolutely. They can get a lot better payment and they have complete control. Control all the way from the manufacturing process right through to the marketing spend. Itís their money so they have much more interest in what is being spent and what the return is.

The last ďopportunityĒ you had like this to so quickly expand business was when Pinnacle Entertainment went bust in 2008. At least 400 labels worldwide were affected.

Good ole Pinnacle. Yes, indeed. It was a huge thing. I spent most of my career with Pinnacle being the major main opponent. When I ran Vital in the Ď90s, we were #2 to Pinnacle. Someone said we were #1, and Pinnacle was #2. Whatever. It was our main competitor. When I started Essential, Cooking Vinyl--a partner--was distributed by Pinnacle. And that was fine. I had an awful lot of respect for Steve Mason (Windsong Exports' founder who bought the Pinnacle Distribution in 1984, and turned it into the UK's leading music distributor). Total respect for Steve Mason. And, it was a real shock when that company went bust.

Interestingly, when that company went bust, I had four staff, and now I have 20 staff. Do I attribute that to Pinnacle going down? Yes, of course I do. It did me a big favor. It took a competitor out of the market. It put some staff on the market that I wanted, and it put labels in the market. And there was an opportunity that we could grasp, and grow this company from.

[The closure of Pinnacleóthe distributor for some 400 labels including Rough Trade, One Little Indian and Dramaticoówas catastrophic. Pinnacle's bankruptcy followed a number of woes in Britain's music retail sector with Woolworths and Zavvi going down. This is after Music Zone, Fopp and MVC going bankrupt a year earlier, along with a number of independent stores.]

A lesson there for you?

Itís interesting with Pinnacle because we had our own warehouse with Vital. We shipped out a lot of records from that warehouse. I thought that it was very cost-effective. When I left Vital, the warehouse was taken out, and they did a logistics deal with (wholesaler) Terry Blood. I now realize that the model without the warehouse is the right model. Itís an overhead that you can do without. A headache we can do without. I think that at the end of the day that Pinnacleís downfall was definitely the warehouse. It was a major weakness for them.

[In 2011, Essential Music & Marketing moved its physical distribution to Gem Logistics, a leader in video game and DVD distribution, parting ways with the Warner-owned Alternative Distribution Alliance, and their logistics partner Cinram.]

Vital shipped almost four million Oasis records from its tiny warehouse in conjunction with 3MV, who handled sales.

We did indeed ship four million Oasis records. We were very lucky. Vital thrived in that whole Britpop scene. We caught that wave. We worked with Oasis, Elastica and all of these amazingly good-selling records at the time. I still look back on those days when we had this relatively small warehouse. It wasnít a big place. We had to take on a second overflow warehouse. We did ship all of those records over a period from these relatively small units in Bristol. It was amazing. I look back and I think, ďWow. Thatís incredible.Ē It seems unreal now.

Pinnacleís bankruptcy greatly benefited Essential as well as PIAS U.K.--the company you hate to name in interviews.

(Laughing). I will name them. My friends at PIAS. I donít know if we were the main beneficiaries. We did well. RED/Sony did well out of it. I think that Proper (Proper Music Distribution) did quite well. The other independent distributors picked up interesting pieces. I like to think though that Essential is now the really serious #2 (distributor) in the market over here. I think we are showing lot of people that we can really deliver and that we provide a really great service. Iím really proud of what we are doing here.

There seem to be so many opportunities available to you right now.

There are. The thing is having Cooking Vinyl as an in-house label helps us a lot in terms of profile because Cooking Vinyl has been a bit of a hit machine this year. So we are constantly papering the charts in the UK which raises our profile enormously, and attracts business which is great. Essential is 10 years old now. We have been around long enough as well for being known as a good alternative distributor. So when people are doing the rounds they will come and see us as well as going to see PIAS, Republic of Music or Co-op. We are on the calling list. Once we get a chance to talk to people and tell them about the services we are offering in the deals etc. we have a very good chance of bringing in the business. Overall, we are a very attractive proposition for people.

Your mate Phil Hopwood has been hired to strengthen Cooking Vinylís rock and metal roster.

We go back to Revolver days. The rock scenario we really havenít looked at very much in the past but with Phil coming on board I have a couple of label managers here who are rock-oriented. My sales managerís favorite band is Black Sabbath, and his favorite person in the world is Ozzy Osbourne. We are really well geared up to work metal and rock labels. It is an area that we are really focusing on now and hoping to develop as well. We now have Razor & Tie. We just signed the American label Xumerian who are on the younger end of that market. Everybody is excited about that. They have a band called Asking Alexandria.

[Phil Hopwood most recently worked for EMIís merchandising business, and previously spent a decade as a freelance label manager and record industry consultant.]

You should hear some of the music that we play in the office. You would be surprised. Everything. There was even a little bit of classical music being played the other day which surprised me. Some of the people are into (Karlheinz) Stockhausen and John Cage. Coming in the morning at nine oíclock, and its Stockhausen playing. ďOh my God.Ē

Essential is also aggressively working on building its digital business.

We are concentrating on the digital side of the business-- developing and growing it. Some guys want to be the last guys standing in the physical world. They are welcome to it, honestly. Itís not the future. The future of the music industry is digital. Thereís no doubt about it--whether itís streaming or downloads. Yes, thereís a vinyl resurgence, but itís a tiny portion of the market.

Weíve had a decade of digital music but in many countries physical music sales are still 30% to 40% of overall music sales.

We arenít quite there in the UK yet, and Europe is a bit further behind still. We are still seeing 60%, 70% or 80% physical on some releases, and on some releases 60% digital. Itís not consistent. Itís still easy to buy records (in the UK). One of the saddest things for me is when Iím in New York, and thereís nothing. You have J&R down by the Brooklyn Bridge, which is a great store; but itís not a real record shop. You walk past 4th and Broadway, which was a good Tower Records. Itís just so sad. I used to enjoy going into the Virgin store in Times Square. There are a few decent stores in the Village--second hand or whatever. It really is very very sad.

You have indicated that music retailers being on the High Street may be impractical due to the fact they work with low value goods.

Absolutely. I go back to buying records in the Ď60s. There were chains in those days. Our Price was around. There was a chain called Music Land. There werenít any big High Street stores. We then had it over here with Virgin, Tower, and with HMV taking on these huge High Street sites. You just wonder, in terms of the value per square footage of sales, how they maintain those. It doesnít seem sustainable to me to have these huge buildings dedicated to music. Okay, thereís a lot more electronic stuff being sold these days, as well as DVDs, but even so in terms of that square footage and the rent that they are paying for it, and the rate, it doesnít seem to quite add up. To me the sole indie store on the side street is a more viable option.

Which is where many of us first purchased music decades ago.

Exactly. My local store in the Ď60sóOkay, Iím 59óso I started buying records in í68 and í69. My local shop was a record store in Harrow, behind a green grocer. This guy had a nice little indie store. His father owned a grocery store, and he had a record store in the back.

In the UK, non-music chains like WH Smith and Woolworths also had record bins. There were records everywhere years ago.

Woolworths used to be a gold mine for cut-outs--deletions. I remember going to my local Woolworths when I was in university, and there were racks full of great psychedelic records. UK psych albums 50 p (pence) each or whatever. Records that are worth hundreds of pounds now. Even a department store (chain) like Debenhams used to have record racks and would have deletions as well. Just the excitement of going to stores and seeing these amazing records that you could pick up dirt cheap. It is such a shame that things like that have gone now. Where do you go for that kind of buzz?

There used to be a shop in London, I canít remember where it used to be now, but they specialized in American cut-outs. You could get records like ďFriar Tuck & His Psychedelic GuitarĒ (on Mercury Records in 1967, featuring L.A. producer/composer Curt Boettcher, one of the principal architects of the sunshine pop sound of the mid-'60s), and stuff like that for maybe 40 or 50 p. It was like, ďwow.Ē You just looked at these things. I remember Country Joe and the Fish albums in those bins. All sorts of great records. That thrill has really gone now. It has been lost completely.

Itís far more difficult today for young teens to discover and purchase new music. Itís expensive andÖ

Itís expensive. And how do you find out what you really like? Is it your peer group? Is it what your friends are listening to? In the Ď60s, we had great radio. We had John Peel on the (UK) radio, and stuff like that. We had pirate radio in the UK. That helped you define your tastes. Plus peer groups at school. The new Captain Beefheart album came out and certain people in the know had it. Youíd listen to it and go, ďOh, this is greatĒ or whatever.

There were also weekly British music tabloids like Sounds, NME, and Melody Maker as well as the music monthlies, ZigZag, and Let It Rock!

Yeah. Itís such a different landscape now. Does streaming cover that gap? I donít think so. Not really.

In the UK, streaming music is £10 while Netflix is £6 for films. A bit expensive for music fans?

Yeah, £9.99 for streaming, and Netflix is £5.99. Itís not a really fair comparison. Spotify is virtually everything that you can think of. Netflix here has got a much more restrictive repertoire. The selection of film and TV programs isnít quite as all encompassing as Spotify for music. For instance, this week we had the new album out in the UK by Plan B. So, I liked the last album; I want to listen to the new Plan B album before I go out and buy it. On Spotify, I can listen to it and I can make my decision to whether I want to buy it or not. With Netflix, if I want to see a new film, Iím not going to see it on Netflix for quite a long time. So itís not totally a fair comparison. But £9.99 is too expensive, you are right. Definitely.

My daughter now buys vinyl. For a long time she wouldnít purchase much music. Her argument was that she couldnít get what she wanted at a music store.

Thatís a fair comment. Iím trying to think when was the last time I went into a really great record shop? That had everything that I wanted. The answer is probably October 2009. The last time that I was in Los Angeles and I went to Amoeba. Iím back in L.A. in September. One of the things that I will be doing is going to Amoeba, because itís a real record shop. Itís a great record shop.

One reason Amoeba is a great record shop is that it has knowledgeable music staff.

Absolutely. Even Iím a little intimidated these days going to an HMV and asking for something. The staff are very, very young. I donít think they are specialist music staff. Iíd rather just look through the racks and if I find what Iím looking for, great; if I canít, I will walk out and get it on Amazon or somewhere else instead.

At my age, I often surprise staff with my purchases at some music stores.

I get the same vibe as well in certain record stores. The kind of hipper than thou record stores that I go into sometimes. Iím picking up some weird electronica record, and they are looking at me like, ďDo you really know what you are buying?Ē Like I canít tell what Iím buying? ďI totally know what I am buying?Ē Itís the age (difference) isnít it?

If HMV departs from the High Street in the UK, a lot of people arenít going to go into those small stores on the side streets.

No. So what happens if you want to buy records? You go online? You buy a record online or you go to iTunes, and you download it?

Essential has opened CV America in New York as a full service company headed up by Erik Gilbert.

The U.S. office is there to manage relationships with U.S.-based labels that we are working with; to sign U.S. labels for Europe; and to exploit opportunities for UK-based labels that we work with. Itís biased toward Essential. The idea really is to enhance our business in Europe. Thatís the main rationale behind opening it.

[CV America CEO Erik Gilbert was previously in charge of label acquisition and client strategy at the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). Previously, he founded, built, and managed the successful independent labels Asphodel and 75 Ark.]

CV America is not trying to replicate what you do in the UK where you are a full service company, inclusive of sales, marketing, digital distribution and all the rest. There are established companies in America doing that well. So CV America is pointedly not a distribution company.

We are distribution agnostic (there). It can run projects for UK and European labels. It can help place European labels with distributors. We can do digital sales from our office. We can work with the local distributors but it is not a distribution company per se. Itís really there to enhance our business here.

Obviously, Essential is evolving in order to service different sectors of the entertainment industry.

We are currently trying to decide where we should be in three years time. We are pretty sure that in three years that we will be more veering toward being a digital company which has a physical option as well. Physical will still be part of the market. It might be 20% or 30% or whatever. It will be an important part of the market but the emphasis will be on digital and on marketing. The company will look differently than what it looks now.

Publishing, marketing, owning masters and other opportunities are now available to music distributors.

Essential is part of the Cooking Vinyl Group of companies. Weíve got Essential which is sales and marketing and distribution; Cooking Vinyl which is the record company; and we have Cooking Vinyl Publishing. We are concentrating on those three aspects of the business.

CV America will operate as a music publisher as well?

Yes, we are opening up a publishing unit in America as well. Erik will be running it for us over there. Publishing is definitely a business for the future. Itís business for now as well, but you can see the value of publishing going right through whatever happens in the physical market; whatever ever happens in the digital market, the publishing business is still there. We see it as being very, very important.

The majors moved into independent distribution to gain further market share but, with few exceptions, they havenít been as successful. Being a major is a different kind of mentality?

Absolutely. And they did the same thing in the Ď90s with those surrogate type of labels as well. All of the major labels then had independent labels going through either Vital or Pinnacle.

Why doesnít it work? Because they are major labels.

Look, all of the great indies have been run by entrepreneurs. They started their own businesses, and they developed their own businesses; and grown their own businesses. I am sure, CBSóquite an archaic name now--Decca and EMI in the early 20th century were entrepreneurial as well, but after 100 years of being run by a succession of managers, the entrepreneurial spirit has gone. I donít understand why people at majors think that they can run independents from that mind-set. I donít understand it. Everybody I know in the independent scene that is doing well comes from that entrepreneurial spirit and have grown their own businesses and developed their businesses.

And the indies are used to grinding it out in the marketplace.

Used to grinding it out. Absolutely. We have been through the bad times as well as the good times.

If a major sells a couple of thousand units, they might dump the act while indies dance on tables with those sales numbers.

The whole scale of what we do is different from the majors. If you have an artist that is doing a quarter of a million units, and itís not good enough for you, we will gladly have it. Itís worth pointing out that the successful (distribution) models in the UK all come back to Rough Trade. Rough Trade in the late Ď70s and early Ď80s with (the independent distribution network) The Cartel. That was the successful model that I certainly built my business on and I think that PIAS has built their business on. And (hats off) to Geoff Travis, and Rough Trade. They were pioneers in this kind of model.

Revolver Distribution was part of The Cartel.

We were part of The Cartel. It took us a long time to come out of that. We were in the shadow of Rough Trade for a long time, and Bristol wasnít the biggest hot bed of musical talent. So, we had to look beyond Bristol all of the time for new signings. With Rough Trade being in London, and there was Red Rhino in York, they had more talent centers than us. We had some great music in Bristol though.

What first took you to Bristol?

I started out in the (Revolver) record shop. I went to Bristol because my girlfriend at University came from Bristol and even though we split up before university ended, I had a lot of friends down there. So I went down to Bristol. It was great. I pulled my family up there and I spent a very happy 20 years in Bristol.

How did you become interested in distribution?

I started in retail and I think that the fact that we were chosen by Rough Trade to be The Cartel member for the south-west (of England) and it sparked the interest in distribution. It wasnít anything beyond that. If Rough Trade never said to us, ďDo distribution,Ē I could still be working in a record store thinking, ďCan we sell enough records to pay the bills?"

You ended up buying Revolver.

Yeah, I ended up buying Revolver with Lloyd Harris who also worked in the shop. He had actually started the distribution part at the back of the shop, originally. (The purchase) was encouraged by Rough Trade. They were quite Machiavellian at the time. We bought out the owner on Rough Tradeís recommendation. Lloyd and I soldiered on for six or seven years, and then I bought out Lloyd in 1989.

Revolver morphed into Vital Distribution?

We left Rough Trade because as a Cartel company it was hard to develop to the next level, The Cartel was Rough Tradeís distribution network. So, I set up one of the very first sales and marketing companies and took the distribution to Pinnacle Ė we did sales, and Pinnacle did the physical distribution for us. It was one of the first bolt-ons, basically. Then, Rough Trade went bust, so it was good timing. We did two years of Revolver as a bolt on to Pinnacle. Then I started talking to APT, the company that came out of the ashes of Red Rhino that was owned by Play It Again Sam. We decided to merge the two companies. In 1993 we launched Revolver/APT. In í94, we changed the name to Vital Distribution.

[A bolt-on is a term used to define a distribution company that uses another companyís warehouse facilities for distribution.]

You and Jeff Barrett co-founded Heavenly Records that signed Saint Etienne, Flowered Up, and Manic Street Preachers.

Not one of my happier memories really. It was expensive. You know when you are good at certain things, and not good at other things. I was good running a distribution company. I donít think that I was very good at running a record company. I didnít have the kind of knowledge to do it at the time. Jeff was a great A&R person, but the business side of it didnít really work. After six or seven releases we bailed out, and Jeff went with Creation (Records).

A great thing about distribution is that you generally donít deal with artists directly. You deal in finished goods.

You are dealing with finished goods, yeah. And labels are slightly easier to deal with sometimes than artists. Itís a different world totally. The distributor has different problems in terms of ďI canít get a record into a storeĒ; not getting paid, blah blah blah. I wouldnít want those headaches of being a label.

Were you a music fan growing up?

Totally. I used to work in a record shop after school from when I was 16 onwards. After school, I spent two hours working in a record shop. Iíd work in a record shop during school holidays. I managed to score a job in a record store before I went to university. When I was in university, I kept in touch with the guy who owned the record shop, and I used to sell records to students. I had some kind of mail-order thing going on. I have always been obsessed with music.

What part of London did you grow up in?

I was born in Finsbury Park but when I was 11 we moved to Harrow. Most of my formative years were spent in Harrow, and the record shop that I worked in was in Harrow. All I ever wanted to do was to work in a record shop. That was my ambition. My parents thought I was mad.

Where did you go to university?

The University of (Central) Lancashire up north (in Preston, Lancashire), taking sociology. Did I ever use it (the degree)? Nope.

Whatís the first record you ever bought?

ďFresh CreamĒ (by Cream on Reaction Records in 1966). I was very proud that I had just bought a blues album. ďHey look, I brought a blues album.Ē Yeah, it was a blues album of sorts, I guess. When I was at university, you either had West Coast acid rock or you had (progressive rock with) Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator. I was the former not the latter.

Two different music scenes represented for sure.

Itís interesting because for me music was always in part about being something. In the late Ď60s, I was a bit late for (Flower) Power and the hippies. My musical interests and tastes were very much (American) west coast, San Francisco and L.A. That was the music that I listened to. Then in the Ď70s, we had punk. And in the Ď80s, we had the whole new kind of new Summer of Love. Thatís what dictated what you listened to because of the tribe that you were part of. Thatís completely different now isnít it? I donít know how people will identify music in the future. Itís much harder.

Today, do you have much music at home?

Unfortunately, I have recycled my collection many times over the years. Iíve got quite a lot of CDs. Iíve sold my vinyl collection four times. I used to have an amazing reggae collection because I was into reggae in the Ď70s. During the punk thing in the Ď70s, I was a reggae DJ in Bristol. We used to play with all of the punk bands.

But thatís all gone.

I look at racks and racks of CDs and think, ďWhenever am I ever going to play these?Ē Thereís just so much music. I have a lot of music digitized now, and itís all the same (to me). Playing music off a hard drive isnít the same. Even putting a CD into a player is some kind of tactile physical experience. I canít read the (CD) booklets anymore because the print is so small, but putting a CD into a player still connects you to the music somehow. But maybe thatís because Iím an old baby boomer. I donít know.

You are 59, and still a hoarder of music.

I try to stop hoarding, but I still have racks and racks of CDs. I look at them and I think, ďI can never sell this stuff. There are CDs, and there are CDs. There are a lot of great reissue labels around like Light In The Attic Records. Their packaging is amazing; their booklets are really informative. And thereís Bear Family. Thereís some really great product there. Compare that with a CD in a jewel case, you just may as well digitize it, and put it on a hard drive.

How many iPods do you have?

Iíve got two. I have got 160 GB classic, and an iPod Touch as well. I got iTunes Max so everything on my computer at work is from my collection up in the cloud. My whole digital collection is up in the cloud. Sometimes at the office, I will shut the door, stick on some really weird Ď60s record just for the hell of it, and just really enjoy it. I listen to more music in the office now thanks to iTunes Max.

Overlooked with all of the Universal-EMI news is that the European Union recently adopted a directive to extend copyright term for sound recordings to 70 years from 50 years. A victory for labels who would have soon faced some very popular recordings passing into the public domain?

Absolutely. Thereís so much music stuff in PD now. The local record store has vast racks full of PD jazz stuff. Thereís great classic jazz music which is now available very, very cheaply in box sets. All public domain. Probably of reasonably good quality from labels Iíve never heard of.

This year, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is expected to request the deletion of more than 12 million internet files. Piracy remains a huge problem in the UK?

Yeah, I think that it is. You can do a search for some obscure reggae album on Google and you will see all kinds of illegal files coming up. Piracy is still a big problem.

Piracy is rampant with indie music product because ownership isnít always clear.

There are huge amounts of great reggae records that you canít get legitimately. On that level are the pirates doing us a favor by making unobtainable music obtainable? Maybe on that basis they are doing us a service. But when itís a new release of an artist on a record label who is being ripped off because they arenít getting any royalties (from the illegal download) then I donít think thatís acceptable at all.

With the millions of people in London for the Olympics from July 27th to August 12th do you expect a sales surge for independent music?

Not really, no. The Olympics could be great for the British economy. Could be. In terms of the sales surge for the independent music that we do? Maybe, if we are lucky. But who knows? But, I hope that the economy will benefit overall, which is good for us anyway. But I donít see a direct influence.

The Olympics have caused considerable disruptions to Londoners.

I donít want to be unpatriotic because itís great for London. Itís great for Britain. It might have been better to have it in Manchester, or Birmingham, or somewhere else. ĎCuz itís very disruptive (in London). Itís the capital of the country. Itís affecting public transport. Itís affecting the roads. People canít get to work who need to go to work. London doesnít need recognition. London is a world-class city. So maybe Birmingham or Manchester or other big cities up north could have more benefited from this profile.

Clubs in London are probably doing well.

I guess the live entertainment scene is pretty good. I very rarely go to clubs these days. Itís been too hot, and it is not pleasant. It is very hot and stuffy. It gets very humid, and smelly. Go to a club at night at the moment? I would rather sit in the garden (in Ealing), and have a glass of wine.

Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book ďMusic From Far And Wide.Ē


Industry Profile Archives:
Mick The DJ, DJ/Enterpeneur 04/30/15
Jeremy Lascelles & Robin Millar, Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group 12/01/17
Joanne Abbot Green, CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival 10/17/08
Lee Abrams, XM Satellite Radio 11/28/03
John Acquaviva, Fund Manager, DJ and Serial Entrepreneur 07/09/15
Jay Boy Adams, Roadhouse Transportation 05/04/07
Jamie Adler, Adler Entertainment Group 05/11/07
Gary Adler, National Association of Ticket Brokers 12/04/13
Rodney Afshari, Freeze Artist Management 03/01/02
JC Ahn, VU Entertainment 04/10/13
Steve Alaimo, Vision Records & Audio Vision Studios 05/26/06
Jaye Albright, Albright & O'Malley Consulting 07/19/10
Randy Alexander, Randex Communications 10/12/07
David Alexander, Sheer Publishing 07/21/16
Eva Alexiou-Reo, FATA Booking Agency 05/14/15
Marcie Allen, Mad Booking 12/14/00
Jeff Allen, Universal Attractions 08/16/02
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents 06/05/09
Marcie Allen Cardwell, MAC Presents 12/21/07
David Allgood, Bama Theatre 01/03/11
Patrick Allocco, AllGood Concerts 10/05/07
Michele Amar, French Embassy 05/26/16
Mike Amato, Rok Tours International 02/02/07
Jeff Apregan, Apregan Entertainment Group/Venue Coalition 09/30/15
Billy Atwell, AMP Studios 12/13/07
Bob Babisch, Milwaukee World Festivals Inc. 04/02/15
Tom Baggot, 05/02/03
Stephen Bailey, EPACC & Deleware Center For The Arts 02/06/04
Cary Baker, Conqueroo 05/11/11
Vince Bannon, Getty Images 07/05/11
Phil Barber, Barber & Associates 02/04/01
Camille Barbone, WineDark Records 12/09/05
Erin Barra, Musician/Producer/Educator 07/10/14
Ben Baruch, The Fox Theatre 09/27/08
Ben Baruch, By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess) 04/05/17
Paul Bassman, Ascend Insurance Brokerage 08/03/16
Adam Bauer, Fleming, Tamulevich & Associates 02/15/02
Ed Bazel, That's Entertainment International 10/05/01
Joachim Becker, ZOHO Music L.L.C. 01/12/07
Howard Becker, Comet Technologies 05/02/11
Mark Bego, Author 06/15/07
Jim Beloff, Flea Market Music 09/20/10
Richard Bengloff, The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) 09/12/13
Seth Berg, South Bay Music 01/30/09
Aimee Berger, 2 Generations SPA Music Management 09/24/04
David Berger, Future Beat 10/29/14
Barry Bergman, Music Managers Forum 03/14/03
Steve Bernstein, Relix LLC 09/30/05
Mark Berry, Attack Media Group 04/07/07
Scott Billington, Rounder Records 01/17/12
Jeffrey Bischoff, Cinder Block 03/24/06
Sat Bisla, A&R Worldwide/ Musexpo 03/29/10
Nina Blackwood, Sirius Satellite Radio 07/14/06
Adam Block, Legacy Recordings 11/07/13
P.J. Bloom, Neophonic, Inc. 01/24/11
Rishon Blumberg, Brick Wall Management 06/27/03
Justin Bolognino, Learned Evolution, and The Meta Agency 04/25/13
Steve "Chopper" Borges, Total Pro and Borse Techos 03/03/06
Les Borsai, Mediocre Management 01/30/04
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation Canada 03/21/08
Jeff Bowen, Sears Centre Arena 03/13/08
Rick Bowen, Mystic Music Experience 07/11/08
John Boyle, Sanctuary Music Group 03/19/04
Jeff & Todd Brabec, Writers/Attorneys 01/03/12
Bill Bragin, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 08/08/03
Joel Brandes, Avenue Management Group 11/02/08
Joe Brandmeier, Moving Pictures 03/15/02
Scooter Braun, SB Projects 12/13/10
Ron Brice, 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill 06/08/16
Billy Brill, Billy Alan Productions 11/11/05
Doug Brown, Talent Buyers Network 09/21/01
James Browne, Sweet Rhythm 11/01/02
Bob Brumley, Brumley Music Company 02/17/16
Tony Brummel, Victory Records 05/17/09
Charlie Brusco, TBA Entertainment Corporation 10/13/01
Del Bryant, BMI 05/18/07
Cortez Bryant, Bryant Management 12/06/10
Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Management 07/13/17
Bruce Burch, University of Georgia Music Business Program 10/09/09
Deborah Burda, Kentucky Exposition Center 08/03/07
Patti Burgart, IEBA 06/07/02
Jordan Burger, The New Musiquarium 01/22/01
Ron Burman, Roadrunner Records 08/25/06
Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore 05/19/06
Karen Cadle, KGC Productions 03/12/04
Gary Calamar, KCRW 07/10/09
Charles Caldas, Merlin 07/05/10
Brian Camelio, ArtistShare 02/29/08
David Campbell, AEG Europe 08/02/10
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Entertainment Group 10/20/00
Tom Cantone, Foxwoods Resort Casino 07/03/03
Tom Cantone, Mohegan Sun 08/30/09
Ashley Capps, A. C. Entertainment 05/21/04
Rio Caraeff, Vevo 07/12/11
Mike Carden, Eagle Rock Entertainment 08/16/11
Charles Carlini, Carlini Group 05/16/08
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 05/27/05
Mark Carpentieri, M.C. Records 01/10/11
Troy Carter, Coalition Media Group 06/07/10
Daniel Catullo, Coming Home Studios 06/22/08
Raffi Cavoukian, Folk Singer/Children's Entertainer 05/11/16
Jeffrey Chabon, Chabon Entertainment Group 08/22/02
Mike Chadwick, Essential Music & Marketing 08/01/12
Rob Challice, Coda Music Agency 03/27/13
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 01/11/02
Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts 10/04/11
Lisa Cherniak, Artists Against Racism (AAR) 07/20/01
Bob Chiappardi, Concrete Marketing 06/13/03
Joel Chriss, Chriss & Co. 10/04/02
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment 09/14/01
Michael Chugg, Chugg Enterprises 10/02/09
Gary Churgin, Harry Fox Agency 09/13/10
Vinny Cinquemani, S.L. Feldman & Associates 12/13/12
Barry Coburn, Ten Ten Music Group 03/28/11
Matthew Cohen, Green Room Productions 10/19/01
Ted Cohen, TAG Strategic 01/10/13
Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation 02/10/06
Steve Cohen, Music + Art Management, Inc. 03/09/07
Dan Cohen, Music & Memory 01/12/17
Michael Cohl - Part 1, S2BN Entertainment 03/06/13
Michael Cohl - Part 2, S2BN Entertainment 03/13/13
Bryan Coleman, Union Entertainment Group 02/14/12
Mamie Coleman, Fox Broadcasting 07/05/12
Dennis Condon, Disneyland Resorts 07/13/01
Peter Conlon, Peter Conlon Presents 05/20/05
Tony Conway, Buddy Lee Attractions 10/06/00
Allen Cook, TOURtech 04/16/15
Tomas Cookman, Cookman International 09/05/03
Alex Cooley, Alex Cooley Presents 07/12/10
David Cooper, 10/31/03
Jay Cooper, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 05/23/11
Julie Coulter, Near North Insurance Groups 06/07/01
Amy Cox, Deep South Entertainment 02/09/07
Michael O. Crain, Crain Law Group, LLC 10/09/13
Charlie Cran, The Strawberry Music Festival 04/05/10
Jim Cressman, Invictus Entertainment Group 06/06/12
Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch, Inc. 07/23/15
Todd Culberhouse, Vision Management /Vision Records and Entertainment 09/05/08
Tony D'Amelio, Washington Speakers Bureau 04/21/06
Ruth Daniel, In Place of War 08/09/17
Ray Danniels, Standing Room Only Management, and the Anthem Entertainment Group 03/05/15
Ken Dashow, WAXQ-FM (l04.3 FM) - New York 09/08/06
Hal David, Lyricist 07/26/11
David Davidian, Independant Lighting Designer/Director 06/18/04
Anthony Davis, D&L Entertainment Services, Inc. 03/02/01
Chip Davis, American Gramaphone/Mannheim Steamroller 05/31/02
Mitch Davis, Tempest Entertainment 07/16/04
Jeff Dawson, Canadian Recording Services 06/08/08
Desiree Day, USO Celebrity Entertainment 08/10/01
Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter Records/Six Shooter Management 10/23/13
Gene DeAnna, The Library of Congress 02/21/12
Vincent Degiorgio, Chapter 2 Productions 08/01/13
Tony DeLauro, DeLauro Management 12/23/04
Valerie Denn, Val Denn Agency 04/30/01
Val Denn, Val Denn Agency 03/06/14
Robert DePugh, Alligator Records 07/29/05
Tom Derr, Rock Ridge Music 10/29/04
Paul Dexter, Masterworks Lighting Design and Road Cases 12/10/04
Marty Diamond, Paradigm 01/22/10
Glenn Dicker, Redeye Distribution/Yep Roc Records 07/07/06
Barry Dickins, International Talent Booking Agency 06/06/13
Jim Digby, Event Safety Alliance 09/01/16
Mark Dinerstein, The Knitting Factory 11/17/06
Neill Dixon, Canadian Music Week 03/03/16
Thomas Dolby, Musician, academic, technologist, and author 11/09/16
Jasper Donat, Music Matters 2009/Branded 04/24/09
Jim Donio, National Association of Recording Merchandisers 04/22/11
Marc Dottore, M. Dottore Management 04/11/03
Tim Drake, The Roots Agency 12/12/08
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics 11/23/11
Charles Driebe, Blind Ambition Management Ltd. 09/22/06
Jeremy Driesen, Ray Bloch Productions 09/07/01
Michael Drumm, Music Link Productions 07/18/08
Angie Dunn, Lucky Artist Booking 10/13/06
Jay Durgan, MEDIAmobz 11/09/11
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denver's Division of Theatres & Arenas 08/02/02
Erik Dyce, City and County of Denverís Division of Theatres and Arenas 08/23/10
Paolo díAlessandro, International Solutions 06/25/14
Ros Earls, 140dB Management 02/19/14
Art Edelstein, Festival Productions 12/01/02
Bruce Eisenberg, Audio Analysts 08/31/01
Martin Elbourne, The Glastonbury Festival 12/18/09
Michael Elder, Red Entertainment 03/17/06
Tod Elmore, Sixthman 11/24/06
Paul Emery, Clear Channel Entertainment 11/19/04
Arty Erk, Citrin Cooperman 04/27/16
Joe Escalante, Kung Fu Records 07/08/05
Colin Escott, Music Historian/Journalist 07/18/11
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 09/27/02
Ritch Esra, The Music Business Registry 04/24/12
Mike Esterman, Esterman Entertainment 09/01/06
Jeff Eyrich, BePop Records 11/25/05
Bob Ezrin, Bigger Picture Group 05/24/09
Lisa Fancher, Frontier Records 08/09/10
Rick Farman, Superfly Productions 10/15/04
Ray Farrell, eMusic 06/09/06
Sam Feldman, S.L. Feldman & Associates 10/25/02
Bob Feldman, Red House Records 11/24/02
Charlie Feldman, BMI 08/26/05
Paul Fenn, Asgard Promotions 11/22/09
Debra "Fergy" Ferguson, TourDesign 08/01/03
Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry 09/11/09
David Fishof, David Fishof Presents 01/08/01
David Fishof, Rock 'N Roll Fantasy 10/05/08
David Fishof, Rock íní Roll Fantasy Camp 02/28/12
Mike Flanagin, New England Country Music Festival 09/12/08
Joel Flatow, RIAA 12/13/11
Jim Fleming, Fleming Artists 03/20/10
Joe Fletcher, Joe Fletcher Presents 01/12/06
Jeff Fluhr, StubHub 10/06/06
Nancy Fly, The Nancy Fly Agency 04/02/04
Arthur Fogel, Live Nation 08/09/09
Martin Folkman, Independent Music Awards & Music Resource Group 08/11/06
Belle Forino, Fantasma Tours 03/18/05
Fletcher Foster, Universal Records South 07/31/09
Sam Foxman, Contemporary Productions 01/06/06
Todd Frank, 4Star Entertainment, LLC 01/24/03
Bob Frank, Koch Entertainment 01/09/09
Larry Frank, Frank Productions 01/17/11
Mike Fraser, Record Producer/Engineer 10/11/08
Carl Freed, Metropolitan Entertainment 06/22/01
Elizabeth Freund, Beautiful Day Media & Management 01/26/07
Harlan Frey, Roadrunner Records 07/11/03
Adam Friedman, Nederlander Concerts 06/22/07
Ted Gardner, Larrikin Management 04/25/03
Daniel Gťlinas, Festival díťtť de Quťbec 05/23/13
Marci Geller, Sonic Underground 08/15/08
Chris Gero, Yamaha Entertainment Group 10/26/16
Steve Gerstman, SGS 07/19/02
Sandra Gibson, The Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/09/04
Sandra L. Gibson, Association of Performing Arts Presenters 01/16/09
Steve Gietka, Trump Properties 07/30/01
Steve Gietka, SMG Entertainment 03/19/14
Darren Gilmore, Watchdog Management 03/17/16
Daniel Glass, Glassnote Entertainment Group 10/16/14
Jake Gold, The Management Trust 04/13/01
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 09/07/07
Harris Goldberg, Concert Ideas 06/27/11
Neil Goldberg, Cirque Productions 04/16/14
Martin Goldschmidt, Cooking Vinyl Group 09/29/16
Harvey Goldsmith, Harvey Goldsmith Productions 06/28/10
Michael Goldstein, RockPoP Gallery 11/09/07
Seth Goldstein, 09/20/11
Anna Paula Goncalves, CEO Global Brand Appeal 08/20/14
Arnie Goodman, Blue Storm Music 11/15/02
Wesley Goodman, Red Entertainment 09/16/05
Richard Goodstone, Superfly Productions 01/27/06
Christie Goodwin, Photographer 03/18/15
Rob Gordon, What Are Records? LTD 02/01/02
Steve Gordon, Entertainment Attorney 08/06/04
Yoav Goren, Immediate Music & Imperativa Records 06/10/14
Mike Gormley, L.A. Personal Development 11/10/06
Jonathan Gosselin, Gosselin Marketing & Promotions 07/02/04
Richard Gottehrer, The Orchard 04/10/09
Sean Goulding, The Agency Group London 09/12/12
Jerimaya Grabher, RPM Direct 09/26/03
Mary Granata, The Granata Agency 09/06/10
Kelly Graves, Providence Performing Arts Center/Professional Facilities Management 01/20/02
Stan Green, Stanley A. Green Lighting and Productions 12/12/03
Mark Green, Celebrity Talent Agency Inc. / Bergen Performing Arts Center 08/12/05
Jeffrey Green, Americana Music Association 03/10/06
Paul Green, The School of Rock 07/06/08
Benjy Grinberg, Rostrum Records 12/06/11
Brent Grulke, SXSW 03/06/09
Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group 10/29/15
Phil Guiliano, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. & OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/25/05
Steve Gumble, SBG Productions 06/16/06
Greg Hagglund, Vivelo! 05/07/04
Rodney Hall, FAME Music Group 11/06/09
Rob Hallett, Robomagic 02/05/15
Craig Hankenson, Producers, Inc 02/23/06
Kerry Hansen, Wynonna Incorporated 10/03/03
Eric Hanson, Ted Kurland Associates 12/20/02
Eric Hanson, Tree Lawn Artists 03/23/07
Rusty Harmon, MTM Music Management 12/06/07
Ali Harnell, Clear Channel Entertainment Nashville 08/15/03
Bob Harris, 02/06/09
Evan Harrison, Huka Entertainment 12/08/16
David Hart, The Agency Group 02/20/04
Laura Hassler, Musicians without Borders 12/02/15
Abe Hathot, Musician, composer, and music producer. 12/21/16
Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent 08/29/12
Travis Hellyer, Mezzanine 09/02/05
Janie Hendrix, Experience Hendrix 02/01/10
Nona Hendryx, Rhythmbank Entertainment 06/02/06
Dan Herrington, Dualtone Records 07/25/03
Sara Hickman, Sleeveless/Stingray 06/30/06
Dan Hirsch, On Board Entertainment 04/04/03
Nick Hobbs, Charmenko 12/14/01
Carel Hoffman, Hilltop Live/Oppikoppi Productions 11/07/12
Ian Hogarth, Songkick 08/09/11
Gene Hollister, Rose Presents 04/08/01
Rusty Hooker, Rock Steady Management Agency 02/16/01
Jake Hooker, Hook Entertainment 05/10/02
Martin Hopewell, Primary Talent International 04/19/02
Tom Hoppa, TKO Booking Agency 09/29/06
Bobbie Horowitz, Times Square Group 01/04/02
Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages 11/01/11
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 10/27/00
Bruce Houghton, Skyline Music 01/22/14
Andi Howard, Peak Records and Andi Howard Entertainment 09/02/03
Barbara Hubbard, ACTS 09/12/03
Laurent Hubert, BMG US 11/12/15
Seth Hurwitz, I.M.P. 04/20/09
Ariel Hyatt, Author, and founder of Cyber PR 11/23/16
Mark Hyman, Ashley Talent International 11/09/01
Brett Hyman, Category 5 Entertainment 07/23/04
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 08/17/01
Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records 05/28/14
Doug Isaac, Super Bowl Concert Series Producer (EXI) 08/24/01
David Israelite, National Music Publishers' Association 11/29/08
Tom Jackson, Tom Jackson Productions 02/06/13
Jay Jacobs, Parc Landon 09/21/07
Larry Jacobson, World Audience 09/17/04
Audra Jaeger, The Management Trust 05/09/03
Ralph James, The Agency Group 01/31/11
Jeffrey Jampol, Jampol Artist Management 07/18/12
Jean Michel Jarre, International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) 06/19/13
Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere 05/08/09
Peter Jesperson, New West Records 11/03/06
John Jeter, The Handlebar 08/15/12
Mike Johnson, Groundrush Media 02/17/06
Andrea Johnson, ICM Partners 11/02/17
Mike Gormley & Jolene Pellant, Yes, Dear Entertainment 04/23/10
Susan Joseph, Justice Entertainment Group 02/21/11
Darren Julien, Julien's Auctions 10/25/10
Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitars 09/28/10
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Publishing 04/20/17
Leonard Kalikow, Music Business Reference, Inc. 06/26/08
Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records 03/20/09
Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada 02/09/17
Danny Kapilian, Independent Producer 07/12/02
Mike Kappus, The Rosebud Agency 10/26/09
Andy Kaufman, Birdland 05/17/02
Wendy Kay, Mars Talent Agency 03/09/01
Lucas Keller, The Collective 03/22/11
Marty Kern, Clemson University 07/07/01
Carlos Keyes, Red Entertainment 10/08/04
Golnar Khosrowshahi, Reservoir Media Management 10/24/12
Martin Kierszenbaum, Interscope/Cherrytree Records 09/06/09
Barney Kilpatrick, Rattlesby Records 10/28/05
John Kinsner, The Walnut Room 03/28/08
Doug Kirby, LiveTourArtists 10/24/03
Steve Kirsner, Compaq Center 06/29/01
JoAnne Klabin, Sweet Relief 03/21/03
Andrew Klein, Revolution Marketing 11/05/04
Larry Klein, Producer, bassist, songwriter 03/13/12
Jack Kleinsinger, Highlights in Jazz 04/25/08
Ann Kline, Casa Kline 09/04/14
Brian Knaff, Talent Buyers Network 09/29/01
Kymberlee Knight, IEBA 11/16/00
Mike Kociela, 360 Productions 05/30/08
Stefan Kohlmeyer, Bach Technology 02/08/10
Lily Kohn, Microsoft Corporation 02/14/11
Tim Kolleth, Alligator Records 01/25/08
Al Kooper, Musician/songwriter/producer/author 02/06/14
Mitchell Koulouris, Digital Musicworks International, Inc. 02/11/05
Mark Krantz, John Schreiber Group 06/15/01
Jeff Krasno, Velour Music Group 11/19/07
Jeffrey Kruger, The Kruger Organisation 01/25/02
Harvey Kubernik, Author/historian/music journalist 08/20/15
Ted Kurland, Ted Kurland Associates 01/15/01
Jordan Kurland, Zeitgeist Artist Management 08/23/11
Carianne Laguna, Blackheart Records 03/07/08
Brady Lahr, Kufala Recordings 04/30/04
Ernie Lake, EL Records 01/19/07
Roks Lam, Wolfman Jack Entertainment 12/17/04
Anni Lam, Parc Landon 06/29/07
Gary Lane, CenterLane Attractions 10/14/05
Tom LaPenna, Lucky Man Productions 09/10/04
Camilo Lara, EMI Music Mexico/MIS 08/10/07
Gary Lashinsky, Lipizzaner Tours 05/13/05
Gregg Latterman, Aware Records 12/13/02
Tony Laurenson, Eat to the Beat 02/27/04
Emily Lazar, The Lodge 10/15/15
Bill Leabody, Leabody Systems 06/10/05
Peter Leak, 24-7 Worldwide Management 03/28/12
Steve Leeds, SR. VP/Promotion/Rock Formats at Virgin Records 07/26/02
Elliot Lefko, Goldenvoice 09/21/17
Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter 11/14/08
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation 07/05/09
Steve Lemon, Live 4 Live, Inc. 12/06/02
Randy Lennox, Universal Music Canada 06/24/15
Simma Levine, Disson Furst and Partners 11/10/00
Andy Levine, Sixthman 06/08/07
Rich Levy, Clear Channel Entertainment Properties 06/25/04
Eddie Levy, Chelsea Music Publishing 07/24/14
Myles Lewis, Denise Rich Songs 12/20/10
Adam Lewis, Planetary Group 01/20/16
Terry Lickona, Austin City Limits 03/14/11
Justine Liddelow, Stage and Screen Travel Services 08/31/11
Jim Lidestri, Border City Media 09/03/15
Larry Lieberman, 4EverWild 03/28/03
Eric Lilavois, Crown City Studios, and London Bridge Studio 12/10/14
Miriam Linna, Norton Records 05/18/17
Marc Lipkin, Alligator Records 03/05/05
Tommy LiPuma (Part 1), Verve Records 11/08/10
Tommy LiPuma (Part 2), Verve Records 11/15/10
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud 10/04/10
Andy Lo Russo, The Singing Chef 12/16/05
Phil Lobel, Lobeline Communications 08/13/04
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 01/21/05
Paul Lohr, New Frontier Touring 05/17/10
Julie Lokin, New Audiences 03/23/01
Dave Lory, Artemis Records 03/30/02
Max Loubiere, Tour Director 04/11/12
Mark Lourie, Skyline Music 03/08/02
Dave Lucas, Live-360 04/28/06
Joe Lucchese, EventJoe 02/23/07
Kevin Lyman, 4 fini 03/30/01
Kevin Lyman, Vans Warped Tour 05/23/12
Jennifer Lyon, MeanRed Productions 01/18/18
Bubba Mac, 09/14/07
David Macias, Emergent Music Marketing 06/17/05
Kristen Madsen, Grammy Foundation and MusiCares 11/22/10
Larry Magid, Larry Magid Entertainment 05/04/10
Peter Malkin, PM Management 02/07/03
Toby Mamis, Alive Enterprises 02/12/01
Billy Mann, Green & Bloom | Topl1ne, Manncom 09/18/14
Tasea Margeolas, Multi Entertainment 06/23/06
Tony Margherita, dBpm Records 09/06/11
Bob Roux & Mark Campana, Live Nation 12/20/11
Lee Marshall, Magic Arts & Entertainment 09/13/02
Zach Martin, Radio Producer at New York's WAXQ-FM 08/30/02
Mario Martin, Gorgeous PR 04/27/07
Molly Martinez, Ticket Summit 2008 05/23/08
Paul Mascioli, Mascioli Entertainment 01/14/05
Michael Maska, Big Hassle 01/28/05
Ted Mason, Mi-5 Recordings 11/16/01
Steve Masur, Masur & Associates, LLC 11/21/03
Pam Matthews, The Ryman Auditorium 04/08/05
Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group 03/01/10
Michael McCarty, ole 06/20/11
Jim McDonald, McDonald Group 12/19/03
Virginia McEnerney, HeadCount 11/26/07
Doc McGhee, McGhee Entertainment 06/14/10
Camilla McGuinn, Tour Manager 08/24/07
Andy McLean, North By Northeast (NXNE) 04/01/05
Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead historian/publicist 09/06/02
Garry McQuinn, Back Row Productions 06/14/11
Ruthann McTyre, The Rita Benton Music Library; and president of the Music Library Association 08/31/10
Dick McVey, Musician's Referral Service 10/27/07
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International 01/08/15
John Meglen, Concerts West/AEG Live 02/21/13
Mark Meharry, Music Glue 05/28/15
Jorge Mejia, Sony/ATV Music Publishing 09/17/15
Dan Melnick, Festival Productions, Inc. 02/22/02
Andrť Mťnard, Festival International de Jazz de Montrťal 06/12/09
Bob Merlis, Merlis For Hire/Memphis International Records 01/16/04
Doug Merrick, Cumberland Talent Agency and Merrick Music Group 07/21/06
Louis Messina, The Messina Group 10/22/04
Louis Messina, The Messina Group/AEG Live 07/17/09
Louis Jay Meyers, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance 03/30/07
Louis Jay Meyers, Folk Alliance International 01/23/09
Todd Miller, House Of Blues - New Orleans 11/14/03
Jeff Miller, Fantasma Productions 03/16/07
Ben Miller, Rock Ridge Music 11/02/07
J. B. Miller, Empire Entertainment 08/22/08
Richard Mills, S.L. Feldman 11/02/09
Marty Monson, Barbershop Harmony Society 07/07/16
Linda Moran, Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) 04/05/09
Jesse Morreale, Nobody In Particular Presents (NIPP) 09/20/02
Chuck Morris, Live Rocky Mountains 09/28/09
Mo Morrison, Independent production 05/24/02
Kevin Morrow, Steel Wool Entertainment 01/25/17
Nick Moss, Blue Bella Records 11/30/07
Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings 04/14/06
Natalia Nastaskin, United Talent Agency 04/13/16
Marc Nathan, Flagship Records 07/01/05
David Neilon, Rising Star Promotions 11/30/01
Don Neuen, Star Coaches Inc. 10/10/12
Dennis Newhall, DIG Music 10/07/05
John Nittolo, John Nittolo Productions 04/13/07
Ian Noble, Metropolitan Talent 05/23/03
Fabricio Nobre, A Construtora Mķsica e Cultura 05/04/17
Josh Norek, JN Media, LLC 07/05/02
David Norman, Tour Manager 04/20/07
Mimi Northcott, Canadian Recording Services (CRS) 04/11/08
Bill Nowlin, Rounder Records 01/05/07
John Nugent, NY JAM Inc. 11/08/02
Andy Nulman, Just For Laughs 11/20/13
Sal Nunziato, NYCD 06/01/01
Bob O'Neal, Ryman Auditorium 06/28/02
Andrea Orbeck, Prehab Health and Fitness 03/15/10
Heather Orser, Toad's Place 01/29/01
Janet Oseroff, MultiMediaProperties 11/18/05
Marc Ostrow, Boosey & Hawkes 12/05/08
Riley OíConnor, Live Nation Canada 07/24/09
Jeremy Palmer, Buddy Lee Attractions 11/02/01
John Palmer, Megawave Records 08/31/07
Panos Panay, Sonicbids 12/23/05
Julien Paquin, Paquin Artists Agency 04/30/14
Graham Parker, WQXR-FM 11/26/14
Crispin Parry, British Underground 02/24/08
Donald Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 04/09/10
Donald S. Passman, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown 01/06/16
Bruce Patron, Overland Entertainment 07/28/06
Alexandra Patsavas, Chop Shop Music 09/27/11
Cheryl Pawelski, Omnivore Entertainment Group 09/26/13
Kerry Peace, Alligator Records 08/18/06
Eric Peltoniemi, Red House Records 12/14/09
Scott Perry, Sperry Media 03/11/05
Lawrence Peryer, Jr., 23 Omnimedia 11/07/08
John Peters, MassConcerts 06/07/11
Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records 04/15/05
Jon Phillips, Silverback Professional Artist Mgmt/Controlled Substance Sound 08/29/08
Dave Pichilingi, Sound City 03/30/16
Vince Pileggi, Music Inc./Music Inc. Sounds 12/01/06
Eric Pirritt, Endit! Presents / The Fox Theatre 10/17/03
Neil Portnow, The Recording Academy 02/08/11
Louis Posen, Hopeless Records 04/04/11
Stephen Posen, Estate of Glenn Gould 01/23/13
Nadia Prescher, Madison House 06/20/03
Jeff Price, TuneCore 02/28/11
Tom Principato, Powerhouse Records 02/01/08
Roger Probert, Core Records 12/08/06
John "Grinder" Procaccini, JP Squared (JP2) 01/17/03
Mark Pucci, Independent Music Publicist 09/09/05
David Pullman, The Pullman Group 11/03/00
Rod Quinton, Saigon Sound System 04/18/11
Dolphus Ramseur, Ramseur Records 10/19/07
Jack Randall, Ted Kurland Associates 04/05/02
Jack Randall, The Kurland Agency 03/08/17
Debra Rathwell, AEG Live 05/03/13
Jeff Ravitz, Visual Terrain 02/08/08
Paul Reed, Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 06/14/17
Rich Rees, M.P.I. Talent Agency 09/19/08
John Reese, Freeze Artist Management 08/01/08
Bill Reeves, WRIII, Inc. 10/20/06
Stephen Rehage, Rehage Entertainment 07/30/04
Lisa Reiss, Pearl Productions 08/17/07
Salaam Remi, Composer, producer, musician and label executive. 01/08/14
David Renzer, Universal Music Publishing Group 08/23/09
Alison Richard, Universal Orlando Resort 05/06/05
Kelli Richards, The All Access Group 02/07/12
Gary Richards, HARD Events 08/29/13
Sam Righi, Waterfront Entertainment Group 05/30/03
Jon Rinaldo, Joker Productions 01/02/04
Geary Rindels, Geary Rindels Enterprises, Inc. 12/05/03
Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI 01/18/08
Lisette Rioux, Island Def Jam Music Group 05/16/03
Dave Roberge, Everfine Records & Everfine Artist Management 12/03/04
Sandy Roberton, Worlds End Producer Management 02/20/09
Ty Roberts, Gracenote 01/31/12
Bill Rogers, BRE Presents 07/13/07
Ian Rogers, Topspin Media 06/01/10
Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic 12/19/13
Dave Rose, Deep South Entertainment 09/15/06
Eric Rosen, Ronald S. Bienstock & Associates 05/25/01
Stuart Ross, The Ross Group 02/23/01
David Ross, President IAAM; Director, Show Me Center 09/23/05
Jack Ross, APA Canada 09/07/17
Bobby Rossi, Ruth Eckerd Hall 02/28/03
Michael Rothschild, Landslide Records 04/29/05
Robert Rowland, Red Entertainment 06/13/08
Bill Royston, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival 03/07/03
John Rudolph, Bug Music 05/24/10
Elizabeth Rush, E.R.A. / Elizabeth Rush Agency 08/20/04
Aran Rush, Expo and Foro Imperial 02/16/07
Maurice Russell, Harry Fox Agency 10/21/05
Barron Ruth, Skyline Music 02/14/03
Andrea Sabata, Skyline Music 01/07/05
Numa Saisselin, Count Basie Theatre, Inc. 02/04/05
Ron Sakamoto, Gold & Gold Productions 01/16/10
David Salidor, dis Company 07/20/07
Shaw Saltzberg, S. L. Feldman and Associates 06/21/10
Bruce Allen & Sam Feldman, A&F Music 12/19/08
Mark Samuels, Basin Street Records 06/11/04
Jacqueline Saturn, Harvest Records 01/21/15
Tamara Saviano, American Roots Publishing 07/22/05
Tamara Saviano, Author, journalist, and producer 08/18/16
Michael Scafuto, Mountain High Entertainment 12/07/01
Steve Schankman, Contemporary Productions 12/21/01
Steve Scharf, Carlin America 10/11/02
John Scher, Metropolitan Talent 11/21/08
Al Schmitt, Producer/Engineer 02/13/10
Bobby Schneider, Tour Coordinator, Third Eye Blind 01/31/03
Jake Schneider, Madison House 04/02/14
Steven Schnur, EA Music Group 07/03/13
Elaine Schock, Shock Ink 02/19/10
Stacy Schott, Mad Booking and Events 08/22/03
Daylle Schwartz, Revenge Productions 08/19/05
Dean Sciarra, 11/26/04
Joel Selvin, Author and Journalist 08/07/14
Jay Sendyk, Sendyk, Leonard & Company, Inc. 05/03/02
Jonathan Shank, Red Light Management 12/13/17
Peter Shapiro, Ideal Entertainment 04/16/04
Peter Shapiro, Dayglo Ventures/Brooklyn Bowl 11/15/17
Seth Sheck, Access Pass & Design 01/03/03
Seth Sheck, ACCESS Event Solutions 06/22/16
Seth Shomes, The Agency Group 11/12/14
Jay Sieleman, The Blues Foundation 07/18/03
Anya Siglin, The Ark 03/05/10
Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment 10/19/10
Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Entertainment 03/06/12
Steve Simon, Clear Channel Communications 05/14/04
Ralph Simon, Live Earth 07/06/07
Ralph Simon, Mobilium 04/12/11
Michael Simon, The Harry Fox Agency 08/14/13
Ron Simpson, RCS Productions 01/11/08
John Simson, SoundExchange 07/15/05
Dion Singer, Warner Bros. 12/07/09
Gram Slaton, The Community Arts Center 02/25/05
Owen Sloane, Gladstone Michel Weisberg Willner & Sloane 10/11/10
Peter Smidt, Eurosonic Noorderslag & manager Buma Cultuur 07/17/13
Garrison Snell, Gyrosity Projects 02/23/17
Mike Snider, Paradigm Talent Agency Nashville 05/17/11
Andrew Snowhite, Musictoday 05/04/01
Bruce Solar, The Agency Group 05/14/14
Nikki Solgot, Circle Talent Agency 02/18/15
Michael Solomon, Brick Wall Management 05/25/07
Mark Sonder, Mark Sonder Productions 07/25/08
Steve Sonnier, UIC Pavilion at the University of Illinois, Chicago 09/03/04
Kathy Spanberger, peermusic 06/20/12
Carolyn Specht, CIE USA Entertainment Inc. and OCESA PRESENTS Inc. 03/26/04
David Spelman, New York Guitar Festival 10/01/04
Jason Spiewak, Rock Ridge Music 04/07/06
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 11/29/12
Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts 02/18/05
Jeremy Stephan, Ventures, LLC 04/23/04
Walter Stewart, Mars Talent Agency 02/21/03
Gail Stocker, Gail Stocker Presents 11/12/04
Jon Stoll, Fantasma Productions 10/13/00
Jesse Stoll, AEG 06/27/09
Henry Stone, Henry Stone Music 06/24/05
Jason Stone, Live Nation New York 03/31/06
Howard Stovall, Resource Entertainment Group 05/28/04
Cameron Strang, New West Records 10/18/02
Don Strasburg, AEG Live Rocky Mountains 02/27/09
Barbara Strauss, Sovereign Ventures 05/12/06
Richard Stumpf, Cherry Lane Publishing 08/07/06
Deb Suckling, SUGARRUSH Music 07/27/17
Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow 10/25/11
Bernie Swain & Harry Rhodes, Jr., Washington Speakers Bureau 12/07/00
Dean Swett, Paramour Group 06/14/02
Jake Szufnarowski, Rocks Off 05/02/08
Marc Tanner, Chime Entertainment 12/22/06
Donald Tarlton, The Donald K Donald Group 04/12/02
Tess Taylor, Los Angeles Music Network 08/09/02
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Race Taylor, WPLJ - New York 10/27/06
Chris Taylor, Taylor 03/15/09
Peter Tempkins, DeWitt Stern Group 03/16/01
Peter Tempkins, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 03/27/09
Lisa Tenner, Tenner & Associates (EAT'M) 08/06/01
Jeremy Tepper, Diesel Only Records 10/10/03
Allan Tepper, Bicycle Music Company 09/28/07
Martin Terefe, Kensaltown Studios 05/31/11
Milun Tesovic, MetroLeap Media 10/18/09
Mandar Thakur, Times Music 08/06/15
Jerry Thompson, Promoter Line Inc. 03/05/04
Jose Tillan, MTV Networks Latin America 12/02/05
Jon Tiven, Hormone Studios 08/05/05
Adam Tobey, Concert Ideas 08/24/17
Rob Tonkin, Marketing Factory 12/17/15
John "J.T." Toomey, 25/8 Management 11/15/11
Livia Tortella, Warner Bros. Records 01/10/12
Phil Tripp, IMMEDIA! 01/19/06
Claudio Trotta, Barley Arts Promotion 11/26/01
Chris Tsakalakis, StubHub 01/11/10
Ben Turner, Graphite Media 05/10/10
Steve Vai, Favored Nations Entertainment 04/26/02
John Valentino, Fantasma Productions 04/18/03
John Valentino, AEG Live SE 11/01/10
Don Van Cleave, Coalition of Independent Music Stores 04/09/04
Casey Verbeck, Partners in Music 06/06/03
David "Boche" Viecelli, The Billions Corporation 04/18/10
Marsha Vlasic, Artist Group International 05/31/17
Mat Vlasic, Bravado 06/28/17
Ray Waddell, Billboard Magazine 08/27/04
Rob Waggener, Foundations Recovery Network 03/07/11
Jim Walczak, Racine Civic Centre 06/03/05
Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group 08/16/10
Carla Wallace, Big Yellow Dog Music 11/04/05
Russell Wallach, Live Nation Network 03/20/12
Steve Walter, The Cutting Room 10/24/08
Neil Warnock, The Agency Group 05/02/09
Diane Warren, Realsongs 08/14/09
Butch Waugh, RCA Label Group Nashville 01/10/03
Lauren Wayne, The State Theatre 05/09/12
Kirt Webster, Webster PR 02/03/16
Ken Weinstein, Big Hassle Media 04/22/05
Bruce Weinstein, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts 02/15/08
Larry Weintraub, Fanscape 05/18/01
Pam Weiser, Momentous Insurance Brokerage 10/11/11
Kevin Welk, Welk Music Group 01/24/12
D-J Wendt, Dmand Management 05/09/08
Alison Wenham, Worldwide Independent Network 02/13/09
Bill Werde, Billboard 08/03/11
Joel Whitburn, Record Research 11/13/09
Judd White, Tour Manager/Accountant 02/13/04
Jeff White, In Ticketing 12/16/06
Adam White, Author 09/14/16
Lisa White, Pearl Street Warehouse 10/04/17
Adam Wilkes, AEG Live Asia 10/13/16
Fenton Williams, 04/04/08
Del Williams, Right Arm Entertainment 04/18/08
Bryan "Birdman" Williams, Cash Money Records 09/13/11
Paul Williams, ASCAP 10/19/11
J.P. Williams, Parallel Entertainment 10/03/12
Kurt Willms, Green Room Productions 09/20/03
Chris Wilson, Heartbeat Records 03/02/07
Tony Wilson, Factory Records/In The City 06/01/07
Tom Windish, The Windish Agency 07/26/10
John Wiseman, XL Touring Video 05/05/06
Thom Wolke, 02/08/02
Michael Wood, City Lights Entertainment 08/08/08
Keith Wortman, Blackbird Presents 03/22/17
Nigel Wright, Independant Record Producer 11/07/03
Dusty Wright, 07/27/07
Jeremiah ďIceĒ Younossi, A-List Talent 09/20/09
Gail Zappa, The Zappa Family Trust 10/02/14
Kevin 'Chief' Zaruk, Chief Music Management 06/10/15
Ron Zeelens, RAZco Visas 04/20/01
Rick Zeiler, Sidney Frank Importing Company 06/04/04
Danny Zelisko, Live Nation 06/19/09
Jason Zink, Emporium Presents 10/19/17
Hillary Zuckerberg, Brick Wall Management. 07/09/04
Steve Zuckerman, Global Entertainment and Media Summit 03/22/02
Paul Zullo, Muze 01/23/04
Nanette Zumwalt, Hired Power 02/03/06


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