Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Jac Holzman Is Still The Record Guy You Want To Work With

I'm a fan of Jac Holzman and I've written about him before.  There is an insightful profile of him by Fred Goodman in the NY Times.  How does he seem to be the only high level music executive out there who gets it?  He is currently an adviser to Edgar Bronfman Jr who runs WMG.  Read the whole article, but I'm just going to pull a few worthy quotes.

  • “Marketing is nothing more than connecting something interesting to willing ears. I like being sent music, and that’s one of the great advantages of the Web. If I have something I think is a great song, I send it to 20 friends. But making that connection through the Internet is one of the problems that the record industry has not figured out.”
  • He is concerned about the absence of what he called “first filters”: the online equivalent of the radio stations and disc jockeys, the publications and writers who, in Elektra’s early days, acted as guides for the larger public and helped shape tastes. “They have to happen,” he said. And until then, he added, the best thing a company can do is emulate the way small independents, like the early Elektra, did business and try anything to survive.
  • “Did I care when Jim Morrison passed out in the office?” he said. “No. We would have put those orange cones around him if we’d had them. We’d just let him lie there, and eventually he’d get up and dust himself off and go home."
  • “The reason indies beat majors as a rule is that the people who own these companies can make decisions and move,” he said. “I can tell you story after story about hearing something and making the deal that day, while it took Columbia six weeks to process the demo and decide they wanted the band. Hey, too bad. They’re in the studio for Elektra.”

I know there are rumors of Edgar selling WMG.  He's still at the helm though, so I hope he's heeding Jac's advice.  Jac's a smart man with a stellar music history.

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