Saturday, September 24, 2005

Two Hot Women (September 2005)

OK, OK, the list changes a whole lot, although I did see Elizabeth Vargas on TV last night. Love the hair, Liz. For right now, the two women who get me hooked into something whenever they are on TV or in a movie are...
a better picture..

Marrisa Tomei. She has been hot for years. I just think she has it all going on.
And now for my next babe..I nominate David Ducovny as luckiest man on Earth because he gets to wake up next to this...
Tea Leoni..She was absolutely, insanely hot as Nicholas Cage's wife in "Family Man"
How would you like to have her on your arm?
Huh, David..David are YOU listening to me..I will NOT be ignored..oh sorry.

The Wisdom Of Silvio Dante

Many thanks to my friend (and legendary) Johnnie King, for sharing this with me. The question is...is anyone listening?

LITTLE STEVEN'S KEYNOTE ADDRESS RADIO & RECORDS CONVENTION 2005
- JACOBS MEDIA SUMMIT

Date: Thursday, July 23, 2005
Place: Renaissance Hotel, Cleveland, Ohio
Audience: 250 Program Directors

Fred Jacobs introduces 4-minute video bio. At its conclusion the Dovells' "You Can't Sit Down" explodes from the speakers as 5 Go-Go girls come out of the wings surrounding Fred, much to his discomfort. Little Steven enters to thunderous applause. He cuts off the music with a wave of his hand, leans into the microphone and says "Ladies and Gentlemen, Fred Jacobs."
The music returns as the girls exit. A stunned audience applauds wildly as Fred, very uncharacteristically, dances off with them.

Little Steven: Well that was worth the price of admission alone.

(more applause and laughter, paces with the hand held mic for a minute, and then . . . )

I Love Radio!

(applause once again erupts)

And I feel nothing but love in this room because as I look around, I see only two kinds of people. Our beloved affiliates . . . and future affiliates.

(laughter)

So now matter what happens in this next half hour, remember what I just said. It's just family talking. And without any further disclaimers let me ask the only important question that is on my mind, and I'm sure you've been thinking about it also, especially lately.

(pause)

WHEN DID THE farking p*****s TAKE OVER?

(applause and laughter)

When? Don't you look forward to the day when your grandson is on your knee and he looks up and says, "Grampa weren't you in radio once?"
"Yes, Grandson," you'll reply.
"Could I ask you something," he'll say.
"Of course, my love, anything," you'll say.
"Grampa where were you WHEN THE farking p*****s TOOK OVER?"

(more laughter)

Where were we? What happened? Things are out of line and we're not leaving here today until we straighten it out.

(applause and laughter)

Now I was going to wait for this but we might as well get right to it since it is all everybody's talking about. I have come to praise JACK not to bury him.

(laughter - uncertain applause)

The guys at Infinity are friends of ours, as is everybody else, we got nothing but friends you all know that. And I've gotta say I'm proud of these guys for having the balls to shake things up. Things needed shaking up. And history will remember them in a very positive way when looking back at this world changing moment. Having said that . . .

Replacing 33 year old New York oldies institution CBS-FM with JACK is like replacing the Statue of Liberty with a blow-up doll.

(eruptions of laughter and applause)

But again, change is good. And necessary. With a little bit of luck JACK will last 10 or 12 months because it is obvious people want something different, they are hungry for something, anything. So it could be 6 months before anybody actually listens to JACK.

Once they do it is doomed for 3 obvious reasons. At the moment it is replacing oldies formats but it is not an oldies format in the true sense of the word. It's mostly 80's, some 70's, some 90's. Now it must be said that the oldies format is vulnerable because over the last 5-10 years it has, in a word, sucked.

It has sucked for a very simple reason, somebody had the brilliant idea to eliminate the 50's and replace it with the 70's. This was done by somebody uniquely stupid and deaf and ignorant and a bad businessman on top of it all. So naturally, everybody copied it and the 50's disappeared virtually overnight.

Now let's digress and examine this oldies thing for a minute. Assuming you accept the fact that those overseeing the oldies format these last 5 years - 10 years - are, in fact, stupid, deaf, ignorant, and bad businessmen, let's deal with it.

As far as stupid, deaf, and ignorant, when it comes to decades that matter, that matter historically, in terms of influence, importance, and never-to-be-heard-again-quality - that is the 50's and 60's. Everything we do, everything we are comes from those two decades.

You're gonna throw one away? You're gonna replace Elvis, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Johnny Burnette, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Lloyd Price, and Fats Domino with, all due respect, Donna Summer and the Bee Gees? You're gonna replace primal, vital, timeless, forever cool rock and roll pioneers with disco? Disco?

You wanna know what disco is good for? Disco is for when you're drunk at a wedding with your old lady and you want to act like an idiot and be John Travolta for an hour or two. That's where it belongs. Not on radio.

And to the issue of oldies being bad business - all you hear - I'm assuming from sales people - is we must lower our demo's.The oldies demographic are getting too old - that's the rationale for replacing the 50's with the 70's.

Now if all there was to sell in the world were Fruit Loops, Play Stations,and sneakers - they might have a point. But I got a little secret to share. You know that age group - 35 to 65 - that nobody in sales seems to care about?

THAT'S WHERE ALL THE farking MONEY IS!

(laughter, applause)

I mean ALL the farking money.

35 to 65.

Memo to sales team - SELL THEM SOMETHING!

And, by the way, if you want younger people listening, you can get that done. And I mean kids, if you want them.

Who is cooler? Early Elvis or Elton John?

What appeals more to kids, Gene Vincent's black leather attitude, Eddie Cochran's teenage frustration, Little Richard's cry of liberation, and Dion's total Soprano's coolness - or the Eagles?

You want wild? Put together the Sex Pistols, Audioslave, and the Wu-Tang Clan - they aren't as wild as Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime.

But you have to explain that. Show it, illustrate, educate, sell it.

Alright - digression over - so JACK isn't oldies so it must be some kind of classic rock/pop hybrid. But JACK doesn't address the two biggest problems of classic rock. 15 years ago I said we're chasing all the personality out of rock radio and into talk and sports. And the ratings went with it.

We need more personality, not less, and JACK has none. No DJ's means no personal relationship with the audience. Eventual apathy is inevitable.

The other big issue classic rock must consider is it must start playing new music again.

I've suggested it to my own affiliates and I'll keep saying it every change I get. We've got a big problem. Look around. Pearl Jam does some business. Dave Matthews - if he's rock at all - does well. Maybe Oasis breaks this year in the U.S. Maybe Coldplay - if they're considered rock.

But in a real sense, the last big band through the door was U2. That's 25 years ago.

Has anybody stopped to consider that? Basically when our generation stops touring, it's over. That's one reason why we started the Underground Garage format. New Hard Rock, Hip Hop, and Pop can be heard in various places, new Rock and Roll had nowhere to go.

We have played more new bands in 3 years than anybody since the 60's. We average 30 new bands a year. That's how many are out there. And we are very picky out of respect to our classic rock affiliates, we know we need to keep the quality level high and we do.

But we can't sell records with 2 hours a week.

Someday somebody will have the balls to put the Underground Garage format on 24-7 on broadcast radio but until then, we only have 2 hours a week.

We need your help.

Rock and Roll is not just that museum down the street. It's a living, breathing animal that needs to be fed. With new blood. And I'm not saying you need to do as much as we do, we're about 40% new and the rest from the entire 50 years of history.

And by the way everybody told us you can't combine old with new but of course you can. As long as you're making your decisions based on musical experience, good taste, and an effective, coherent emotional communication. As opposed to your Ipod on shuffle.

(laughter, applause)

When you properly combine old and new the old records give the new ones a sense of depth, of belonging to an eternal continuum, carrying the flag forward. The new records give the old ones relevance, keeps them vital, connected to the next generation.

And all testing and computer analysis and surveys don't tell you that.

It's all bulls**t. When are we going to learn that?

(applause)

All that s**t tells you is what people think they want right now. Well that's not the way great radio happens, or great anything. You don't do a survey before you write a song, or make a record. We are drowning in an ocean of mediocrity because sometimes you gotta have enough historical perspective, and vision, and balls to say we have to combine short term want with long term need.

And yeah you gotta sell it.

If you're playing cool stuff make sure the audience hears it right – in the right context. That is everything.

If to a punky consciousness the Ramones are sugar and the Ronettes are broccoli you play the Ramones into the Ronettes and, because Joey learned to sing from Ronnie and you can hear it, the Ramones become hollandaise and it works.

(laughter, applause)

There is an art to this s**t. You know that. It's the corporate bosses that forget that fact. But it's not just music - we have this problem plaguing every aspect of our culture.

Yes content needs work, yes marketing needs work, but it is the sales teams that need to be re-educated and motivated and inspired and creative. And it's not happening because they are being led by business oversight guys.

Content guys should be running companies, marketing guys should be running companies, who put business oversight guys in charge?

(applause)

Wall Street that's who.

Wall Street continues to love and reward and worship short term success for some reason. As the culture and the economy and all our fathers' and grandfathers' and hundreds of years of hard work get trashed in a generation or two. The tail is wagging the dog. Wall Street should not be calling the shots.

When did Wall Street ever write a song? Paint a picture? Make a movie? Play a song on the radio that changed somebody's life?

(applause)

Where are the music people?

I see lawyers, accountants, test marketers running the world. Where is the emotional connection? Where is the passion? This ain't about JACK or BOB or Moe or Larry or Curly. It's about you. Everybody in this room. You are here because you are connected emotionally.

This ain't Harvard Business School. It's farking Rock and Roll!

(applause)

These Wall Street cats couldn't have gotten us here. They react – they don't create.

They didn't build this industry.

We did it.

And you're not here because it was a smart business decision.

I know what you make.

(laughter)

(pauses - slows down)

You're here because you loved it once. And we've got to find a way to love it again. And communicate that love to our audience. I am determined - together we will find a way. The Revolution is on.

Thank you.

(standing ovation - thunderous applause)
Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Van Halen

I ran into a good friend of mine and he said he loved the blog, but I didn't post enough stuff about music...shit, I thought that's all I was doing. So, with that in mind...I interviewed Van HalenI in Kansas City on the 1984 tour. Well, actually, it was Micheal Anthony and Alex Van Halen who stopped by(Dave and Eddie must have been busy). The interview commenced at about 5:45 with Alex bringing a six pack of Schlitz Malt Liquor and Micheal hanging on to a fifth of Jack. I was at the top of my game back then, but I lost total control of the interview within 2 minutes. Man, were they hammered when it was over at 6:15 or so. Then they had to go play the show? Unbelievable! Sammy Hagar is one of the nicest, coolest guys in the business. He also has the whitest teeth I have ever seen. I have a collectable on my wall that features the autographed "Nine on a Ten Scale" with a picture that is framed. He has been in my collection since "Montrose" and when I told him that, he seemed genuinely humbled by it.
With that in mind...my 5 or 6 favorite Van Halen songs in somehwat of an order, but not really...

1. "Little Guitars" should be on every classic rock playlist
2. "Meanstreets" Eddie kicks ass on this
3. "Mine All Mine" from OU812 oww, man I would have love to have been there
4. "Light Up The Sky" why was this never played on the radio?
5. "Dreams" summer of 1986, how well i remember
6. "Ain't Talkin Bout Love" early days in radio..thought i was hot shit.
There ya go, thanks for taking our tour and please stop by again...

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