Thursday, October 02, 2008

Rock Magazines Available (Office Cleanup)

The stack o' rock magazines in the office is getting way out of hand, so they've gotta go...

It seems silly and very uncool to throw them into Recycling when there may be a music fan out there who's looking for a particular cover with their favorite artist on it...

Therefore, Researcher Extraordinaire has put them up on Title Trader for your perusing pleasure.

Most of the magazines are in very good condition, either having never been read, or thumbed through once or twice. A couple of them may have items such as CD titles circled or highlighted, but nothing major...So, no worries about Christina Aguilera having a Sharpie mustache or devil horns...

(Address labels are blacked out, of course.)


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Soraia Single and Video for "Not the Woman"

You may remember the interview we did with Soraia lead singer, Sue Mansour.

When Sue was in L.A. last fall, Webmaster Extraordinaire and I took her to Irv's Burgers and to the original Barney's Beanery, where we sat in Janis Joplin's old booth and tried to soak up the energy.

Well, aparently Sue soaked up just enough, because when I was listening to the new Soraia single I couldn't help noticing a more ballsy quality to Sue's voice. I always liked Sue's voice a lot, but on this single she sings with more of the up-from-the-bottom-of-your-toenails big voice stuff Janis was known for live...but without sounding like Janis.

Makes sense? No? Check it out for yourself.

Soraia's new single "Not the Woman" is in rotation on Sirius Radio's Alt Nation Channel 21, and the video is on MaxMouth. The track was produced by Obie O'Brien, best known for his work with Bon Jovi.

Disclosure per FTC Blogger Disclosure Regulation in effect December 1, 2009: I interviewed Obie O'Brien for the Backstage Spotlight section of

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Articles On The Main Website

New articles on the main website:

How to Fill Out the New All-in-One Copyright Form CO

Music Business Survival: How to Find the Truffles in the Music Industry Dirt

Also: When the stock market took a dive today I updated this article with additional information that further explains how the financial crisis affects indie musicians and national-level baby bands and how to keep from getting burned: Mortgage Foreclosures / Credit Crisis Means Local Promoter, Club, and Small Label Crisis? How Musicians Can Avoid Getting Ripped Off.

Don't forget to join me on Twitter...I'm really having a lot of fun with that and love the challenge of being limited to 140 characters (even less if you're posting a public reply to someone).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Have You Registered to Vote? Are You Sure?

Are you registered to vote? Are you positive about this? (Seems some voters who voted in the Primaries have discovered themselves not registered.) Voter registration deadline is s early as October 4 in some states.

Are you registered at the address where you'll be living on Election Day? (Seems some foreclosed voters are mistakenly being told they won't be allowed to vote, and there's a lawsuit.) And does your photo ID match the address on your voter registration? If not, better head to the DMV. Meanwhile, check out these resources:

Here's another excellent resource of voter information I stumbled upon while reading email this morning (I subscribe to their newsletter and clicked a link).

Whatever your party, whomever your candidate, register and vote. And when you do, be sure you're not wearing anything with a candidate's name, picture, or political party on it: hats,
T-shirts, stickers, anything. We've been informed that anyone doing so can, and most likely will, be legally prohibited from voting, because the ballot is supposed to be secret. The poll workers are supposed to let you leave the line to remove the item and then come back...But some poll workers may not remember this rule, and you don't want to accidentally miss out on your opportunity to vote.

So don't take the chance: Save that "Go Barack" hat or your "I'm in love with John McCain" T-shirt for the celebration AFTER you've cast your vote at the polling place. (Thanks ReverbNation for this info.) Tell your friends!

But do vote. If you don't vote, you lose your right to complain, protest, or even make jokes about the candidates, winners, and losers...

...And what's the fun in that?
Edited 9/287/08 to provide additional voter information, and to correct a punctuation error--RR

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mortgage Foreclosures / Credit Crisis Means Local Promoter, Club, and Small Label Crisis? How Musicians Can Avoid Getting Ripped Off

How does the mortgage foreclosure / financial crisis /credit crisis affect touring musicians and indie label recording artists?

This article on explains how, along with giving you some simple tips to keep from getting burned.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

RIP Balinese Room

RIP Balinese Room nightclub in Galveston, TX.
1929 - September 13, 2008

We at send good thoughts and positivity to everyone affected by Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav.

Want to help? Donate to the American Red Cross.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Want the Same Results? Hire the Same Team

OK...I really do try not to get political in this blog, because that's not what most of you come here for.

But as someone whose job entails coordinating PR and marketing campaigns to highlight (or help to create) an artist's desired image, I cannot sit by silently while the political PR machine is used so ludicrously to take the focus off the issues. (Pig in lipstick outrage? Puhleeze. Looks like somebody'd trying to distract the public from thinking about the war, the economy, healthcare, and education.)

Watch this and decide who you want to vote for.

Are these people really who you want in office?

I'm always advising clients, "If you want success, hire a team of people who have helped successful people do what you want to do." That's exactly what McCain did; he's hired some of the very same people from the Bush team to run or advise his campaign. (Karl Rove anyone?) And I'm sure there are more to come if he gets elected.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

So again I ask, are these people really the people you want in office after the election? Because that's what you'll get if McCain wins the election.

Are you better off than you were 4 years ago? How 'bout almost 8 years ago? What about the economy? Is that better? Are we really safer? What about our ports?

Personally, I say ENOUGH!!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Love Letters from the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) 2008

To Paramore: That was cool. (Real singing and all! Pay attention, kids...)

To Pink: Performance of the night. (And again, with real singing!)

To anonymous artist: If you can't sing along on pitch to your own voice on your backing track...[Editor shakes head sadly.]

To Russell Brand: It was pathetic that you had to apologize for the running joke about purity promise rings...(Although we can't help noticing the irony of a Brit coming 'cross the pond to get persecuted by the religious...Guess everything comes full circle, even if it takes a few hundred years!)

To Jordin Sparks: Learn to take a joke. Calling people who have sex before marriage "slut"s was uncalled for. ( Wasn't there something in the book about judgment as well? Great Christian attitude there, Jord(!)) But most of all, shouldn't the AMERICAN Idol remember that Americans have many varied beliefs?

To Kid Rock: You sounded great!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Get to the Truffles

Overheard in conversation between MBADC Contributing Writer Darcie-Nicole Wicknick and MBADC Editor-in-Chief:

"You gotta dig through the dirt to get to the truffles."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hotter Than Hell: A Motley Copyright (Licensing) Quiz staffers were singing this over the weekend:

[Sung to the tune of "Louder than Hell" by Motley Crue]

L.A. is hotter than hell
L.A. is hotter than hell
Oo I don't like it
I Don't like it
It's heeeeeeell!

(Nikki Sixx and his co-horts got the hell out of dodge to their gig in Canada just in time, by the way...Once again, they escape by the skin of their teeth! No, I don't know Mr. Sixx personally; I just thought it was ironic.)

Really, this is worse than Phoenix (and is one of the many reasons why I left)...At least in Phoenix everyone has central air when it's 112 out. I don't know what's going on, but I've lived in So. Cal off and on since 1980, and L.A. is definitely hotter, and hotter more often, than it used to be. What's up with that?

Still, I love, love, love this town. Only in L.A. in the midst of a power outtage in a heat wave can you hang out with good friends and a news crew comes to your door asking to film the inside of your fridge. (I'm not into being on camera and had no perishables in my fridge so I abstained, but my friends had a lot fun being on the Channel 7 news.)

Copyright (licensing)Pop Quiz: Ten points if you know what kind of licensing / permissions would have been needed, and from whom, if the above staffers had been performing their version of "Hotter than Hell" live for an audience, or if they'd planned to record and release a studio version (God forbid).

Twenty more points if you knew that reprinting lyrics requires licensing / permissions as well.** 10 more if you knew that because only a small portion of the lyrics were used here AND were used in the context of an educational discussion, their use in this blog entry falls under the Fair Use exemption of the Copyright Act.

So, what's your score? Answers are in Darcie-Nicole Wicknick's article, "Publishing and Royalties 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Songwriting Income".

**Yes, I know some of you will try to argue that people reprint lyrics all the time without paying for them. I'm just here to offer you the facts so you have information that can help you. What you do with those facts, or whether or not you choose to use them at all is up to you. Ignoring something doesn't make it cease to exist.

Sorry about the rambling entry. It was take 2 after another power outtage this afternoon wiped out the first draft just as I was finishing the last paragraph.

I'm off to get water...

Stay cool,

Friday, April 11, 2008

ASCAP I Create Music Expo Report: It’s My Life Interview and Q&A Highlights with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora 4/10/2008 Interviewer: Erik Philbrook

This week Researcher Extraordinaire and I checked out the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo in Hollywood. Yesterday one of the events was a Q&A session with Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. (That was me, rapidly scribbling away on a yellow legal pad in the front row.) Here are my notes, in their raw form. Although I’ve arranged them by subject matter for easier reading, I won’t rewrite them into article form here, preferring to let Jon and Richie speak for themselves. For photos of the event check out our Snapfish photo album here.

On Jon and Richie’s Writing process:

Richie said their songwriting process is the same as it always was: “a couple of guitars or a piano and a rickety old cassette tape recorder.” The audience laughed when he and Jon said almost at the same time, “Because we don’t know how to work anything else!”

(“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” was written at the kitchen table, with the above-mentioned rickety tape recorder.)

Richie went on: “I come from the adage that you can’t polish sh*t. If we sang ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ right here a capella, it still sounds like a good song.”

Jon and Richie’s process is to come up with the song title first, then come up with a chord progression that fits the mood of the title, then go back and do lyrics last. Said Jon: “It was never about jamming for hours and saying, ‘I like that chord’.”

Richie said when he writes, he keeps the artist who will sing it in mind, and suggests beginning songwriters do the same: “I write for Jon. Think about what artist you’re writing for, and the demographic. See where you’re gonna put it.”***

As an aside, Jon said he sometimes “regret[s] writing some of those high notes!”

Jon said sometimes they get lucky and a song “falls from the sky.” Other times, it doesn’t come so easily. Moderator Erik Philbrook asked how long they stick with writing a song when it's not happening. Jon said they're very stubborn about it because they “never want to be quitters, so even if the song will never make it to the band you try to finish it.” Then he said he'd always wondered if there's a notebook of unfinished Beatles songs, "because the Beatles were aliens from another planet." ...Jon related that he saw Paul McCartney at an event, and he told Sir Paul this--including calling the Beatles “aliens from another planet.” ("It was after a few glasses of wine," said Jon sheepishly.) Jon said to Sir Paul, "There's gotta be a notebook!" Nope, no notebook. OK, what about a song that you struggled with? Sir Paul thought and thought and finally said, "Oh! Yes, there was one! Finally I said, ‘Let's just say 'Beep beep beep beep yeah' and move on."

On Collaborating with other songwriters:

Jon said when he and Richie write together, the strength of their collaboration means “One plus one equals three.” And that adding another collaborator makes it grow even more.

Richie said one of the keys to successful collaborating is to “find the right people who are going to commit” and that it’s about always “working on relationships.”

On the collaborative process in Nashville, Jon said there’s very little ego involved there: “The process of songwriting there is like Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

Asked what producer-songwriter John Shanks brought to the table when they worked with him, Jon quipped: “A.D.D.! Shanks isn’t here because he’s running around the building.” (Richie added that John Shanks works very quickly, and that his studio set-up is complete and efficient, “like a factory. But a factory in a good way.” Jon said, “Maybe more like a mad scientist’s lab” and Richie agreed.)

Jon and Richie said “Bad Medicine,” which they wrote with Desmond Child, was written with Richie standing “in a nasty pool of water” while the band was shooting a Japanese television commercial.

On today’s music industry: Jon said Bon Jovi were fortunate in that with their first two albums they had the opportunity to grow a regional following and “form the voice of the band. The poor kids now, they come off Idol and if you don’t have a number one single out of the box? That’s it. That’s tough.”

Richie added, “Now you don’t get a second chance. The music business is cold…” (and got a huge laugh from the audience because of the face he made, and his timing when he said it).

Regarding Radio Formats and country crossovers in today’s industry, Jon said: “The big corporate entities that own the radio stations have this pigeonhole kind of mentality. And it affected the video era, and what’s happening on television, and then it ultimately takes away personality. What they’re missing there is that country people like rock and roll, and rock and roll people like country music. It’s just the people’s music, and people are affected by a lyric. Take the tag off of it and do the blindfold test and let people hear the music.” This probably got the biggest applause of the afternoon.

Asked what he thinks of downloading, Jon says, “That’s a very good question. But I couldn’t answer it without asking probably ten others that no one seems to have the answers to: How many records were actually downloaded? Did the records turn into hits because of it? If I write a song and it gets to the point where it’s on the record and I’m that proud of it, I want to share it with the world. I want you to hear it any which way you can. But do I know if ASCAP has collected royalties for every digital download? I don’t go crazy worrying about that. But I like to see people get the opportunity to get paid for the craft that they’ve worked so hard at, because it’s our job.”

Advice for songwriters: Jon: “Try to hold onto [your publishing]. Try not to take the short-term, first kind of deals that are given to struggling writers. And that’s not always easy to do. But it is called the music business for a reason.”

On whether a songwriter should move to Nashville (or another music industry center): Jon said it can be “helpful, but not a necessity. Bob Dylan was going to be Bob Dylan in Minnesota or New York.”

On the longevity of their careers: Jon said, “We’ve stayed true to who we were. We didn’t jump on fads or fashions. We’ve been around long enough to have seen the boy band cycle come and go twice…We’ve seen hip hop and grunge come and go. We never pretended to be something we weren’t. You can like it, you can dislike it. But it’s true.”

Jon also added, “The theme of our body of work has had a universal optimism. There’s faith in faith, and hope in hope.”

Asked for insight about how they stay current, Jon said, “It’s not about staying current. It’s about staying true.”

Insight into Jon’s aspirations, and what he wants to accomplish as a songwriter and artist: “I remember back in the 80’s having a conversation with a guy from a young band and saying ‘you don’t understand. Basically your aspirations are to be on the cover of Circus [a popular rock magazine at the time]. Mine are to be on the cover of Time.”

Randi Reed
Founder / Editor in Chief,

***7/24/14: Due to Richie Sambora's no-show /departure from the 2013 Bon Jovi tour and subsequent interviews in which he appeared to express anger for the resulting consequences,   some Richie Sambora supporters have tried to turn a sentence from one paragraph of this ASCAP Report into Richie talking about being a hired gun songwriter for Jon.

I'll be blunt:

That's asinine.
ASCAP's "I Create Music Expo" is a songwriter's event. Jon and Richie were there to discuss their writing process, in depth, and members of the media were there in the front row.

I was in the room, sitting in that front row, directly across from Richie when he said it. The people who are trying to create dirt out of my ASCAP report were not there. I know who was in the media row with me. The people who are making this stuff up never seem to remember the "I Create Music Expo" Jon and Richie were at was in Los Angeles (specifically, Hollywood), and that being local, I know who was there.I can assure you, that is not what Richie was saying. And they're doing Jon, Richie, and Desmond Child--who happened to be sitting behind me when Richie said it--a major disservice with that misinterpretation.

When Richie referred to writing for Jon's vocal range when he said "I write for Jon" they'd been talking about how, as writers, it's important for them to go away from each other and then come back to the writing table with fresh ideas and new material, and how sometimes they arrive with songs they'd started individually.

I'd need to get the recording out of a safety deposit box to quote the moderator's exact question,  but I'm one of those people with an annoyingly photographic memory for details, so here's what I can tell you:
The moderator wanted to know how, as writers, Jon and Richie determine which will be solo material and which material will be brought together for further collaboration as a band. Richie replied that it's really easy for him, because as soon as he sits down to write, he thinks of who will be singing it. Richie was speaking specifically about writing for Jon's vocal range when he said, "i write for Jon" and then he turned toward the audience of songwriters 
and gave them the advice about thinking about the artist who will sing it and the demographic.

Jon nodded as if to say, "Yeah, me too" to what Richie said, and that's when Jon added the part about regretting "writing so many high notes" as a young songwriter. Jon got a laugh from the audience when he said it, and one of the times he and Richie said the same thing at the same time was when they both said, "'because you have to actually sing them!" Then they riffed on "Don't write what you can't sing" jokes.
That's it. I remember the "I write for Jon" quote clearly because I was sitting directly across from Richie, and when he turned toward the audience to say the second part, he had to turn toward me. It also happened right after a hilarious incident that was part of why my audio of the event was never posted. I didn't write about it then, but now that time has passed, I'll tell you about it in a minute.)

The meaning of that 'I write for Jon" quote was very clear and non-controversial in person, at the event. Jon was sitting right beside Richie and nodded in agreement, and Desmond Child was there and heard it, too. Desmond was sitting either directly behind me or one person over. He has a great laugh and I could hear him behind me, and I saw him as I was leaving afterward. 

Desmond Child is a very outspoken guy who had his own songwriter's panel there, which I also attended. If Desmond thought Richie meant anything other than starting a song with Jon's vocal range in mind, Desmond would have said so at his own songwriting panel. He's not a guy who minces words.

Seriously, guys, you're looking for a smoking gun that isn't there. When I originally posted this piece, there was no discussion of the "I write for Jon" quote at all. 

Now that time has passed and the person in question won't see this, I can tell you a funny thing that happened right before the guys said the thing about the "rickety old cassette tape recorder". It was one of the reasons why I never posted my audio for this event

There was a guy sitting next to me in the media row, who clearly wasn't media or anyone who worked at the event, and he didn't seem to be a fan or a songwriter either. Remember, the media row is the front row, directly in Jon and Richie's sight-lines. Jon and Richie are on stage facing us, and I'm across from Richie, maybe ten to twelve feet away?

So Jon and Richie and the moderator are in the middle of the discussion, and I'm speedwriting my notes, and I've got my recorder positioned on the corner of my notepad on my lap, steadying it with my left hand
as I write so the recorder will pick up what they're saying without their having to stare at it. (Media etiquette 101.)

So I'm scribbling away, and
out of the corner of my eye I see the guy break out a bag of  sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds or something that needs to be shelled. And he kicks back in his chair like he's in his livingroom. Then he pulls out a drink, which he cracks open noisily. My recorder is picking all this up, because it's right next to the guy.

Then, still kicked back, he pulls out his cell phone to call God knows who--but it becomes obvious he's trying to impress a girl when, just as Jon's in the middle of answering a really good question, the guy says in a smarmy voice, loud enough for them to hear, "Hey. Guess where I am. Yeah, I'm checking out Jon Bon Jovi..."

You can't make this stuff up. Jon paused for a microsecond to glance over (not a stinkeye) and kept going. If I had to draw a thought bubble above Jon's head it might have said something like, "WTF?" Meanwhile, I'm trying to stay focused, and I'm periodically glaring daggers at Cell Phone Guy to try to get him to shut up. And I cannot look at Jon or Richie, because I'm afraid I'll start laughing at the ridiculousness. So I got more interested in my notes.

The guy hangs up, so I think, cool, he's over it and he'll settle down with his snack now. He picks up my recorder from the notepad on my lap, holds it up, and says to me, in a stage whisper loud enough for Jon and Richie to hear:

"Junk!" and gestures to his own recorder, which is like a ministudio the size of a paperback book and has multiple sliders and all this crazy stuff on it.

Sidebar: There's a reason why a lot of reporters still use very simple mini recorders instead of an IPhone or whatever. Simple recorders are durable and and can take jostling around or being dropped. (Mine survived a fall onto the cement floor of an arena years ago.) More importantly, you need something with simple record buttons you can switch on without looking when you're juggling your notes or walking really fast.

And that's where we pick up with Jon and Richie, who've seen thousands of reporters' recorders.

This may be coincidence, because I'd heard them tell the story before,  but there is no way they hadn't seen and heard that guy's antics...  and I saw Richie get that look musicians get when they're either suddenly entertained or about to be, and I saw him glance over at Jon to get his attention.

And that is when Richie told the the story about "Who Says You Can't Go Home," their current single at the time, being written with "two guitars and a rickety old tape recorder" and Jon joined in.


7/25 ET fix a formatting error and a typo.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Helping a Friend: Darcie's Mom

Greetings Loyal Readers,

I'm on my way out to the Bon Jovi show at Staples Center tonight, but wanted to take the time to ask a huge, huge favor for a friend.

Over on the main site, you may have read articles by music business consultant Darcie-Nicole Wicknick. You know our articles on Publishing and Royalties 101, and the article about different types of record deals? That's Darcie's hard work, breaking it down for you. Darcie also sings with band Velvet Stylus, and is the co-founder of the Boston Hip Hop Alliance.

Darcie's mother Shelby (my hero), an amazing musician in her own right, has been battling Lupus, and its effects, for many years. She's battled it so hard, she even beat it--a feat that's nearly unheard of with Lupus. (Like I said, she's my hero.) But the effects of the battle have left its scars, and as a result she was recently hospitalized with a stroke and faces a long, new road.

As you no doubt know, medical care in the US is ridiculously expensive, even for those with health insurance. There is also currently no law that requires doctors to accept Medicare, Medicaid, or MediCal patients, even as a small percentage of their practices. As a result, many patients who most need medical help can't get it, or can't get the best care. It's a sad reality that can happen to any of us.

We want Darcie's mom to get the best possible care, just like you'd get for your own mom. So a fund has been started to help cover some of her medical costs. If you follow this link, it will take you to Darcie's website where you can read her mom's story. There's also a Paypal button where you can donate:

Any donation, great or small, is appreciated and really helps. The donations will be used to help defray the cost of Darcie's Mom's home health care provider, as well as costs for the accompanying home medical supplies.

Meanwhile, see the button on the website at the bottom of the left hand menu? (See it? It's under the Hard Rock Cafe ad.) If you click on that exact button to order stuff from, will donate 50% of all our Amazon proceeds to Darcie's mom's medical fund through December 31, 2008. (The other percentage we use to defray bandwidth costs, keeping the site free for you guys.)

Darcie did not ask me to do this. But she's a good friend who's good to us, and she's been good to you guys through her informative articles. So your help is much appreciated.

Thanks for reading this, and for whatever you can do. It really means a lot to me, because as someone who also lives with an autoimmune disease, I know just how lucky I am to be headed out to that Bon Jovi show tonight.

Thanks again.

Randi Reed
Founder/Editor in Chief,

Monday, April 07, 2008

Are You Kidding Me??? (aka How Not to Play Live)

Heard on the car radio by's Researcher Extraordinaire on the ride home tonight:

A guy from a signed band who's currently an opener was saying how he's getting quite an education from Dave Grohl on how to work an arena. Then came the kicker: "Hats off to him, because I don't think I could play for two hours straight."


Loyal readers, if this is you, we implore you...

Get crackin'.

We can't even imagine stamina being a factor with the bands we grew up listening to (or even the first bands we were in or managed), because they were constantly either practicing or jamming. And being the 80's, there were pretty good odds they were um...impaired.

What the hell are you doing? Get off the computer and go practice.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Playlist Easter Weekend March 22 and 23, 2008

Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
Rolling Stones: High Tide and Green Grass Greatest Hits
Manic Street Preachers Send Away the Tigers
Arcade FireNeon Bible
Sixx AM: The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack
Beatles 1
Buddy Holly Greatest Hits
Loretta Lynn (with Jack White of the White Stripes): Van Lear Rose
Elvis Presley: Greatest Jukebox Hits
The Strokes Is This It
The Killers Hot Fuss
Elton John: Madman Across The Water
Patsy Cline: 12 Greatest Hits
album track: I Don't Love You Anymore London Quireboys
album track: Levon Jon Bon Jovi, from Two Rooms Elton John and Bernie Taupin tribute Album
album track: The Bitch Is Back Tina Turner, from Two Rooms Elton John and Bernie Taupin tribute Album

Disclosure of Endorsements/Recommendations/Financial Compensation or Business Relationships per FTC Blog Disclosure Regulations in effect December 1, 2009: The website, and by extension, this blog, sells Amazon products, including music, as an Amazon Associate.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Lennon-McCartney night on American Idol?

So American Idol is changing the performance schedule in order to do another Lennon-McCartney night.

Another night of butchering the Beatles. Heaven help us...

When the first one was announced, the eternal optimist in me had high hopes that a contestant or two might rediscover a lesser-known gem, rearrange it, and have a performance as good as David Cook's amazing "Hello" a couple of weeks ago.

After seeing the performances, I came to my senses.

As every decent musician knows, Beatles songs are something you sit around playing and singing at home with your friends on acoustic guitars.You don't dare actually sing one in public, because no one will ever do them as well as they did, so you can never really make them your own.

Not even the best of the best will go there, other than as a fun encore at the end of the night (often with a playful McCartney-style headshake in acknowledgment). Or at a tribute event for one of the fallen Beatles. In other words, those that dare perform them in front of an audience know the deal: those songs, and the Beatles' performances of them, were perfect.

So it's reeeeeeally awkward watching the less-than-the best use those songs to try to get their careers happening.

All I can say is...if they must, I hope they go deep into the catalog.

You can read more about song selection and choosing cover songs here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries: Recommended Reading for Managers, Aspiring Rock Stars, Addicts, and Loved Ones

Although it's been out for a while now, this week I finally read Nikki Sixx's book, The Heroin Diaries.

Excellent book...It's a very brave book that explains addiction better than anything I've ever read. I highly recommend it for anyone who, like myself, has had friends or loved ones who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction.

It should also be required reading for every artist manager or aspiring rock star.

If you're unfamiliar with the book, The Heroin Diaries came from Nikki Sixx's personal diaries from 1986-1987, the height of his drug addiction. It also coincided with the height of Motley Crue's career. He had vowed to himself to document everything in his journals...and he did, warts and all.

Nikki Sixx is donating proceeds from the book and his band Sixx: A.M.'s accompanying The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack to a music program he's started at Covenant House called Running Wild in the Night. Very cool.

More info can be found at, and at

This post is dedicated to Bob Timmons, who helped many people, including Nikki Sixx, get clean and sober.

Disclosure of Endorsements/Recommendations/Financial Compensation or Business Relationships per FTC Blog Disclosure Regulations in effect December 1, 2009: In the 90's I worked for a concert promotion company that presented many Motley Crue shows. Since that time I've received no financial compensation or free product in direct connection with Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx, or their associated companies. (and by extension, this blog) sells products, including books and music, as an Amazon Associate.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Section Over at

Hi Everyone,

When I'm coaching someone in live performance, and in articles I write over at the main site, I often refer to specific artists, songs, or performances as an example to get the point across...

...And since the beginning of 10 years ago, we've wanted to implement video examples into the site by including video of artist's specific performances. Until recently, performance royalties and bandwidth expense made it impractical.

Therefore, we give you
The MBADC Performance Coach. You'll find it in the left-hand menu over at

When you click on it, you'll find links to video clips, along with what you can learn from each performance, and what to look for that made us cite it as an example. (Where applicable, you'll also find a link to the article in which we've cited it as an example.)

Each clip, and each artist, has something you can learn...whether or not the artist is in your musical genre, or whether or not you even like that particular artist. It's all about learning from the best, and expanding your creativity.

More links to video are coming weekly, as we find them. In most cases have specific performances in mind, so it sometimes takes a little while to track it down and find the best version.

In fact, as soon as I post this I'm off to continue the search for a clip of this one band that...well, I'll leave that for you to see later.

Make something great happen today,
Randi Reed
Founder / Editor in Chief,