Dead reckoning at Merriweather Post

Tony Sclafani, the author of The Grateful Dead FAQ, wrote this article for the Baltimore Sun in advance of this week’s Dead concert in Baltimore!

00333698Will Columbia be ready for another Deadhead invasion when four of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead come to town May 14 to play a sold-out show at Merriweather Post Pavilion?

Longtime Columbia residents are unlikely to forget when the Grateful Dead performed in town for three summers in a row back in the 1980s. Throngs of the band’s followers trucked into town clad in headbands and colorful tie-dye shirts and skirts. They then proceeded to camp out in Symphony Woods and bathe in the fountains at the Mall in Columbia.

To use a Deadhead expression, this “freaked out” a lot of locals. After one too many weird Deadhead sightings, disgruntled residents held meetings with local police, reporters wrote news stories, and opposing opinions flew back and forth in the pages of the Columbia Flier.

Talk of all this controversy still goes on in places like the Facebook page “You know you grew up in Columbia Md when…” where it’s rumored the Dead were eventually banned from Merriweather.

All of which begs the question — Is the band back because the ban was lifted?

No, because “there was never a ban,” says Jean Parker, Merriweather’s longtime general manager. “That is not accurate.”

Part of the reason the rumor has been kept alive all these years is because when people Google the topic, what comes up is a Los Angeles Times article from June 6, 1990, titled “Pavilion bans Grateful Dead.” But that article was factually incorrect, says Times’ historian, Ralph Drew, by email. “On Friday, June 8, 1990, the Los Angeles Times printed a correction,” he notes.

A Pavilion official first dispelled this rumor in a letter after being queried by Columbia resident John Sybert in 1994. “Merriweather has never banned any acts from performing at its venue and, to my knowledge, neither has the community,” wrote customer relations manager Julie M. Kershner.

The reason the band didn’t return to Merriweather after 1985 (save for a 1989 solo Garcia appearance) was because they had outgrown the venue.

Click here to read the rest of the article!

Components of DIY Marketing

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, was featured in the spring issue of Berklee Today, the Berklee College of Music’s alumni magazine!

00124611Components of DIY Marketing

Marketing is the complete process of creating products and services to satisfy your target audience, build awareness, and make sales. It includes researching, goal setting, strategizing, and executing. In this article, we discuss three aspects of DIY marketing that are often overlooked by musicians who believe that marketing simply involves social media and YouTube videos. Here we focus on building a brand identity with slogans, testing products among fans, and measuring marketing efforts.

1. Building Your Brand Identity with Slogans

What do Apple, Ozzy Osbourne, and hundreds of other successful companies and brands all have in common? They all employ brand slogans to build their identity. Slogans provide further information about a brand, communicate an overall philosophy, and increase memorability. They can even become part of your brand’s logo or be used to market a specific product or service, such as your own album or concert tour. Cypress Hill branded its Smoke Out Festival with the slogan, “An all day mind altering event.” And Bring Me the Horizon (a British metal-core outfit) branded its album Suicide Season with the slogan, “A perfect soundtrack to a life spent on the edge.” No confusion there.

What follows are several tips for creating a slogan that can make a lasting impression with your intended audience. Remember, slogans don’t have to be grammatically correct; but they must be pithy and direct.

Reflect the identity that you want to project. To better communicate what you do and who you are, suggest the personality and culture you want to project within your slogan. To emphasize his punk roots and to pay homage to icon Iggy Pop, for example, Henry Rollins used “Search and Destroy” as a slogan to accompany his logo. In fact, Rollins even tattooed the logo on his back and uses it on T-shirts and other merchandise. The Los Angeles indie metal band Clepto, which has Saudi Arabian roots, uses the slogan “Thrash Punk Gypsies,” which sums up the band’s sound and spirit.

Speak to your audience. When creating your slogan, consider whom you are trying to appeal to. Understanding your likely target audience is crucial. Get a sense of your audience members’ age, gender, education level, and income. Also, research their activities, interests, and opinions, and understand behavioral issues and the things that motivate them. Also consider the regions where your audience is located. The band House of Pain uses the slogan “Fine Malt Lyrics” in its logo to pay homage to its home city of Boston and to the Irish community there. Harley Davidson uses “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice” to pay tribute to the proud and loyal group of riders in the United States and the free country in which the brand was founded.

Stand out from the competition. Study your competitors, who may share a similar audience, so you can highlight what makes you unique. The musical group Pink Martini, which has an expansive musical style, uses the slogan “Music of the world, without being world music” to stand out. The metal band Manowar is listed in The Guinness World Book of Records as the loudest band in the world and has had that fact as its slogan for many years.

Stress the benefits. Create a slogan that draws attention to benefits that are important to your target audience and that you can honestly provide. Apple, undoubtedly one of the biggest companies in music, used the slogan “1,000 songs in your pocket” to promote its first-generation iPod and emphasize its large storage capacity. Recently, Apple used “Any kind of file, on all your devices” to promote the cloud. And guitarist Slash recently used the slogan “With everyone, from Ozzy to Fergie” to promote his new solo album that featured numerous guests. In all cases, note how these slogans all sell the benefits. They answer the customer question “What’s in it for me?”

Make it memorable. Making your slogan rhyme can be an advantage. Big-band legend Benny Goodman used the slogan “The King of Swing” throughout his career, and it was often used to introduce him on radio and television shows. His slogan was short and catchy.

Keep it short. Limit your slogan to just one or a few simple words. Also consider what might look cool and be adaptable on your products and marketing tools, such as your business cards, websites, e-mail signatures, etc. For instance, Bruce Springsteen used “The Boss” interchangeably with his own name.

Be believable; don’t exaggerate. Your slogan should not be perceived as out of proportion. Using language like “The greatest band on earth” when you’re starting out is just silly. Yes, jazz legend Jaco Pastorius called himself “The World’s Greatest Bass Player,” and the Rolling Stones adopted the slogan “The World’s Greatest Rock Band,” but both artists could back it up.

Offer an explanation. Use a descriptive tagline that tells people exactly what you are. For instance, the classic rock band ZZ Top uses the tagline “That lil’ ol’ band from Texas” throughout its website and on other PR materials. Billy Joel used “The Piano Man” in all his publicity and released a record of the same name.

Don’t confuse your audience. The whole point of a slogan or tagline is to educate your market about what you do, so don’t make the message confusing for your audience. The members of the Beatles, four in total, whose music was no doubt fabulous, adopted the clear and direct slogan “The Fab Four” for use in their publicity posters and other media. In contrast, the band Green Jello (renamed Green Jelly for legal reasons) used the slogan “Green Jello Sucks.” The name is confusing: Did the group’s music really suck? Was it taking a stab at the makers of the Jello? Or was it something band members did on stage? Yikes! In any case, it’s not a flattering, legally smart, or clear slogan. Don’t be confusing.

Look to your fans. Ask your most-likely fans how they might sum you up in a word or phrase, how they think you’re different, and what they feel is most important to them. You could even hold a contest and offer a prize. Not only can you form a closer bond with fans by getting them involved but also you may find a cool tagline to brand your band.

Click here to read the rest!

Also, Bobby will be speaking at Berklee College on June 20th! He will be teaching “Ten Steps of the Marketing Process.” In Borg’s “Ten Steps of the Marketing Process,” students will learn about tried-and-tested concepts used by the world’s most innovative companies, including: describing a vision, identifying a market need, analyzing target fans, learning from competitors, demoing products and services, setting marketing plan goals, and finding the perfect mix of new marketing strategies ranging from branding, product, price, place, promotion, and marketing information systems. Following Borg’s keynote, he will be signing his book Music Marketing For The DIY Musician at the Berklee Bookstore.

Cy Coleman Book Giveaway – Classic Movie Hub

Classic Movie Hub is hosting a You Fascinate Me So:

The Life and Times of Cy Coleman Book Giveaway!

00122483From now through Saturday, June 6th, Classic Movie Hub will be giving away a total of SIX copies of You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman by Andy Propst!

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO ENTER:

TO ENTER via TWITTER (Four Chances to Win):

1.) Follow @ClassicMovieHub on Twitter for the contest announcements.

2.) Successfully complete a qualifying entry task during the specified contest week.

3.) One winner will be chosen at random at the end of each specified contest week and announced on Twitter the following day.

4.) One book will be given away each specified contest week during the contest period, for a total giveaway of four books within four weeks.

TO ENTER via FACEBOOK (Two Chances to Win):

1.) Visit Classic Movie Hub on Facebook or the CMH Blog for the contest announcement.

2.) Successfully complete a qualifying entry task during the specified contest period.

3.) Two winners will be chosen at random at the end of the specified contest period and announced on Facebook and the Blog the following day.

4.) Two books will be given away during the contest period, for a total giveaway of two books within one month.

PLEASE NOTE for all prizing: Only Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) and Canada residents are eligible.

For more information, click here!

Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971

The Museum of Modern Art presents

Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971

May 17-September 7, 2015

The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor

The Museum of Modern Art presents its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Yoko Ono, taking as its point of departure the artist’s unofficial MoMA debut in late 1971. At that time, Ono advertised her “one woman show,” titled Museum of Modern [F]art. However, when visitors arrived at the Museum there was little evidence of her work. According to a sign outside the entrance, Ono had released flies on the Museum grounds, and the public was invited to track them as they dispersed across the city. Now, over 40 years later, Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971 surveys the decisive decade that led up to Ono’s unauthorized exhibition at MoMA, bringing together approximately 125 of her early objects, works on paper, installations, performances, audio recordings, and films, alongside rarely seen archival materials. A number of works invite interaction, including Painting to Be Stepped On (1960/1961) and Ono’s groundbreaking performance, Bag Piece (1964). The exhibition draws upon the 2008 acquisition of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, which added approximately 100 of Ono’s artworks and
related ephemera to the Museum’s holdings.

For more information about the exhibit, visit:

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1544

The exhibit begins this Sunday, May 17th!

Also, be sure to check out this excerpt from Reaching Out with No Hands: Reconsidering Yoko Ono, run in the New York Times around the release of the book in 2012!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/magazine/how-i-learned-to-love-yoko-ono.html?_r=0

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Interview with Bobby Borg!

Csilla Muscan interviews Music Marketing for the DIY Musician author Bobby Borg!

00124611There has never been a greater need for practical DIY marketing advice from a musician who has been there and succeeded than now – at a time when new technologies make it more possible than ever for musicians to attract attention independently and leverage their own careers, and record industry professionals look exclusively for developed artists who are already successful.

Written by a professional musician for other musicians, Music Marketing for the DIY Musician is a proactive, practical, step-by-step guide to producing a fully integrated, customized, low-budget plan of attack for artists marketing their own music. In a conversational tone, it reveals a systematic business approach employing the same tools and techniques used by innovative top companies, while always encouraging musicians to stay true to their artistic integrity. It’s the perfect blend of left-brain and right-brain marketing.

This book is the culmination of the author’s 25 years in the trenches as a musician and entrepreneur, and over a decade in academic and practical research involving thousands of independent artists and marketing experts from around the world. The goal is to help musical artists take control of their own destiny, save money and time, and eventually draw the full attention of top music industry professionals. It’s ultimately about making music that matters – and music that gets heard!

Listen: Dara Crockett on 102.7

Dara Crockett, co-editor of Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever, and guitarist Craig Chaquico talk with Jim Rose of 102.7 about the new book!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00131052Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is a reflection on Guitar Player‘s often pioneering early days, from its 1967 founding through its 1989 sale by founder Bud Eastman and editor/publisher Jim Crockett. This book looks at the magazine’s evolution from a 40-page semi-monthly to a monthly exceeding 200 pages, with a gross yearly income that grew from $40,000 to nearly $15 million.

The story is told by many people important to Guitar Player‘s history, including Maxine Eastman, Bud Eastman’s widow, and Crockett, who edited this book with his daughter Dara. Also here are recollections of key personnel, including Tom Wheeler, Jas Obrecht, Roger Siminoff, Mike Varney, Jon Sievert, George Gruhn, and Robb Lawrence; leading early advertisers, such as Martin, Randall, and Fender; and prominent guitar players featured in the magazine, including Joe Perry, George Benson, Pat Travers, Country Joe McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter, Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Michael Lorimer, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Liona Boyd, Steve Vai, and many others.

Among the many illustrations are then-and-now shots of performers and staff, early ads, behind-the-scenes photos from company jam sessions (with such guests as B.B. King and Chick Corea), various fascinating events, and key issue covers. Rich in history and perspective, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is the definitive first-person chronicle of a music magazine’s golden age.

10 Tips for Creating Persuasive Music Marketing Content

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides tips for creating persuasive music marketing content in his latest article from DiscMakers!

10 Tips for Creating Persuasive Music Marketing Content

Direct marketing is the process of bypassing intermediaries to communicate directly with fans, build awareness, and generate sales. Here are ten tips that can help you create music marketing content that sells.

Direct marketing is the process of bypassing intermediaries to communicate directly with fans, build awareness, and generate sales. Emailing tour dates, texting announcements about contests, and posting website links to your fund raisers are all direct marketing methods. Even phoning reminders about your show and mailing postcards about your record release are methods of direct marketing. In all cases, the most important ingredient needed to ensure success is persuasive content. As they say, “Content is king.” Here are ten tips that can help you create music marketing content that sells.

1. Say the most important things first

The first line of any correspondence is always the most important and establishes whether your intended audience will even pay attention. Begin your marketing messages by stating who you are, then announce the most compelling service/feature/event you are promoting. Finding an interesting hook or question that gets your target customers’ attention and draws them in is a good approach to sparking interest in your message.

2. Provide detailed information

You will hold your customers’ interest and help them decide to do business with you (i.e., donate to your campaign, come out to your show, buy your new CD, etc.) by highlighting your key selling points. It’s not enough to explain where you are playing and when: tell your audience “why” they should get in their car and come to your show. In other words, explain what’s in it for them.

3. Use attractive graphics

If the direct marketing method you’re using calls for it, use an attractive graphic that shows off your product or service, or that otherwise intrigues the viewer. Your album cover, your beautiful studio, a great live shot, or your fans beating each other up in the mosh pit are all possibilities. Whatever you use, just be sure your graphic matches your headline and promotion.

4. Include your logo and slogan

Whenever possible, include your band logo and slogan (sometimes called a “tagline”) at the bottom of end of your correspondence. Doing this can help build brand image and increase your brand recognition, which are known to lead to repeated sales.

5. Include a call to action

In any marketing communication, get your fans to act by including a polite command (aka “call to action). For instance: “To RSVP for the show and exclusive after-party, be sure to contact www.example.com/JulyParty while tickets last.” Remember the whole purpose of direct marketing is to get your fans to do something. Make it clear what it is you want them to do.

Click here to read the rest of the article!

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