Book Report: All You Need to Know About the Music Business
If all you ever read is this book, then you're off to a good start. What I’ve gathered so far from this business is that it is treacherous. You MUST mind your footing. Be cautious. Be skeptical. Never fully trust anyone you meet. “Oh, c’mon!” Seriously. I think it helps to have a healthy dose of paranoia in this business. I have this phrase I came up with, in regards to the more suspicious figures you hopefully won’t meet in music, when I started reading more and more material on the music business: “Be a mongoose among snakes.” For those of you not privy to certain areas of wildlife, a mongoose is a snake’s sworn enemy. You have to always keep your guard up, because I feel that as soon as you let it down, that’s when you’ll get taken advantage of. You have to constantly be watching your surroundings. By being a mongoose among snakes, you become the threat. You will have the upper hand on any of your would-be venomous enemies and put them on their heels. I don’t mean to paint such a bleak picture about the industry, because there are many pleasant careers to be had. Keep in mind though, it is a cold reality that for a lot involved, they don’t have a pleasant go of it.
All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman is invaluable. It is immensely entrenched in the treasures of a man’s mind gifted with wisdom and the talent to be able to provide that wisdom to the reader in an easily retainable dialogue; three decades worth of veteran-level knowledge in a subject and field marred with pitfalls, swamps, mines, and booby-traps. What you gain from reading it is a concise and pristine road-map of how to avoid these hazards; how to make it through the music business's no-man’s land unscathed. It is honestly more fitting for this book to be aptly nicknamed: How to Not Get Screwed in the Music Business. If one cares to devote their life to a subject, they must educate themselves on how to be protected. Can success be iron-clad, or at least pretty close to it? Yes, but you have to do the iron-cladding yourself. No one’s going to do it for you. No one’s going to tell you what to do or even feel obligated anyway. No one told me to read this book. I read it because I prefer to protect my future and any potential success I get. The iron-cladding is peace-of-mind. It is reassurance knowing that what you did, what you read, built you 'heavy armor' for what's to come; to face this industry head-on. And it is much more comfortable wearing that heavy armor when you realize it's just confidence that comes from the knowledge a book like this provides which ultimately lightens the load to make your heavy armor as light as a feather. Thank you Mr. Passman. You have made me a much more enlightened musician and industry-savvy individual. Cheers! Now go get this book!!