Joe Bonamassa vs Damian Keys; you’re both right!

Really interesting ideas here. Not wanting to sit on the fence or anything but Joe and Damian are both right... musicians should be paid and streaming is not a great deal for creators. However pandora has well and truly opened her box and I think it’s highly unlikely we will go back to how things were.

But then how were things? How many artists got paid properly anyway? For every Rolling Stones there was several bands who got fleeced by the industry and never saw any of the money that their music generated. Did successful, iconic bands exist purely on their mega record sales? I don’t think so, they were sophisticated businesses that sold hats, t shirts, concert tickets, books et al. 

I crowdfunded my last album. It was something many people had suggested I should do but for a long time I resisted. Wasn’t it just like begging? Then I had an epiphany; crowd funding is a commission. People like what you do and ask you to do more. That’s been the business plan for artists for centuries! And not just musicians; did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling out of love and artistic passion? Well no not really, he was commissioned by Pope Julius II, would rather have been sculpting than painting and even ran away from Rome for a while to avoid doing the job. At least when I was making my album I had complete artistic control without a label (or the pope) telling me what I should be doing.

It’s a privilege to be making a living from creativity, be that in any of the various forms I’ve found myself doing including writing, performing and teaching. Yes at times I’m a salesman (all business are marketing businesses) and on many occasions I think a touring performer is basically a long distance driver who plays a gig in between motorway journeys. 

The situation we are in is the one we are in. I think that there are incredible opportunities for creative approaches to all this, and it’s exciting to be part of the development. 

Robert Lane