What I Learned about Marketing
from Rock & Roll

by James on December 29, 2008

It always surprises people who know me now to learn I spent six years working in Rock & Roll after college. I worked with some friends from college to produce concerts, organize bus trips from secondary markets to concerts in major markets, and toured with bands. An exciting time for sure and many marketing lessons learned.

Hip Shots

  • Don’t sell what you want/like, sell what your audience wants/likes. Obvious perhaps but if I had $100 for every time a client changed a brief or had us redo an ad because of their taste Yvonna would be hanging with me.
  • The show goes at 8:00 PM. The artists may not choose to go on (see 3 below) but there are no excuses for the production not to be ready. This is a source of tremendous pride for the crew that travels with and supports the band. Whatever it takes, and this once involved a bottle of whiskey and a sedge hammer to solve a short power cable, the show is ready to go on time.
  • Respect drives success. The best bands, the bands that sustain their success over many years, know this. I had the privilege to work with Rush early on. They used to come to our college town and use the local hockey arena as a rehearsal hall. They had respect, and showed it, for every member of the crew. They also had great respect for their fans and worked harder than you can imagine to be sure their show was the best it could be. This wasn’t about their egos. It was about the fans. Rush performed in the SF Bay area this year and friends, who saw the show, said they are better than ever.

There are a few more things I learned working in Rock & Roll. They weren’t marketing lessons and this is a “G” rated blog so some day, over a glass of wine…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Vincent January 9, 2009 at 3:34 am


Now is the opportunity to write one on “what I learnt about Rock and Roll from marketing” with particular reference to Alice Cooper/Marilyn Manson packaging development, Kiss merchandising and Metallica’s PR. I think Rolling Stone could be interested…

Your old mate Vin.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv Enabled