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Rock is Dead…well almost

 

Quite simply, the fact that many talented musicians simply do not have access to enough money is endangering their career and rock music in general. There are a lot of reasons that the well has dried up. Too many to discuss here. But, the problem remains that we may never find the next Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan, because he or she does not have enough money to get noticed.

It is a romantic vision that the internet allows artists to talk directly to their fans. The problem is that there is such a glut of horrible music on the internet, it is difficult to sift through the shit to get to the good stuff. In this day and age anyone with a rich uncle can make an album. Just because you can make an album, doesn’t mean that you should.

So as a result, any artist without a benefactor is spending weeks on end on the road. Traveling in the middle of the night in a Ford Econoline van, pulling a trailer. They are traveling in snow, ice, rain and on about two or three hours of sleep. Many bands choose to sleep in their van, because they want to save money on motels. They have to live on $10 a deal meal money. It is only luck that has prevented more tragic stories than we have about bands rolling their vans in the middle of the night. Throw the potential of alcohol and drugs into the equation and it is a very dangerous lifestyle. Yet tens of thousands of our young people are doing it every day.

If you are a talented dancer from urban Chicago or a violinist from Harlem, our government might just find ways to funnel you money to advance your studies. But if you are a terrific guitar player from a band in Fort Smith, Arkansas, you are on your own. This has to stop. What the hell is wrong with our government? Other nations, such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and others give their talented young rock musicians money and send them abroad to work on their craft. They see their talented artists as national treasures. We look at ours as tattooed losers.

Our politicians are asleep at the wheel. The music industry, and specifically many superstar artists such as Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, James Taylor and many, many others give tirelessly to politicians that they believe in. Candidates that they feel will help change the world. These same politicians have allowed piracy to overtake the music industry and bring it to its knees. The politicians take from our industry, but they give NOTHING BACK. Recording industry organizations such as NARAS, the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and others need to work vigorously on getting our government to take steps to more vehemently support our young musicians. Not just the classically trained musicians, but the kid that lives down the hall from you, who is tucked away in his room for eight hours a day, working on writing the perfect song, or mastering a great guitar rift. Our government is simply not doing enough.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama explained how we are falling behind the rest of the world in Math and Science. This is a huge problem. But, the failure to continue the development of our musical culture is a crime as well. It is time for an organized effort to allow our young artists to thrive in the 21st century.

It is time for the government to begin to look into the future an realize that we may be losing a big part of our history. The legacy of music must be allowed to be passed down to the next generation of artists. Spend more money on our youth and less on Cluster Bombs.

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About jimdelbalzo

As the former Senior Vice President of Promotion at Columbia Records and now founder/helmsman of the artist management company-Jim Del Balzo Entertainment, Jim has managed, consulted, and developed/executed the promotion and marketing plans for some of the planet’s most beloved musicians. He has guided the careers of artists/acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Alice In Chains, James Taylor, George Michael, Soul Asylum, and System of a Down; to name just a few. Jim also does consulting for labels and publishing companies including Columbia Records, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, Hear Music/Starbucks, EMI Music Publishing and several other entertainment entities. Jim Del Balzo Entertainment clients include,  John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, LL Cool J, Burt Bacharach, City Sleeps, Buddahead and Since October.     Jim’s highly successful career and great service to the music industry has earned him a number of accolades and awards over the years. Namely, he was voted one of the Top 25 Most Important People in Rock Music (2000) and Promotion Executive of the Year (5 times) by Album Network—from which he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award. And Clear Channel twice honored Jim with the Executive of the Year Award while Friday Morning Quarterback and Radio & Records named him Top Industry Executive 7 times combined.   Today, Jim Del Balzo takes his talent to the microphone, adding voice work to his remarkable repertoire. His promotional expertise and attuned top executive instincts-combined with his richly unique sound- delivers VO that is truly somethin’ else.   Jim Del Blazo VO.  Like nothin’ you’ve heard. Like nobody’s business.   Jim lives in Saddle River, New Jersey with his wife Mary Beth, daughters Jessica and Julia, and their two golden retrievers.

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