I decided that the best use my time at the TAXI Road Rally would be taking “Driver’s Ed” classes on marketing songs and performances. It was a good choice; I came away with dozens of new options to explore.
My first class was “Indie Artist Marketing, Touring and Promotion,” with Gilli Moon, an Australian singer/songwriter with a lovely voice. She had just returned from a tour with John Cleese of Monty Python fame. “Think about what makes you and your act unique,” she advised. “For me, initially, it was my accent.”
When she said that she often has to reassure students who tell her that they are too old to go on the road as singer/songwriters at, say, 43, I raised my hand and said, “I’m 57 years old, and I just came back from touring a month in Japan.” The whole room erupted in applause. For the rest of the conference, people came up to me and said “I was there when you said…”
I met the adorable Pam Passmore, a singer/songwriter whose bread-and-butter job is entertaining at children’s parties.
My 15 minute individual mentoring session with Fuzzbee Morse (“Composer/Producer/Songwriter/Multi-instrumentalist who has played with Bono, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Aaron Neville, and many more. Has had songs and scores in many films and TV shows with Paramount, ABC 20th Century Fox, Comedy Central and on labels such as A&M, Universal, Epic, Geffen and Warner Brothers”) consisted partly in his listening to Floozy Tune and America the Blues, and mostly in remembering our late, great friend in common, Steve Gursky, who was a famous recording engineer in the ‘70’s (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were among his clients) and who designed my first tour website in 2000.
I didn’t sign up to pitch my music to industry professionals, but lots of other people did. I’m content with self-producing and independently releasing my CDs and am not looking for a record deal. One thing I hear over and over again at this conference is that digital downloading is obsoleting the big record company/big record store/big hit record paradigm, and now what’s happening is that consumers are buying individual cuts over the internet and uploading them on their iPods, the more diverse in style, the better. That works for me.