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Can a 40 year old get a deal?
View Poll Results: Can a 40 year old START in the music biz.
Yes
106 Votes - 41.90%
Yes, but only as a writer
31 Votes - 12.25%
It would take a miricle but maybe.
90 Votes - 35.57%
Hell no.
26 Votes - 10.28%
Voters: 253. You may not vote on this poll

Old 9th February 2007
  #31
I just wonder what the human cost is?

Folks that want to have music star careers must have friends and family, how do they feel as things don't pan out for their friend / loved one?

What if the people wanting to be music stars - don't have a back up plan, because they were so sure it was going to happen?

Old 9th February 2007
  #32
Smile

...


backup plan??

heh

..
Old 9th February 2007
  #33
Gear Guru
The majors won't sign adults. Which makes perfect sense because adults aren't a market. They don't have disposable income. Oh, um wait, oh yeah. They don't like music. No, that's not not it, lemme think. I know, they don't buy CDs. No, they're the only ones still buying CDs. It's because, um....... OK, why the f*ck won't the majors sign adults?
Old 9th February 2007
  #34
Gear Addict
Though your chances have SIGNIFACANTLY decreased, I believe 40+'s can get a deal, question is, why would you want one? I think at this age and having been in the music scene for about 20 years now, (I'm 38) I've accumulated enough knowledge about the business side of music to understand that for the most part, it's smoke & mirrors and there's not much in it for the talent. This discussion has taken place many times here so I don't care to go in to details.

Point is, we should be mature enough at this age to bypass the whole rock star mentallity and make meaningful records for ourselves and have the ability to market them to the appropriate audiences. At less-than-superstar status, there's really more work than money in the marketing side if things. As was already said, the internet has opened up so many doors that simply were not available 20 years ago when some us started, and has somewhat levelled the playing field between the major label labels and the little guy.

Jules made a good point too that in music, just like any business, you're always going to have to make sacrifices. Touring around the country in a van full of stinky musicians for a months at a time is just no fun once you get past about 25 or so and creature comforts, family, and loved ones are far more priority as you get older.
Old 9th February 2007
  #35
Lives for gear
 
GearBit's Avatar
 

I got a deal with a major at 42 so yes, it is possible. I do think there are alot of factors that come into play like style of music, looks and hair dye as well as the values of the people sigining you.
Old 9th February 2007
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by opium89 View Post
I believe 40+'s can get a deal, question is, why would you want one?
Indeed...

Have people that want to be music stars re-evaluated their dreams over the years? Tailored and adjusted them to fit the current climate? I think the answer is no for many. But is it possible for people to re evaluate a dream? Have some peoples dreams turned into a 25 year old ball and chain dragging along beside them that might be holding them back?
Old 9th February 2007
  #37
i'm @ the early 30's breaking point. half of my friends are trying to hang on to that young rock star dream & the other half are looking for a way to enjoy playing music as an adult without the hype of selling a hip image or trying to be the next posterchild for teen angst.

i tend to relate better to the latter of the 2 groups & we get together & jam like guys into sports would get together & play a game of ball on the weekend. have a few laughs, a few beers, play for a bit, swap amusing anecdotes, improve our craft & go back to our lives.

if we did decide to pound the pavement & try pushing the music we write i could see coming from a ZZtop angle as opposed to lying about our age & busting out the airbrush to make us look younger.
Old 9th February 2007
  #38
Smile

..

if you're over 40, and still looking for a deal,

may i suggest Gearslutz classifieds?

heh

..
Old 9th February 2007
  #39
Get the hook!

Old 9th February 2007
  #40
Gear Nut
 

My humble addition to this conversation is that I would imagine it depends on genre. There are many subsets of music with their own notions of what standard is. For instance, I would think it would be perfectly resonable for some random 40 yr old guy who just so happens to do a great Gregg Allman impersonation to hit the road and build a fan bass, ultimately capping with some noteriety, in the jam scene. Or, conversely, in the indie rock scene, I believe Robert Pollard was a school teacher who was nearly 40 when Guided by Voices began to get notoriety. But, obviously, if the idea is to sign to a major and be a popular adult contemporary artist, its a bit different.
Old 9th February 2007
  #41
Gear Nut
 
Devina's Avatar
 

yes sometimes
Old 9th February 2007
  #42
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

After 40 you might not make it reaching for the stars, but you can finally afford
to buy some better gear than you had in your 20's heh

The good thing about the internet is that a great artist or band can promote and sell their work without all the restrictions of a major label.

At least when you're older you can play without any pressure and just enjoy the music.
Old 9th February 2007
  #43
Lives for gear
 
2leod's Avatar
 

The poll is kind of a non sequitur from the title - getting a deal and making it in the biz are not really the same thing. Only because "making it" really depends on what "it" is. If someone who is 40 and has made enough in some other preoccupation to have a house and an RV, wants to sell the house and go on the road with a CD that he recorded for 10,000 bucks, he can do that for some time and not feel obliged to take a bad deal from a label. He's got an advantage over the 20 year old kid who needs to hold his hand out to get a start. If it doesn't pan out in 5 or 10 years, what has he lost really, other than a pension? Doing something because that's what you want to do is third down and goal line to making it in my books. Of course, it gets tougher if we're talking about a band of 40 somethings.

The question might better be "Why would a 40 year old want a deal?"
Old 9th February 2007
  #44
Lives for gear
 
2leod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
At least when you're older you can play without any pressure and just enjoy the music.
Ya beat me to it!
Old 9th February 2007
  #45
Lives for gear
 
DCtoDaylight's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
you can do anything you want, anytime
I agree with you in principle, but flinging my long hair around on stage is a thing of the past! Glad I enjoyed it while it lasted... https://www.gearslutz.com/board/image...es/ylsmoke.gif
Old 9th February 2007
  #46
Lives for gear
 
Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexLakis View Post
Hey, Epitaph "signed" Tom Waits a few years ago! How old is he? Sounds like he's 204.
C'mon, that's not fair, Tom doesn't sound a day over 203.
Old 9th February 2007
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Jules, jmikeperkins & 2leod hit it on the head - 100%. The other comments make a ton of sense, too.

I had a deal for years, we charted well, toured, etc. The only people that made money were the labels, the studios and tour support people. Sucked. And we little to no control. One of our first meetings at the label was an "image meeting". God forbid we brought up new songs, track feedback, etc.

As people have said here, the business truly is in such flux today, control is everything - meaning you.

Old school thoughts were get a deal, $500k plus advance for your first record, huge producers with big back-end points, 6 months + preproduction, a year to record and mix - maybe 18 months, video budget, advance work, interviews, press, open for a label mate, tour, tour, tour, in stores, radio, blah blah blah... I'm frickin' tired already.

Then, once you start charting or are in rotation on MTV, the label guys start pinning "hot spots" for you to play (market) and you start criss-crossing the planet and in order to keep the advance $$ coming, you need to keep doing it. I had a close friend that 24 weeks after making the top ten (and then falling like a rock) had his label abandon him on the road. Really. No money, phone calls not returned. Nothing. Dropped and replaced with another. Same sound. Younger, Hungry and knew nothing. PERFECT Target for a label. And just look at guys like Little Richard and others from that era. Really bad history there. Really bad.

Oh, YEAH! Where do I sign up for that experience?????

As a songwriter & producer today, I make WAY more $$, have 100% control over my IP, time and choices. With the field being so level now, the labels are a noose around a "true" artist's neck like never before. No budgets, no long-term support, just pour $$ into the star dujour - like a new pet rock - and on to the next. More Paris anyone?

Like most media today, it's all about content, more content, delivery, etc. In fact, 20 years ago, hell even 5 years ago, if you had some little awesome polka band nobody knew about or can easily hear - what options did you have? I'm 100% positive that this example today could recoup $10k or more of recording time/equipment within 12 months with a global audience.

In fact, I had a project here that could not get of the ground ( no, not a polka band, not that there's anything wrong with that). A friend hooked me up in Europe and Japan and enough money was earned that I could sit around and do nothing but spend tons of $$ for 2-3 years on toys, living expenses, not working and still have $$ in the bank. Really. No label. Just opportunity and preparation. A label would have killed this deal.

Sorry, time to get off my soapbox...

Dude, if you have it, go for it. As a matter of fact, post a link to your tunes, photos, etc and let the people you came to for an opinion have a listen.

NOTE: Can you imagine having this knowledge, capital, options and experience and being 25 years old in today's market? Wow! It's like Robin Williams said: We're born in reverse - either way we end up in diapers! At 80 we have the knowledge and experience yet no youth nor energy to put it into practice. Next time, I'm comin' back that way!!heh

Good luck and do what makes you happy, Man. Life's wayyy too short. Look at the drama in Florida today. Sad stuff.

TJ
Old 9th February 2007
  #48
Smile

..

nice post.


but hey, as George Carlin said, if we could REALLY live life in reverse,

we'd go out in orgasm

..
Old 9th February 2007
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
..

nice post.


but hey, as George Carlin said, if we could REALLY live life in reverse,

we'd go out in orgasm

..
Funny!heh heh
Old 9th February 2007
  #50
Smile

..

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, and you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating... you finish off as an orgasm.

from his book, "dark humor"

..

sorry for the OT, now back to the show..

..
Old 9th February 2007
  #51
Lives for gear
 
GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
I had a deal for years, we charted well, toured, etc. The only people that made money were the labels, the studios and tour support people.
Its weird but I see alot of people saying that they got nothing out of their major label deal.
I can only assume they had no publishing or merchandising stake.
I did a deal with Sony (one of the more contractually hard assed) and kept my publishing % and merchandising.
At the end of it all I made more money than they did. They are still approx 300,000 in the red. All I can say now is thanks Sony for taking the loss and helping to raise my profile/network contacts!
Old 9th February 2007
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearBit View Post
At the end of it all I made more money than they did. They are still approx 300,000 in the red. All I can say now is thanks Sony for taking the loss and helping to raise my profile/network contacts!
Yes, that's true. That's why I'm on the other side today and what I meant about Europe & Japan $$$.

In fact, I remember when we were dropped. I was all about IP rights, not being a star and a certain label exec told me that they could "gain a more positive return" with a less experienced and "green" artist. Bye bye now.

So the lawyers made them honor the rest of the term, we delivered the last 2 records per the contract ( on the shelf to this day), used their money to record as set forth in the deal, and built our studio on their dime rather than paying for studio time. And every day I reminded them. Really. Within a year, the exec was gone. Some new people wanted to revive the relationship (meaning recoup the $$) but we passed. Same folks you know of "epic" proportions!!

Look, we all know a label is no different than Hasbro or GM: Music is a product and a musician's passion for their art is used against them. Approach it like a business (after you've written and recorded the tunes) and protect your assets. In the end, that's all there is. I'd rather own a strong catalog than be a rock star any day. That was the problem. Also, when the found out I went to law school, that didn't help much either ( never looked past the hair and "image" to truly know their "investment"). Great business people, huh?

In fact, I used to say all the time that my guitar was out of my hands almost 70% of the time after being signed. Very little music. Always a fight for position at the label. Don't even bring up losing your A&R guy or label head when getting ready for a release.

There it is... Better off today 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
..

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What's that, a bonus?
sorry for the OT, now back to the show..

..
Again, funny!!!

TJ
Old 9th February 2007
  #53
Gear Guru
 
Sid Viscous's Avatar
 

Yes, but they have to kick some serious ass.
Old 9th February 2007
  #54
Lives for gear
"Should a 40 yr old want a record deal?" is a different question.
Old 9th February 2007
  #55
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
This probably happened to you too . . .

Back when "Killer Queen" came on the radio, I pulled off the road and wanted to buy everything that band recorded. And the last thing on my mind was how old they might have been, or what they looked like.

Same thing happened a few other times, and again, age and looks didn't stop me from running to the record store to load up.
Old 9th February 2007
  #56
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I have gotten a few of my artists deal in their 40s and 50s. But it really depends on genre. Progressive and jazz audiences are fine with older guys.
Old 9th February 2007
  #57
Gear Addict
 
SpiderM69's Avatar
 

Quote:
Look, we all know a label is no different than Hasbro or GM: Music is a product and a musician's passion for their art is used against them. Approach it like a business (after you've written and recorded the tunes) and protect your assets. In the end, that's all there is.
Bingo. That's all it's about. You can try to kid yourself otherwise, but it's simply a product that sells or doesn't. You can be in business for yourself, arrange for your own funding, or try to get signed (i.e. funded and marketed) which means you'll make less (if anything at all) becasue the record company is the one taking the risk with the funds. That's not to stick up for the record company, it's just business. They're akin to loan sharks - most musicians get screwed in the process. But then again that also is just supply and demand, because it seems there's always an endless supply of (usually young) musicians who apparently don't mind being abused, even if due to naivite.

Back to the original question. It needs to be addressed in a business fashion. Who's your market? If you're marketing to the over 40 year olds, then yes, it's a possibility, IMHO. If you're marketing to 20 somethings, it'll be a struggle at best. Marketing to the over 40 (over 50?) crowd is an untapped market for new music IMHO. They're also the ones who are used to paying for music, as well as having large numbers ("baby boomers", well maybe the tail end). So far the record companies have been treating that market with recycled artists, "best of" albums, etc.

If you want to be a "pro", you gotta look at it like a business. That's what a professional is, by definition.
Old 9th February 2007
  #58
It really comes down to:

A) Are you a real good looking guy who is photogenic and in great shape?(if not than forget it).

B) Do you have your own full head of hair?(receding hair lines and the bald look is out and is a tough sell unless you do country and wear a hat/trucker cap).

C) Do you look like you are in your 40's(from the drugs and booze) or can u pass as you are in your early to mid 30's?

This is how a major label will think.

If no to any above like everyone said go the independent route and do your thing. You might find your niche and hit it big. Plus you'll get to do the music you want to.

If yes to all the above with a good sound,hit songs and the right PR/marketing people behind you there is a chance to create a buzz.
Old 9th February 2007
  #59
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
as long as youre not trying to sell yourself as a teenager.
bingo
Old 9th February 2007
  #60
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superburtm's Avatar
 

so your saying if you don't haver a full head of hair you can't get a deal??THats' ******** Phil collins never had a full head of hair..Moby was bald as an eagle..Aaron Lewis...etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
It really comes down to:

A) Are you a real good looking guy who is photogenic and in great shape?(if not than forget it).

B) Do you have your own full head of hair?(receding hair lines and the bald look is out and is a tough sell unless you do country and wear a hat/trucker cap).

C) Do you look like you are in your 40's(from the drugs and booze) or can u pass as you are in your early to mid 30's?

This is how a major label will think.

If no to any above like everyone said go the independent route and do your thing. You might find your niche and hit it big. Plus you'll get to do the music you want to.

If yes to all the above with a good sound,hit songs and the right PR/marketing people behind you there is a chance to create a buzz.
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