F#%$ 'em if they can't take a joke.
Blogging pace is VERY SLOW, until further notice.
That is interesting. I wonder when the date was that Brian Rohan ranted to the Dead at Larkspur "about how much money they were racking up in studio time. 'You’re never going to make any money...' They just rolled their eyes." By 1970, the Dead had surely learned their lesson about studio time. I can't see Rohan launching into that diatribe after Workingman's Dead was done in a week... If he did, no wonder they rolled their eyes. But yeah, in '69 they just didn't care.This piece reminds me of a classic article by record producer Steve Albini on the same topic in a later generation of bands: http://www.negativland.com/news/?page_id=17 The Dead themselves talked about the exact same thing in the August '69 Helix interview - Q: Do record companies use the fact that musicians need an awful lot of money, for equipment and so forth, to tie the groups down?Lesh: AH-HAH!Garcia: Record companies aren't usually that devious, and since they're in kind of an open slave market, they don't have to indenture anybody, because any musician is indentured to the music business any fucking way, if he expects to make a living at it.The basic contract that the record company hands you before you start haggling over all the terms and words and stuff does just that, "we'll give you all sorts of bread to buy equipment with, fellas, course...we're not really giving it to you..."Lesh: "You're giving it to us..."Garcia: "...it's really coming out of your royalties." You see, that's not made public, a lot of times advances and recording costs are coming right out of your royalties, and that's one of the facts that you never see publicized...little music business fact. So the reality of it is that musicians just don't make no fucking money. Unless they're in the category of being extremely big in the business.The thing about it is, man, that if you're a musician...put yourself in this position: say you're in a band...all of a sudden you're in the music business, and you discover that, in addition to music, if you want it to go out as a total trip, you have to start thinking about publicity, about packaging, all that shit, and all of a sudden you're not playing for music, you don't have much time for it.Q: You're being an ad man.Garcia: Yeah, so like with us, we just stopped fucking with it... And really all of it's bullshit anyway, so why bother?And as Garcia put it to Guitar Player in '71: "Our Warner Brothers debt was pretty high, but it’s all figures that don’t really mean anything to you. It was no more real the times when we were the heaviest in debt than it is now when we’re almost out of debt. So what? What debt? I’m really delighted when I have like thirty bucks cash, you know."
!Thank you for joining the conversation!