In Rockonomics you will discover how Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra cut themselves in for songwriting credit as payment for agreeing to record a tune; the inside story of Dick Clark and Alan Freed, whose business practices were notably similar, but who came out of the payola scandal with careers heading in opposite directions; why, on his first three albums, Bruce Springsteen received nine cents an album to his manager's thirty-six cents; updates on the Beatles $80 million lawsuit, and new lawsuits since this book's original publication, including Billy Joel's; plus, the phenomenon of rap, the death of Bill Graham, the new "political correctness" of rock, a financial report on the state of the business through the first third of the nineties, and much more.
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One of the very best treatments of the relationship of money to popular music in American popular culture from the beginning of the century to the late 1980's. Rockonomics is particularly strong on the history of the publishing giants ASCAP and BMI, and the relationship of music to the advertising industry. Although the presentation is weakened slightly by chapters that are merely numbered and not named, the index does allow you to zoom in on periods, issues, or musicians of interest and skip around (as we musicians are prone to do when reading). But all in all, this clears the cigar smoke of industry fat-cats from the room, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to see "duh big picture about duh biz."From Publishers Weekly:
Eliot, who has written biographies of Phil Ochs and Burt Reynolds, sets out to show that commercialism, greed and corruption rule the popular music industry. Arguing that the industry reaps huge profits by exploitation, he examines the careers of well-known performers, disc jockeys, managers and agents from the early days of broadcasting to the present. He presents especially lengthy accounts of the Beatles' endless litigation with managers and record companies, and the rise and fall of notorious deejay Alan Freed in a payola scandal. Unfortunately, the point is smothered under the weight of too much material awkwardly delivered. With its many dreary accounts of callous people looking out for their own interests, Eliot's book is less an expose of corporate villainy than an indictment of exploiters and exploited alike. Photos not seen by PW. 35,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Omnibus Press 1990-02-12, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. A few light scratches and minor shelf wear on jacket otherwise fine. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 120237-5
Book Description Omnibus Pres Second edition VG/VG 290pp numerous b/w photos 9 5 x 6 5 630g, 1990. The book, the reality of rock 'n'roll and the cash it generates will force you to rethink the romance you have with music. Bookseller Inventory # 20084