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  • Steve Lukather tells it like it is

    Posted this in the Political Party Forum (sorry about that) but I think it's more appropiate here:

    http://mikeec.tumblr.com/post/24172050837/steve-lukather-tells-it-like-it-is

    [quote]

    Steve Lukather is a great guitar player who has released 6 solo albums and has recorded guitar tracks as a session musician on more than 1,500 albums representing a broad array of artists and genres.

    Steve posted this response to Bob Lefsetz (http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/) who has been discussing Spotify in his newsletters recently:

    "I just want to know something. ALL this pontificating about how Spotify and the like are the

    <div class="signaturecontainer">Rekel 1:1 -&quot;I&quot; is not the way.<br><br><br><br>My avatar is in memory of <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iman_Darweesh_Al_Hams">Iman Darweesh Al Hams</a>, a 13 year old Palestinian refugee girl from Gaza who was executed - after being wounded - by a commander of the Israeli Occupation Forces on October 5, 2004. He was rewarded with a promotion and received roughly $17,000 after having committed this murder. But we will never forget. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.rememberthesechildren.org/">Remember These Children</a> / <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ifamericansknew.org/">If Americans Knew</a> / Support the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bdsmovement.net/">BDS Movement</a></div>

  • #2

    There is a part of the rant that Steve doesn't discuss.  It is the part that deep down inside, he understands, but of course, will not discuss in a public venue.

     

    That point is this...

     

    The "old days" he often refers to was actually a small blip of time in the "biz".  If you look at the biz in the largest context back to 1920.

     

    The norm of "the biz" is that you have a few people signed up at the Katy Perry level  (define her as you will... I'm only talking about her as an income generator in the company).  Or her equivalent in 1920.... 1930..... 1940.... 1950..... 1960..... 1970.....1980.....1990.....2000.....2010....(oops, that would actually BE Katy Perry)... and onward.  Not a statement of  "who is talented and broke vs who is signed and rich).  It's just a statement of the norm of this biz.

     

    The historical norm of this biz is very much the Playtone Records, "That Thing You Do" cliff notes movie.

     

    Steve L was lucky enough to be BORN at a moment in time (like many of us), where a small BLIP of events, temporarily changed the biz to where a MOUNTAIN of money was streaming in to MANY levels of music makers for a SHORT amount of time  (about 20 years).

     

    Then, the biz returned to normal......where it wasn't necessarily a huge industry  ..... had fewer players, fewer moneymakers at the top levels etc etc...... Where we are now.... and where this will continually move DOWNWARDS to as we really get back there to 1955 levels.

     

    There are the every-so-often artists who will appear and manage to stick around for two or three generations  (a constant source of a FEW long term heros of film and music are necessary).  But there will be NO return to the days of 1964-1984.  Ain't gonna happen.

     

    Steve L KNOWS that.  These goofy little social mechanisms are not structured for making money  (except for the owner of the mechanism).  Spotify, quantify, iTunes, IOwnU, .....any of them..... are only containers for all the dribbling OUTPUT of the entire population..... as Steve L says.... there are TOO many people who can make music.

     

    It's true.  That's why there will never be money in it like the famous "BLIP" period.

     

    You want to be famous now?  Get in on Space travel.  Get in on.... well.... not slinging a Les Paul with dreams of becoming the next Eddie Fisher....er.......Steve Lukather.  Of course, TWO guys will get lucky with the Les Paul and Strat straight out of the garage in Fargo.  There is after all, a need here and there for SOMEONE to occasionally get through based on a wonderful pr angle....er.....based on an un-natural range of talent that is also perfectly suited for pr and working into a career-model that fits the financial mechanics of the biz.

     

    The blip days are gone.  I think Steve L just yaps in order to get his name in print  (any advertising is good advertising).  Or, he yaps about the topic because he's still touring, making $ from the old model  (any advertising is good advertising).  Regardless,  Steve L KNOWS the old days ain't EVER coming back for those who consider the old days to be 1964-1984  (plus or minus a couple of years). 

     

    Steve COULD simply state that and dismiss any other comment to...."hey, I was born at a great time in history, utilized my talent during the tail end of the peak blip days, and lived to tell you others how cool it was".  But..... lots of us can also do that since lots of us were born when SL was and have also been in the biz during its blip.

     

    I personally think Steve wastes words by going on and on about "talented broke" musicians he knows while seemingly bashing the untalented hordes who command the attention of social media seekers.

     

    To me, it's "what's your point Steve?"   You KNOW that this was gonna be the final destination.  Anyone in their right mind in 1970, and 2000 understood that TODAY was the only eventual reality.

     

    Anyway, at least Steve has a gig that can easily in my mind, continue onward for just about as long as I've been following the Kingston Trio  (since 1961 and they still manage to have a biz model).  So.... things are a-okay for Steve.

     

    Dunno why he seems to blow a gasket over the otherwise state of reality.

    Proud provider of inappropriate and useless posts since 1994.

    Comment


    • nat whilk II
      nat whilk II commented
      Editing a comment

      bookumdano3 wrote:

       

      To me, it's "what's your point Steve?"   You KNOW that this was gonna be the final destination.  Anyone in their right mind in 1970, and 2000 understood that TODAY was the only eventual reality.

      Dunno why he seems to blow a gasket over the otherwise state of reality.


      I pretty much agreed, 'till the "anyone in their right mind" part...nothing about the way the music business changed after the digital revolution was obvious in 1970.

       

      Also - there's an unstated logic here to the effect that, because this big shift did happen, it was inevitable (and predictable) that it happened.  I'm not convinced at all that this was so inevitable.  Music industry leaders made all sorts of decisions that hastened the demise of their own industry.  It didn't have to go exactly the way it did as if it was an unalterable fate that anyone could see was coming and couldn't be stopped.  Sure, big changes of some sort were inevitable.  But change is always followed by response, and at the point of response, certain forks in the road were chosen by actual people, actual businesses.

       

      And lastly -things haven't really reverted to some sort of norm after a "blip".  Where the music biz is now is totally different than where it was pre-boomers.  It's a strange new world, and I don't think we have a clue as to where it's going, what things will be like in say, another 30 years.

       

      nat whilk ii


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      bookumdano3 wrote:

       

      The "old days" he often refers to was actually a small blip of time in the "biz".  If you look at the biz in the largest context back to 1920.

       


      Yep.   That's the reality here.  

      Frankly, I'm getting a bit bored with these "old music star NAILS IT!" rants.  Yeah...it's not like it used to be.  Nobody cares about 'real' music anymore.  There's no money to be made anymore.  Today's music is ****************e.   Meat dresses.   Yada yada.  

      Whining about it isn't going to make the old days come back.   Make music because you love it and if you can make a living doing it as well---more power to you.

      And to turn it back around:  I think an argument could be made that it was the "blip" era ITSELF that killed "real" music.   When it started to be as much (or more) about being a rock star as it did being a musician, and when it became easy for all sorts of "artists" to make really, really good money in the music business---isn't THAT when things all started to go downhill?   The goose ate its own golden age perhaps?

      I mean...let's face it:  I love the Rolling Stones as much as the next guy, but there isn't anyone in that band who could have made so much as a dollar as a musician in the 30s or 40s.   Let alone mega-millions. 

      So who's really to blame?

       


  • #3

    Yup. By and large, he's DAMN right.

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      whaa, I hate reality. whaa


  • #4

    For me, the only point I was making was that Lukather sounds like he's not accepting reality. The big whaa. I'm sorry Steve if we can't support your lifestyle or self image anymore.

    He sounds full of resentment. My nephew learning to drive was astounded when rain started bucketing. "How am I supposed to drive with this.?!?!"

    Supposed to. Well, the option is don't. Frustrated at what is, as if, because of life going the way it always "should" go, always has, and now isn't, well... Who's behind this?!?!

    It's rain. Or Steve, it is. I certainly never said should be. But "is"? There are 3 choices with "is". Change it, accept it, or cry like a baby.

    Which one is Lukather doing?

    ___

    Comment


    • #5

      No one seems to be getting it here. None of YOUR music is an in demand comodity. Some of Toto's is as well as LOTS of stuff he's played on. ALL he is saying is that he's never seen a dime for all the music that has been streamed or sold of his and neither have lots of other artists. How much do the top executives of the Record labels make? Biggest stock holders? Their attornies? Get the point?  

      It's the same old story but a different business. Middle men..Bankers, corporate guys, Paypal, Ebay..All make the money while many times producers are left with the short end of the stick. I happen to be in the VAST minority here who agree with what steve is saying....I live in Nashville and I im' out and about. He's right. VERY FEW young artists out there have any skill. VERY few. I think it's amusing how bad most are at their instruments, songwriting and singing...Sorry but it's true. I shred most of them and I know the handfull in town who I don't and we respect each other. No no..Sorry, Steve is right on here...

      That said, it doesn't matter...Young pretty people will put out blah simple ****************e in the mainstream and it's background music for the masses..Some people will make some money and these wanna be's if they're lucky and get a few hits might make some cash playing live for a few years, the sidemen will get to tour around on nice Prevost buses, a few studios will get moderate budget projects here and there, Dr Luke, Max Martin and a hand ful of "top liners" will make a few bucks and life will go on...Oh F'ing well...Stupid, obviously greedy me for wanting to make a couple bucks from my art!!! And **** the songwriter's too who have made timeless hits!..I mean why the hell should they be so arrogant to think they should make a cent off their art..I mean..Art isn't essential is it?..It's not like Stevie Wonder matters!! He isn't a banker is he? He's not a corporate president? What did he create? Art?? Music!! HA!!! Nothing of value there!!!

      Hey you arrogant wanna be's...GET A REAL JOB!!

      Comment


      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        sventvkg wrote:
         I happen to be in the VAST minority here who agree with what steve is saying....I live in Nashville and I im' out and about. He's right. VERY FEW young artists out there have any skill. VERY few.


        I don't disagree with a lot of what he says--I simply ask "how do you think we got here?"   Why do you think that so many musicians in 2013 don't have any skill?  Because of Lady Gaga and her meat dress?  Because of greedy record producers?

        Partially, perhaps.  But I think the vaunted "classic rock" era (of which I'm a part of) has to take some blame for it as well.  We INVENTED crap playing and calling it "music".   The greedy record producers simply went along with it because the kids loved it and it sold millions.   Now all those kids with the matches are grown up and wonder why the house is burned down?

        Kids today can't read music or play well?  Who taught them that was not only acceptible but that you could become mega-rich in this business without those skills?   I'll be the first to raise my hand that I'm someone who should be MUCH more proficient at my instrument except I pushed aside all those formal lessons when I was a kid because I wanted to play rock.  Am I alone here in telling that story?  I don't think so.

        Toto was a great band full of great musicians.  Who also were dismissed for creating music as "real" as an orange polyester jumpsuit, IIRC.   Toto?  No way man....bands like the RAMONES are where it's at, dude!  That's where the REAL art in rock music exists!   Isn't that what a whole generation of kids were taught?

        As far a musicians getting screwed over by the royalty-payment system?  Yeah, that sucks.  What else is new?  About the only time it was ever decent was when the Musicians' Union was a strong entity.  But we all know how well unionizing musicians works:  "Why should I pay dues I can't afford when I can save that money AND get the gig the guy down the street has by being willing to play for less!"

         


      • UstadKhanAli
        UstadKhanAli commented
        Editing a comment

        sventvkg wrote:

        No one seems to be getting it here. None of YOUR music is an in demand comodity. Some of Toto's is as well as LOTS of stuff he's played on. ALL he is saying is that he's never seen a dime for all the music that has been streamed or sold of his and neither have lots of other artists. How much do the top executives of the Record labels make? Biggest stock holders? Their attornies? Get the point?  


        What's not to get?  That's obvious.  Streaming pays horribly.  For everyone.  I think everyone can agree with that.

         

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