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is "move to L.A." a thing of the past?

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  • is "move to L.A." a thing of the past?

    With the power of the internet couldn't people be in Utah and still be at the heart of the music industry, which is bigger than L.A. as it is now global and digital. Is there more to "move to L.A." or it's a thing of the past? It might still be true if one is going to Hollywood (for movies), but is it true in the music world as well as both are interchangable (music can tell a story as much as movies can, etc.)

    I would move to L.A. if it was affordable. The bad areas are also expensive. I wonder where in CA is affordable enough and nice to live in that isn't too far from L.A.? Somewhere close but not close enough to the distractions that a crowded city like L.A. is known for.

  • #2
    From someone who moved to LA [decades ago]...yes, it is a thing of the past. The major labels are not cruising the clubs anymore here. They are looking at iTunes and the like for indie sales that look like they could boost.
    In general, California as a whole is a very expensive place to live, LA and SF the worst, with 2 bedroom cracker boxes selling for a half a million dollars. There are a few places that are affordable...sort of, but then finding a job is the challenge.
    My godson lives in Joshua Tree, he owns a house [well he is buying it], but he has two jobs [and an alimony payment and child support]...but if you don't mind living in a desert, there are places that are affordable. That is a couple hours from L.A., but close to Palm Springs.
    Anywhere near the coast is going to be pricey...
    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'
    "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

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    • #3
      Originally posted by samal50 View Post
      With the power of the internet couldn't people be in Utah and still be at the heart of the music industry, which is bigger than L.A. as it is now global and digital. Is there more to "move to L.A." or it's a thing of the past? It might still be true if one is going to Hollywood (for movies), but is it true in the music world as well as both are interchangable (music can tell a story as much as movies can, etc.)

      I would move to L.A. if it was affordable. The bad areas are also expensive. I wonder where in CA is affordable enough and nice to live in that isn't too far from L.A.? Somewhere close but not close enough to the distractions that a crowded city like L.A. is known for.
      I live outside of LA - about 60 miles east of it. I can get into Hollywood fairly easily if I have to, but it's much cheaper to live where I do than it is in Hollywood. LA isn't affordable by the standards of most of the rest of the country. I grew up in Southern California and have lived here for most of my life, and Daddymack is right on the money with his post. The closer to Hollywood (or the coast) you are, the more expensive it is. The biggest studios are in the Hollywood area, but there are a ton located in Orange County, the various valleys and in the Inland Empire and desert areas too.

      While it's true that the Internet has made things much easier for people who live elsewhere, there are still some advantages to living somewhere like LA. You have a lot more gigging opportunities here than many other smaller cities and towns. Most of the major labels are either based here, or have offices here. There are also a ton of great musicians in the greater LA area, so networking and meeting other people in the industry is much easier on a direct, face to face basis. Whether or not that's sufficient to make the move "worth it" is going to depend on the individual. If you're trying to break into the industry on the business side (want to work at a label, or as a manager, booking agent, etc.) or want to work in studios then it might be a good move for you, depending on your work ethic, contacts and frankly, luck. If you're a song writer looking for a publishing deal, it might be better to just stay in Utah and do everything online, with the occasional trip to a larger city (don't forget New York and Nashville too) as needed.

      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment
        I do have agree on the fact that the networking here is amazing...but it is also not easy working one's way up to the Grammy winners/ Oscar winners, but there are tons of studio session people and road warriors here, all with great insight [and occasional gig referrals ].

    • #4
      Phil you would know better than me but I just ran into a drummer I hadn’t seen in years who was playing a Motown festival here locally. He moved to La in 2000. Musicians told him at that time it took 10 years to break into the scene. He ended up gigging all along the coast of CA and after 5 years realized that he could do the same here in NYS because it wasn’t leading to anything. This guys is a top notch player and his right foot is amazing. It’s funny seems there are fewer and fewer musical mecca’s anymore.
      "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

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      • #5
        I suppose if you "make it" while living in any area, then that place was a Mecca for you... and it's possible to be successful and not live in LA, London, New York or Nashville, which are traditionally the biggest recording / music towns.

        I would be skeptical of anyone saying it takes X years to break into any scene. It might happen in that amount of time, or it might happen in a few months... and it might never happen. There's just too many variables involved to give anyone any kind of a realistic time estimate.
        **********

        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

        - George Carlin

        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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        • #6
          You can conduct business from anywhere, these days.

          I know a local bass player form the Mass area that booked out of Nashville, when he was a touring musician.








          _____________________________________
          Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

          Join Date: Aug 2001
          Location: N. Adams, MA USA
          Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

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          • daddymack
            daddymack commented
            Editing a comment
            Three of the guys from my new band did a CD for a guy [singer/songwriter/guitarist] based in Texas...then did the LA shows when he came out to promote it. I did sound for him at one of the shows...coincidentally.
            He said he may use me on guitar for the next recording session, but I'd like him to use the whole 'big band'...we shall see.
            I've been working in various capacities [soundman, studio musician, singer/songwriter, bandleader, sideman, radio/TV/Film production] in LA for over 40 years...there is no time limit...much more about serendipity, and as to making it, well, I'm not a household name, but I keep busy.
            Last edited by daddymack; 09-24-2016, 11:12 AM.

        • #7
          As someone who moved to LA to 'play with a band that was "showcasing for record companies" in 1983, I learned a lot. One thing I learned is that no record company is going to look at you if you don't already have large numbers. They aren't there to develop talent anymore, they're there to polish up a marketable product and earn money off of it, as quickly and as much as possible. Yes, there are lots of gigs there, a lot of both low and higher paying gigs and the competition for them can be fierce. We used to go to a club in Santa Monica and see bands playing in the bar that we'd see on the Tonight show two weeks later, and then back to the clubs. Lots of touring bands are based in LA and when not touring the side guys are playing clubs.


          La, Nashville,, Austin- places you go when you are already making a lot of noise in the business. To start out, not so much. My take, anyway. When I moved back to North Idaho, I had more success than I ever did in SoCal. Turns out a lot of great players move here to get out of the rat race (one can go to a club and see Peter Rivera from Rare Earth playing with a local band, or see Floyd Sneed from Three Dog Night and a few other side guys from past hit bands, guys who recorded with Foghat and Bachman Turner Overdrive, etc) and it's centrally located between Seattle, Portland, Boise, Billings, Missoula and Helena in MT, and Canada. My band was able to get on a festival circuit and pull down $1000-1600 for a 90-minute show using other people's gear. Never could crack that nut in SoCal. Sometimes being a big fish in a little pond has its benefits.
          Last edited by Pat'sStrat; 10-14-2016, 10:26 AM.

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          • #8
            Pat that is how it is in Western NY. Buffalo and Syracuse are on either side of me and I can gig in either city and sometimes do, not as much as I used but still. If we have to go downstate or the finger lakes region we can as well. We do OK here and somehow or another always seem to get work. In the winter we play a couple times a month just have something to do and hit it hard in the summer. That said I try to get certain gigs that will benefit us the most.
            "Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

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