I recently watched a video documentary about the band ‘Badfinger'(see link at bottom of page), one of the more tragic stories in rock’n’roll’s chequered history.
‘Badfinger’ were the first band signed to Apple Records, the ‘Beatles’ own label and looked set for a long and successful career, but it wasn’t to be. A mix of appalling management and bad luck left them penniless and virtually forgotten.
The real tragedy of ‘Badfinger’ was during the turmoil founding member Pete Ham suicided. His band mate and songwriting partner Tom Evans followed some 8 years later.
They weren’t the first band to be ripped off or taken advantage of by unscrupulous management and/or legal problems and they won’t be the last.
Artists such as Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, John Fogarty and the Beatles have all paid or are still paying the price of poor decisions in the past.
As a musician it’s easy to be totally immersed in the creative process of making music and not taking any care of business and this is ‘manna from heaven’ for those wanting to make a quick buck at your expense.
Even in the process of putting a band together things get left in the too hard basket or the everything will be alright, we’re all mates basket only to be tangled up in legal’s and acrimony down the track.
The cautionary tale is to take care of the business, it is important to have everything sorted from the start so that everyone knows where they stand. It’s also important to keep an eye on the business as your career progresses. Let the managers manage but take an interest in your career, don’t be an absentee client.
Don’t take for granted that everything will be ok because if that’s your thinking you can almost guarantee that it won’t.