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Tom Scholz
September 15, 2011 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz (born 10 March 1947) is an American rock musician, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, inventor, and mechanical engineer, best known as the founder of the hard rock band Boston. He is also the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier.

Scholz's royalties from the Rockman sustained him financially during the years it took for him to prevail in his legal battle with the CBS record label.
posted by Trurl (59 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Buuuuuut, he's still alive tho...right?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:21 PM on September 15, 2011


I have more than a feeling Mr. Scholz is doing just fine.
posted by basicchannel at 7:25 PM on September 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have an original Rockman I bought when they first came out. A whole lot of fun, and a great sound for what they cost at the time.
posted by Eekacat at 7:26 PM on September 15, 2011


Boston's album has been great. It's a shame it's been released in so many installments over such a great amount of time. I hope someday they'll start another album and maybe evolve their style a bit.

Alos, the Rockman was AWESOME, and it's a shame that it's gone away.
posted by hippybear at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Scholz is a genius, but even he has to realize that a Boston without Brad Delp is not going to be the same. They should have put out more music instead of 4 albums in 4 decades.
posted by Renoroc at 7:31 PM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


It looks like his legal battle was with CBS, not MCA who later picked him up. And really, who signs a contract for two albums every nine months for 5 years?
posted by Grumpy old geek at 7:32 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


It looks like his legal battle was with CBS, not MCA who later picked him up.

Gah. Tx. Mods alerted.
posted by Trurl at 7:37 PM on September 15, 2011


I think we need an ATEN'T DEAD tag.
posted by maudlin at 7:39 PM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


And really, who signs a contract for two albums every nine months for 5 years?

Desperate people:

He’d spent the past six years having his tapes snubbed by record labels. “I had enough money for one last demo,” he says. “I wouldn’t even say we were struggling. It was groveling.”
posted by bpm140 at 7:39 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Fixed.]
posted by cortex at 7:40 PM on September 15, 2011


Scholz is a genius, but even he has to realize that a Boston without Brad Delp is not going to be the same.

Certainly not. But this struck me as a reasonable facsimile.
posted by Trurl at 7:47 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hm.. I just read the Rockman manuals, which reminds me why bought the cheaper, more versatile Boss Play Bus HA-5 instead. I haven't used it in years but it was sitting right here in my desk drawer. The Rockman had extremely limited presets, hell, it doesn't even have a volume knob. It just has a 3 way switch, Loud-Louder-Loudest.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:57 PM on September 15, 2011


I soon as I saw this post I started cranking Boston. By Boston.

They should have put out more music instead of 4 albums in 4 decades.

All you really need is side one of Boston plus "Don't Look Back," though.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


When it came out, we called the Rockman "the Bostonizer" cuz, that what it did.
Which was not a bad thing, cuz it made you sound like BOSTON!

The greatest thing was, it gave birth to the genre of headphone practice amps, ZOOM probably wouldn't even exist for the ingenuity of Sholz.
posted by djrock3k at 8:18 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


long, detailed article about some of the shakeout from Brad Delp's suicide, which has involved a lot of legal wrangling between Scholz and Delp's survivors, and hints that Delp had actually hated and/or feared Tom Scholz for most of their time together for his mercenary approach to dealing with the other ex-members of Boston (whom Delp had remained friends with), but was too fearful to confront him over it lest he receive the business end of that same mercenary tendency.
posted by anazgnos at 8:19 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


anazgnos - thanks for that. The first Boston album will be forever burned into memory as part of the soundtrack to my teenage years. That damn guitar tone was so uplifting - the sound of a summer night without a care in the world. So sad to learn how it all turned dark and tragic.
posted by davebush at 8:54 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


All you really need is side one of Boston plus "Don't Look Back," though.

"A Man I'll Never Be" should be there as well. Delp rides the swell of guitars like a champion surfer.
posted by Ber at 9:11 PM on September 15, 2011


Tom Scholz huh? Well, personally, here's the funny thing about him.

I remember when Boston's first album came out. It was completely un-announced, at least in the backwater burg that I grew up in. But there I was, checking out the "B" section of the album rack at the DJ's Record & Waterbeds (no, really), and one whole row was occupied by this completely new and unheard of band. The cover was straight up bitchin', and, given the familial connection to Back East, my mom's from the middle of Mass. and my brother went to college in Boston and never left, I had to check the record out further.

So I pick the record up, turn it over and look at the back, and there's these five profiles of the band members. It was sort of like something you'd see on an old Brit invasion cover, only updated with lots of permed hair and better teeth. And I read that one guy, this guitarist Scholz went to M.I.T. So that meant I had to buy it, cause that's where my brother went.

So I go home and plop the record down on my stereo-high-fi-all-in-one (a Fischer or Marantz or something) and am fairly impressed by how complex and ornate and yet still TOtally rockin' (holds up lighter) the band sounded.

End of side one, I pick up the phone and call my brother (mom & dad are out of the house, so I can sneak in a long distance call without them noticing).

"Hey man, you know this guy by the name of Tom Scholz?"

"Yeah. I just saw him the other-hey, how do you know about him?"

"Well I just picked up this album by his band, called Boston, and-"

"What?! You mean Scholz got a record contract?! Hot shit, that's good news!"

It turns out that indeed my brother does know Scholz, and a couple of the other guys in the band. Scholz and my brother were in a band just before Boston was formed and also lived in the same dorm or apartment or something in college.

So, as things progressed my brother and I would keep each other up on Boston/Scholz related news. When the Rockman came out, I called him up about it, and my brother said: "He used to do that when he lived down the hall from me. Neighbors and landlords and people like that get real pissed when you play or practice and you wanna turn it up, and let's face it, you always wanna turn it up. So Scholz used to buy these little Radio Shack transistor radios and convert them into tiny little guitar amps. They work great, but they never lasted all that long. But you could turn them up full blast and do power chords that sounded absolutely fantastic for about three minutes. Then the voice coils would fuse solid. Which was kind of fun."

And this is why I like Boston (both the band and the town).
posted by Relay at 9:15 PM on September 15, 2011 [23 favorites]


Neighbors and landlords and people like that get real pissed when you play or practice and you wanna turn it up, and let's face it, you always wanna turn it up.

LOL my first serious amp was a Marshall 50. A friend was selling it for an insane price, like a hundred bucks, it was way too much amp for me but I couldn't pass it up. It was like new, I guess he had to get rid of it. I used to live out in the country, so I'd take it out to a big shed and crank it up to about 7 before I couldn't stand it any louder. I used to get complaints from my nearest neighbor, who lived over a mile away.

Then I moved into an apartment. I used to cover the speaker cabinet in pillows and blankets and couch cushions and it was still way too loud. You know how Spinal Tap joked their amps went up to 11? Well I wanted an amp that went down to zero. I just could not tweak that volume knob low enough to not blast out my neighbors. It went from silent at zero, to about .01 and then it just blasted. Anything under about 3 sounded the same volume to me.

I finally sold it to a pro musician, who later told me that he constantly had complaints that he played too loud at live gigs. I got my little rockman-style amp and was much happier with that. I could play along to records on my stereo, and wear the headphones just outside my ears, and hear both. But now I just use NI Guitar Rig. My favorite amp model is called "Twin Punk," it simulates two overdriven Marshal 50s.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2011


I soon as I saw this post I started cranking Boston. By Boston.

As I was putting this post together, I thought that few bands starting now would pick such an un-Google-able name. The only two I can think of offhand that are worse in that respect are Can and X.
posted by Trurl at 9:47 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I swear to god they practically handed Boston's first album out to all incoming freshman at high school for decades. It's like the soundtrack to Northeast suburban/exurban teenagerdom. Christ, Just thinking about the album, I can taste the Genny Screamers we'd drink while listening to it on our car stereos up at the overlook on 299 like it was yesterday.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:11 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I swear to god they practically handed Boston's first album out to all incoming freshman at high school for decades.

It replaced Steve Miller's Greatest Hits 74-78 and was replaced by Squeeze's Singles: 45's and Under.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:03 PM on September 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


I sure enjoyed reading his comments about the quality in reproduction of digital formats. Music is about warmth, depth, and harmonics. CDs are music`s september eleventh.
posted by Meatafoecure at 12:01 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Boston are hard rock now? Who knew.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:04 AM on September 16, 2011


They should have put out more music instead of 4 albums in 4 decades.
Perhaps, but given Scholz perfectionist approach to recording and his stubborn approach to fighting money battles, I can't imagine that it could have turned out any other way. Sure, it would be nice if 2 + 2 = 5, but math doesn't work that way.

I have a later Rockman x100 (which needs some repair which requires more time than I have) and I really loved that sound. Turn you into Boston? Yeah. Or ZZ Top - Billy Gibbons was/is a big proponent of it. I've opened up my Rockman and noted that it was built with two circuit boards that face each other and that they miter: the tall components of one line up with the short of the other and vice versa. I've heard this called 'skylining'. That's nuts. I appreciate it, but it's overdesign for very little gain.

I will add this sweeping generalization though with regards to Scholz' behaviors - they seem very consistent with other successful M.I.T. grads I know (and not in a good way): black and white thinking, hubris, perfectionism without practicality, lack of compassion/sympathy and so on. Like the music; don't agree with the 'tude.
posted by plinth at 3:08 AM on September 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


[derail]
Brad Delp was a total sweetheart. Many years ago I worked at Strawberries, and he was one of our regulars.
[/derail]
posted by pxe2000 at 4:01 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the Scholz Power Soak, one of the first commercial attenuators.
posted by tommasz at 5:14 AM on September 16, 2011


Scholz's perfectionist approach to recording

The Musician magazine article at the second link has lingered in my memory for more than 20 years:
"It's hard for somebody to put down music the way I want to put it down," [Scholz] explains, "I listen to exactly how every note is played, not just the pitch, the volume or the sound, but the attack, the intonation, and all the little nuances. And if it's not the way I think it should be, then I want to get it done over again and have it done right. When it comes to recording, I'm one of the only people I know that can put up with me." ...

Scholz became so fascinated with drum beats that he began making recordings of drum tracks and cutting them up a bar at a time. It was a kind of analog drum machine only a seasoned tape splicer would dare attempt, but it worked wonders for "Cool The Engines," probably the closest thing to an 80s feel Boston ever attempted. ...

Scholz plunged on into rhythm research. When Jim Masdea took a job as a pleasure boat captain and went to Jamaica for months, Tom began looking into drum machines. Declaring what was commercially available "putrid," Scholz finally "gobbled up" an Oberheim DMX, doubling its clock speed to get more resolution, and spent several months talking to various EPROM burners to get Masdea's sounds onto microchips. Scholz even used it to complete "To Be A Man," but when Masdea returned, Tom used a set of contact mikes under indoor/outdoor carpeting to trigger the samples and had him play live. Scholz never found this feasible for cymbals, which he had Masdea record live.
Actually, it will save me an Ask MeFi visit if someone can explain this part:
Incredibly, most of his recordings are fourth generation, which he gets away with by plenty of masking and gating.
I assume that the problem with a 4th-gen recording is increased tape hiss. So what are masking and gating - and how do they help with that?
posted by Trurl at 5:47 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trurl, I'll take a stab at it. Masking is putting some other sound on top of the offending sound that makes it seem gone. Think of something like the various hums and machinery sound effects on "The Wall". Put that on top of some hiss, and you likely won't hear it.

Gating is (I think) the opposite of a notch filter. Or they might be referring to a temporal gate, which is like an automatic volume control. Say you have a set of noisy masters, and each instrument is on a different track. If you just mix them together, the noise from all the tracks sums in the final mix. But if you set up a gate on each track that only lets the sound through when the instrument is playing and cuts it off during silence, you can reduce the amount of noise on the final track. This happens on cellular telephones, where the line can sound dead when the other party stops talking, because the phone quits sending audio when the source drops below a certain threshold. Teleconferencing devices do this too.
posted by gjc at 6:09 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


At first I was heartbroken that Mr. Scholz died. Then I realized from the first comments he was okay.

Thank you for the links. Mr. BuffaloChickenWing and I have tremendous respect for Tom Scholz and his invention.
posted by BuffaloChickenWing at 6:45 AM on September 16, 2011


CDs are music`s september eleventh.

In spite of the Chinese Menu of metaphors available to you, you had to go off-menu and cook up your own delight here, huh?
posted by yerfatma at 7:09 AM on September 16, 2011


I sure enjoyed reading his comments about the quality in reproduction of digital formats. Music is about warmth, depth, and harmonics. CDs are music`s september eleventh.
posted by Meatafoecure at 12:01 AM on September 16 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'll agree, but for a different reason. They let engineers get away with things they couldn't get away with in the analog domain. Both in mastering the sound, and in the design and construction of playback devices.

With analog, an engineer had to think about the waveform and what it was doing to the guts of the devices. You can't let this sound get louder than X because that causes amps to oscillate, you can't that sound be as loud as you want it to or else the record needle skips. Things like Phil Spector engineering recordings so they would sound "right" on the radio.

With digital, on the other hand, you don't HAVE to know any of that stuff, so not as much care is taken in learning about the medium. You can just vomit forth anything you want, and it will sound good enough.

His complaint about A/D and D/A devices is in the same vein. Good enough is really easy to do. And not enough people care to make it worthwhile to do it any better for anything but the more obscure and/or dedicated engineers. Case in point: I have a Panasonic receiver that is pure digital (actually PWM) from the inputs to the speaker connects. Its soundstage blows away equipment costing orders of magnitude more. Why? Because the people at Tri-Path figured out how to make digital work right. But they failed because their chips were $25, while crappy, good enough solid state stuff is $5.

You CAN get good sound out of 16/44k, but it takes less engineering knowledge and more mathematical knowledge. The complaints about the cymbals sounding awful and phasey are right, but it is pretty easily solved by filtering out any frequency components above 22k. But it is rare to hear that being done on anything but the higher end recordings.

The other problem with digital that is somewhat solved by higher bitrates and sampling frequencies is that when digital is overloaded in any manner, it fails in a non-graceful manner. Analog generally fails gracefully. Analog distortion makes things sound better in some cases, digital distortion makes your ears bleed.

In other words, he is right only because digital lets almost anyone be competent, whereas in analog, you had to be an expert just to get the sound to come out at all.

(Also, his love of the cassette tape is ridiculous. One of the worst mediums there is. He'd have been better off using video tape. He likes it because it is easy, whether he knows it or not.)
posted by gjc at 7:10 AM on September 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


**CDs are music`s september eleventh.
*With digital, on the other hand, you don't HAVE to know any of that stuff

I'm going to suggest that while it might be argued that CDs are sound engineering's september 11th, they aren't music's.

Because: many consumers and even sophisticated music listeners *don't care* all that much about tone. They respond primarily to pitches, harmony, motion, emotion, architecture ... music. A lot of sound engineers seem to conflate recorded sound and music.

I'm sure most of us can think of a whole lot of hits that were shitty recordings but extremely popular. My architypal example is "Louis Louis". And, on the other hand, many of us can name extremely well-engineered recordings of stuff that barely - or doesn't - qualify as "music" for most listeners.

IOW, given the choice of listening to something I really like played by an AM station through a 2" speaker out of a '55 Chevy that sat in a farm field for 30 years - or something I don't like played through an audiophile sound system on 6-foot electrostatic speakers ....

Point being: many people worry too much about tone, as if they are trying to compensate for the fact that people aren't responding to their music. That may be one of the reasons why groups' early albums are more popular than later ones. TOO MUCH THINKING.
posted by Twang at 9:36 AM on September 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


few bands starting now would pick such an un-Google-able name

"Beach House"
"Deerhunter"
"Real Estate"
"Woods"
"Ducktales"

This is the era of band names (to say nothing of bands) that are both terminally nondescript and also occasionally overlap with existing media properties.
posted by anazgnos at 9:37 AM on September 16, 2011


I'm glad Scholz did the remastering. Too many discs are ruined these days by the determination to be the loudest thing in the cd changer...
posted by bitmage at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2011


Twang has got it exactly right. I hope that Tom Scholz isn't too shocked if someone points out that when someone listens to the remastered Boston, they're not thinking about what a genius Scholz is for finally fixing that sloppy digital conversion, they're thinking about when they were sixteen and someone else was touching their boner for the first time ever while "Don't Look Back" was playing.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:48 AM on September 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


they're thinking about when they were sixteen and someone else was touching their boner for the first time ever while "Don't Look Back" was playing

Nicely put.

The odd thing is that even the debut's songs have a middle-aged man's sense of things lost to time.

"Never worried about the the things we were missing" is a lyric that can not be fully understood in one's twenties.
posted by Trurl at 11:44 AM on September 16, 2011


@Twang;
You have a point, but I can’t totally agree. You seem to making the mistake that many make, that the cleaner recoding with more frequency range is the BETTER recording. Better is which ever one you like more. I don’t think the Robert Johnson records would be better if they were recorded in a modern way (actually why I think a lot of current Jazz and Blues sucks, too much reverence for pristine recording). Better is the one that moves you, that makes the music come across in the right way. That’s Production.

And people do respond to it, a lot. Go and listen to some of the re-recordings artists have done of old hits that they didn’t have the rights to; the performances are often fine and nearly the same, the songs are the same, but the finished product does not have the same effect. That’s Production, and why it’s important.

Making movies and making records is pretty much the same thing, but for some reason the general public doesn’t see that. They think the work of the Director and Cinematographer is important, but the equivalent role of the record Producer and Engineer is just some dudes getting in the way of their favorite musicians magical vision.

The first Boston album is a perfect example, it wouldn’t have been anything, you would have never heard it, without the over the top production. It’s the defining feature of that album.
posted by bongo_x at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2011


Go and listen to some of the re-recordings artists have done of old hits that they didn’t have the rights to; the performances are often fine and nearly the same, the songs are the same, but the finished product does not have the same effect. That’s Production, and why it’s important.

And sometimes, even with master producers re-recording their old hits, production quality is basically irrelevant.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2011


>And sometimes, even with master producers re-recording their old hits, production quality is basically irrelevant .<

Anything you do is a decision involving production quality. If a director says "I’m going to shoot this in black and white with a hand held camera" that doesn’t make him irrelevant and the actor the only one contributing.

That video is not an example of recording being irrelevant; the video shows some very expensive mics and the sound has obviously been sweetened quite a bit, it sounds great. That is not just the sound of some guy sitting in a room playing guitar. If you’ve ever been to a bar where that was happening you probably noticed it didn’t sound this good.

I’m not at all slighting the part the performer plays in their recording, a beautifully filmed scene with a bad actor reading a bad script isn’t worth much. Turn on the radio and you’ll probably hear an example of that.

You can’t equate production with "big". That kind of logic would make Transformers the greatest movie ever.
posted by bongo_x at 4:52 PM on September 16, 2011


I just acquired the 2006 remaster of the debut in FLAC from one of the usual hives of scum and villainy, and I have to say it really does sound noticeably better.
posted by Trurl at 5:11 PM on September 16, 2011


I accept your point, bongo, but you know, I have YouTube videos flagged in my Favorites file that were recorded from live performances with a cell phone.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2011


@Charlie;
It’s all context.

As someone who makes records, it’s hard to understand people’s perception of what they’re hearing sometimes. Saying that "Boston" is not about the production makes only slightly more sense to me than saying Moby’s "Play" or "Music has the Right to Children" are not about the production. Speaking of perception; During the 90’s it was an all too familiar joke that bands would say "we don’t want to make a big, slick, commercial sounding record, we want to sound raw, like "Nevermind"".

On the other hand I would have stood on the street all day and watched Chris Whitley bang on a Dobro and sing, and would gladly listen to any home made recordings of such.

Context.
posted by bongo_x at 5:57 PM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


it’s hard to understand people’s perception of what they’re hearing sometimes

I usually point to the first two Melissa Etheridge albums, both really brilliant works, and then point to Yes I Am, an overblown bit of Hugh Padgham tripe. He completely didn't understand what her appeal was, and just applied the same stadium rock nonsense to her as he had with Genesis and all those other bands he worked with.

Yes I Am: great songs, fucked-up production. HATE IT.
posted by hippybear at 6:41 PM on September 16, 2011


@bongo You seem to making the mistake that many make, that the cleaner recoding with more frequency range is the BETTER recording.

I meant no such thing. I was suggesting that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear in the studio ... and that concern for production often overwhelms the concern for music. Case in point: damn near everything on the radio today. Case closed.
posted by Twang at 8:27 PM on September 16, 2011


@bongo_x Better is the one that moves you, that makes the music come across in the right way.

For sure, I'd never deny that. I'm saying it's not enough to be a technician. Look what George Martin did with 4 tracks and underdeveloped talent. Make no mistake, George did not just sit in his booth on an overstuffed chair and adjust the compression knee and dream up inspired EQ. He was an intimate and essential part of that product - which has not been improved on one iota in 50 years.
posted by Twang at 8:51 PM on September 16, 2011


@Twang
Then we should be hi-fiving right now.
posted by bongo_x at 11:06 PM on September 16, 2011


bongo_x - when I was a teenager, I would go and listen to Chris Whitley play in Washington Square Park, hang out, smoke doobs, take him food, and just generally marvel at how that boy mastered the Dobro. I've recounted the tale before on MeFi, when Chris passed away a handful of years ago. "Dirt Floor" was recorded in his father's Vermont cabin, and it's the best Whitley album by a mile, only his voice, guitar, banjo and foot stomping on that dirt floor. Closest thing to pure Chris that was ever released.

And as far as that first Boston album, make no mistake, folks, it was about the sound of those guitars. I was living in Venezuela at the time, and I'd come up once a year to Miami for summer vacation, and drag back a suitcase full of vinyl to sell down there (Venezuelan pressings sucked shit), I distinctly remember walking in a record store in Ft. Lauderdale, hearing the album being played over the store stereo, and bought a half-dozen of them based on nothing more than the tone of those guitars, and that's how I sold 'em, too.
posted by dbiedny at 7:01 AM on September 17, 2011


On a side note... I do remember being completely fascinated by Brad's excellent beard (what a moustache!!) and hair when I was about 8 years old.

I have the most boring hair in the world, and my moustache can only dream of being as great as his. *sigh*
posted by hippybear at 7:39 AM on September 17, 2011


Also... isn't the only reason the record companies wanted the first album recorded all over again in a professional studio so they would put the band in debt to the label for the studio time and then have a handle for leverage over the band until the end of time.

I mean, that's the first thing I thought of when I read that. Labels are infamous for charging premium rates for studio time and then rigging the books so that time is rarely, if ever, paid back to the studio by album sales, putting the band basically into indentured servitude to the label for most-if-not-all of their career.
posted by hippybear at 7:42 AM on September 17, 2011


@hippybear
I don’t know about the Boston story, but the other part is a little more complicated.

First; some labels have always ripped some people off, but probably not as much as people think, as far as I know and I’ve never been any big fan of record labels.

Bands often feel like more should have been done, they could have been bigger, they don’t understand what happened, etc. and sometimes they want to blame the label for why they didn’t make any money. But the reality is they probably didn’t sell that many records, and/or they spent a lot of money. People forget that the label is gambling with real money. For every shitty album you every saw and never heard of during the 90’s (less now), tens or hundreds of thousands was spent on making the record, promotion, tour support, etc. A huge majority of those bands never made any money, they just cost money. The label just spent $200K on a band and the singer decided he didn’t want to tour anymore, or can’t stay sober long enough to show up, or they can’t write any more good songs.

The other part is incompetence. Never underestimate incompetence when you suspect evil.

The "record your demo over in a real studio" scenario has happened a jillion times, 99.9% of the time with good reason. The rest of the time it was self doubt, second guessing, etc. "Will it really be OK?" "Wouldn’t it be better if we re-recorded it?" A demo is almost always is better if you redo it, so why not this time? It’s hard for people to listen and say "that sounds good enough" when their job is on the line.

Labels don’t generally own studios, or have anything to do with them. Studio time is a cost for labels, one they don’t like to pay. Yes, they wouldn’t mind if the band was indebted, and they want to own the recordings, but not that way. Studios charged premium rates because studios are expensive to run. Even though you may have heard what seemed to be outrageous rates, most studios hardly ever made much money. Many were some variation of vanity projects. That’s why they’re mostly closing.
posted by bongo_x at 8:30 AM on September 17, 2011


@ dbiedny

I wish I could’ve seen that. I liked all the sides of Mr. Whitley. One of the things I liked was when you went to see him live, or a new album came out, you never knew what you were going to get. I had friends that were shocked and unhappy after loving "Living with the Law" and going to see a later show. I loved them all.
posted by bongo_x at 8:33 AM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


bongo_x: please talk TO me here on MetaFilter, and not AT me.

Thanks.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 AM on September 17, 2011


hippybear;

I don’t know the TO symbol.
posted by bongo_x at 4:01 PM on September 17, 2011


Seems you managed quite well without having to know it.

The @ addressing is obnoxious. Please save it for twitter.
posted by hippybear at 4:03 PM on September 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don’t use Twitter, and don’t know anything about that. I thought it just made it easier to pick out who you were addressing in the midst of a bunch of text. I’ve always put some symbol there for that purpose.
posted by bongo_x at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2011


Well, you don't have to take my word for it. Here's the last time we hashed this out on MetaTalk, and cortex's exact quote (very early in the thread) is "Use of twitter-style @username notation is pretty strongly dispreferred."
posted by hippybear at 12:44 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gotcha. There seem to be some strong feelings about this I don’t understand, but I assume it’s some sort of anti-Twitter sentiment. As I said, I’ve rarely seen anything to do with Twitter and don’t care to know much about it, but it’s common in other discussions I follow. I’ll leave it off from now on. If this something people here feel strongly about shouldn’t it be mentioned when signing up? I’m not sure why it would be assumed anyone would know this.
posted by bongo_x at 12:59 PM on September 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I can tell you is that it's more than a feeling, and maybe there's something about you which doesn't give you peace of mind when faced with this, but it's been a long time since we collectively agreed that we'd be feelin' satisfied if we realize that it's easy to avoid. I hope you're not used to bad news like this, but the journey can be a party if you let it. So don't be afraid. Just hitch a ride to a new world and you'll soon say "I think I like it".
posted by hippybear at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2011


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