The first hour or so of the meeting was spent with my asking questions about the industry and Kevin answering them. Some of the questions were regarding various ways one can make money in the business. (I’m a businessman and investment manager and sometimes I just can’t help myself). Not surprisingly, the answers I received went something like this:
It has become very hard for almost everybody to make money in any aspect of the business. Only a very small percentage (fractions of a percent) of people in the business can make a living at it. A few make a LOT of money, some good ones make some money, and most don’t make anything. Every angle is a long-shot, but if one is good and aims carefully, and takes a LOT of shots over an extended period of time, some money can be made (probably most likely in films and TV). Of course, cumulative expenses can easily be greater than cumulative income even for many people who receive payments for some of their work.
That information is consistent with what I saw at the conference. Nearly all of the ones who I felt were very good songwriters had been writing songs for at least 10 years and had either had songs cut or songs included in films or TV, but none of them were making a full-time living at it. Virtually all were retired from other industries or had day jobs.
From what I can gather, the ad market (writing songs for ads) is very strictly controlled by a few powerful companies or dead. So much for that idea!
My idea regarding writing hooks or portions of songs in 15-30 second clips for possible inclusion in films and TV shows also died an ignoble death. Even when the execs only use 15-30 seconds of a song in films and TV-land, they still want full songs from which to choose.
Oh, well. Now I know.
We then spent about 45 minutes going over a couple of drafts of partial songs I’d written. He liked them both and we talked about how to make them stronger songs and the direction with which to take them.
So, I’m working on two songs based on that meeting:
“The Man Of Few Words” -What started out as a story about a generic wise man and had been somewhat lecturing will hopefully morph into a story about the singer’s father being a man of few words but who could make those words count. Someone who with a mere look could speak volumes, and when he speaks quietly in a crowded room, others stop to listen to what he has to say. Or something along those lines.
And what had been “Shadow Of Our Love” will have a title change because the current one boxes the story in too tightly. The current new direction is about a man in a relationship that had been full of passion but has become passionless. He begins to realize his part in the process and begins to make changes in his behavior. Will it be enough or has the fire burned out? Stay tuned!
And then there is the new song that I began today tentatively titled, “My Old Friend” which is a tribute to my dog Duke and the love between humans and dogs everywhere. I hope to have/make time to write the first near-complete draft of this song and discuss it with my new co-writer Kevin at our next scheduled meeting on Monday afternoon.
I’m also working with Denis Loiseau on a project currently titled “I’ve Already Won”. More about that later.
That’s it for now, dear friends. Thank you for coming along for the ride!