Even more random musings

I read that Universal Music Group, with its acquisition of EMI, will control nearly 40% of the worldwide music market. My first thought was: maybe they should just take over the whole thing. If you’re going to call yourself “Universal” you can’t settle for just a piece of the market, right? I’d bet Sony and Warner wouldn’t mind. Think of the “synergies” and cost savings involved if Universal just owned everything! And we know they’d pass those savings along to their customers.

The school shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut brings up a heap of stuff for me. For four decades my mom was a first grade school teacher—a profession I regard as holy. (Also, I’ve been to Newtown to visit friends in the past.) And it happened in the Christmas season, around the time that John Lennon was murdered 32 years ago. Lots of us listening to “Blue Christmas” this week.

I also saw that music mogul Joe Smith—former president of three major labels, who signed megastars like Hendrix, the Dead, and the Eagles—has released to the National Library of Congress 200 interviews he did in the 1980s. (These were in-depth conversations with the biggest names in the music biz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Dylan, McCartney, and Bowie.) I’m thinking I may try to contact him for an interview. (For me to interview him, of course. Well, unless he happens to be a big fan of this blog.) I’m betting this guy learned a couple of business lessons from rock. Anyway, I just discovered that Smith attended the Chelsea, Massachusetts grade school where my mom taught in the 1930s. (No, that’s not a misprint. I was a biological anomaly born to 60-year-old parents.) Smith may have learned his ABC’s from my mother. This could be interesting.

Ok, I KNOW I’m a little slow, but I’m wondering if I’m the only one person this happens to. In my Apple Mail, I check my “Sent Messages” folder on occasion, to see if I've sent out an email, then I forget I’ve left it open. So when I return to my computer I think, “Wow, everyone has already responded to me—but why are they asking me the same question I asked them?”

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  1. I think it's outrageous that 3 record labels can completely dominate the music business including music publishing. But their business model is obsolete, so they're living on borrowed time anyway.

  2. Well, not having lots of choices (i.e. having only one or two or three big labels) is certainly not optimal, and not the way capitalism is supposed to work. But I really don't think it's the end of the world either. Oh, wait, I just looked at the calendar. Never mind.

  3. I do leave my sent folder open sometimes, just to put myself in a good mood later, when for a moment I forget and think everyone responded to me promptly. If only.

    Happy holidays.

  4. David, it just happened to me AGAIN, two minutes ago! As usual, I've learned so well from my mistakes I can repeat them exactly.

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