James Palumbo published a typically lacerating critique of the private equity investors who bought out EMI in 2007, in the Daily Telegraph this week, revealing that he ‘begged them’ not to buy the record company, fearing they’d ruin the legendary British major label.
Arguing that city investors generally have destroyed much of the major label business in recent years, he lent his support strongly to Universal’s planned takeover of EMI and to Universal music mogul Lucian Grainge in particular, though was unsparing in his assessment of the financiers who previously took over EMI.
“Management consultants were parachuted in, experienced staff ignored or fired, investment in talent halted and artists portrayed as profligate drug-taking lunatics. It was like hiring a decorator to restore the Sistine Chapel, broad clumsy brush strokes with absolutely no sense of the art and talent that lay beneath,” the Ministry Of Sound founder declared.
“Particular skills are needed to run a music company,” he added, “An understanding of the genre, technical music ability, competence with numbers and, most of all, the capacity to deal with hypersensitive artists and their rapacious managers and lawyers.” (Telegraph: http://bit.ly/NtaPRT )
Chatting to Skrufff earlier this year, James was equally outspoken about the manufactured pop star music business model refined by Simon Cowell in recent years, singling out the viciousness of the format for particular attention.
“The problem with X Factor is that it harms people,” he suggested.
“That sound shrill, but the bottom line is that after their six months of fame, playing in cafes and clubs, it’s game over. And you have the judges sitting there saying ‘you are the next great talent coming out of the UK, you’ll have a great career’ and it’s not true.
That and the ritual humiliation is what disturb me. I think they provide a bad example.”
Jonty Skrufff : http://listn.to/JontySkrufff
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