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A+R Approaches

Article from Making Music, August 1986

Great A&R department scams of our time. When you get to be as ancient as us, or at least as ancient as Jon Lewin, you begin to realise that sometimes A&R men don't listen to the tapes you send them. Yes, it's a shock isn't it. Occasionally, force, trick, gimmick or bribery have to be applied to gain their attention. You could...

Send him a postcard purporting to be from another A&R man along the lines of "Hi Dick. If you get a call from a band called *****, that's my fault. They're really good, but more your stuff than ours. Cheers - Bert at Black Plastic. PS how's the goldfish?" You send Bert one as well. From Dick. Then when they phone each other to find out what the hell is going on, they're both talking about your band.

Or turn up at lunchtime when Dick is out and the conversation with the receptionist should run. "Hi, I'm Dick's brother Bert, came to touch him for the old man's birthday present. Out is he? Okay if I wait in his office?"

Or post him the tape in a box which is just too huge to clutter up the office unopened.

Or deliver a bunch of flowers, supposedly from a well known band, which contains a taped message instead of a card. His ego's so big he won't be able to resist playing it. But you know what's really on the tape, don't you?

Or if you're forever put off by his answerphone, just tweak the Portastudio's eq, and do a quick 'bounce' down the line onto his machine.

Or label your tape "Eurythmics out-takes... NOT to leave RCA offices", and find some way of dropping it on his desk. If you've got money, you could send him a copy of their new single, and hope he thinks there's been a cock up in the RCA post room.

Or phone him up and talk to him. Apparently, they're almost human these days.

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Aug 1986


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