Andy got hurt. Badly.
It was the last run, but it’s always the last run when you get hurt, right?
We were skiing Spar Gulch, which once upon a time was literally a “V,” but they flattened it out a few decades back and there was a bunch of sun and I’m skiing along and I start to hear yelling and I stop and turn around and see Andy face down in the snow. I thought he was dead. Truly.
Then he suddenly rolled over once, and then played dead again.
I was scared.
So I climbed up and Amy skied down and Andy’s glasses were broken and he wasn’t fully coherent, but he said he’d just had the wind knocked out of him and he’d be fine to ski down.
But then the ski patrol came along and Andy couldn’t sit up straight and he started moaning and groaning and they gave him oxygen and took him down to the ambulance…
He has a partially collapsed lung. A fractured scapula. Five broken ribs. And some brain trauma, i.e. a concussion.
His spirits are good, he’s cracking jokes, and they said he’d be back on snow in 8-10 weeks, but what freaked me out most, other than the injury itself, was how you can be completely normal one moment and in an instant disaster strikes and you’re not.
It appears that he was fearful of colliding with Amy. So he either skied over the back of her skis or he didn’t. Either he crossed his tips or he didn’t. There’s a huge gash in his K2, down to the core, but no one knows exactly what happened. A bystander said Andy fell on his head. Andy said he did not.
Life is risky. Live it to the fullest.
And I only hope when my time comes I can be as upbeat as Andy Somers.
A tour-de-force. Put a dime in the jukebox and Peter Mensch tells mind-boggling stories, whether it be showing up in Paris with AC/DC’s per diem not knowing that he’d already been fired or talking about A&R’ing the Stones’ “Steel Wheels” album. And having Keith tell him to tell Mick…
The music business is comprised of iconoclasts. People who are passionate about tunes and couldn’t make it anywhere else. Those who go to college and have more records than anyone else in the dorm. Who went to shows alone because no one else would.
That’s Peter Mensch’s story.
And that’s mine too.
And there was so much more. I was riveted by the tales of his growing up. Having no friends. Being traumatized by switching schools at an impressionable age. Having his sister kidnapped. Getting out of the draft after sitting on the Group W bench.
You know “Alice’s Restaurant,” don’t you?
Of course we talked the modern music business.
But even more interesting was how Peter got to where he is. Starting as a tour accountant. Sidling up to AC/DC, who were opening for Aerosmith, being told he couldn’t manage the Scorpions because he had no experience and then having their U.S. lawyer relent. Signing Def Leppard. Mutt Lange coming to his flat in London every night with just one syllable of “Pho-to-graph.”
Peter said too many one act managers don’t know touring, and therefore make all-over deals with Live Nation or AEG, he thinks you can make more on your own.
Peter said that an album has to be great. Literally. Ten or twelve solid tracks. Good is not good enough. He’s working with Matt Bellamy on the Muse album as we speak, Peter flew into Aspen from London.
And it’s all about having enough good songs that when the consumer hears the ad on the radio and snippets are played, they’re desirous of going. Put up 15-16 great tracks and you’ve truly made it and have the road business to show for it.
And radio is key, Q Prime has its own department. They oftentimes get stuff started on Sirius and then cross it over to terrestrial. It’s about hard work and…
Once upon a time everybody knew Q Prime. But today the youngsters get all the press. Should you seek out Cliff and Peter and benefit from their experience?
Seth used to work for Fred Wilson. The dean of New York VCs.
Then he started turntable.fm.
Now he’s got a deejay app, DJZ:
And to hear Seth talk about Silicon Valley, the venture capital world, is to hear what got Peter Mensch and me excited about music all those decades back.
Tech is where it’s at. But investors don’t want to touch anything that requires music licenses. But if you can build it on the back of something without licenses, they’re interested.
I was excited and riveted in a way that music rarely gets me anymore.
But there’s a nexus.
Where all the action and all the money is. The labels get the glory. The promoters get the money.
I could listen to Rick Mueller analyze the business all day long. Don Strasburg too.
Live is burgeoning. Everybody shows up at the promoter’s door, that’s where the money is.
And the show is where it’s at. People may not want to pay much for music, but they’ll overpay for a ticket to the show.
It’s very exciting.