The Tom Marshall Podcast

I don’t believe in self-promotion. I figure you’re hearing from me enough already. Hell, I sent three missives yesterday, and this is the third one today and I know people resent it, they don’t want to be overloaded, say it shorter, be to the point, and only write about what they’re interested in, which is primarily music.

I’m not writing about politics. Because it’s useless. It’s no longer about the vote, but counting the votes and the reaction thereto. In other words, the credibility of the vote has been undermined and Trump has undercut the validity of mail-in voting amongst his minions and…

“Exclusive: Dem group warns of apparent Trump Election Day landslide”

Read it and weep. There’s a very good chance Trump will be ahead on election day and declare victory despite the onslaught of mail-in ballots that could tip the election to Biden that might take days or weeks to count.

Now the “Wall Street Journal” is even on it:

“Will Courts Pick the Next President? – If the election is close, the fallout could make Bush v. Gore look like an ice-cream social”

But you can’t satisfy everybody, no way. And it’s a fool’s errand to try. Because it’s the rough edges of your message that hook people and people don’t really know what they want until they experience it. Market research may work in conventional business, but it’s worthless in art. And famously Steve Jobs did no market research, he gave the people what they needed, not what they wanted. Oh, you want a litany of ports and a headphone hole on your phone and…if we listened to the public, we’d never get anywhere, because there are those so inured to the past that they cannot fathom any change. You know, the people who won’t sign up for a streaming service because they don’t want to cough up their credit card. Let’s add in ignorance too…people who don’t know you can synch Spotify, et al, tracks to the phone, so as long as you’ve got juice, you can hear them. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a belief!

Which is what I did on the Tom Marshall podcast.

Marshall is the lyricist for Phish. And he started a new podcast, entitled “Under the Scales.” And if you pay you can get bonus content, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’ve seen Phish multiple times, I’m friends with the insiders, of course I’m gonna say yes to this, and over time you learn to say no to most things, especially in this overloaded internet era. Yes, if you want an interview with anybody with a profile the first thing they’re going to ask you about is your reach, then who else has done it. I know, I know, it’s kind of like only being able to get a job if you’ve got experience. But in this era where there are a zillion outlets, no one has time to be on all of them and no one has time to read or listen/pay attention to all of them.

But, like I said, I’m there for the Phish community.

But Tom Marshall is trying to build a business. Now Phish fans are notoriously loyal, so maybe there’s a way to charge, but I’m anti-charge, because it inherently limits the growth of your business. If you’re thinking money before reach you’ve got it all wrong. And I don’t care how much money you’re making on your enterprise, unless you’re just into the cash, you’ve made yourself irrelevant if your work is behind a paywall. You charge last, you make money from the penumbra. Then again, what is your end goal, are you a hobbyist or are you playing for all the marbles? When I asked Mac McAnally about pursuit of his solo career, he said he was just not that ambitious, unlike Jimmy Buffett. Jimmy owns his ambition. He wanted it and got it, he wants more and he’s getting more. And it’s much more difficult to be ambitious than laid back. Because the competition gets stiffer as you move up the food chain, only a few can have huge success.

All this to say if you’re on Patreon and you’re making bucks, more power to you, it’s just that you should know you’re in a cottage business with walls, that your business is not going to grow, that you’ve inherently made yourself irrelevant. If you’re not willing to starve, you’re never going to make it big in entertainment. Some household names are starving, because they’re reinvesting all the proceeds into their art, whether it be creation or live show or… You can get an MBA and write a business plan, but I don’t know anybody who has made it as an artist via that route. But I do know people who made it through hard work and determination. If you’re not willing to forgo activities, don’t start. In other words, if everybody is partying, if everybody but you owns a house, if you’re envious, if those are the main draws, change course, you do not belong in the creative world.

Which is all to say that at the end of my interview with Tom, he asked me to create special content for subscribers, he wanted me to talk about my favorite streaming TV shows. Arguably, that was more interesting, at least to me, than everything I’d said previously, but unless you pay you cannot hear it.

So, I said yes to Tom. I’ve done a lot of this. I don’t want to know the questions in advance, I want to come in cold, so maybe we can create some magic, otherwise you leave all the good stuff in the green room.

So, I’m talking to Tom, about Phish and stuff, and then we veer into ticketing. Tom hates Ticketmaster.

So, I explain ticketing, but Tom still doesn’t get it.

And here’s where there’s a fork in the road. You can be nice, get along, or you can tell the truth. But people don’t want to hear the truth. And you sever the underlying relationship. But I don’t work for the man, I’m not gonna cover up my opinion or the truth, so I double-down. And it’s not until deep into the podcast that I realize I’ve come across as an asshole.

Now that’s another reason not to do press. Because the writers are oftentimes uninformed, this may not even be their beat, and you end up educating them and they still get it wrong. It’s a complete waste of time. Even at the highest levels, you’d be surprised. But, mainstream press means less than ever before and you can reach people directly so…

Tom asked me to promote the podcast.

Now that’s never gonna happen.

Like Maureen Dowd. She only tweets once a week, to promote her column. Doesn’t she know this makes her look bad? If you’re a fan, you know she’s in the paper on Sunday. And she’s got no respect for the medium, she’s not tweeting about anything else.

And I almost never tweet. Why? I reach so many fewer people than I do by writing a missive, because no one reads Twitter exhaustively, you jump in and jump out, inherently you miss a ton of stuff.

As for Facebook… I didn’t want to hear from everybody I grew up with so I never got on it.

As for Instagram… My friend the social media guru convinced me to join. But I hardly post, because it only works if you promote, and I’ve already got my own thing, this newsletter.

But can you make it if you don’t self-promote?

That’s an interesting question.

But as I’ve stated previously, I’m a voracious reader of Twitter. It’s where you hear it first, and where you hear it with analysis and attitude. Like today’s Covid story re Sturgis, I read that last night on Twitter.

And speaking of Twitter, people started to tweet positively about my Ticketmaster analysis on the Tom Marshall/Under the Scales podcast, and it made me wonder about perception…maybe listeners weren’t alienated by what I said, maybe they could discern the truth.

As for alienation, frustration and disgust, I get it all day long. If I listened and obeyed I wouldn’t be able to write or do anything at all. And then when I write about feedback from these jerks, the only people who stop writing me are the reasonable ones, even those with a profile. You just can’t fight it, you just can’t win.

Like with ticketing… THE ACT IS AT FAULT! The act takes ninety to a hundred percent of the gate and the only profit is in the ticketing. And Ticketmaster only gets a sliver of the fees. The rest go to the promoters and the buildings and sometimes even get kicked back to the acts!


Tell that to a mathematician, or a scientist. Feel is irrelevant.

So, if you want to hear what I have to say about ticketing and more you can listen to me on this podcast, it’s up to you, I won’t push you.

Under the Scales

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