From: Richard Griffiths

Subject: Jim Steinman

I was so sad to read about the passing of Jim Steinman this week. I feel privileged that I got to work with him and could call him my friend.

Bat Out Of Hell is one of the top 10 selling albums of all time,  here in the UK. Over 50 million worldwide. I can still picture in my mind the performance Meatloaf did Two out of Three Ain’t Bad on the Old Grey Whistle test back in 1977, with Steinman in band .

I was hooked from that moment.

In 1983 I was running Virgin Music in London, and I heard this song on the radio. Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler. I knew it was a smash. I did some digging on publishing situation, and found out it was available. I got in touch with his lawyer, who came back with the question,”Jim Steinman wants to know what you know about Jim?” To which I replied “I know more about Jim Steinman than Jim Steinman knows about Jim Steinman!”

I was invited to fly to NY and meet with Jim and his manager David Sonnenberg.

We met early evening in Jim’s apartment on the east side. He came in, shook my hand and said “Do you like red wine?” I told him I did and from that moment a wonderful business and personal relationship grew.

In 1988, the last thing I signed to Virgin in London, before I went to run the LA  office, was a concept album of a four girl band called Pandora’s Box. It was a total stiff.

However years later, 1995, I’m the President of Epic in NY and we were just starting to have success with Celine Dion. I’m in an AnR meeting with her manager and Paul Berger from Sony Canada. We’ve been playing all sorts of songs and Paul says, “We need a big power ballad to show how amazing Celine’s voice is” I told them to wait a minute while I went to find something I wanted to play them. I came back with the cassette of Pandora’s Box and played them It’s All Coming Back to Me Now. The rest is history!

I don’t think Jim Steinman has ever really been fully recognised for being the unique genius that he was.

And one of the greatest dinner guests you could ever hope for.

RIP Jim.


Subject: Re: Steve Cropper-This Week’s Podcast

Dear Bob,

“Legend” – possibly the most overused term in the modern entertainment industry, but Steve is the real deal!

I was 21, and working for a UK promoter, on a tour for the Blues Brothers Band. I’d managed to sell every date on the tour. 2000-5000 seat theatres.

At the last minute, our tour manager got sick, and I was thrown in at the deep end. I turned up at Gatwick to meet 15 musicians with nothing but an itinerary (home made) and a tour bus.  Quite an induction for my first ever tour!

Fortunately for me, I didn’t actually know that much about them – Steve Cropper, Duck, Eddie Floyd, my great (late) friend Alan Rubin.

I soon realised after a day or two on a tour bus (and copious amounts of fried chicken later) who these guys really were.

We would watch a video (old VHS) on the bus and every time we put something on, Steve would say “yeah, watch this one, I have a song in it.”!

I was wet behind the ears, but ended the tour with dozens of stories about Otis, James Brown, a who’s who of legendary musicians.

People often comment on how people are “wonderful human beings” etc, but in Steve’s case, it’s 100% true – I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more genuine and kind hearted individual. We checked his share prices every morning at breakfast,  and he would never let me pay for anything, even though it was me who was the TM.

It’s a rare commodity that someone has his abundance of talent and such a beautiful personality to boot.

Best Wishes from Scotland

Dave Rogers


From: Edward Stasium

Subject: Re: Strange Brew

Hey Bob,

LOVE ’Strange Brew’

Albert King recorded and released  ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ as a single in August 1966.

’Strange Brew’ was recorded in April of 1967.

Please check out the guitar, especially the solo at 1:13


Cheers… Ed


From: Lewis Gersh

Subject: Re: Slava Rubin-This Week’s Podcast


I led the first VC round into Indiegogo when it was only the three founder team, we had a great moment that speaks volumes of Slava and the team. They had pitched me early on and I was very interested but as a deal it wasn’t ready yet, so I referred them to a renowned valley “Sherpa” who helps coach promising startups get prime time financing ready. Eventually, I did go to terms to lead the first round and it was not an easy sell, we were fielding many objections to “crowdfunding”. Suddenly mid-round magic hit, metrics started taking off, literally up and to the right, and the round becomes way oversubscribed. Then Slava calls, some investors I had referred had then referred others who then counter-offered against my term sheet, more money and higher valuation. My reaction on the call was coaching Slava his first obligation as a founder is always to do what’s best for the company and it’s shareholders, and if it means throwing my deal under the bus, I will be very disappointed, but supportive. I told him he also has to wonder about the character of the guys undermining my deal which is what got them to the table in the first place. Slava said throwing my deal under the bus is NOT what they want to do, but they would like more money in the round and don’t want the dilution. I said ok, how about we split the difference, you choose the amount off additional capital and we will raise the valuation to offset half the dilution for it – founders and investors equal on the impact. Slava, Danae and Eric agreed, virtual handshake bonded, and we began a relationship of loyalty/trust that was infinitely more valuable and resonated through the culture of Indiegogo. And it’s great to see that culture has continued to proliferate. Cheers.


From: William Goldsmith

Subject: Re: Patreon/Substack

Hi Bob,

My direct experience says you are totally right on this. Many of my peers in the Internet radio space went the subscription-only route years ago. Others went with the freemium model. Of the dozen or so independent webcasters with any kind of sizeable audience, only three (Radio Paradise, Accuradio & SOMA) kept their streams freely available — Accuradio with advertising, Radio Paradise & SOMA relying on voluntary support.

I don’t know how well Accuradio is doing (unless you’re Facebook or Google, selling advertising is a really hard way to make money these days). Both RP & SOMA are still thriving — with passionate, loyal, larger-than-ever audiences that support us, even though we are much more low-key about that sort of thing than public FM stations.

A couple of the others are still around, with audiences that have shrunk to a small fraction of what they once were. The rest are long gone.

I have no doubt that our experience (like yours) translates directly to any endeavor where the relationship between creators and their fans is important. Mess with that relationship — by adding friction to it of any kind or via heavy-handed attempts to monetize or manipulate it — at your peril.


Bill Goldsmith

Radio Paradise


Subject: Re: Where Are The Record Companies?

The “show must be paused” initiative was taken seriously by Record Store Day. We stopped and reassessed everything that we could influence and are now making a concerted effort to empower Black owned record stores. In doing so we discovered that just as recently as about 10 years ago there were around 100 Black owned record stores. Today there are about 25.

We are doing two volumes of Record Store Day vinyl records we call “Songs For You,” with tracks kindly donated from H.E.R., Roberta Flack, Freddie Gibbs, Run The Jewels and fourteen others.  Our goal is to raise money, support and awareness for these Black owned business.

While working on this project, the one recurring theme in my conversation with the owners of these Black owned record stores is the positive impact that they have on local organizations, schools, community sports teams, etc. All of which they pretty much do on their own as there is little or no support coming from record companies anymore as it has been pretty much lost with the advent of streaming.

The net result is money is literally streaming out of the neighborhoods with nothing left behind for the community. Zero. Nothing for libraries, nothing for schools, nothing for the local sports team, nothing for the churches.

For the “Songs For You” project, we went out to ask for help and Vans/Off The Wall took a stand and gave Record Store Day the financial and critical support needed to make it possible.

I hope this inspires someone else out there to do what they think is right in the space they work in, with the people they work with. That’s all any of us can do.

Michael Kurtz

Co-founder, Record Store Day


From: Hilary Rosen

Subject: Re: Where Are The Record Companies?

This is not the industry of old.  We stood up didn’t we? We fought. We gave executives and artists platforms on voting, on censorship, on gun control, on racism, on LGBTQ and feminism.  We had agendas bigger than ourselves that was reflected in the music. But it requires leadership.  People need authentic and passionate leadership.  I think the industry is currently led by good people with good hearts and open minds who understand that we are in fraught times and speaking out is risky and potentially loaded with repercussions they can’t always control.  And they worry that the responsibility to get it right feels too big to step out. But it’s a choice. 

Hilary Rosen 

Vice Chair


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