Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity." Thomas Wolfe

$2.5 million a year is said to be the last offer Paramount made to Tom Cruise. Previously he had been paid as much as $10 million per year to cover the overhead related to running his production company. Their agreement was to expire the end of this month, the parties agreed it was over. Sumner Redstone made the announcement and broke the news during a WSJ interview last week. No matter what you think of Cruise, the story here is less about what was done and more about how it was done. Cruise joins the previously departed Messrs Rather and Karmazin. More on the Cruise deal here and Alan Abelson writes "Two things stand out about Mr. Redstone. The first is that he's very good at canning" here (sub req). Brad Grey and Tom Freston deserve(d) better. Gentility and the gentilesse of moguls needs a reboot in Hollywood.

Daniel J. Levitin has written a very cool book - This Is Your Brain on Music...

"Miles Davis famously described his improvisational technique as parallel to the way Picasso described his use of a canvas: The most critical aspect of the work, both artists said, was not the objects themselves, but the space between objects."

The one time musician, sound engineer and record producer is now a neuroscientist. His book is about the science of music. Just into it and it's a good read. Amazon info here

Claude Hall writes...

"...I advocate that most program directors were, indeed, attempting to create something beautiful with their radio stations in the late 50s and 60s and 70s. The proof is that men such as Paul Drew listened to their stations with intense attention.All of the time! Drew, in my opinion, was attempting to create an ideal. Something intensely better than your basic run-of-the-mill radio station.

It is true that a lot of radio programming did not live up to expectations. Some radio stations without question ballyhooed themselves as better than actually existed. The great hype job. This has been true many times in music where utter crap is often promoted as great and in radio programming where crap, habitually and perhaps fortunately in spite of hype, has never survived for long. Regardless, as music reaches artform or at least a higher level of quality, and much of it is far from that, so does the programming of the station that expounds this music. And beyond, perhaps, the music that it plays, the program director takes on the persona of an artist in what he does with the radio programming of that station.

Thus, I have believed for many years that Bill Stewart, Chuck Blore, Bill Young, Charlie Parker, Kent Burkhart, George Wilson, Ron Jacobs, George Williams, Bill Drake, Buzz Bennett and others were, in a sense,artists. Not merely acceptable artists, but often great artists in what they performed. Especially in regards to what they sometimes achieved, even if briefly. The same could be said of countless radio station program directors including George Williams, Gary Allyn, Kahn Hamon, Bill Ward, and especially of men such as J. Robert Wood."

More from Mr. Vox Jox himself, Claude Hall, appearing weekly here

Take care of the fans and the bands, and the business will take care of itself
. What a concept, Terry McBride just might be on to something, read all about it here