True story

When I saw the subject line that posed the question in the title of the post my initial reaction was like what Fred G. looks like above. Now I’m not going to name the music retailer that this email was sent from Sweetwater but I will say that I was inspired to commit a few words in the form of a post. The reason for the inspiration is because this email rubbed me the same way that music industry both old/new school does from time to time i.e. not the right way.

It is safe to assume that I am was a customer at one point, but it’s even safer to assume that I’m on a list. It is also safe to assume that at one point in my life I was an active consumer of gear but priorities change, work/family situations change like they do for everyone. I was trying to think of the last time I actually purchased something from said music retailer and I realized it was the first Christmas that my youngest daughter was on the scene, she will be heading into 4th grade in a few months. So it’s safe to say it’s been awhile.

It’s been awhile since I purchased some gear from them but I’m pretty sure that I was making music last night and this morning. I’m fortunate in the sense that I have what I need, sure I could always use more when I can afford it. Do I like looking at catalogs? Sure! But, I also like the internet and the internet has pictures, videos, text, audio and best of all reviews from consumers themselves. That’s what I really look for and spend the most time using as a resource: Real uncompensated opinions from people who are not trying to sell me anything. Not that I have anything against salespersons and retail I did my tour of duty in that world but, I say all this to say that this is not the same marketplace as it was in 2002 or 1992 for that matter. The same holds true for music.

This may sound crazy but don’t try and sell me anything. Please(Nod to Stanley from Friday). Whatever I believe I need you can best believe I’m going to do the homework. Now if we have established a relationship and I can tell that you’ve done your homework as a salesperson and ultimately I come to trust you, you get my business. Truth be told that’s what happened a few months ago when I was in the market for the first major musical purchases I had made since 2002 (that’s another story for another day as to why that sabbatical occurred) and it just so happened that I established a relationship with someone locally who gained my trust by displaying to me that they had done their homework(they didn’t even know they were being interviewed while we were having a casual conversation). That’s why it’s always important to be ever mindful of who you are interacting with you can tell the real from the fake very quickly and as we always say at GFM “The Streez Iz Watchin'”

This brings me to point concerning the music industry. I’m really not going to name names on this one but from time to time we get crassness disguised as a sales pitch at GFM. These days with the over-saturation of music in the marketplace artists should be ever mindful that someone’s attention is probably even more valuable than their money these days. See we evolved beyond a producer/consumer relationship, the walls are down Oz has been exposed so everyone knows how long, how much and on and on about putting together a record. If we are in a relationship I must be honest with you, I must spend time with you and we interact, not just one way, but two ways. Does that mean that you have to answer every inane comment that comes your way, no, but you better make sure you get to know your supporters on some level before you ask for $1.00 $0.99 and trust it does happen from time to time when you’re on the list. You know the list.

That’s really what this post boils down to are we people or just names on a list to cut and paste and spam at will? Because if I’m on your list and you offer me all the shrimp I can eat then you have gotten to know #131 on your list very well because if anyone has spent enough time with me they that Ivan Orr is definitely into music/audio and the he can’t eat the shrimp.

Laterz…

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.