Fatback Band Letter

December 9, 2008

Hi guys, a little late getting news out, but times are slow. I've been spending time trying stay afloat when business owners are having hard times. You know who’s the first to go—entertainment—but through it all music has been able to survive, some our best hits was made during hard times. You can go back through the years and check out hits that were written and recorded doing bad economic times. Music has been that link, that thread that people held onto that gave them faith for a better tomorrow. For some time now you been hearing about the internet and music, free downloads. Big businesses, like your high tech companies, thinks music should be free. I ran across this e-mail from Bob Davis, I thought it was very interesting, I would like to share with you, and hear your thoughts on music and what price (see below).

The band is preparing for and excited about our return to the Big Apple. What is so exciting about playing in New York? I don’t know, but it has been that way throughout history. You can travel around the world, but when you see New York on your itinerary, you know, you have arrived, and they're waiting to hear what you have to say musically. You see everyone in NY is a critic, they have seen and heard the best and the worst, and they will let you know which one you are. My Daddy once told me, Son, if you can make it in NY, you can make it anywhere in the world and that's true. December 27th at Manhattan Center 34th St we will bring the funk back to the city. if you are in the area or have a friend that lives there, e-mail him and have him to join us and bring some friends, the price is right. NY is Fatback's home, we started there back in early Seventies as a dance band, and we are still very much a dance band. Now, we're not a show band or concert band, we are what we are, for the last 35 years partying around the world spreading funky black music.

Stay in the light, and love thy neighbor as thyself.


Music: At What Price?

An Email from Bob Davis

For years I have been lobbying for "variable pricing" for music. 99 cents/song is just too expensive. Especially now, during an economic Depression. Who do you that can afford to fill up an iPod with say 5,000 songs "legally" and pay $5,000.00 for that privilege?  If you know someone who has that kind of disposable income, please give Me their email address, so I can write them and ask them to legally adopt me.

Some say that the answer to that problem is that music should be "free." I don't believe that either. I think that the consumers perceived value of "free music" is zero. Most of the people I know who have vast iPod collections of "free music" only listen to a relatively small number of those tracks. The rest of the tracks sit in what is the digital equivelent of a trunk stored in a corner of the attic surrounded by cobwebs.

Music should be priced according to what the marketplace will bear. If you think it's "good music" and nobody buys it at 99 cents, then lower the price. People will buy what they can afford and what has value to them on an individual level.

Music is a personal thing. Great music is even more personal. If it doesn't touch my soul, I don't want it even if it's free.

I will pay almost anything for music that truly touches my soul. But if it's 1/2 price or 1/4 price this week and it's gonna be full price next week, which week do you think I'm gonna buy it?

For music that doesn't "touch my soul", but I still might like, I may want to own it, but probably only at a huge discount. It's no different than in the physical world. In the past I have purchased CD's of artists that I barely like (ex: Patti Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly & Maze, etc.)

But I have waited 20 years in some cases to buy those "greatest hit" collections of artists that I only marginally like and only when I could get them for $6.99 or $7.99. I have always loved "compilation albums" because they enable me to sample an artist at a low risk price.

I would generally buy albums like that during the same record store visit when I have paid $25.00 for a Passport album. When I got home, the Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly & Maze, etc. album would get tossed into the corner, still in the shrink wrap until someone comes over to my house & wants to hear it. Meanwhile that Passport album gets opened immediately along with the bottle of 12 year old scotch I brought on my way home from the store, I put on the headphones, shut the door & listen to the Passport album 2-3 times, because I have set the CD player on repeat.

Translated to today's world that means I might be willing to pay 99 cents for a great track by Nadir (an artist that I really like) and set it up to automatically play when my PC boots up, but only 9 cents for a track by Kindred & the Family Soul (an artist that I only marginally like) that would likely only get played at the request of someone other than myself.

For you it may be the opposite...

Either way I would think that the people who are responsible for the long term financial viability of Kindred & the Family Soul would rather have me pay 9 cents several times over the course of my lifetime to acquire their music, as opposed to zero? At least this way I would at least listen to the music a few times, perhaps by pulling up the track for someone else to hear? (no different than with my Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly & Maze, etc. albums.)

The whole idea is for more people to consume more music. Consumption goes up when prices are cheaper and people will consume whatever has value to them on a personal level and they will consume it at a rate (price) based on whatever their personal likes or dislikes are.

I think that the smart people in the music industry are starting to realize that this concept is probably their best long term salvation. Just read some of the comments being made in the music blogosphere and you can see that the tide is turning.

All of those starving artists and economically depressed record labels should seriously consider this strategy. Especially right now when people actually have more time to spend at home listening to music, since millions of people no longer have jobs to leave their house for and certainly are in need of something CHEAP that is guaranteed to bring a smile to their faces.

"Less is not more, more is more..."

NP: "Cross-Collateral"


You have received this email because you "opted-in" and requested to receive the Fatback Band Letter or as a courtesy because you are a member of the media. If you feel that you have received this email in error, you may unsubscribe from this newsletter by clicking the link below.