Fatback Band Letter

“This is the Future... Silicon Valley”

December 1, 2011

Hey Guys, this summer was the busiest one for me in a long time. No, I wasn’t out on the road (I wish). I was in the studio putting together some new funky stuff… yes, funk. I think the time is right to put the funk in their faces again. I know I promised to do some radio drops for a few of you guys out there. I haven’t forgotten. In case you haven’t noticed, all of our new music is under the name “Bill Curtis and Friends/w The Fatback Band.” Explanation, don’t want to compete with the Fatback Band, we did it, they are Legend. The music world is changing so fast, we felt we needed to move on musically, explore new avenues without being so boxed in. However, all the same old personnel will be producing and touring from time to time. Now we can bring in some new music and create some new sounds. I hope next year to introduce the new 2012 Fatback Band. Look for the new music next month.

I don’t know the demographic group that read our newsletters, however, I assumed Old School Musicians and Entertainers do. I hope you are not sitting around waiting for the “good ole days” to come back, when the Record Companies and Radio were king, and ruled the land. The big companies still have their grip on things like Radio. The Radio can’t sell music like it use too. No one listens to Radio for new music anymore. All the record stores are mostly gone. In a few years CD’s will be a thing of the past. Right now they still have the infrastructure for distribution. The need for that is going very fast, as matter of fact, gone. What you seeing now is a revolution, a civil war against the music industry old system.

Perhaps, it was the people in the Far East who saw what was going on in the music industry and decide it was time for them to break the chains that bound them. It was outsiders who started this Revolution. I don’t know if it was their love for music or to innovate a better way to get music, or using our music to sell their new devices. I want to believe that it was a little of both. In the meantime, they made music like water, free.

Technology has turned the music business upside down. It’s a new day. Gone are days when you could make a living just playing music, freelancing, or touring. There was also a time if a band had a few original songs a big company would sign them up. Now you better come with a following of 10,000 on Facebook and sales of over 20,000. You must show that you are sellable. I’m talking about Musicians not artists. Singers or singing groups, that’s another game, they had to be already developed when they came through the door. You remember the groups from days past, when the Label groomed them into superstars? No more, they’re not in that kind of business anymore. Distribution is their thing now.

I could go on and on about the new music world. I just wanted to let you know, if you want to get rich and have that big-time life style, music is not the way to go. I know you see them out there and hear their music, and I know what you are saying: “they are doing it, then why not me?” Very few musicians are making real money. As more and more new design technology is being made, have you noticed the less money you’re paid. You would think since they lowered the playing field where as now we have asset to the world through computers, just like the big labels, our earnings should be larger. The problem is the e-stores claim they are not in the record business. They don’t want to deal with individual independent right owners. They don’t want to do all that paperwork. They would rather send it to a middle-man or to the label company and let them handle where the money goes.

I felt like if Steve Jobs had stayed around he would have figure out a solution for rights owners so we would get paid the most money, not just the scraps. I wasn’t in love with the old system, they stole the money. The new system just wants to use your music to sell their products. Ok, I know you are saying I’m wrong, but they put your music on their Apps for people to hear for a low price and then turn around and sell advertisement for big bucks on their site. Why not share some that money with the rights owners. They are just like the jukebox man, he didn’t pay either, but uses our music in his jukeboxes. Well come to think of it, that what those online sites are, jukeboxes. This is it, this is what it is, you might as well get in the game. This is the future: Silicon Valley.

If you have a passion and love for music and are willing to sacrifice and dedicate your life to music, willing to spend a few years touring, and building up a following, even sleeping in your car; the rewards will be great in the long haul. This is nothing new for Black musicians. But, if you’re thinking about doing it on the side as a hobby keep your day job, that’s just what it is, a hobby.

Downloads of the Month:
New Releases from Bill Curtis and Friends w/ The Fatback Band

Our downloads of the month are:
“Give the People What They Want”
“In The VIP”
“In The VIP (Club Mix)”
“Brighter of Days”

Video: “To Be With You”


Video: “I Feel The Fire”
Fatback at Southport Weekender


Fatback Live at the 02 in London 2009




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