John Scott G

John Scott G

John Scott G, an admitted word nerd, writes books, plays, screenplays, and political commentary. Author of "Area Code 666," "Secret Sex," and "Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka," Mr. G also writes under the pseudonym Gerald Laurence. Every day he happily rubs a few phrases up against each other to create sparks in your brain. You're welcome.

23 Comments

  1. Christopher Simmons
    May 14, 2012 @ 3:42 PM PDT

    Frackin spot on, John. I’ve gotten several event offers in the mailbox recently, and some are rife with typos, no background on who is actually doing the event, just pages of hype with an exclamation point on every sentence! And more! I’m always leery of any self-proclaimed leader in entertainment marketing events who can’t spell or know the difference bewteen it’s and its … they’re the biggest but can’t hire a copy editor? Um, yeah. And $900 for a VIP “meet and greet an industry pro to give you once in a lifetime, not to be missed critcal advice on how to win in the music business….” (BARF!).

  2. Janet F
    May 14, 2012 @ 7:03 PM PDT

    HILARIOUS! I recognized a couple of “expos” right off the bat. Funny, funny, I’m still laughing.

  3. Wendy Day
    May 14, 2012 @ 7:05 PM PDT

    John, I think I love you… This was dead on!!! In the rap world, we have these dumb ass conferences every month, somewhere in the US….and the idiots putting them on don’t even have the money to properly promote them to even Forrest Gump their way into a beneficial circumstance (the way, say, SXSW has)….

  4. Lina
    May 14, 2012 @ 7:09 PM PDT

    Ok so what conferences do you actually recommend? What is the solution?

  5. John Scott G
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:20 PM PDT

    Big thanks to Janet and Wendy. I appreciate it. Do spread the word.

  6. John Scott G
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:21 PM PDT

    Hello Lena –

    Thanks for your question. I was very tempted to be flippant and say something like “The solution is to avoid music conferences.”

    But I took some time to think about it. Looking back on a decade-and-a-half in pursuing music business contacts, I attended lots of conferences. I did so without paying, as a journalist, as part of the promoter’s team, or as a speaker on panels or in workshops. And as you can see here on the M.I.N., I have written about many conferences and events. But in the back of my mind as I wrote those articles was the thought that there was an element of chicanery in the events. They do not do what they imply they will do.

    So, unless you’re attending for the fun of it, I’m afraid that my response is that the solution is to avoid music conferences.

    Take whatever time, energy, or funds you would put into the event and put it toward writing new songs, recording them, getting them properly mixed and mastered, and then promoting them.

    Cheers,
    JSG

  7. TC
    May 15, 2012 @ 1:18 AM PDT

    Sad but true commentary on what is happening right now. I appreciate your brutal honesty.

  8. Cecil Osborne
    May 15, 2012 @ 9:26 AM PDT

    Hi John
    Love the story it really gives some insite into what has been happening to musicians for a long time. Could you do a follow up story of how you should really put on a conference?

  9. Noel Ramos
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:12 PM PDT

    In another forum where he shared this travesty, the author claims “The article was written with a sense of decency. The humor is just a bonus.”

    My question is, WHAT humor???

    Scott’s version of “decency” apparently requires the usage of phrases like: “clusterfrack,” “bastards,” “financially raping,” “greedwhore,” “Weaseling Cash,” “dweebs,” and “price-gouging.”

    Melodramatic much? Of course Scott can’t possibly be guilty of the very same pandering he pretends to mock in this “article.” No, of course not, he’s on the moral high ground because he cleverly avoids any specifics and makes no actual sense… oh wait… he also accuses music conferences of doing that as well.

    Sweeping generalizations are just another form of pointless bigotry. Lumping ALL music conferences and their organizers into one impossible collection, and painting them all with the same ill-informed brush is far below responsible journalism. Using “scare tactics” and “trying to sound important without saying anything” just make Scott’s useless article even more disappointing.

    Try doing some actual research, and offer some constructive feedback and usable info, just as one of your readers commented:

    Lina says:
    Mon, 14 May 2012 at 19:09:29 -0500 CDT
    Ok so what conferences do you actually recommend? What is the solution?

  10. John Scott G
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:37 PM PDT

    Note: Mr. Ramos runs the Independent Music Conference.

  11. Noel Ramos
    May 15, 2012 @ 4:41 PM PDT

    “They do not do what they imply they will do.”

    I agree that years ago many so-called “music conferences” were outright scams, but since I started the IMC in 2002 with the specific intent to combat those sorts of ripoffs, things have changed for the better.

    So you’re going to have to put away your sarcasm Scott, (which isn’t working as humor at all) and actually provide some REAL, CURRENT research if you truly want to back up such ridiculous advice. You’re really not helping your readers by spreading vague unfounded fears and crazy blanket warnings backed by ZERO actual facts.

    Not ALL conference events are a waste of time and money. The trick is to LEARN more about them and make a wise decision about which ones are useful for you.

    Some of them actually “do what they imply they will do,” and it’s your duty as an entrepreneur to make sure you fully understand exactly what that is, and that it is what you NEED, before you commit your hard-earned money and time.

  12. Janet M
    May 16, 2012 @ 1:21 AM PDT

    Greedwhore – FABULOUS TERM! Must remember it. Also loved “very…limited partnership”. I remember I went to a seminar at the Winter Music Conference and somebody on the panel let slip that NOBODY on the panel was actually making their money from music. Ironic much???

    I’ve learned over time that one must lower one’s expectations of anything ever coming from attending these events…but on the other hand, if you make one decent connection or learn something, that’s fine. But I’ve never once in any convention I’ve ever been to in my life earned a single dime from any of them.

  13. Noel Ramos
    May 16, 2012 @ 8:30 AM PDT

    ugh… I just looked through Scott’s other articles on this site and apparently, not only couldn’t he be bothered to do any ACTUAL RESEARCH, he was even too unbelievably lazy to write an original article!

    This piece is just a slightly altered version of an earlier rant he published here:
    http://musewire.com/2010/09/13/min3287_213855.php

    One thing I do NOT like about the web is that it has enabled anyone with a finger and a keyboard to impersonate a journalist.

  14. Noel Ramos
    May 16, 2012 @ 11:31 AM PDT

    Out of curiosity Janet, what exactly do you do, what were your expectations before, and what did you lower them to? How did you expect to earn money at the events you attended? Did you purchase a Vendor Table? Were you hoping to sell merch at the event?

  15. John Scott G
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:26 PM PDT

    Thanks to Noel for helping promote both articles in the “Fleecing Indie Artists” series here on the Music Industry Newswire. We appreciate it!

  16. John Scott G
    May 17, 2012 @ 1:28 PM PDT

    Several reactions to today’s postings:

    From a PR colleague: “Even a scummy clown’s rants are part of the publicity push.”

    From a musician: “People in the wrong attack you back to hide their own failings.”

    From a musician: “That guy is a doooooooshe.”

    From a musician: “Please keep sticking it to the liars and cheats.”

    Finally, I heard from a friend who writes for the All Music site and books. He is following the “Fleecing” series and he said something fascinating: “Great article. I’m not surprised that some people were offended by it–one thing I’ve learned about the music business over the years is that the biggest vultures don’t see themselves as vultures, but actually think they’re benevolent. They believe their own lies.”

  17. Zak Daniels
    May 18, 2012 @ 12:44 PM PDT

    Loved it! Swell, spiffy, funny and unfortunately true. I don’t expect you’ll be getting much praise from the Barry Backslappers of this world. Notwithstanding, this article should be a “must read” for every naive artist who believes a conference is going to make them a star

    Three thumbs up!

  18. Christopher Simmons
    May 18, 2012 @ 12:49 PM PDT

    Any event with the phrase “V.I.P.” should be immediately suspect. Or if they use “bleeding edge,” or “paradigm shift,” or claim to have classes on social media, yet have no working facebook page, twitter feed, or similar. If their facebook page has nothing from actual attendees, and just hype after hype; or hasn’t been updated for a year … run… run away NOW.

  19. John Waterman
    May 31, 2012 @ 7:08 AM PDT

    As someone who has run the Bandit A&R Newsletter international A&R tipsheet for nearly 25 years from England I can assure John that it is hard to persuede musicians to part with their hard earned cash (if they have any)

    I of course believe that my service is good value and delivers real and timely contacts to people trying to find a deal. I do understand that there are scammers out there who spoil the landscape for genuine service providers but I think it is unhelpful and misleading to brand all conferences and events as rip offs.

    In all branches of business there are rip off merchants and genuine traders. Whether you are buying the services of a garage, a plumber or a music business service you have to go by recommendation if possible or length of establishment. Rip off situations tend to come and disappear, the good ones are fixtures in the industry.

  20. Janet M.
    Jun 4, 2012 @ 2:10 PM PDT

    Noel, I believe you misunderstood my comment about never making money from any music (or TV or film) convention or conference I’ve attended. I meant that the contacts I made never RESULTED in any money-making deals – leads yes, but cash in my pocket, not a dime. Like Scott, I was able to attend conferences for free for years with the Press pass I had at the time. Now, I think twice before shelling out any money for these events.

    Incidentally, I think Scott has a SUPERB sense of humor!

  21. Al Bowman
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 6:37 PM PDT

    I find this article interesting. You know I have always been a fan of your work, but our business model ((LAMUSICAWARDS -editor)) is predicated on our nominees ability to locate a suitable company SPONSOR who would like to see their logo and web address on our 10 different tangible items we make like our 40 feet of press walls, 250 laminates, 60 plaques, etc. Plus, we fill the venues and DO BRING real industry luminaries to the events. Conferences are NOT PUBLICISTS, which is generally something most artists fail to budget for early in their endeavors.

    An artist needs to consider that the cost of making a record is equal to the cost of advertising it. Simple math really. $20,000 to produce the album, with roughly $1,500 per month for a REPUTABLE entertainment industry connected publicist.This will advance the artists agenda much better than any number of conferences ever could. Well reported story G-Man.

  22. Al Bowman
    Jan 26, 2013 @ 6:57 PM PDT

    For those who don’t know me, LA MUSIC AWARDS … This is our 23rd year.

  23. Jody
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 3:00 PM PDT

    There’s exceptions to any rule.

    For me, the conferences that I’ve attended have been very worthwhile. I’ve gotten licensing deals, record deal offers, endorsements, TV placements, and met a plethora of working industry peeps that have been very beneficial for me and for them. To top it off, I’ve also learned some good information for various ways to approach creating music for different uses in things like Video Games, Film, TV, and how to track them.

    Here’s my list: Durango Songwriter’s, SESAC Bootcamp, ASCAP Expo, GDC, PMA. They’re good, very good.

    However, if I’m reading this correctly and I’d like to think I am, this blog post is blurring the lines between conferences, festivals, and networking events without really stating who/which ones to avoid and why. Don’t be afraid to name names that are scams and why. Otherwise it’s a vague generalization that helps no one.

    Without naming names I agree with Noel – whom I’ve never met in person, and who’s conference I’ve never attended.

    p.s. John, we’ve met a few times and I’m a bit surprised at this post. Mostly because it’s been at industry functions that fit what you’re describing.