Today I found out that the first company that I worked for has gone into administration. They’ve taken many different forms since I was there, quite a few years ago, but the thing that matters is that this was a company formed on the love and the passion of music.
Let’s forget the touring fun, and sound engineering crap. This company was all about rock music and all about promoting good music. Be it new, popular, stadium filling or small scale bands who’re packing out a tiny club and trying to make their way in this crazy business – they would support.
But I HATED the way this business was run.
It’s a really tough thing in my opinion, to attempt to monetise passion. Because that is largely what it is. Music is a passion. We are moved by music. It can be so profound and life changing that it makes us who we are. We live by it – we save our money and work so we can buy tickets, t-shirts, CD’s vinyls, meet and greets and general just support our passion for music – and this company had that Idea. They wanted to bring together the wider community of rock music and make it one. And to do that, they had a committed team of people who had their own ideas of how to do it. And in my opinion that is the toughest thing to do. To make a profit out of you passion and our fellows who are also passionate about it, is a tough task and they failed with it. The ideas, policies and business strategy that this place implement at first was laughable, and they try nearly lost it very early – but they did get it back together for a point.
Without rambling, they pulled it together and failed. In some cases they let the passion get the better of them and invested in opportunities that were stupid, in trying to recuperate the losses that they ensued, they had to screw over the areas of their business that really appeared to the passionate rock and music community. It was a shame and this was where my part in the business came to an end. And I was happy about this. It was no longer about the passion.
And then today happened. A long time later, 6 days before christmas, the company told all 73 of it’s employees and many of my former colleagues that they were losing their jobs. And not only that, they wouldn’t be paid for the last month of their passionate work.
This makes me angry.
They wanted to promote music. They were passionate about all that keeps my world, and many of our worlds ticking on. These people, who worked many hours (many more than they were paid for) to feed the worlds music appetite and keep us all going lost their jobs today and got told that they won’t even get compensated for the tough work they’ve been doing.
And this is my point in this ramble. People can be passionate about something, but I think in this cruel and cold world – when you let your heart get in the way and lead with your passion, you could struggle. In fact, I’d go as far as saying if your passion in business is about anything OTHER than money, you will struggle.
For me today, a part of rock and roll, metal, prog (whatever guitar based music really) died. It’s sad – and I’ve had a drink to celebrate the awesome, honest and passionate work of some of the music industries best professionals.
In the UK, we have lost a great outlet for new and awesome music. But hey, let’s keep making it!