Monday, August 4, 2008

Redefining "Success"

Last night I watched Dig! (2004), a fan-u-mentary (is that even a word?) about 90's rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre from the perspective of Courtney Taylor, frontman for The Dandy Warhols. Most of the film concerns the love-hate relationship between the two bands---mostly keyed to the Warhols' greater degree of success in the music world---and the career-killing antics of Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe. It's a sad tale, really, done in a Behind The Music narrative style, except that the fifth-act
"Resurrection of the Artist" doesn't really take place. One line that especially stuck out was the following, from Adam Shore, A&R Agent for TVT Records, which tried mightily against long odds to make the Massacre successful:

"Major [record]labels lose money on nine out of every ten records, and they have one record out of ten that makes enough money to cover everything. And...I don't think there's another business in the world where you can have a 90-percent failure rate and still say you're successful. It's crazy..."