Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)
By: Kenny Love
During an era that was referred to as "The Age of Unreason," Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, stated, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." Smart sounding, but not too comforting to a victim of paranoia, are they?
This famous adage opens my discussion on why many people spend years seeking the 'brass ring' and, once it is within their grasp, seemingly, do all they can do to allow it to slip away.
I have witnessed this occur in many different areas of the music business, as well as outside of the music industry. A case in point is my cousin who constructed a very unique agricultural product that would have been extremely beneficial to farmers. I agreed to promote it nationally for him. He even bought a building that would house a number of employees to construct this highly useful tool.
During the course of our 2-hour meeting to discuss various promotional aspects (and when he realized it was finally happening), he, literally, worked against himself and me by coming up with tons of useless excuses why this wouldn't work, even though he was already selling them in his local area. Fear, I tell you-in his eyes, I saw plain, unadulterated fear. Now, let's apply this same type of situation to the music industry.
I also, personally, know of a former manager of a very famous R&B recording act who, out of ear of losing this very successful group, chose to stagnate the group's career for years by keeping them working the local Houston night club scene before allowing them to go on to greener musical pastures. Fear.
Even closer to home, and by the same token, in the early 1980's, I was the bass player in an original Houston recording act that had all the elements of success-5 members-5 singers-5 songwriters.
After developing a tight original repertoire and performing "live" endlessly, to the rest of the member's agreement, I initiated contact with several label representatives who were interested in our product. The other members really did not believe it could happen so fast, and became extremely afraid, to my surprise. Fear.
Since becoming a Promoter/Publicist, I still continuously witness independent recording acts that have invested significant money, time, and effort in producing their projects, and are now only steps away from becoming smashing successes.
Perhaps, this unfounded fear is like stage fright. You know the type-will I miss a note, break a string or stick, and the people will laugh me to my knees? Brrrr...Even more so, perhaps, it is a delayed reaction, or an extension of stage fright-the idea of realizing that, for once, may, if not all, eyes will finally be on them on a much grander scale for quite some time if their release is a winner.
This leads me to wonder even further (as I now remember some established acts admitting to stage fright) just how many acts are (and have been) selling millions of their recordings with each release, yet, still harbor this feeling. Methinks I might obtain a Music Psychology or Psychiatry degree. This is definitely an area in the industry that has not been given enough review.
About Kenny Love: A man who fears that the Taco Bell dog could tear him from limb to limb, Kenny Love is also a National Record Promoter and Press Publicist. Promoting all genres of music, he works with "indies" on a "back- end" deal, saving them enormous up-front service fees.