This is somewhat an extension of my preview post about the music industry.
Badfinger was a band from the late 60s and early 70s that wrote many worldwide hits and were bound to become one of the great bands of that era.
Unfortunately, instead of fame and fortune, tragedy and misery is all they got in return.
Even though their records were selling remarkably, they couldn’t even afford a TV or a fridge for their house. Stan Polley, a business man, was taking care of their finances and told the band they would be living on fixed salaries until later, and that they would be millionaires.
Things really started to go downhill in 1974, when missing money from the band’s account led Warner Bros. to stop the distribution of their albums. They were sued by the recording company and couldn’t move forward because of contracts with Stan Polley, who couldn’t be contacted by any means.
All this led to the suicide of two band members: Pete Ham and Tom Evans.
Watch the documentaries for more details.
The following videos explain the story a little better.
It is a recurring thing those days to complain about the state of the music industry. They don’t make music like the old days; so many talented musicians will never be famous because the industry only sells auto-tuned crap, and that sort of thing. You know, I used to believe that too, but not anymore.
There is some truth to all this though, but the fact is that the music industry has always been awful. It’s all about the money – it is like this today and it was like that back then. Don’t get fooled.
Like many rock fans and aspiring guitarists around the world, Fil Olivieri had a musical epiphany the first time he heard the Australian band AC/DC’s classic 1980 album, “Back in Black.”
That epiphany turned into a decades-long quest for the Dallas-born, Rome-raised Olivieri, whose company, SoloDallas, will be an exhibitor at this week’s NAMM Show in Anaheim. For years, he sought to replicate the striking “Back in Black” guitar tones of AC/DC’s Angus Young, but didn’t know how.
“I became obsessed with it,” said Olivieri, 47, who now lives in La Jolla and was not yet a teenager when he became an AC/DC fan in 1978.
He bought the same guitars as Young (vintage Gibson SGs) and amplifiers (Marshalls). Still, the sound he wanted proved elusive.
Olivieri did not discover until reading an interview in 2012 that Young’s guitar sound owed much to a Schaffer-Vega wireless system. The same system had also been used by Eddie Van Halen, Peter Frampton and other six-string legends.
The long discontinued system, of which only 1,000 had been made, enabled guitarists to roam concert stages at will, without having their instruments plugged into amplifiers. The system included two controls that Young specifically credited for creating the over-driven guitar sound that is a trademark of AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”
After learning that Ken Schaffer had stopped making his wireless system in 1982, Oliveiri tracked him down in New York. They spoke several times at length.
Impressed by Olivieri’s enthusiasm, Schaffer gave the Italian-American his last two wireless units — and his blessing to create the Schaffer Replica, which Olivieri began marketing last year.
His company, SoloDallas, will display Olivieri’s Schaffer Replica wireless unit ($1,299 each) and foot-controlled stomp-box version ($399) at the NAMM show. That fact that AC/DC’s Young now uses Olivieri’s high-end product is an added bonus.
“Muse guitarist Matt Bellamy and Billy Idol’s guitarist, Steve Stevens, both have one now, and Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban and other guitarists know about us because of AC/DC,” Olivieri’s said. “We made 850 units last year, and Angus has the first one. My company expects this NAMM Show to be really successful for us.”
Lenny Kaye, guitarist with the Patti Smith Group since its inception in 1974, heard about The Schaffer Replica right here, and shared his thoughts about it when he finally got to use it onstage:
“The Schaffer Replica sparkles the top, rounds the bass, and gives an extra tail to sustain… it enhances rather than overrides your overdrive. When you want more, it’s there, just like rock and roll.”
Welcome back y’all! That’s the first thing I (we) want to say.
Do you remember when I used to say, “when I’m silent I’m working on something”? Well well. (more…)