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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2016.02.11 - The New York Times - A Word With: Irving Azoff, a Hard-Charging Artists’ Manager

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2016.02.11 - The New York Times - A Word With: Irving Azoff, a Hard-Charging Artists’ Manager Empty 2016.02.11 - The New York Times - A Word With: Irving Azoff, a Hard-Charging Artists’ Manager

Post by Blackstar Thu Feb 23, 2023 12:49 am

A Word With: Irving Azoff, a Hard-Charging Artists’ Manager

By Ben Sisario

LOS ANGELES — In the music business, an artist’s personal manager is usually a behind-the-scenes figure, the negotiator and taskmaster unseen by the general public.

And then there is Irving Azoff, the bombastic super-manager of the Eagles, Steely Dan, Van Halen, Christina Aguilera and other stars, who made his reputation in the 1970s by securing top-dollar deals for his clients. His behavior was so outrageous that Rolling Stone sent Cameron Crowe to write a profile of him. In one oft-repeated anecdote, he once used a chain saw to cut through a hotel room wall.

Those antics are now well behind Mr. Azoff, 68, who on Sunday will be honored with a Salute to Industry Icons award as part of the annual pre-Grammy gala hosted by Clive Davis. But Mr. Azoff — who in addition to his career as a powerful manager is a former chairman of MCA and, more recently, Live Nation — remains one of the music world’s most outspoken figures, capable of igniting the industry with a barbed post on Twitter.

On a sunny afternoon this week in his office here, Mr. Azoff, surrounded by memorabilia — including a pair of bobbleheads depicting Mr. Azoff and Joe Walsh of the Eagles — spoke about problems facing the music industry today, the last days of the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, who died in January at 67, and the pride he feels in his son Jeffrey, who recently took over the management of Harry Styles from One Direction. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.

Q. You’ve been named an industry “icon.” What does that mean to you?

A. To my knowledge this is the first time they’ve given this award to a manager. It’s always been a sitting record company president or the head of a music publishing company or something. So I thought it was important the Grammys are expanding their definition of icons in the music business.

I think we’re at a key crossroads in the business. Thousands of people have lost their jobs, and despite higher consumption of music, the monetization of it has gone to hell. So I’m hoping that this signifies a moment when everybody — labels, publishers, artists, managers — are all in the same boat and can really do something about it.

Q. What needs to be done?

A. It’s very clear that the economics of streaming haven’t helped creators. And I don’t think that when President Clinton signed the law that led to safe harbor, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, that there was any intention for the tech companies to hide behind it the way that they currently do.

None of us in the music business have enough resources to fight the legal battles against these big tech companies. The best thing would be to change laws.

Q. After you set up Global Music Rights, your new performing-rights organization, a few years ago, one of the first things you did was go after YouTube.

A. When I started G.M.R., I was looking for a business opportunity that could better somebody’s plight, and performing rights were the most outrageous and egregious of bad treatment to the creative community. Every year I was sitting here looking at statements on major writers that were going down, down, down at a time when consumption of music was going up, up up.

YouTube is an ongoing negotiation, but I’ve stepped out of it and allowed my team to handle it themselves because I’m too angry.

Q. You have a famously combative reputation. There’s no shortage of old photos of you sticking up your middle finger.

A. Well, for one, I live in Hollywood, so you have to act a little. Two, if you show me a manager that’s never gotten into a fight, I’ll show you someone that’s badly represented their artist.

I think passion is good in this era. When you’re dealing with these tech companies, they are worth zillions of dollars, more than the net worth of the entire music industry. I just don’t know why they have to be so heavy-handed.

Q. You’ve run major record companies and been the chairman of Live Nation. Why is artist management the job that you always come back to?

A. I think it’s what I’m best at, and where I can make the most difference. And if you are a fan of music, which I am, and a fan of the music business, which I am, you better have respect for the people with the creative talent, because without them none of us would be here.

Q. Recently it was announced that Guns N’ Roses would be reuniting for Coachella. You once briefly managed the band, and Axl Rose said that you had tried to pressure him into reuniting the original group.

A. I would never go to an artist and say, “I want you to reunite.” If he had asked me if I thought it was a good idea, I would have said yes. But by the way, nobody tells Axl to do anything. He does what he wants to do. Slash and Duff McKagan are terrific people. Axl is a complicated individual that I wish nothing but success for. I think this is a good historical moment that the public deserves to see. I hope it happens.

[...]

Full article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/arts/music/a-word-with-irving-azoff-a-hard-charging-artists-manager.html?_r=0
Blackstar
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