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Barking Spiders

What's the closest you've ever come to making the big time...

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....although behind your aliases some of you might have already!  After many attempts to crack it in my 20s by the age of 28 I realised it wasn't to be . What with the ubiquity of social media nowadays I'm glad I didn't make it. Don't think my fragile ego could put up with the downvotes and jibes on YT etc:D

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Back in the early 70s we recorded a demo in a local studio and took it down to London to tout round the record companies to try and get a deal. Island records were interested and the guy got on the phone to the Marquee, while we were sitting in his office, to get us on that night so he could see us play. Me? at the Marquee? Bloody hell. Sadly the bill was full that night and we were off home the next morning back to Newcastle. The guy said he would be in touch and gave us his card. He never got back to us and never took our calls. 

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20 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

After many attempts to crack it in my 20s by the age of 28 I realised it wasn't to be

Ditto here. At least I'm glad I had the sense to realise by then it wasn't likely to happen - I'm sure we all know of some band in our local area who are bunch of grizzled old rockers well into their 40's still trying to 'make it '

 

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3 hours ago, musicbassman said:

Ditto here. At least I'm glad I had the sense to realise by then it wasn't likely to happen - I'm sure we all know of some band in our local area who are bunch of grizzled old rockers well into their 40's still trying to 'make it '

 

Anvil, have a lot to answer for!

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The Planet Rock "Rockstock" Festival at the end of 2015. If you ignore the smaller details (that we were playing on a Sunday morning, on the secondary stage, to that percentage of the total crowd which had managed to drag themselves out of bed for this smaller lineup), then the fact that our name appeared on the same poster as The Darkness, Rival Sons, Joanne Shaw Taylor (to name a few) was almost certainly the high point for Cherry White in terms of prestige and visibility.

If that remains the peak, as I suspect it will, I don't think I'd have too many complaints looking back.

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Back around 2003/2004, the band I was in was doing alright. Signed to Copro, album out, opened the main stage on the first night of Bloodstock 2003, gigging all over the place. Not exactly living the dream, but getting closer than most. 

Then we got set up with a new manager who was much more of an 'industry' person, and it all went downhill fast. Having to run every new musical idea, every photo, etc past the management got old very quickly, and the whole thing stopped being fun. And we still weren't making any money. At this point, I was the wrong side of 30 and just couldn't be f***ed with it anymore. The band split up in 2005. 

There's very little to be gained from 'making it' in this day and age. Unless you're 19, female and look good with not many clothes on, no label is going to throw money at you. You can do almost everything a label does by yourself these days, you've just got to acquire some additional skills. You've set yourself up as a 'brand manager' as well as a musician. 

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As a DJ in the mid-90s, I was due to go on tour with 'Megadog', who at the time were one of the big super club/ stadium rave organisers. Would have earned me some good money and certainly lifted me out of the small clubs I was otherwise playing in Manchester at the time.

My friend who arranged the gig split with her boyfriend - the boss of Megadog! - two weeks before the tour started, which put the kibosh on my best-laid plans, as he then hired someone else to take my place.

This was the moment when I realised the music industry is just too much of a greasy pole for my taste, and so I gave up and became a music journalist instead (later quitting that too to get a 'proper job').

Was great fun though ;)

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Probably a million things that sound impressive to those on the outside but actually achieved little - from playing the O2 in London to being featured on Prime time CBS TV in the US. To be fair I was happy when we first had an LP pressed on vinyl and back when I played London's Marquee. Getting to play bass on a session for Total Guitar magazine was also pretty cool too.

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Losing finalists in Essex Band Search back in about 1986 with my band at the time, Night Dance (Christ, what a name!).  The bands in the competition final formed the support bill to New Model Army (if memory serves) on an outdoor stage somewhere in West Mersea.  First time I'd ever played on a stage that big and felt we were completely detached from each other.  It was 'fun' at the time but I could almost see the dream evaporating a bit more with each of the three or four tunes we were allowed to play. :D

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The band I was in in the late eighties released a self financed single which picked a bit of club play in London and some exposure on local and national radio. This led to contact with a few record companies, having also done several days out where we’d head into London with a box of singles and an A-Z and doorstep every record company we could think of. We had interest from Mute, Island and MCA, and got asked to come and meet the A&R team at MCA. We showed up, played them demos of our stuff and left on a positive note and a commitment that they’d be in touch. We never heard from them again, and being overawed kids none of us thought to chase it up. 

More recently an up and coming young singer songwriter expressed an interest in recording one of my songs. He’s doing quite well; national tours, Glastonbury appearance, Radio 1 play, but he now has a manager who is insisting he only does his own songs, so it looks like that won’t happen now. 

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3 minutes ago, BrunoBass said:

The band I was in in the late eighties released a self financed single which picked a bit of club play in London and some exposure on local and national radio. This led to contact with a few record companies, having also done several days out where we’d head into London with a box of singles and an A-Z and doorstep every record company we could think of. We had interest from Mute, Island and MCA, and got asked to come and meet the A&R team at MCA. We showed up, played them demos of our stuff and left on a positive note and a commitment that they’d be in touch. We never heard from them again, and being overawed kids none of us thought to chase it up. 

More recently an up and coming young singer songwriter expressed an interest in recording one of my songs. He’s doing quite well; national tours, Glastonbury appearance, Radio 1 play, but he now has a manager who is insisting he only does his own songs, so it looks like that won’t happen now. 

As an aside to this, a friend of mine was in a band around the same time (1988) and they did get signed, also to MCA, coincidentally. Three album deal, the whole lot. He was numb with disbelief and absolutely made up. They recorded the first album with a name producer, artwork all done, lead single selected, remixes of single all done, video for single made with the bands logo all over it, big ad campaign prepared and ready to go, promos sent out to radio and press, and then...

It turned out that the band’s name, that was all over the artwork, video, ad campaign etc was taken from a fashion brand in Japan. No one had thought to mention this earlier, and the fashion brand threatened legal action. MCA just pulled the plug on the whole project and walked away...

My friend was devastated, naturally, and it took some getting over the disappointment. He makes his living doing ad jingles now, but I think the disappointment still haunts him!

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I was in a band in the early 80s in Leeds...

2 of the members went on to become the Utah Saints, one went and joined the Rollins Band and one - the son of a famous agony aunt - went on to become a famous tv foodie and restaurant critic.

I stayed resolutely unknown.

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1 hour ago, Russ said:

Unless you're 19, female and look good with not many clothes on...

What, you mean like this 'female'...? 9_9

I don't think sexualisation is limited to women in music.

giphy.gif

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2 minutes ago, Leonard Smalls said:

2 of the members went on to become the Utah Saints...

No s***! Wow... you're a dark horse, Mr Smalls :D 

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1 minute ago, Skol303 said:

What, you mean like this 'female'...? 9_9

I don't think sexualisation is limited to women in music.

 

I think there's far more women being sexualised in music than men. 

Bieber is the musical equivalent of a very itchy venereal disease, but, to give the boy a little credit, he did things the modern way by promoting himself via the channels he had available before he was ever signed. MySpace has a lot to answer for in this regard. :D

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14 minutes ago, Japhet said:

I walked across the zebra crossing outside Abbey Road once.

I once stood next to Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) at a zebra crossing near Oxford Street tube. Only 15 minutes later Joan Collins brushed past me in the furnishings dept in Liberty. not that she's rock n roll. Just sayin'.

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We had a few of our songs used by itv on their F1 coverage. We’d recorded them at AIR with a producer called Matt Butler, who has recorded some other bass players in his time, like Geddy Lee, Marcus Miller and Paul McCartney.  One of those songs was going to be in a Hollywood movie as well, but 9/11 happened, and as the film featured some terrorists it was pulled never to resurface. 

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58 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

I once stood next to Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) at a zebra crossing near Oxford Street tube. Only 15 minutes later Joan Collins brushed past me in the furnishings dept in Liberty. not that she's rock n roll. Just sayin'.

You could have a sexual harassment claim against Joan Collins there. Might be worth starting a 'Me too' campaign.

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1 hour ago, Barking Spiders said:

I once stood next to Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) at a zebra crossing near Oxford Street tube. Only 15 minutes later Joan Collins brushed past me in the furnishings dept in Liberty. not that she's rock n roll. Just sayin'.

I was once walking along Kensington High Street staring at my feet when Nicholas Lyndhurst was walking in the opposite direction, also staring at his feet. We collided.

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Pretty much never got near, was in two bands both of which tried hard but I realised back then that I didn`t want to make it, preferred music as a hobby, and in truth at that time it was getting in the way of me going to the pub with my mates so I jacked it all in for about 5 years anyway. What I`m doing now is the most successful band I`ve ever been in, and again, no intention of doing it for a living, it`s a hobby and a great one at that, I`d hate for my time in this band to be felt as routine and something I had to do for money, rather than something I want to do for fun.

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9 minutes ago, musicbassman said:

Well, I did play onstage with Robert Plant and John Bonham, but it's a long story.

Thread won and over.

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