Book Review

How To Open Doors In The Music Industry The Independent Way
by Frank Fara

Starfield Press


Reviewed by Mark Booker

This slim (eighty page) paperback would likely be passed over by a would-be singer or songwriter searching a rack of music books for help in getting into the business and, by so doing, would miss out on some excellent suggestions and ideas about how to make headway in the business.

The good ideas and advice are nevertheless somewhat difficult to reach, due primarily to the breathless writing style, constant (and irritating) capitalization of all Nouns relating to the Music Business, and the thinly disguised autobiographical basis of the book. Since Frank Fara hardly qualifies as a household name, even among music fans, the advice has to stand on its own, which it mostly does.

Fara clearly patterned the book on a Hit Single: the chapters, titles and paragraphs are short and punchy, a couple of themes are repeated in every chapter and all the words are short, Anglo-Saxon ones. He promotes the stay-at-home, study the business and be realistic approach to the business, and while a number of his assumptions about the business are never specifically enunciated, most of what he recommends could be applied or modified to suit by a neophyte or veteran alike. His suggestion to look abroad is valuable and the explanation of Canadian Content is good. The limits of his experience are apparent in the omissions: Europe is discussed, but no mention is made of Latin America or Japan, a growing market for American Bluegrass.

There is a "Special Chapter" on record production by Fara's wife Patty Parker.

If this was American Bandstand, I would give it an eighty-nine -- nice upbeat tune, easy to dance to.

The book is available by mail from: Starfield Press, P.O. Box 3357, Shawnee Mission, KS 66203.