Video Review

The Platinum Rainbow Video

How to succeed in the music business (without selling your soul)

Produced by Mike Craven, Charlie Stewart and Bob Monaco

Reviewed By Paul Moffett

You could learn everything there is in this video by traveling to Los Angeles or Nashville or New York and somehow getting in to see the regional Vice President of Geffen Records or perhaps MCA's A & R man, and hearing it directly from them. You could spend weeks and weeks haunting studios, bars and lawyers' offices to pick up more of this information, assuming that you could get someone to talk to you honestly. You could read the hundreds of pages in books on the subject, including the bible of the industry, This Business of Music, and you would learn a whole lot more than is here.

Or you could scrounge up a few bucks, find a VCR and munch popcorn for two hours while watching this very informative video.

Producers Mike Craven, a Louisville native, Charlie Stewart and Bob Monaco have done aspiring entertainers a great service by recording and editing conversations about the business with some thirty-four individuals involved in the business. Whether you are determined to be a famous performer or a couch potato with dreams of that one big hit tune, this collection of snippets will give you enough of an overview to either discourage or encourage you to continue in your chosen field.

The subtitle of this video overstates its contents somewhat, but don't let that put you off. Starting with The Song, and progressing step-by-step through making a demo, organizing your band, assembling a team to handle the details, to promoting and marketing your video, host Bob Monaco takes you by the hand and spoon-feeds you the broad view, occasionally dipping into some of the more gruesomely boring details of music law. Even though the promise of help in kicking your brother out of the band isn't really here, Monaco does cover many important items.

The interviewees are mostly people you have never heard of, which is just as well, as it avoids the problem of being blinded by someone's celebrity status. The folks on the screen are in the middle of the industry in L.A., struggling themselves, but willing to part with some hard-earned bits of wisdom. A particularly intriguing bit comes near the end, when Brit Dave Wakeling, a performer/songwriter commenting somewhat wryly on the pricing of tour services, concludes that the real money a touring band is likely to make will come from the sales of band T-shirts and concessions, after all the bills are paid for lights, sound, and cartage.

Louisville's Shufflin' Grandads and Spanky Lee performed all the musical bits throughout this tape, except for one tune at the beginning. The Grandads' version of Wayne Young's tune, "Rock and Roll Is the Answer," plays behind the credits near the end.

The video is available only by mail. A coupon for ordering it is available elsewhere in this paper, or you may write to: The Platinum Rainbow Video, 11684 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 679, Studio City, CA 91604.