A long time ago in a country far, far away the 14-year old version of me learned a valuable lesson.
We’ll be OK without ATS coverage from here on in.
You don’t get nut’in’ for nut’in’.
You see, excited as I was back then about the whole punk rock thing, the anarchy, the scratchy recordings, the sketchy performances, even I had my limits.
I can’t remember how I got hold of it, I think it was a giveaway with one of the music mags of the time, but I was so keen for the limited edition, clear flexi-vinyl 7”, single-sided pressing of The Lurkers’ ‘Chaos Bros’, that I can remember in great detail even now the first, and last, time I played it.
What I heard was about five very long minutes of studio banter, a lot of it indistinct, with some sklonking of instruments, the patter of drums and then a ragged version of the song that sounded like it had been recorded off the radio with my portable cassette recorder, which is where I acquired a lot of my music in the days of yesteryear.
It was shit! And, just as I got to the end of the platter and I knew there was no more to come and I was feeling very ripped off, Pete Stride heaped scorn on my tattered pride by saying at the very end of the recording, “What d’ya expect for nut’in’?”
Those words have stayed with me.
Why write about this now? Turns out that the lesson is still as relevant today as it was then. Particularly in the music industry.
Recently, Around The Sound sent a photographer to a local show put on by a local promoter in a local venue. Price of entry: $15, which was waived for our photographer. We published a gallery of photos on the ATS website and, as the person with responsibility for editorial decisions, I took the decision not to post the link on the ATS socials.
The vast majority of the content on the ATS website doesn’t get shared on our socials. It would flood our audience’s feeds and diminish the value of the website. There is a point at which too much is just … too much.
The link was sent to the promoter, however, to do with as they pleased.
What the promoter chose to do was to message our photographer to complain that the photos had been “quietly posted” on the ATS website and that it had been “pretty much buried, and following a downgrade from a review as well.”
Outrageous behaviour on our part!
The promoter then went on to say, “Seems a shame as we welcomed you to the show with an understanding of a certain level of coverage.
“We’ll be OK without ATS coverage from here on in.”
Here’s the thing. The photographer spent around four hours at the show and then time afterwards reviewing, editing and uploading the photos to our shared drive. Value, let’s say, very conservatively, $250.
I then spent time downloading and publishing the photos on the ATS site, which, with some toing and froing to find some missing photos of one of the bands, took around an hour. Value let’s say, very, very conservatively, $50.
In total, the value of the time ATS put into our end of things was, in music industry terms, around $300. In the world outside the music industry, if you can get that sort of service for that price, please let me know where.
Did we charge the promoter for these services? Absolutely not. The symbiosis is that this is an exchange of goodwill. But, in financial terms, the balance is tipped well in the direction of the promoter.
So, maybe remember Pete Stride’s words next time you think about sending some passive aggressive, late-night messages about being OK no longer using our services. What exactly were you expecting for the less than nothing that you contributed to our operations?
We wish the promoter in question every success with their endeavours, but we’ve asked that they direct their whinges about ATS editorial decisions to the right people in our operation in future, instead of power tripping on the very people that are part of the ecosystem of the live music scene.
We’ll still cover their shows if they get over their fit of pique, but a little bit of consideration, please.
Take it away, Stride.