Tag Archive | bands

Starlight Promotions – 2


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So during the 90’s I was bringing up teenagers! three boys! and the house was full of guitars and then came the amplifiers; small ones, large ones and my youngest decided to be a bass player and the most enormous amplifier entered the house. There was music in every room, morning, noon and night only not so much in the morning… These were the days before musical downloads. That was in its infancy and we had a lot of CD’s. It was hard to know whose was whose. Where’s my  ….. CD was a frequent cry.

Then there were the practises. Lots of them. Friends coming in and going out and trying out new songs. Luckily the house is detached and nobody here took up the drums. I doubt there would have been room for a drum kit although we did have an electric one.

Meanwhile I am getting gigs for all and sundry and I decided to give ‘myself’ a name and charge commission. So in effect, I became the fifth, sixth or whatever member of the band. I arranged the gigs, took the money and shared it out. I was meticulous with the book-keeping. I was fair to the bands. Entertainment agencies, Estate agencies etc. have a bit of a bad name. I wasn’t having any of that. I was quite honest about it and encouraged the musicians to join the musician’s union if they hadn’t already.

So now I had a set-up. I did most of it by phone. Then I bought a fax machine. Remember those? It was useful at the time. I used the internet and realised that I needed a website. I had no idea about websites then so I did a bit of research. A young lad called Robbie contacted me and offered to make me a website for a reasonable fee.  He was very young, about 16 as I recall. I was amazed at how much he knew. He designed a lovely website for me, mostly blue with pages for all the bands and a contact page – everything I needed at the time.

Then he gave me a playpen so I could practise updating the pages myself.  One of the most important things about a website is that it has to be updated regularly. Nobody wants to read something that appears the same as yesterday. I bought a software programme called Dreamweaver and taught myself how to use it. All exciting stuff.

Once I got the website, things really took off.  I was inundated with demo. discs and biographies from bands, duos and goodness knows what from all over the place. I loved playing the CD’s

So now I had three things going on. I was collecting information from the bands, entering it all on a database – I used Lotus 123 and putting it onto my website. I was receiving enquiries from potential customers and sending them details and prices and I was ‘mothering the bands’ because they aren’t really very good at administration, I discovered.

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to be continued …

 

 

Starlight Promotions


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When my three boys were growing up and getting interested in music, it was really popular to want an electric guitar, learn to play it and then join a band.  When you think about it, that’s an awful lot to do, isn’t it.  It can take a year or more to become proficient on the guitar.  Then you have to find like minded people who want to join a band with you and then there are the practises!

My eldest son wanted a guitar.  We bought him one for Christmas, thinking that it might be a five minute wonder.  We were wrong.  He soon became addicted, sitting up in his bedroom night after night, sometimes all night, teaching himself the chords and listening to the sort of music he liked, mostly classic rock or heavy metal.

My then husband J had always played guitar, folk mostly on an acoustic and the boys grew up with music always in the house.  They told me later that they thought every house was full of music and guitars and were surprised to find that other people’s houses were different.

After about a year, my son could play.  He then started sending off for complicated guitar riffs (the solo bits in the middle of a piece) and studied those with a compulsion.  He didn’t neglect his school work, luckily.

I’ll skip a bit here, which I may come back to later, but what followed next concerned me and my life.

Once in a band, my son (R) needed somewhere to play.  Local pubs and clubs would let the bands play but they preferred a band to be experienced and play songs which other people could recognise.  By now the band was writing its own stuff and wanted to show it off.  In order to play in a pub, the band had to get some fans to come along and support them.  This, of course, ensured that the pub landlord got bums on seats and received money for beer at the same time.  The band would be paid a remuneration at the end of the night.  This is where I come in.  The boys in the band may have looked fierce, but they were still young and were shy to go up and ask for the money.  My husband and I went to support the band and I offered to get the money for them at the end of the evening. This worked well all round.  While the band were putting their instruments away, I would get the money and then give it to them when it was safe to do so.

The pub landlords got to know me and it wasn’t long before they were ringing me up and asking if I could get them a band to play on the next Saturday night.  Perhaps they’d been let down or just hadn’t managed to get a band.  I knew quite a few bands by then, friends of my sons and friends of their friends and they would also ask me if I could get them a gig somewhere or other.  It was fun!

Then one day someone asked me if I could get them a band for a wedding party.  The bands I was working with were not exactly suitable for weddings so I decided to advertise.  That is how Starlight Promotions came into being.

I am talking about the time circa 1992 and it was before many people were on the Internet so they were limited as to how they could find information.  These days people would just go on to Google or one of the other search engines and type in ‘wedding bands’ or ‘entertainment agencies’ but at the time I’m talking about, it was mostly word of mouth.

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to be continued …