Everything You Need To Know – The Don Passman Interview

Written By: Jeff Markunas
(Americana/Country Editor)

Donald S. Passman’s ‘All You Need To Know About The Music Business.’

Musicians hate to read music, let alone books about music or the music business, so listen up, Dude – Unless you are 150% certain that you will never leave the basement, never perform for pay, never distribute your music in any way and never be heard by anybody but your girlfriend and your Mother – You Need This Book!
If you have any involvement in the music business or even any interest in it – Read This Book!

Any market-place/business can only run smoothly when everyone is fully aware of the rules and is playing by them. We musicians have a tendency to play first and ask questions later. But… conducting any business without knowing the vital information in ‘All You Need To Know About The Music Business’ is like playing in the NFL without your helmet – you’re going to get hurt.

The book is now in its eighth edition and I have used information in previous editions to guide me and prevent many costly mistakes, so I know personally how valuable the information contained here is.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk to Don in person to gather background for this review. Our discussion focused on several areas, one of which was the evolution/revolution in digital rights and its associated issues. This area was one of the reasons for this edition as well as various industry and legal changes. Don is committed to keeping his book and information as timely as possible, which becomes increasingly important in a digital age, when losing control of your ‘Bits’ can come back to ‘Byte’ you. – Use his experience and make it your own.

As for timeless advice, Don reminded me/us to “Be careful what you sign” – simple but truer than ever. Industry giants such as John Fogerty and Prince have lived to regret contracts signed in haste. You don’t have to be small to be screwed by the ‘Biz,’ you only have to be uninformed – Buy this book!

Rock Bottom Line:
Philosophically, I like to think of the Music Business as a battle fought on a world-wide stage with a hell of a theme song that sounds like all the musicians on the planet playing and singing at one time. Realistically, educate and inform yourself – knowledge is power, and it makes pretty good battle armor too.

CWG Rating – 4 Guns

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