THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Privates

It finally caught up with Sheryl Crow. Famous for showing up anywhere someone would pay her, seemingly at the opening of a mall (do they still build those?), Sheryl is now the poster girl for corporate excess. All due to Maureen Dowd.

Sheryl’s nice. She had breast cancer. She shows up at the appropriate rallies, she supports the right causes. Why not Chicago, or Earth, Wind & Fire? Why beat up on Sheryl Crow?

Because Sheryl had a patina of hipness, she still appeared to be current. And Maureen Dowd was angry that the public was paying for her performance at the Northern Trust extravaganza.

In case this hasn’t reached you yet, Northern Trust, a bank, took our money and then flew their peeps out to Southern California for a golf tournament, where they wined and dined them, even closed the House Of Blues so they could showcase Sheryl Crow. Only problem, we, the public, paid for this show!


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

What’s a bigger crime, scalping tickets to shows people want to see, after all, that’s supply and demand, or major corporations filching money from us in great quantities? Obviously, the latter. But now it’s become a sexy issue. Because they’re truly doing it on our dime.

So you can’t pay a private anymore. Not for a corporation that drank from the corporate till. The watchdogs have hit the entertainment business. It’s not gonna look good.

Then again, maybe this is just confirmation that Sheryl Crow is a has-been. Now maybe the public will realize she can’t sell a record, can’t play the big rooms for big bucks anymore. Does
she still have her Universal deal? I’d say she could sell product at Wal-Mart, she’s the perfect candidate, no woman has done it yet, but didn’t she sing that song about selling guns at the store that got her product banned?

Well, if she can take the Northern Trust bucks, er, our money, maybe she can do a mea culpa with Wal-Mart.

This is why she needs to be part of Irving Azoff’s organization. He could rehabilitate her, get her not only that Wal-Mart deal, but a ton of revenue from Live Nation for merch and other ancillary streams.

The future isn’t the corporation, not the major label or Northern Trust. The future is you, and your fans. Grow this link. The easy corporate money is gone, the whole world is watching, a cop for faux pas, and the traditional labels want more rights for more bucks. Who’s the indie promoter who’s gonna save Sheryl Crow?

It’s a modern music business.

And don’t tell me about sexism… This is girl on girl hate. Then again, today’s article in the "Wall Street Journal", featuring a giant pic of Sheryl, was written by a man. All publicity is not good publicity.

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