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Taylor Swift

Passman Stands Up For Swift

Taylor Swift, (Courtesy Photo)
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“Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others.”

Don Passman


That’s like saying you couldn’t go on a date because the girl didn’t ask you. Make an offer, see what they say!

I’m sick and tired of Taylor Swift playing the aggrieved party. It’s like Bill Gates complaining he was ripped-off, or Mark Zuckerberg. What’s the end game here? How can you win?

Then again, who are Swift and her team playing to? Insiders or outsiders?

The publicity was just dying down, and now Passman threw some gasoline on the fire, keeping it burning longer than it should, embedding this fracas in people’s brains. Some of this is Star 101. Where’s the manager? Oh, that’s right, Taylor manages herself, to her detriment, she needs an outside opinion, because she certainly can’t see the forest for the trees.

It’s about long term, not short. It’s about being likable. The last thing you want to do is piss people off, then it’s a press story, and the press lives for kerfuffles, it sells ads!

Insiders are ignoring Passman’s statement. Because they can see right through it. Suddenly knowledgeable enough to not respond, Taylor sent in her second. Come on, if Passman wanted to weigh in he would have days ago. As for Scooter’s seconds, they made statements nearly instantaneously. And the truth is Braun has more credibility than Swift. She’s gonna fade, he seems to always be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Hell, if you’re a young act, he’s one of the first you call, because he’s closer to your age and has had success. That’s the truth, too many of the great managers are long in the tooth, and the best and the brightest of the youth have shied away from the music business because it doesn’t generate enough cash. And do you really want to sign with a conglomerate like Red Light or Artist Nation, where you get lost in the shuffle working for the man? They call it PERSONAL management, and that’s what an artist wants most, personal treatment, if they don’t believe they’re number one in your stable, they move on, especially if they’re superstars.

Insiders know the score. With internet success, you can make any deal you want. Labels don’t sign anything unless you prove it first online, and this gives you leverage. You can license the music, whatever your lawyer can negotiate. Sure, some people take the cash, some people think long term, but it’s the artist’s call. The artist has gained power in the twenty-first century. Sure, recording revenue may have gone down, but not only is it now going up, you can make the music and put it online for essentially nothing! Of course, the landscape is littered with the work of wannabes, but that’s what happens with democratization.

And if you’ve got enough money and make an offer, you’ll find you can buy nearly anything. If you play in this game, especially in L.A., you know someone who had no intention of selling their house and then a buyer came along and asked for the owner’s fantasy price and the buyer met it!

Furthermore, EVERYBODY on the inside knew Big Machine was for sale. But Swift didn’t want to pay for it, she felt she was owed the masters emotionally, she’d paid her dues. But that’s like being the best customer at Tiffany and walking in and insisting you own the store, with no additional money paid. Or that everyone who ever made a bad deal gets a do-over. No, that’s why you have a team, a manager and a lawyer, so you don’t get screwed!

And irrelevant of the sale, Taylor should have stayed at Big Machine anyway. Never underestimate the power of being a big fish in a little pond. Swift’s music had to be successful at Big Machine, it’s their crown jewel. But Monty’s got a bunch of superstars, from the Weeknd to Ariana Grande to Shawn Mendes, and a bunch of stars too, like Florence and the Machine and the Jonas Brothers. Republic doesn’t need Swift to hit, as long as something hits, Monty comes up to bat regularly.

But not Borchetta, who built Taylor. And irrelevant of how the money was split, Borchetta did break her, never underestimate his efforts.

So Passman speaks and the Swifties are satiated. But these are the same people who will never abandon Team Swift. Then again, Team Swift is leaking members. As any act does after it’s past its peak. You can’t dominate forever. Own it. Or reinvent yourself.

This is what the music business has come to. There’s not an act out there with this kind of mindshare. The story has been covered everywhere, from the “New York Times” to “Billboard” to social media. We’re hungry for something to sink our teeth into. And we know it won’t be Swift’s new album “Lover.” Madonna was always a sly manipulator, it’s not like one day she said she’d let men take advantage of her. She was consistent. Swift was the hater, reacting to every perceived insult to the point where her thin skin was a joke, to the point where she couldn’t let anything roll off her back. And it’s not like Howard Stern, who went to therapy and changed his outlook, it’s just the same b.s. again and again. Swift a lover? What’s next, Trump best friends with Nancy Pelosi?

Leopards don’t change their spots, and it appears Taylor Swift doesn’t either.

The truth is most people just don’t care. And by keeping the story alive Swift is burning out many more, by appearing the narcissist who always plays the victim.

You want to make it about the music.

But suddenly it’s about Swift’s antics. Kinda like Charlie Sheen. Who lost his mind and was the train-wreck of all time for a few months, he even did live dates, but woke up one day and discovered he’d lost his television gig and couldn’t get another that paid anywhere near as much. Now Charlie is just a footnote. Keep acting this way Taylor, and you’ll be one too.

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