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THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Peakin’ At The Beacon

I was just watching Seth Godin’s presentation at Google:

"All Marketers are Liars"

He was saying that Napster could have been successful if it launched in a nursing home. Because it was so good, everybody would tell everybody else about it.

That’s how great the original Napster was. Seth said it only had to reach fifty people to blow up. And each of those fifty people told fifty people, and suddenly 2,500 knew. The key is to create something so good, not only will people discover it on their own, they’ll tell everybody they know about it.

I didn’t want to tell you about Moogis. I thought it was bullshit. $125 to watch a string of Allman Brothers concerts on your computer? I STILL think it’s a bullshit idea. Because the reason the live business hasn’t tanked is it’s about BEING THERE! It may be fun to watch people having sex on screen, but it’s NOTHING like having sex YOURSELF!

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.

Being amongst the mass of people, feeling the bass, moving to the tunes as you sweat and bump into others, all on a communal high. No, you can’t replicate that online. But I’ve got to tell you, the sample video on the Moogis site is a GOOD FACSIMILE!

I’ve got an HD computer screen. It’s not that exotic, it’s a standard Apple model. Its only downside is it’s EXPENSIVE! I like having the screen real estate, I’d like a little more, 23" is good, but imagine how great 30" would be! But those monster monitors are just way too expensive.

Still, my screen is better than most online video. Done in Flash at a low quality.

AUX Speakers

I’m ready. The key is to stay one step ahead of technology. So that quality moves towards you, not away from you. But the experience I just had, I haven’t had that yet. The service caught up with my equipment!

Oh, not completely. The image wasn’t perfect. But it was closer to the real thing than anything else I’ve seen online.

Forget TV, you sit too far away. You’re close to a computer monitor, you feel like you’re standing on stage.

Here, go to:
Halfway down the screen, under "Featured Music Video", click on "Watch Now". When the window comes up, click on the icon in the lower right hand corner to expand the image to fit your entire screen.

I don’t think the Allmans start out totally on it, I’ve seen them be hotter, heard Gregg sing better. But they’re certainly performing, there are no tricks, this is further from a Britney Spears
show than Rodeo Drive is from Compton. And the sound, it’s PRISTINE!

Be sure to stay until you see Derek Trucks WAIL! The camera angle is wrong at first, they don’t show his hands, but you can hear those slide notes, reminiscent of the master, Brother Duane.

And right after Derek is almost through soloing, the band truly locks on, they’re in a groove, you don’t want to let go!

It’s strange. Because they’re not doing the physical histrionics of the MTV era, when it became more about how you looked than how you played. Everybody’s concentrating on playing his part, not being a star.

Last night Eric Clapton sat in.

If this were the seventies, the story would have been all over FM radio, we would have read about it in "Rolling Stone". Radio hasn’t been the tribal drum for decades, "Rolling Stone" still exists, but you wouldn’t roll a joint in it, a person embalmed in a time capsule wouldn’t recognize it. The gatekeepers, those in charge of the museum, they broke the system. The pieces have scattered far and wide, but they still exist.

Don’t lament that these Beacon shows are not national triumphs fawned over by the mainstream media, those who need to know, will.

I’m telling you now. Check this out. I can’t imagine sitting in front of the monitor for three hours, but watching does make me want to GO! And isn’t that where all the money is, in ticket sales? The price to watch these shows should be low, an entire one should be free, I’d sell the MP3s, not the shows. No one is going to take the shows with them, but you want the MP3s on your iPod.

Great technology, imperfect business plan. Yes, you want to make as much money from those who truly care, but you don’t want to exclude people who want to get in. The Web is where you make fans, the gig is where you convert them, where you charge them.

Furthermore, where’s the commemorative merch on this Moogis page? Where’s all the stuff fans want to buy?

People want to be members of the club, don’t make it too expensive to join.