Search-icon

The Mansion on the Hill

Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerc e

By

Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
(1 REVIEW)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
In 1964, on the brink of the British Invasion, the music business in America shunned rock and roll. There was no rock press, no such thing as artist management -- literally no rock-and-roll business. Today the industry will gross over $20 billion. How did this change happen?

From the moment Pete Seeger tried to cut the power at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival debut of Bob Dylan's electric band, rock's cultural influence and business potential have been grasped by a rare assortment of ambitious and farsighted musicians and businessmen. Jon Landau took calls from legendary producer Jerry Wexler in his Brandeis dorm room and went on to orchestrate Bruce Springsteen's career. Albert Grossman's cold-eyed assessment of the financial power at his clients' fingertips made him the first rock manager to blaze the trail that David Geffen transformed into a superhighway. Dylan's uncanny ability to keep his manipulation of the business separate from his art and reputation prefigured the savvy -- and increasingly cynical -- professionalism of groups like the Eagles.

Fred Goodman, a longtime rock critic and journalist, digs into the contradictions and ambiguities of a generation that spurned and sought success with equal fervor. The Mansion on the Hill, named after a song title used by Hank Williams, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen, breaks new ground in our understanding of the people and forces that have shaped the music.


From the Hardcover edition.
Show less
In 1964, on the brink of the British Invasion, the music business in America shunned rock and roll. There was no rock press, no such thing as artist management -- literally no rock-and-roll business. Today the industry will gross over $20 billion. How did this change happen?

From the moment Pete Seeger tried to cut the power at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival debut of Bob Dylan's electric band, rock's cultural influence and business potential have been grasped by a rare assortment of ambitious and farsighted musicians and businessmen. Jon Landau took calls from legendary producer Jerry Wexler in his Brandeis dorm room and went on to orchestrate Bruce Springsteen's career. Albert Grossman's cold-eyed assessment of the financial power at his clients' fingertips made him the first rock manager to blaze the trail that David Geffen transformed into a superhighway. Dylan's uncanny ability to keep his manipulation of the business separate from his art and reputation prefigured the savvy -- and increasingly cynical -- professionalism of groups like the Eagles.

Fred Goodman, a longtime rock critic and journalist, digs into the contradictions and ambiguities of a generation that spurned and sought success with equal fervor. The Mansion on the Hill, named after a song title used by Hank Williams, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen, breaks new ground in our understanding of the people and forces that have shaped the music.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (464 pages)
Published: March 31, 1998
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679743774
Other books byFred Goodman
  • Fortune's Fool

    Fortune's Fool
    Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music, and an...
    In 1999, when Napster made music available free online, the music industry found itself in a fight for its life. A decade later, the most important and misunderstood story—and the one with the greatest implications for both music lovers and media companies—is how the music industry has failed to remake itself. In Fortune’s Fool, Fred Goodman, the author of The Mansion on the Hill, shows how this happened by presenting the singular history of Edgar M. Bronfman Jr., the controversial heir to Seagram’s, who, after dismantling his family’s empire and fortune, made a high-stakes gamble to remake both the music industry and his own reputation. Napster had successfully blown the industry off its commercial foundations because all that the old school label heads knew how to do was record and market hits. So when Bronfman took over the Warner Music Group in 2004, his challenge was to create a new kind of record executive. Goodman finds the source of the crisis in the dissolution of the old Warner Music Group, the brilliant conglomerate of Atlantic, Elektra, and Warner Bros. Records. He shows how Doug Morris, the head of Atlantic Records, rose through the ranks and rode the CD bonanza of the 1990s to enormous corporate and personal profit before becoming embroiled in an ego-driven corporate turf war, and how all of Warner’s record executives were blindsided when AOL/Time-Warner announced in 2003 that it wanted nothing more to do with the record industry. When the music group was finally sold to Bronfman, it was a ghost of itself. Bronfman built an aggressive, streamlined team headed by Lyor Cohen, whose relentless ambition and discipline had helped build Def Jam Records. They instituted a series of daring initiatives intended to give customers legitimate online music choices and took market share from Warner’s competitors. But despite these efforts, illegal downloads still outnumber legitimate ones 19–1. Most of the talk of a new world of music and media has proven empty; despite the success of iTunes, even wildly popular sites like YouTube and MySpace have not found a way to make money with music. Instead, Warner and the other labels are diversifying and forcing young artists to give them a cut of their income from touring, publishing, and merchandising. Meanwhile, the average downloader isn’t even meeting forward-thinking musicians halfway. Each time a young band finds a following through music websites, it’s a unique story; no formula has emerged. If one does, Warner is probably in a better position than anyone to exploit it. But at the end of the day, If is the one-word verdict on Bronfman’s big bet.

    The Mansion on the Hill

    The Mansion on the Hill
    Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springstein and the...

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish