Friday, 9 September 2011

TEST YOUR 'METTLE' DEPT: IS IT HEAVY?



Back in 1990, the manager of a local band asked me if I
could possibly secure the services of a 2000 A.D. artist to do an
album cover for him.  He had no specific artist in mind - anyone who
worked on the comic would suffice.  "I'll see what I can do," I replied,
"but it'll probably cost you."  I 'phoned SIMON BISLEY, who wasn't
interested, so I told him to name a figure that'd make it worth his while.
Perhaps wishing to price himself out of a job he didn't want, he quoted
a sum far in excess of his usual page rate (at that time anyway).  I re-
layed it to the manager, thinking it'd be beyond his means, but to
my surprise, he agreed.  I told Simon it was a deal and he
went to work, turning the job 'round in no time flat.

Simon generously offered me £100 for putting the job his
way, but I turned it down on the grounds that, as he'd done all
the work, he was entitled to all the money.  All I'd done was make a
few 'phone calls to describe to him what the band had in mind (before
he and the manager started talking directly between themselves).  As
it turned out, it was worth every penny - and then some - because the
cover was what swung a record deal their way.  The band's manager
played their demo album to the record company, then delivered
the coup de grace - the finished cover art by a high-profile
artist.  A deal was struck on the spot.

I was promised an extra-special credit in the sleeve notes,
which was only fair, I thought.  After all, the cover had got them
the deal, and I'd got them the cover.  When the album was released,
everyone else and their granny got a mention - everyone, that is, ex-
cept me, who'd suddenly become the invisible man.  Simon Bisley got
paid, the band got their cover and a record deal, the manager got to
bathe in the reflected glory and publicity (plus whatever percentage
he was on), staff at the hotel the band rehearsed in were thanked
in the sleeve notes, and sundry other folk were credited for
simply breathing.  Me?  I got hee-haw!

Well, that's not quite true.  I got one spare, well-played copy of
the CD (with well-worn, wrinkled inlay booklet).  I'd have thought
I deserved a brand-new, shrink-wrapped copy at least.

And the moral of the story?  If anyone asks you to do something
which they hope is going to make their fame and fortune, charge
    them for your time.  Promises of gratitude are worthless.    

4 comments:

Gaston Vanzet said...

Some good advice there KA. thanks.

Kid said...

No bother. Incidentally, I charge for advice - I'll send you the bill.

Hackers said...

The artwork is fantastic! Never heard of the band though and I like my guitar bands (assuming it's a metal band!). You should've took the hundred quid... but you don't need me to tell you that. :)

Kid said...

Yup, it's a Heavy Metal band on the Heavy Metal label. I don't regret not taking SB's money, but I should've charged the band's manager £100.

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