I’ve had a number of ‘interesting’ conversations with a few colleagues recently. It appears a number of them have either had their equipment endorsement deals ‘downgraded’ or cancelled. It’s a bit of a blow when a company, whose products you’ve endorsed for decades, drops you.
I understand the business isn’t what it used to be, and I know a number of these companies are cutting back. But the fact is, they are STILL sponsoring players, but mostly younger musicians (playing for younger artists). I think this is a BIG mistake! And here’s my reason.
Many companies have recently replaced their artist reps with younger people (some companies have cut their reps back to a bare minimum and also require their reps to wear ‘several caps’). These guys have no idea who the older artists are, and sign musicians who represent the artists they know are in the mainstream. But this is a huge mistake……
Take into account those of us that have been playing for so-called ‘legacy’ and ‘classic’ acts for decades. We appear in front of tens of thousands of people a year. OK, that might not count in the millions (without major TV coverage) but we do play to a more mature section of the population; and this is where the companies are shooting themselves in the foot. The Baby-Boomers (anyone above the age of 60) are the people with the most disposable income. They are the people buying drum kits, guitars, keyboards, strings, sticks, heads, studio equipment etc…. THEY are the people who are pursuing their dream to play in a band. I know this from talking to many of them after a show. They ask us what we like to play, because that’s what they are planning to buy on Monday morning. Instrument manufacturers: take note.
What more can I say?