Bye Bye

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

It was a subtle change, begun years ago, probably innocently. Some Sr. VP Promotion hired a local promotion manager who gave a great interview, had the drive and the proper work ethic and looked the part. Only one thing was missing. This LPM wasn’t passionate about music. No big deal though, right? One LPM who wasn’t passionate about music made no difference in the big picture. However, this LPM probably worked his way up to a position of prominence and began hiring other LPMs. The last thing this person looked for in a prospective employee was passion for music. He had none and it hadn’t held him back. Why was it needed in others?

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ’n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I don’t know the day the music died in the music business. I just know that today it is pretty much dead, for the most part. The music business ain’t about music anymore. It’s all about business. That’s sad, Because when the last lyric to the last verse of our professional lives is written, it won’t be about the business we miss.

Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while the king was looking down,
The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No verdict was returned.
And while lennon read a book of marx,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

Right now, the music business sucks. I take that back. A lot of the people in the music business suck. And that’s sad. You see, from the beginning, it was the promotion people who got the radio folks excited about music. PDs, for the most part, get excited about a jingle, the perfect promo, a top-of-the-hour ID that rocks or a jock hitting the post. From time to time, we also get excited about a song, but by and large, that excitement is generated by a promotion person. It seldom happens any more.

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

The beginning of the end came when promotion people stopped talking with PDs. If they couldn’t talk, they certainly couldn’t play music and share their passion…if they had any. Now, it’s all about E-mail. One promotion head of an East Coast label doesn’t even bother playing music to his contemporaries. He E-mails the relevant information. How fucking pathetic. He’s reduced his passion for music to the written word. Hey, that’s my job!

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

But it isn’t about the music anymore. It’s aout congressional committees, newspaper articles, possible DOJ investigations, CPUs and cost-cutting. Don’t show your ignorance by discussing those things. You aren’t qualified. Besides, one hit cures a lot of ills. You weren’t hired to cut costs, you were hired to break records. Do your job…if you’re capable.

“Bye Bye, Miss American pie.”
Drove my Chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

This will be the day that I die.

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