From Iceland — The Grapevine Guide to the Airwaves Personalities

The Grapevine Guide to the Airwaves Personalities

Published October 6, 2007

The Grapevine Guide to the Airwaves Personalities

The Agent
The most obvious telltale sign of the agent is the mobile phone. He is always in a hurry between places, usually bars, with a phone attached to his ear. Often does not know if he is coming or going. His phone vocabulary seems limited to phrases like “need gig, yesterday!” or “need a road crew, pronto!” Usual attire is a dirty leather jacket and broken glasses. Sometimes seen holding contract papers. The manager is most likely to be spotted lurking around A&R people or running after record label executives. Relatively harmless, but highly confused.

The Rock Journalist
Very often wannabe musicians, who lack the talent to play the game, but consider themselves to know more about music than the musicians themselves. Constantly engaged in an intellectual one-up manship with other journalists over who likes more obscure bands. Will typically say things like “Lately I have been fixated on the Anthology by The Clean, and that whole 80s New Zealand pop scene that surrounded them, like The Bats, The Pin Group, Bailter Space.” Inescapably nerdy looking. Harmless, but highly opinionated.

The Rock Photographer
The duties of the rock photographer are usually minimal (as opposed to everyone else on this list,) so he is usually seen hanging around bars, drunk, and talking loudly. More often than not, photographers consider themselves to be more important artists than the musicians, and often take offense to being labeled as a part of the industry. They are easily recognized by their insistence on dressing down for every occasion, so he/she will always be the worst dressed person in the room, and more often than not, wearing shorts. Will yell: “Get out of the frame!” every time you step in their path. Dangerous when drunk, but usually sleeping when he is not.

A&R People
The Chameleon of the industry. Always looking for the next big thing. Likes to blend in with musicians and will mimic ongoing fashion trends. Has a talent for smooth talk and will sell his soul to sign a hot band. Most easily told apart from musicians when he pays for their drinks at the bar. Often heard saying things like “Put this on a single and it will ship 30,000 units.” Extremely untrustworthy, do not turn your back on them.

Record Label Executives
Lords of the ‘industry.’ Usually started their career in A&R, but have worked their way to the top with schemes and betrayals. Most often seen at expensive restaurants, often in company with a megastar, protecting their investment, or with lawyers discussing anti-piracy laws. Typical attire is Armani suits, but will wear Hugo Boss Jeans with a Lagerfeld sportcoat when dressing down. Often heard on the phone with their stockbroker. Extremely dangerous, especially to downloaders.

Industry Associates
Group of people associated with various industry events, usually sponsors and/or marketing types. Always attend invite-only cocktail parties to rub up against famous people. Easily recognizable by deerin- headlights facial expression whenever someone brings up music in a conversation. Often give spirited lectures about market-based economy, but only in a group of other industry associates, typically waving a glass of white wine around. Harmless, but boring.

A group that more or less reflects the gender ratio of musicians in o, only three times as big. Often wears few items of clothing. Found at bars, backstage, or where there is a good party. May or may not be looking for husband/wife material. Will usually know the name of everybody in the band except for the drummer. Typically heard say things like: “Hey, are you in a band?” Usually harmless, but simple. Fierce when provoked, and willing to fight off other suitors to the prey.

Claim to be artists, but are usually in it for the drugs and the sex. Rarely spotted in daylight. Always broke, but proud of not having sold out their artistic integrity. Will sign any piece of paper handed to them, and regardless of artistic integrity are eager to cash in. Often seen in company with groupies, A&R people, and sometimes agents. Vocabulary limited, but often heard talking about groupies, sex, drugs, and/ or monitors. Sometimes even doing sex and drugs upon monitors. Harmless, but often sleepy.

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