I just copied this post from David Sherbow’s blog and put his name (music biz guy) on this post, as he is the author (not me). Make sure you subscribe to David’s blog.
Never underestimate the value of respect. Here are two very good examples from my personal experience of why this is so true.
In 2000 I was at the Impact Urban Music conference in Nashville, Tennessee being held at Opryland. I was working for the VP of Marketing and Promotion at Def Jam running his independent record promotion company. I was always looking for something new. I was invited to many showcases. One of them was for a small North Carolina independent label called Soulife Records. I went. It was in a big room and it was only me, a few guys from the label and 8 stuff shirted Indian doctors from the pharmaceutical business who had backed the label. No one else had shown up. It was kind of depressing. So I started making small talk with the doctors building a great rapport until the first act came up a beautiful girl named Sunshine Anderson. I loved her act. I told the doctors and the label guys I thought that her sng “I Heard It All Before” was definitely at hit and asked them if they wanted any help getting a deal They said thanks for the offer but they had it covered. They really appreciated the fact I treated them with respect and that I had the decency and common courtesy to show up for their show when no one else did. A year and a half later, got a call from the VP of Promotion at Atlantic who said they just signed Sunshine Anderson and that the label insisted that I work the record at radio. I took it to No. 1. They guys at the label said I got the work because they got the respect from me when no one else gave it to them.
In the early 1980’s I managed a major regional heavy metal band that played in front of 1000 people a night from Virginia to Maine. We used to play this club in the blue collar section of Baltimore called the Seagull Inn. It was stuck in an out of the way place, held 1000 people and we always packed it. This 6’2 Irish kid always used to come out and get wasted on alcohol and Quaaludes. At the end of our shows we’d pick him off the floor and a member of our crew would always drive him home. For about a year he kept telling me his uncle was the VP of A&R for RCA Records and did I want him to bring him out. It seemed highly unlikely because the guy was such a goof. I would always politely say yes with the utmost politeness and respect. The band and I always joked about it but we liked him and treated him with respect when everybody else made fun of him. Well one night he walks into the room with his Uncle Eddie DeJoy, VP of A&R from RCA who had just signed the hottest act in the country Rick Springfield and had also been known for signing Judas Priest and Al Stewart among many. We never got the big deal but he produced a 6 song demo in RCA’s famous NYC studios for free that we eventually released as an EP that sold 25,000 copies for us and mentored me for two years.
Respect is something easy to give and sometimes by giving it your are rewarded in the most unlikely of situations.