Running a record company that specialises in things 'billy' leads to problems when we come up against the prejudices of the music biz. We say that we're involved with Rockabilly because we can't say 'Rock'n'roll' any more. It's become a meaningless term. It's sad that 'Rockabilly' could go the same way.... As for Psychobilly, well, the music biz gets totally bewildered!
Just for starters, here are some acts that are NOT Rockabilly, but are sometimes passed of as being Rockabilly. Try telling these poor souls who think that this lot are Rockabilly about Psychobilly, and they're totally lost!
Sonny and Cher, Jimmy Ray, Elvis Costello, Amos Milburn, The Beatles. The list, sadly, goes on, but we're sure that you get the picture. Sad, huh? Now please don't throw the 'purist' label at us. These people are not 'Rockabilly' in the same way that The Spice Girls were not 'Rap', and Ace Of Bass were not 'Reggae', right?
Another thing that gets up our noses is the attitude of the proponents of a certain kind of music that they broadly categorize as 'dance'. They appear to be oblivious to all kinds of other styles of music and just can't get their heads around the concept of people dancing to other kinds of music. Let's call a spade a spade. They're talkin' about 'disco music', right? And while we're telling 'em off, there are also clubs that have other styles of music. The words 'club' and 'dance' don't belong solely to them and their narrow-minded vision of the world. We've got an expression for this. It's 'Musical Apartheid', and it's as bad in its way as the other type.
We thought it would be fun to have a page that lets you see the attitude on the world at large to our music. Feel free to contact these people with your suggestions!
Here are some 'choice items'. This sort of thing happens to us at least once a day!
The 'phone rings, so I pick it up, and a voice says, 'Hello, this is Cardiff University Radio. We're a new students' radio station, and we'd like to be put on your mailing list.' I ask what type of music they'll be playing. 'Oh, we'll be playing all styles - House, Handbag, Techno, Hard House, you name it!'. I ask if they'll be playing any Rockabilly. 'Rockabilly? Oh, no, we won't play that! Click. The 'phone goes dead....
This came to us after we responded to a spam from someone trying to sell us Virago (the 'new Spice Girls'). Unfortunately, we asked if they were Rockabilly, and this is what came back!
Errr .................... wouldn't that be Rocka-betty, or something?? In any case, the answer is no. Good job too. That ol' shit-kickin' stuff is commercial suicide in anyone's book.
Them Onery Gals that be Virago!!
'Hello - can I have your A&R dept. Please?', says a young lady's voice. I answer, 'Yeah, what are you tryin' to sell us?' 'Well, we'd like you to come to our band's showcase', she says. I ask her 'Do you know what sort of music we do?' 'No', she says. 'Well, we specialise in Rockabilly' I tell her. She laughs, 'Ha ha ha! That's funny. Should I laugh?' I tell her, 'Nope, 'cos this conversation will be on our website'. 'WHATTT!' Her name was Lisa, and the band was 'Amnesia'. Will they get anywhere? Not with us!
We're contacted by Mr. R. Langford (tel. 01772 716598) about his new magazine called 'Northern Club Magazine' which will feature 'Everything'. When we explained that we didn't do Hip-hop, Garage, Handbag, etc., he asked what we did. We said 'Rockabilly', and he said, 'Oh that's more to do with Rock, then.' We had to inform him, when he said that he didn't know what Rockabilly was, that his musical knowledge wasn't too hot! Pity he plans on running a music magazine, then, eh?
I pick up the 'phone - it's Channel 5 asking about our acts. When told that we were Rockabilly and Psychobilly, they said that we were 'not for them'. On being accused of operating a 'Musical Apartheid' policy, they agreed, saying that they were 'conforming'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these broadcasting licences granted on the condition that they will do something that other channels aren't?
Rosa contacted us from a company called D-Rom. When told that we dealt in Rockabilly, she asked us - 'What's Rockabilly?'.....
It's Direct Distribution (a UK indie distributor). They want to know if they can help us to give promo CDs to DJ's in Ibitha (!?). It's the usual story when I tell them that we're a Rockabilly and Psychobilly outfit. 'What's that?' says the lady at the other end of the 'phone. She gets my usual response to this question (paraphrasing Bo Diddley), 'If you has to ask, you'll never know'. We also told her that as a Music Biz professional, it's her JOB to know....
We've also requested that people asking for our catalogue submit their favourite Rockabilly/Psychobilly act with the form. Here's what we get sent:
Who, Rolling Stones, Kiss, Any, i don't know, Metallica, KLF.
Gee, it's sad, right?
What about this seen on record review site?
"Utilizing depth to simplistic lyrics is what makes rockabilly singers like Bob Dylan fun to listen to." - WHAT - BOB DYLAN? Rockabilly? Who is this idiot? The by-line says 'Ryan Curell & P. Kim Bui'. They 'write' for The Iowa State Daily. Words fail me....
We received an e-mail from the Music Industry Manual (James Robertson, Music Industry Manual, 183 Kingston Road, London SW19 1LH t: +44 (0)20 8545 0955 f: +44 (0)20 8417 0466) where we were listed as a 'House label'!). Upon pointing out the error of their ways, we received this: "We have taken you out of the listings as our readers hate rockabilly!" After this, the guy only adds us to his e-mail list! You bet we blocked him!
Just noticed this website - http://www.rockabillymasters.com. Their most popular 'tags'? Kiss, Led Zeppelin... err.... excuse me....