Jackie Otero’s Summer Reading List
Here at Hypebot, we are rolling
out our summer reading lists, written by some of the
leading thinkers in the industry. If you happen to be in that crowd, email me
five of your picks and reasons why the music industry should be
Here's what Jackie had to say:
Anyone seeking to make a career in the music business should study its history, and who better to receive this education from the characters in the industry that you just couldn't make up? Here are my recommendations for the most interesting and memorable tales from inside the music business:
Hit Men by Fredric Dannen
Dannen's book is a great primer on the history of shady dealings in the industry. This was the first music industry book that was recommended to me as a budding artist manager right out of college. To understand today's industry you have to know how the old school system worked, and this will teach you the tales from the industry heyday of the '50s through the '80s.
The Mansion on the Hill by Fred Goodman
Published 17 years after Hit Men, this could be viewed as its unintended sequel - moving past the payola and scandal of the early decades of the industry into the modern age, with the debate of art vs. commerce at the forefront. The stories are also great case studies of artist/manager relationships and decisions.
Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones by Quincy Jones
An intimate look into the life and career of composer/arranger/producer Quincy Jones, his book takes you through his journey from a poor child with a tumultuous family life to his rise to fame as the producer of Michael Jackson's Thriller, and all the bumps along the way. Vignettes scattered throughout written by Jones' close friends and colleagues frame the memoir as a picture of a real, flawed man with unparalleled talent and work ethic.
Tori Amos: Piece by Piece by Tori Amos and Ann Powers
Amos' chapter about how her recording career was decided on the 18th hole of a golf course, how Atlantic stopped marketing the final three albums of her contract, and how she was told point blank that she was too old at age 35 to be a priority, is enough to rouse any fan's protective spirit. (The best part was when she finally fulfilled her options, signed with Epic and had her biggest radio hit to date. "Checkmate, motherf***ers," she says.)
The Hit Charade by Tyler Gray
Ah, the story of Lou Pearlman. As an Orlando resident, I was able to witness his downfall through the local media three years ago when he fled the country amidst the unraveling of the scam that was his empire, and was eventually arrested and incarcerated. The combination of his squeaky clean boy bands with his conniving business strategies and questionable motivations reads like compelling fiction - you won't be able to put it down.