SHINING A LIGHT ON STARSAILOR

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Some of us would have our favourites. There were however those artists who fell under “Global priorities” and “Regional priorities” with all us music executives feeling the heat to come up with those dreaded “numbers” and “chart successes” to be in the good books of Head Office. It wasn’t that different to what goes on today when a major artist like Taylor Swift drops a new record and the spinning goes into overdrive with social media so instrumental in banging home often false messages of success for the gullible and earaches of rumourmongering. Paul might have been “dead” for a while, but music never became a scattergun of tit for tat and open vindictive musical warfare that today has become part of “marketing”.

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ALL THE POTENTIAL OF SRI LANKA: HOW LONG BEFORE IT’S FINALLY REALISED?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It always seems like a good idea: Take a total break from the monotony and autonomy and lobotomy of it all. You can already smell the sand and sea and surf, and images of still to be discovered delights ping pong around your head. But all this is like premature ejaculation. Before that much-needed break becomes a reality, those who wish you the best, and know you’re suffering from burn out, still need that one more job explained, or better yet, done, because, well, as Robert Plant once squealed while grabbing his beloved Percy, they’re dazed and confused.

So, if a professional, one makes the time while the PA calls and asks if you have a visa to enter the country you’re visiting. What visa? As the visa takes 24 hours to be issued, the flight is delayed by a day. Then comes all that time to kill when your flight from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka takes off at 2am. You think, I could have just gone to Macau, or at worst, Discovery Bay. But the latter has recently become the new public toilet for Mainlanders who have invaded their recently found small slice of nirvana.

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BOLLYWOOD AND INDI-ROCK IN MAINLAND CHINA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

As with love, when it comes to music and finding new homes and futures for it that actually pay for the upkeep, too often we keep going to the same well over and over again and wonder why we’re not an Ed Sheeran, or a Rihanna etc. Well, maybe it’s because there’s no place for variations on a theme or musical copycats unless in one of those cover bands that’s actually trying to be soundalike outfit. Nothing at all against covering music by other artists. Hell, even the first Beatles record was almost made up of covers. And let’s never forget how Chris Cornell made Billie Jean and Nothing Compares 2 U, all his. All it took was a dose of originality.

When it comes to career moves, it’s also about creativity and throwing that net as far as possible and doing some homework. Am certainly not about being a concert promoter and has always been wary of “artist management” in its present incarnation, but because of my days with Universal and EMI Music, longtime contacts get in touch.

The other night, a group of investors from Mainland China got in touch about playing a role in bringing Bollywood to that country along with the type of Judas Priest/Iron Maiden type of heavy guitar-driven hard rock that’s never gone out of fashion in India.

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When Alzheimer’s hits home…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

You start to think when the first tell-tale signs started to show. Was it the repetition for years of the same two jokes about being on a seafood food diet and where she sees food and wants to eat it, or that other one about how mangoes where women go? Was it the much repeated story of the many years my parents waited to have me, their only child, and the hours she was in labour before I decided to pop out- on her birthday- apparently looking like an…eggplant.

The passing away of Glen Campbell recently to Alzheimer’s which leads to full-blown dementia struck home. My mother passed away from this dreadful disease some years ago and it’s always been something I’ve “blocked from view”. But as the feeling of mortality finally grabs you by the balls, you try to retrace your steps for some answers, and, perhaps, redemption.

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GLEN CAMPBELL, THE JIMMY WEBB CONNECTION AND KEEPING ROMANCE ALIVE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If I didn’t already love her, then revisiting the music released by Jimmy Webb over the last day made that love that much stronger.

The song stories of Jimmy Webb, my favourite songwriter, and the voice of Glen Campbell came together to create a brand of pop music that was part Tin Pan Alley and equal parts Americana and almost symphonic. It was elegant pop that could not be written on a guitar. Those melodies of Webb’s came from the tunesmith’s heart and soul and piano. As for the words, well, they came from believing in the power of romance even when it’s a long goodbye that lives with you forever.

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DEPRESSION AND WHY THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY SHOULD BE FIGHTING IT

Courtesy of RB
rb-racing.com

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Sadly, many- too many- who are leaders of the horse racing industry are hardly great role models. Some have allowed their self-serving agendas to create a divisive and dysfunctional industry with the future looking hardly bright while others have paid off to make problems go away. And unlike how what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, in this online world of “engagement” and “sharing”, news travels fast. If one racing club messes up, every other racing club gets tarred with the same brush and are “guilty” through association.

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WHO’S SKIPPED THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC STREET SMARTS?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Annie Lennox approached by talent scout – THE AUSTRALIAN

The above shows the huge generation gap in the music industry- some young promotion girl thinking that the great Annie Lennox is an undiscovered talent who might have the potential to be more than she is.

Dear gawd, who hires these gremlins and has the world become one paean to The Peter Principle where mediocrity and incompetence is rewarded? This A&R and promotions genius never thought of looking up the name Annie Lennox on Google? She might have even discovered the iconic singer’s early days with Dave A Stewart in Eurythmics. And what a brilliant duo they made.

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REALITY CHECK AND REALITY BITES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There’s something happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Jones? Dylan wrote and asked that question on “The Ballad Of A Thin Man” many many years ago. In recent months, more and more friends have been asking almost the same thing- intelligent people looking for answers, wondering who or what exactly is today’s “Mister Jones”, and how there’s very little around to inspire or excite to bring about positive change. Yes, living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…so, wake up, already!

Sure, inspiration is wherever one finds it, but it appears to be in short supply today. Excess is not inspiration. It’s clutter. Neither is throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. Neither is everyone having an online pulpit to spew forth naive thinking, which then attracts more naivety with all that’s left being the often befuddled thoughts of online pundits.

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LOVE, LUST, SEX, MUSIC AND THE WHOLE DAMN THING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

My pint-sized favourite Smurfette Rock Chick friend and singer Kat has written a blog about music and the different vibrations it gives off and how it even had an effect on deaf and blind author, lecturer, political activist and everything in between that was the remarkable and inspirational Helen Keller.

I completely understood all that. But when writing that music can often be a substitute for sex, and mentioning Tiger Woods, Kat lost me at Hello. Perhaps it’s because men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and real men eat quiche etc, but she lost me there. And it was way past having me at Hello. But, then again, men are a wildly different group of Homo sapiens.

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WHERE ARE HORSE RACING’S DEFIANT ONES?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Whether we want to or not, social media has not only entered our lives, in some instances, it’s taken them over with seemingly no end in sight. We’re becoming, or have already become slaves to technology without even knowing it.

The music industry, for example, never saw it coming despite file sharing site Napster rearing its head and testing the waters some decades ago. Being part of the industry as a senior executive with one of the four major music companies, to us, Napster was a minor blip in the wall. Napster was nipped in the bud.

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