Great Quotes

Phil tends to use great quotes, metaphors, chinese wisdom and other short verbalisms in his speeches and work. Here are some of his favourites…

“Money is the way that people with no talent keep score.”
Michael Coppel, promoter

“One person with a belief is worth a thousand with merely an interest.”
Ancient Chinese saying

“Stand by the river long enough and you’ll see all the bodies of your enemies float by.”
Another Chinese saying

Kimo’s Rules are the ten commandments of living aloha. They are posted right opposite my desk and I live by them.

Never judge a day by the weather.

The best things in life aren’t things.

Tell the truth–there’s less to remember.

Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.

Goals are deceptive–the unaimed arrow never misses.

He who dies with the most toys–still dies.

Age is relative–when you’re over the hill you pick up speed.

There are two ways to be rich–earn more or desire less.

Beauty is internal–looks mean nothing.

No rain–no rainbows.

The Ten Commandments of Modern Life!

Life Rewards Action
Measure your life and its quality based on results, not intentions.

You Create Your Own Experience
Accept that you, and only you, are accountable for your life, good or bad.

People Do What Works
Identify the hidden rewards that make you and others do what they do.

You Can’t Change What You Don’t Acknowledge
Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life so you can change it.

You Either Get It Or You Don’t
Find out what makes people tick so you can influence their behaviour.

There Is No Reality, Only Perception
Learn that whatever happens in life, it’s up to you how you interpret it.

Life Is Managed, It Is Not Cured
Learn to manage your life as if you were running a company.

We Teach People How To Treat Us
Accept that you are responsible for how others treat you.

There Is Power In Forgiveness
Be aware of how anger and resentment can harm and control you.

You Have To Name It To Claim It
Be clear about what you want and have the courage to go and get it.

“Make no little enemies — people with whom you differ for some petty, insignificant personal reason. Instead I would urge you to cultivate ‘mighty opposites’ — people with whom you disagree on big issues, with whom you will fight to the end over fundamental convictions. And that fight, I can assure you, will be good for you and your opponent.”
Thomas Watson, founder of IBM who also believed the world would only ever need maybe five computers.

“The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.”
James Baldwin

“There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and he who considers price only is that man’s lawful prey.”
John Ruskin

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
Aldous Huxley

“Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.”
Ed Gardner

“I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.”
Elvis Presley

“Modern music is people who can’t think signing artists who can’t write songs to make records for people who can’t hear.”
Frank Zappa

“I’ve made hundreds of legendary records that people talk about that didn’t sell.”
Jerry Wexler

“You can’t polish a turd.”
Ted Nugent referring to recording on coke at night and the result the next day.

“You can’t unring a bell.”
Tom Waits

The Music Business

I spent 40 years in a banana lounger at the side of the ‘swimming pool of spit and faux sincerity’ we call the music business. These are some of the rational quotes that got me through.

Music should never be harmless.
~ Robbie Robertson

Music is spiritual. The music business is not.
~ Van Morrison

“The music business was not safe, but it was FUN. It was like falling in love with a woman you know is bad for you, but you love every minute with her, anyway.”
— Lionel Richie, African-American singer/performer/song writer/actor

“We live in an age of music for people who don’t like music. The record industry discovered some time ago that there aren’t that many people who actually like music. For a lot of people, music’s annoying, or at the very least they don’t need it. They discovered if they could sell music to a lot of those people, they could sell a lot more records.” T Bone Burnett

“Just because it happened to you, doesn’t mean it’s interesting”
–Dennis Hopper

“Modern music is people who can’t think signing artists who can’t write songs to make records for people who can’t hear.” Frank Zappa

“Just because you can record, doesn’t mean you should.” Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Music

“In this business, the first rule is, never act out of desperation, because there is always someone out there looking to sucker you.”
–Kevin Czinger, Volcano Entertainment Founder

“People don’t buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions.”
–Scott Young, Wherehouse Entertainment

“Independent labels take nothing and make something out of it. Major labels buy that something, and try to make more out of it.” Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy Records CEO

“When you hear my records today…you hear a vanilla sounding artist with no black inflection, although I was trying to imitate what I heard.” Pat Boone

“You go through stages where you wonder whether you are Christ, or just looking for him.” David Bowie

“You’ve gotta be business savvy really, or elso you get the piss taken out of you.” Melanie B, Spice Girls

You’ve got to feel comfortable with people telling you your shit stinks.”
–Andre Harrell, Uptown Entertainment

“I’m a survivor in a business that constantly rejects you.”
–Dick Clark

“In the music business bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, I believe smaller is actually better.”
–Chuck Kaye, Dreamworks, SBK Publishing

“Actually I don’t know if honesty is a strength or some kind of weakness.” Ani DeFranco

“That’s not easy to find in a corporate world, somebody who cares about music.” Michael Penn, musician”

Money had never been the main thing for me. It’s the legacy that was important.”
–Barry Gordy, Motown Rec

“Don’t try to explain it, just sell it.”
–Colonel Tom Parker

“Rock n’ roll does for music what a motorcycle club at full throttle does for a quiet afternoon. The results bear passing resemblance to Hitler mass meetings.”
–Time Magazine, 1956

“I’m a snake oil salesman as much as anyone else, but I try to keep something for myself.” Freedy Johnston

“If the milk industry can make their product seem sexy and increase consumer demand, there must be hope for music.”
–Gary Arnold, Merchandising Manager, Best Buy

“Anybody that forms a group, writes songs and releases records and says they don’t care if people like them are complete liars.” James Dean Bradfield, Manic St. Preachers

“Music is a big machine that would go on with or without me.” Rob Thomas, Matchbox 20

“Rap fans are quick to forget what they appreciated just last year.” Trugoy, De La Soul

“When we had a record blow up, we really knew how to put it through its paces. it wasn’t groping through a voyage of discovery.” Steve Vining, Windham Hill President

“To sustain hatred is a very difficult thing to do, year after year. It’s exhausting.” Nick Cave, alternative rock musician

“The problem with alternative radio is that it has no fiber at all, and is giving itself it’s own enema.” Mike Halloran, former KUPR PD

“The hardest thing in the world to do in this business is start a band nobody’s heard of.” Tom Whalley, Interscope Records

“If we do our job…Music’s not black or white, it’s green.” Jim Caparro, PGD

“Going to radio with a rap record prior to going to the consumer is like having no foreplay with your girlfriend.”” Lyor Cohen, Def Jam/RAL

“There would be no new school without the old school.”” Vivian Scott, Epic Records

“Money had never been the main thing for me. It’s the legacy that was important.” Barry Gordy, Motown Records

“Our whole preconception will be what’s going to make the kid push our button and not someone else’s.” Bruce Kirland, Capitol Records

“We’ll take advantage of the changes going on in the music business because we’re lean and mean.” Miles Copeland, IRS Records

“That’s the shame about Miles Copeland; he’s evil, but he’s got a heart of gold.” Dave Wakeling, General Public

“If this company is about anything, it’s about discipline and staying focused.” Jimmy Iovine, Interscope Records

“We are the Beavis and Butt-head generation, whether we want to recognize it or not.” Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins

“People don’t buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions.” Scott Young, Wherehouse Entertainment

“American music is something the rest of the world wants to listen to. Our job is to make sure they pay for it.” Jason Berman, RIAA

“I’ve probably put together more deals backstage at concerts than by telephone.” Michael Lippman, Lippman Entertainment

“I never had the feeling I ever had to make a dime doing anything.” Rick Rubin, Def American

“I hate to say this, but at the time, (late 70’s) it was like the smart people liked punk and the dumb people liked Journey.” Howie Klein, President Reprise Records

“Without freedom of expression, good taste means nothing.” Neil Young

“I think anyone with less than 10 years experience in this business starting his own label is looking to create a disaster.” Russ Regan, Quality Records

“Who could have dreamed in 1965 that the alternative society would eventually multiply to such extraordinary proportions that it becomes our mainstream.” Bill Graham

“I want to hear the word ‘cherish’ about 5 times.” Clive Davis, Arista Record ( listening back to an Air Supply song during a mixdown in the studio)

“So many record companies turned me down, they said I sounded like a Chipmunk.” Brandy

“Being a manager or agent is similar to renting an apartment. Having a record company is like owning a home.” Rob Kahane, Trauma Records

“I think the second you feel you’ve gotten somewhere, you’re nowhere.” Michael Goldstone, VP A&R, Epic Records

“You’re a local band until you get a record contract, then all of a sudden, Bruce Springsteen is your competition.” Sammy Llana, The Bodeans

“I don’t listen to music, I hate all music.” Johnny Rotten

“I don’t think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow.” BB King

“He took my music, but he gave me my name.” Muddy Waters on Mick Jagger

“We’re the McDonalds of rock. Were always there to satisfy, and a billion served.” Paul Stanley, KISS

“The way I see it, rock n’ roll is folk music.” Robert Plant

“I wish there had been a music business 101 course I could have taken.” Kurt Cobain

“Rock n’ roll is poison put to sound.” Pablo Casals

“In Los Angeles, they don’t want you to fail, they want you to die.” David Geffen

“I sent a demo of the band Confederate Fagg to an A&R friend at Sony. I asked him what he thought. He said, “Don’t know yet. Let me see what my boss thinks.” Dave: Kathoyd Ray

“There are more letters in the word ‘business’ than there are in the word ‘music’.” Anonymous

“Consumers have musical choice? What musical choice? In or society we choose only from what we are given to choose from, and that choice is determined by 5 major media corporations who control the exposure outlets that consumers depend on for their entertainment.” Christopher Knab, FourFront Media and Music

“Music executives need to start thinking less like men and more like women. As men, we tend to believe more in selling someone something for $15 and transferring it to their possession without ever learning their names. Women understand the value of starting a relationship that never ends. There’s too many men in our business.” Anonymous

“If you are still at the same point you were after six albums, and all of them came out on a major label, I don’t want to hear about how ‘the label didn’t understand us,’ or ‘our management didn’t make us a priority.’ If after that time you are still at the same level, either you suck, or people do not like you.” Anonymous

“Record companies like to make money, and that is their only goal. They do not care about the content that they sell – they care about maximizing their profits. It is because of this that I hate record companies with the same passion that I hate venture capitalists. The record companies do not try to foster a creative environment which rewards musicians who serve their respective niche, but create an environment which attempts to market a small amount of music to the largest audience possible. It is more profitable for the record company to sell a few decent records in bulk than to have a vast array of cult hits that sell decently. ” Numair Faraz