Unsolicited MP3s By, Bob Lefsetz

Posted on April 5, 2012 by


What if I came to your door and harangued you for twenty minutes trying to convince you to buy something you don’t want, that you’ve got no interest in, whose purchase will benefit me, not you.


It’s bad enough when you send me links. But people e-mail me 10 MB files without even thinking about it. Sometimes I’m on the road with an insanely slow connection and I’ve got to wait ten minutes for my e-mail to download, just so I can delete your terrible MP3.

And that’s what it is…terrible.

Makes me hate America, where no one can be honest.

How many people get to play in the NBA? Most of the kids in the Final Four never even make the pros. Why do you think you deserve a music career, why do you think you’re any good?

It’s just amazing the chutzpah people have.

But it’s worse, they’re delusional, they truly think they’ve got talent, as if with an endorsement by me they’ll be the new Gaga.

I can only listen to one song at one time. You want me to spend all this time listening to crap? What’s worse, despite reading for free, you want my advice for free too!

Well, unlike MP3s, my advice isn’t easily replicable at no cost. And it’s not worth that much anyway. If you’re great, you’ll make it without me. And almost none of you are great.

And I know, it’s only the ignorant wannabes that do this. I feel guilty tarring all the reasonable people who wouldn’t think of wasting my time, but it’s always the nitpickers who ruin it for all of us. Isn’t that the problem we’ve got in music? Too many wannabes cocking up the works, making it harder to find those with talent?

That’s what the Internet has wrought.

But it gets worse. Facebook is a license to spam. You invite me to listen to your music as if I give a damn. Ever been invited to a party you don’t want to go to? Ever get phone solicitations from the inept selling products you don’t want? Then you know what it feels like.

Meanwhile, gives me sympathy for Simon Cowell. I’d really like to embarrass these people. Post their lousy MP3s online and have them experience the abuse that would have them crawling back into their holes and never reappearing.

I am not in control of your life. I am not a freight train to riches, not even for myself. If you need to make it, you might. But you’re gonna have to sacrifice everything to get close, and your music will speak for itself and I’ll hear about it from someone else.

Meanwhile, for the umpteenth time, read Seth Godin on Permission Marketing:


“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.”

“Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.”

“Just because you somehow get my email address doesn’t mean you have permission.”

Jack Nicholson was right. You can’t handle the truth. I used to refrain, remembering the movie “Milk”, wherein Harvey was told you’ve got to give the people hope.

It is not my job to give you hope. From now on if you send me an unsolicited MP3 I’m gonna tell you the truth.

That you suck.

That you’re just not good enough.

That you might have a glimmer of talent, I might be able to discern some quality.

But that ain’t enough.

Never was. Still ain’t.

And you wonder why you can never reach anybody with any power in the music business…

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