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hilly kristal


The Good Shepherd

Hilly Kristal opened the doors
of CBGB’s to us all in 1974.
All who passed through the portals
experienced, as Arthur Rimbaud would
say, “new scenes, new noise”.

He offered us artistic freedom and his
gruff yet unconditional love. We evolved,
we left and went out into the world like
prodigal children. When we returned
he always accepted us with open arms.

Once back in 1974, leaving the club after a
loud, raucous night, I noticed that Hilly had fallen
asleep on a cot. He was covered with a faded blanket
and his feet were sticking out. His mismatched socks
were also holy. Having holes that is. But perhaps holy
as well. I remember thinking he’s just one of us.

I never really knew him outside of CBGB’S. But
he was always there. His door was always open. And
when he fell asleep we never had to be quiet.
Hilly Kristal was the good shepherd of a flock
of black sheep. We are forever grateful.

From Patti Smith’s website.

NYT has an obit.

fresh air

The fantastic Open Culture blog is reporting that Fresh Air is now available via free podcast.

This is great on a couple of levels. First, up until this change, you used to have to purchase Fresh Air via Audible, and now, uh, you don’t.

Second, and, more interestingly from a marketing perspective, is the potential rationale behind this move. Fresh Air was constantly ranked as one of the most downloaded podcasts, so revenue was certainly being generated. However, as we know that the goal of all businesses should not be profit, but rather the attraction and retention of customers, it stands to reason that Fresh Air – wisely – determined that it was more important to attract more (and new) customers, than it was to generate revenue from a fairly defined group of supporters.

I LOVE this!

Now, the fact that NPR is a non-profit might have had something to do with this decision, but I sort of doubt it. Just b/c a business is a non-profit doesn’t mean they don’t need money (particularly in this era of decreased governmental spending on the arts and Public radio/TV). So, it seems to me that this was a clear decision to go out and find some more listeners; knowing that if they attract and retain them that profit would be the axiomatic byproduct over time. Some percentage of these new listeners will become financial supporters of NPR and Fresh Air via pledges.

Musicians need to understand the importance of doing what they can to attract and retain customers. Often this means foregoing the quick buck in order to build a larger constituency that will bring the big buck over time.

Now, go grab that free Podcast. Lots of great music on Fresh Air.

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