This is My Story…
I am Darrel Baird, the creator of the Australian Music Business Management System and proprietor of the Blue Tongue Management. In Eighteen years of sustained music business, Blue Tongue Management works with start-up bands through to highly successful musical performers
This is not a resume. This is my story. A short version anyway because there is too much to tell. It is written so you get an understanding of how I gained enough knowledge and experience in the music industry to create Australian Music Business Manual and give you confidence that the content within is the real deal and will help your career.
At 17 I was employed at one of Australia’s premier 2000pax music venues working and enjoying the best Australian, US, and UK touring acts on the planet for over two years. And the concerts raged week after week Thursday to Sunday with music fans of all styles and backgrounds gladly paying to support the bands they loved and filling the joint. This was when the music industry was booming, and where my real passion for music began. Thereafter, I spent a decade travelling and frequenting major music festivals and cultural events, stadium and pub concerts and live gigs across Australia.
In 1996, I launched what was then called ‘Blue Tongue Promotions’ and created and coordinated a multicultural, three day, multi-stage music and arts festival. I contracted 35 bands of all different genre and cultural backgrounds specifically including indigenous bands. The line-up included the cream of Australian rock and blues artists as the headline entourage. I flew them in on old DC-3 plane. The event also included dance groups, food stalls and an array of circus performers. It was streamed live on the web (circa 1996) and broadcast via Com Rad Sat to hundreds of community radio stations world wide. I met an artist manger called Ray Smith at this event. He later became my mentor and taught me the importance of integrity working with artists.
Not long after, I managed two more very successful music events before moving towards artist management where I spent countless months driving in tour vans with bands that had asked me to help manage their careers. I booked, promoted, toured and lugged heavy black bins with these bands. What a great time as we lived the dream. But living expenses and rent costs money, so bands have to make money to pay those bills or just become weekend warriors. The hardships along the way lead me to work on the financial and business aspects harder and realising how many artists did not have management, I began looking at artist management as a profession.
So from 1996 to 2000, that is how I cut my teeth in this industry, building extensive experience in music business operations, artist and event management, tour management, logistics, marketing, promotion, and artist, and media liaison. And my business grew-up with the online revolution.
In 2000, an eight year business relationship began with legendary rockers John and Rick Brewster of The Angels (Angels City) and soon after Chris Bailey and Buzz Bidstrup. Blue Tongue Management was pinnacle in building The Brewster Brothers semi acoustic incarnation on a national basis and in steering the reformation of The Angels (Brewster Bailey Bidstrup Brewster, billed as The Original Angels Band) to national success which in-turn lead to their eventual reformation with Doc Neeson in 2008 (The bands original singer prior to 2000).
Although this line-up performed the same songs they wrote, and that ignited their career, we were told by the majority of our peers (Agents/Managers/Media and Rock Stars) along with hard core fans that ‘This band will not succeed without Doc”. So, it was on our shoulders to develop a new brand, build belief in that brand, create our own success and prove them wrong. I had to deliver the band across Australia, and the band had to deliver world class shows or the fans would walk. This was a time of immense pressure and it tested our resolve and self-belief. And we succeeded on all fronts. So if anyone says it can’t be done, pass them by doing it!
Working with this band, Blue Tongue Management implemented all business decisions from meetings, managed the business office, created a healthy income flow by booking and contracting financially viable shows and national tours, and handled tour budgets, and engaged top level booking agents once the band and I gained credibility. Blue Tongue Management handled all media, publicity and promotional campaigns in the early years until we built consistently strong audience attendance to pay a high level publicist. Blue Tongue Management organised all travel logistics, production and crew and personally tour managed four hundred shows with this band alone. Blue Tongue Management designed merchandise, engaged manufacturing companies and sold that merchandise world wide. And built and managed the bands Website and social media until 2008. Blue Tongue Management also booked approximately three hundred performances for Brewster Brothers duo show and countless shows for many many other bands.
In many cases successful artists have a separate manager, tour manager, publicist and a label. The office of Blue Tongue Management worked with the four original members of The Angels and delivered quality management service, label service, tour management service and promotional service from grass roots to success. And everything else in between. There where plenty of stumbling blocks but we worked around them, become the wiser and moved forward. One of our last shows together was in front of 10,000 in W.A.
During these years Blue Tongue Management continued working with other established artists, booking and promoting their tours and events, and worked in the development of up and coming bands, and booked various music venues, promoted youth concerts and continued to develop strong online social media and networking skills. In 2013 the journey continues with band management, new music releases and in music business consultancy.
Profile Australian, international artists, youth acts and events I have worked with, booked, represented or toured with include but are not limited to The Original Angels Band[The Angels](Aus), Dave Tice and Mark Evans(Aus), Ian Moss(Aus), Kevin Borich(Aus), The Poor(Aus), Adrian Belew(USA), Don Walker and the SF’s(Aus), The Screaming Jets(Aus), Mark Evans (ex ACDC)(Aus), The Radiators(Aus), The Deep End(Aus), Harmonic Generator(France), Darren Jack(Aus), Ray Beadle(Aus), Jenny Marie Lang(Aus), Chris E Thomas(Aus), Lil Fi(Aus), Kara Grainger(Aus), Koomurri(Aus), Sam Joole & Alien Zoo(Aus/UK), Brewster Brothers(Aus), The Backsliders(Aus), Shadow Thieves(Aus), The Bondi Cigars(Aus), Wayne Cornell Jnr(Aus), Raise The Flag(Aus), GangAwry(Aus) and The Brown Brothers(Aus). There are many many more artists, too many to list. You know who you are.
Lungata Records is the independent record label arm of Blue Tongue Management. Lungata Records primary aim is to shop and release independent artists signed that work with Blue Tongue Management.
Current releases through Lungata Records include
Shadow Thieves – Between Days (EP) – 2010
Harmonic Generator – Dead On The Ground (Single) – 2011
Dave Tice and Mark Evans – Brothers In Arms (EP) – 2011 Through MGM Distribution
Harmonic Generator – Nobody Dies (Video Single) 2012.
Released by Blue Tongue Management independently together with the below artists
Brewster Brothers – Any Day (EP) – 2004 (Blue Tongue Records) Through MGM Distribution
The Angels Band – Live At The Basement (Album) – 2006 Through MGM Distribution
The Angels – Ivory Stairs (EP) – 2007
GangAwry – Politics (Album) – 2007 Through MGM Distribution
Darren Jack – Better Place (Album) 2011 (consultant)
Releases penned for 2013 include Harmonic Generators new album ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ recorded with Mark Opitz and Colin Wynne
Kevin Borich 5 CD’s and two DVD’s back catalogue.
Independent Artists and Band Managers
Wouldn’t you like to have a successful artist manager drive your music career? Hard to secure, aren’t they? Imagine if an experienced artist manager offered you all the tools, and the knowledge, and the contacts you required to succefully drive your own music career? Would that help you? Because that is exactly what’s on offer here. So why waste years unnecessarily, when this manual can give you everything you need today?
A revolutionary new subscription based, online platform, Australian Music Business Manual is an artist management, marketing and music release system that brings all the different sections of music business together in one place. Easy to understand, easy to implement, yet comprehensively detailed and to the point, now anyone can take advantage of the experience, knowledge and the tools of an industry professional and give your music career the best chance of success at an affordable price.
Let me show you some of the savings we create for you in Australian Music Business Manual.
The savings we list below are not the real value of this package. The real value is in the knowledge and understanding of the business that we supply. This alone is worth well more than the $450 price tag.
The savings listed below, we supply to our subscribers as they are what a great artist manager would pass down and save your career if you were signed to them. And so to make sure I deliver to you a complete management system, I deliver the same, to make sure subscribers gain full value for their investment. This is what makes this product the only complete self help Australian Music Business Management system available in this country.
I am only going to touch the edges on the savings we create for you because there simply to many way we create ways to save you money and create income.
The value of the forms supplied and listed in the contents are yours for life whether you resubscribe for the second year or not.
- Trademark categories and sub categories research would take you around 5 hours minimum to sort out by yourself but you would probably need a lawyer or IP expert. We teach you how to DIY and Save $900 + 5 hours of time.
- Business Phone Skills – 6 months training saved. Get the gigs, make the deals.
- Band Member agreement ready to go except for your own minor adjustments. Save $600 minimum
- Electronic Business Signature – Near Zero printing . Save $200 minimum in ink jets a year
- One page booking agreement Save $25
- Full Booking Agreement Save $700
- Professional Modulated Stage Plan and Back line Save $100
- Record Producer Agreement Save $500
- Broadcast release form Save $50
- Merchandise Consignment Agreement Save $50
- Tour Budget Form Save $20
- Tour Booklet Save $150
- Music Media database – Save $250 minimum
- 1 x hour consultancy – Save $75
- The other forms are time savers and knowledge so we wont count them in our quest to show financial value for these purposes.
Whether you need them now or next year we will save you $3620 just within the forms + time. What could you do with that extra cash?
Then there are leads we supply to great businesses that supply products and services required by a professional self managed artist to function at high level.
Accounting software such as Quick Books and MYOB can cost anything between $300 and $1000’s. So we supply you with a basic invoice to get you out of trouble. And we also introduce you to an accounting software to get your books started professionally and on the right foot with easy to use invoicing systems for around $60 a year until you can afford a more extensive software. SAVE $240 MINIMUM in your first year
Public Liability. I know most of you say I don’t need that, the venue should do it. But the fact is the venue and you need to have public liability. If you want to perform at a Festival anywhere in Australia, You will have to gain public liability full stop. In Queensland you will not find many venues at all that will allow you to play without it and you will definitely have to have it if you want to gain a professional booking agent. So you can dodge it for a while but if you want to move forward an give yourself best chance to gain festival slots, quality venues and booking agents to represent you, then Public Liability is a must!
So Public Liability can be very expensive. We send you to a company that changes that. I have saved many artists I work with an average saving of around $1500 a year every year, by moving them to the company we send you to, from now on. And this covers the whole band. And it will include some of your instruments to boot. As Homer Simpson would say WooooHooooa. So for around $300 a year you and your band are covered.
Office equipment, tour vehicles, computers and electronics, power boards and so much more, all top quality at amazing prices. The savings here are unlimited across a broad range of gear from where we take you. This isn’t dodgy groupon stuff, This is the real deal. My office desk and bookshelf for example(smoked glass and steal) cost $39 delivered. The same at Office works was $350. So just that one item resulted in a saving of over $300. But this will amalgamate to thousands of dollars across an multitude of things that you will need to shop for over the years, as you grow.
Software. We take you to a place that makes it all affordable. I paid $175 for full legal version of Photo-shop CS6 valued at $667 and windows 7 full version for around $95 instead of $165. There’s a cool little trick to it but it is all above board. So there alone is another saving of over $500. And there are tonnes of software to choose from.
So in this section there is a minimum potential saving of $2540 + time
The list goes on because there are video marketing tools and Facebook and Twitter driver that work who are offering Australian Music Business manual subscribers double value and all sorts of great bargains from other companies. Not to mention the expert touring logistics we teach you which will save your tours thousands of dollars in mistakes and other savings. Value here worth is tens of thousands over a life-time.
But wait, that’s not all! There’s more!
Good Music Business courses start at $4500 for 6 months and range to $12000 per year for a minimum 3 years. Australian Music Business Manual is $450+ GST for one year and $848 for 3 years. I can guarantee you I cover every facet of the industry. Courses cover certain topics. So if you are thinking of doing these courses there is at least $4000 saving in the first year without opening the pages.
Imagine what you could achieve investing in and growing your own business over three years using Australian Music Business Manual, instead of spending up-to $36000 over 3 years sitting in school and then having to spend the next 3 years developing your business in the real world.
by Darrel Baird