Thursday, August 08, 2002

MILLER TIME: Steve Miller, talking about being promoted by Clear Channel in Billboard: "As the 1990s went on, Clear Channel came in, and things started getting real crazy, real quickly. I looked up one day and said, 'Who are these guys doing 11 of my shows?' Then it was 19, then one year it was 38 of 42 gigs. But the money wasn't good. I'm not talking about profits; I'm talking about where it was coming from. I don't like the way they run their facilities, and I don't like the way they treated me as an artist. Their lack of a sense of humanity is shocking." This is cited in another excellent salon piece on the company, which investigates claims that Clear Channel threatens to withhold radio support from artists who choose to have tours promoted by companies other than themselves. Paul McGuiness, U2's manager, dismisses this: "I don't think the radio business is coherent enough to operate in a vindictive way, or reward Clear Channel concert clients with radio airplay." He notes the band's wildly successful Elevation World Tour last year was promoted by Clear Channel, even though U2, "despite our considerable efforts," didn't have a Top 10 hit. - although this answers a different question entirely (does CC use its radio arm to boost the bands it promotes?) and, erm, since U2 are promoted by Clear, he's hardly an independent witness.

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