Monday, March 26, 2007

Goldsmith on the job

Harvey Goldsmith is a busy man, what with fighting ticket touts and promoting stuff. Now, though, he seems to be trying to carve out a niche as a kind of John Harvey-Jones of the entertainment industry, picking up flagging careers and trying to make them fabulous again.

His first guinea pig is Samantha Mumba, who apparently was a little difficult:

The Irish singer may have got away with this behaviour when she was selling millions of records in Europe and America, but that was five years ago. "Samantha's main problem when I met her last September was her attitude... Her second album was a flop, she lost interest in music and moved to LA with her mother and family. "But my best friend now is Samantha Mumba. After a long battle, we get on like a house on fire and she's serious about her music. Her new career stands a real chance of success, but even better than that, she's never late for our meetings."

Interesting. The odd thing, though, is that while Mumba was unquestionably in the dumper, she'd been focusing on her own comeback built on the back of the stage schools she's been running in Ireland. We hope Goldsmith wasn't being used by Mumba to promote a return to active duty she was already working on - after all, how else could she grab an hour of time on Channel 4 in 2007 if she wasn't pretending to be interested in what Goldsmith had to say?

Later in the series, Saxon - yes, that Saxon appear on the series. They're pretty open about the process:
"We saw the Channel 4 program. It's not too bad. At the beginning they put us down a lot, making the festival we are playing a bit small, but the billing was great — SODOM, WITHIN TEMPTATION, SAXON, KREATOR, MEGADETH, BLIND GUARDIAN and many more. Maybe Harvey and the Channel 4 lot have never heard of these bands. The film ends up as a success.

"Although they filmed the band for six months, there is very little of this in the film. The central character is obviously Harvey Goldsmith, and they must be investing a lot of money into their new boy. We feel that Kim, the director, and Claudine, who filmed most of the show, were making a great effort to capture the character of the band but we think they got too close to us and got pulled out on the editing. But actually Harvey's motives are to make the band sucessful in Britain, so although the band are taken down before being brought back up by Harvey, this is the central theme of the program, which is acceptable. Although the facts are being presented in a simplistic and manipulated way, we feel from being involved with Harvey we have done tons more promotion in Britain and we would like to thank all the people who also helped who are not on the film."

In effect, then, Goldsmith might like to think he's acting as some sort of guru, but he's merely acting as a tool by smarter acts to get coverage.

[Thanks - and apologies - to David G who pointed me in the direction of this a couple of weeks back]