If you're here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You've come to the right place. I'm Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes of the world.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Three: Creating A Unique Performance
Thinking on your feet is one of the most sought after skills in any work environment. The ability to think and act quickly is absolutely essential, and making use of this talent is one of the best ways to keep things fresh, new and unique for people. Making a performance that pulls in every person in the room is important. Being the opener that eclipses the headliner by means of being memorable is even better. Let's have a look at some major performance pieces that kept people coming back for more.
Jimi Hendrix: Setting Fire To His Instrument
Have you ever seen this on YouTube? It's infamous for being so very rock and roll, but the reality of it was far less impressive. The fire lasted only a short time, and Hendrix was simply unable to get the fire any larger, so he just smashed it up instead. It's nothing tremendously impressive, and yet it's one of those things that everybody talks about.
Did it look planned? Not at all. Not long beforehand he'd been humping the amplifiers for the sake of additional feedback noise. There's no stroke of PR genius, and no marketing agent whispering in his ear. Hendrix simply wished to ruin his guitar forever, and everybody loved him for it.
The Who: Total Destruction
It's been cited and quoted that The Who had virtually no money to their names, and very little success, before they started to destroy the guitars and the drum kit at the end of each set. They literally could not afford new instruments to replace them. If it hadn't worked to earn them such high amounts of additional publicity, they would have been ruined permanently, which no chance of reprieve. I'm never going to suggest doing this yourself, but it's an example of an idea that went brilliantly because it was something to associate with the band. It was new, and it was ruthlessly exciting.
They also made enemies through this. Things such as explosives in a drum kit have a habit of making people dislike you. A lot of television programmes and performance venues made a point of refusing to host The Who's show. However, due to the success that they eventually received, all of these were likely rescinded. Remember, the media follows you once you've made it. Until then though, you have to follow the media.
Led Zeppelin: Guitar Solo With A Violin Bow
Let's be honest here; this likely destroyed the bow and ripped all of the hairs to pieces. However, even though I have personally never heard the solo in question, I have definitely heard about the gimmick that was the performance. It's the mixing of two different musical instruments that earns our respect, mostly because of the necessary precision required to hit the correct guitar string with a violin bow.
Of course, due to the angle of guitar strings, the violin bow will have been on most if not all of the strings. There was no evident violin skill in this trick; it's all left hand muting, but the ability to capture the attention of listeners with a little thing such as this is exactly what creates a truly unique performance.
These are just examples of course, but it's an example of something which draws focus. You should always want something that makes people aware of you, beyond doing exactly the same as everybody else. You have to stand out and make people pay attention and, even if you're the most successful band in the world, you still need to make people aware of you.
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.