Simon Napier-Bell

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Simon Napier-Bell

Postby Quiet Visitor on Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:51 am

Simon Napier-Bell, former manager of Japan, recently published a book, called "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay" about the musici-industry. Because of that he was interviewed (amongst others) by a Dutch newspaper and in the interview Napier-Bell described how he made Japan big in Japan). Simply by starting a fan-club in Japan and giving the Japanees teenager-magazines tons of information, pictures, etc., except the music, in order to let those teenage-girls fall in love with Japan. Within six month Japan became the most popular band in Japan, while non of the fans had heard one single note. It was purely based on image. When the album was released in Japan it sold 30.000 copies on the first morning, exactly the amonth of members of the fan-club.
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Re: Simon Napier-Bell

Postby inkinthewell on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:21 pm

Facebook and Twitter would have made his life so much easier. :-D
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - JL 1940-1980
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Re: Simon Napier-Bell

Postby Blemished on Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:17 am

There is a long interview with Simon in the magazine section of The Times (of London) this Saturday (9 August), promoting this book and relating various stories about the artists he managed. It includes a bit about Japan and has a little photo of David.

David Sylvian of Japan must have been a little less exacting. “Five years of my life I spent breaking that f***ing band,” he says in measured tones, “but Japan became the most influential group of the Eighties. Then David said, ‘I don’t want to be a rock star. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to be a kind of Left Bank poet, known and respected a bit’ – a gorgeous David Sylvian moment. That should have been the guy who drove his car into Snappy Snaps; George Michael should have gone through the front window of Harrods!

“The only thing to look out for as a manager,” he adds, “is that the musicians you represent have a total, obsessed, near-suicidal need to be a star. Nothing else matters. The energy and push that makes an artist a star comes from them, not you. You latch yourself on like a jockey on a horse: the horse runs, you pass the winning post and you get your 20 per cent. And when you ask them what they want, they say they want to be successful – they don’t say, ‘We want to have our spots cleared up or be psychoanalysed’ – and to do that very often we turn them into monsters. We cut them off from every aspect of normal life and put them in hotel suites and pack them in cotton wool, an enclosed world with a crew around them. And we put them in limousines and separate them from their public and send groupies and drugs and drinks to their rooms and eventually they find the whole thing … not very nice. They get unhappy. They get miserable.”

And then they blame the manager.

“And then, yes, they blame me! But that’s the job they asked us to do.”
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Re: Simon Napier-Bell

Postby Fire Rose 45 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:40 pm

One of the things I like best about David. Enough with the prima donnas already. :-)
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Re: Simon Napier-Bell

Postby Quiet Visitor on Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:22 pm

That quote above suggests for me that the whole band didn't care much for being commercial big stars. That was one of the reasons I didn't like reading Christopher E. Young's "On The Periphery", because he states in the very beginning that David was the only one who didn't want to make commercial music, while the others were very much into that. I never believed the latter. And the music all made after Japan proves that they indeed weren't into commercial music at all. For me this was one of the reasons I stopped reading the book. It was too much a personal view, that didn't do much justice to the work of the other musicians in Japan.
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Re: Simon Napier-Bell

Postby billster on Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:52 am

I thought that book sucked big time.
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