Manage Me! Manage Me!

How do I get a manager while I'm still unknown?

(This question was answered by the renowned music business manager Michael Oberman.)

AskMike suggests that you might try chloroform and a blackjack. If that doesn't work, you'll probably have to shop for a manager just as you would shop for a label deal. A demo tape is your calling card to managers and management companies. First, call the manager to make sure he/she is looking for new artists and will listen to your tape. If the answer is yes - send a 3 or 4 song demo along with a photo and any pertinent press clippings. A biography is unnecessary as at this stage of your career it probably will be rather dull.

Give two to three weeks to get a response. If you don't hear back in that period of time, don't assume there is no interest. Call and politely ask if your tape has been listened to and what they think.

If they're interested after they hear the tape, they will most certainly want to hear you at a live performance. If they're still interested after they see you play in some dive in front of seven bikers then it's almost time to talk turkey.

Just as the manager has checked you out, you must check them out - track-record, honesty, contacts in the music business on a national level, etc. Remember, the manager could make or break your career. Do your homework.

The Recording Industry Sourcebook is a good reference to find names, addresses and phone numbers for management companies. Also, check with other bands in your area, radio stations, music writers, etc. In addition recording studios, music business attorneys and producers could help in your search.

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