of all archetypes in the world of popular music, record producers are surely the smartest. when fruitful careers reach closure they’re flushed with golden combinations of money, anonymity, and artistic satisfaction. you might hear of the occasional character who’d had a nervous breakdown or a heart attack at the wheel, but in the main, they walk away at the end of their run, whistling into the sunset.
there are three main types.. the most interesting is the one who can’t play a single note of music. he appears to come out of upper class breeding and has marvellous people skills… he is trustable with large amounts of corporate money, while making sure a record reaches completion with no expensive disasters.. this man is part therapist, part accountant, and a reliable arbiter of good taste….he relaxes by the side of mixing desks long enough to land aeroplanes on, wearing smart beige clothes that juxtapose playfully with the rags covering a rock star’s bones on the other side of clean soundproof glass.
over here in studio b, there’s the techy producer who also hasn’t mastered a musical instrument.. he’s the slightly boring one of all three.. a clean living gearhead. he too manages money well. his work arrives off the back of being a sound engineer on million selling records that were produced by someone else. he is therefor deemed a good choice for an arsey visionary who just needs someone to press the record button while he plays several musical instruments all at once. this type of producer goes out running through city parks wearing black stretchy lycra in the morning before a long day ahead in softly lit air conditioned interiors.
finally in a smaller shabbier stinkier room, there’s the musician producer who does everything both technical and musical. sometimes he’s the actual singer on records fronted by frauds with fantastic hair. he’s a rake thin vegetarian, looks ill and has the least amount of status anxiety. he’s also the richest.. a dope smoking perfectionist driving to studio environments in a battered old car. he’ll park anywhere, never worrying about the wagon getting stolen or broken into, but when he eventually vanishes off the radar, he’ll have a finer automobile for himself and his girlie to ride in, that’s if his neglected health doesn’t kill him along the way.
all of these characters have a lifespan, but once their spell is over, they ghost through the ordinary world hearing shards of work they’d midwifed decades ago. these men also get reminded of their bounty by annual visits to high end accountancy firms for updates on how their fertile fiscal land lies. they’re free to go anywhere without any starfucker hassle..the paradoxical combination of anonymity and recognition is glorious and rarefied..
and now here comes another radiant pop star.. bumbling down a corridor, having his overrated joyride… never allowed to grow old…who’s big beautiful pop record hangs over everything he does like a giant albatross. ..who isn’t even rich, cause unlike the record producer, every penny spent has to be paid back for his three nights in a four seasons hotel along the momentary coast of paradise. he hates his own music..and then he loves it..and then he hates it again.
the other curious station is that of the backroom songwriter, but his or her life is more of a mind bender, cause they’re in the business of plucking emeralds out of thin air.