Buying onto a tour has become an increasingly common practice in a “please please help us find a way to make money we are desperate” post-Napster music industry climate. If you’re unfamiliar (bless you), it’s exactly what it sounds like—bands with a substantial audience charge up-and-coming bands a fee to open for them on tour.
A spiritual cousin to the classic small-scale, local, pay-to-play battle of the band showcase scam, tour buy-ons are kept quiet because it’s embarrassing for both parties involved. But it happens much more than you’d like to think, and involves band you’d like to think it didn’t. Naturally, we’ve reached a tipping point.
A miraculous discovery on Reddit today: a stay-at-home mother cleaning out her daughter’s guinea pig cage saw some poopy guinea-pig newspaper and realized that her son’s friend’s older brother is in a band that has an opportunity to go on tour! They just need…$20,000 to buy their way on to the tour, and they need it in 24 hours.
As I read I learn of the awesome once in a lifetime opportunity the boys have to go on tour and have a shot at really making it! There’s a catch, they need to raise $20,000 and they don’t have much time left (wish I had cleaned the guinea pig cage yesterday)!
Whoa, us too, probably fake lady! At this point, things shift from harmlessly stupid chain-letter territory into predatory, dream-crushing, and evil-ish territory.
JAR are the (maybe fake) son’s friend’s older brother’s band. They have a Kickstarter page and they seem really nice. Which is why the fact that they’re being taken for a ride by someone—their manager, the manager of another band called “Riot in Rhythm,” or, I don’t know, God—is so dark. These teenagers have been convinced that, in order for them to find the success they crave, they need to buy on to not just a tour, but a dubious reality TV show.
We’ve been asked to Co-Star in a Reality TV / Docu-Drama which could launch our career and make us a house-hold name. We will be able to tour the nation while being filmed trying to “make it” as a rock band.
They just have to pay someone to get on it. That’s how TV works, right?
The show in question is the brainchild of David DeLay, who is also the manager of a band called Riot in Rhythm. They also seem nice and they have also had a Kickstarter campaign, where they recently failed to raise, ahem, $150,000, for the same project. Their campaign was created by DeLay and contains nearly identical language to JAR’s, whose page was started by their manager, Michael “Mad Mike” Miller. He formed a charity to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease and is probably also nice.
But someone here isn’t nice. Someone here is asking people to donate to a tour and TV show buy on that these two young bands seem to think is a done deal—their ticket to rock stardom and being household names. They have asked for money from their friends and families and between them have raised over $10,000.
This tour/TV show will give an insider’s view of what rock bands go through trying to “make it”. Think of it as VH-1′s Behind The Music BEFORE they are famous. Back in the 60′s, TV launched The Monkees and America went crazy for those lovable goofy guys. They went on to have numerous #1 Hits. But that was a band that was created. Riot In Rhythm is already that crazy goofy band that America will love and YOU have a chance to be part of creating the next big rock sensation.
That TV show is currently being pitched by the band’s manager, DeLay, according to his own Twitter. But the David DeLay on IMDB doesn’t exactly have the credits to produce a show that would turn a band into the “next big rock sensation.” And if that’s not the same DeLay, then there’s even less hope for this $170,000 project than we assumed.
Both band Kickstarters and DeLay’s Twitter make mention of “the TV Stations lined up to carry the show,” but nowhere do they say which stations those are. They also simultaneously offer people who donate $10,000 a reward of…also joining the tour.
Imagine what it would be like if YOU had a part in launching the career of Incubus or Smashing Pumpkins. Imagine how you would feel to have been able to tell your friends that YOU had a hand in making Pink Floyd or the Beattles the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame bands they are. This has NEVER been done before and YOU have a chance to be able to say that to your friends when you sit back and watch “The Making Of Rockstars” on TV.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and making plans. Someone has to succeed, someone has to end up in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But this project, which is currently using a nice story and a handful of nice teenagers to attempt to fleece folks out of actual real-life money, is damaging. It damages the credibility and these “managers” and the long-term careers of the children whose interests they are representing.
The money raised here will go toward the Tour we are booking right now. Currently we plan to tour for 3 months, hitting Universites, small bars, Hard Rock Cafe’s and anywhere else we can play to show America this very talented rock band. We will have the RV or Tour Bus wired with GoPro cameras 24/7 for an all access look into the life of touring. Cameras will follow the band as they go from venue to venue (maybe in your home town!), sponsor to sponsor, all across the U.S. in search of that rock and roll stardonm.
These kids probably believe this. But adults shouldn’t. We’ve covered bands who have less “likes” on Facebook and less video plays than JAR and Riot in Rhythm. Those bands started by touring small, touring smart, and building something real, organic, and lasting. You don’t need $170,000 to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.