Book for university students hoping to land a career in industries like:

It will be a book of short stories, explaining how people who have 'made it' got into their respective industries. Likely full of 'work experience' type yarns, but hopefully enough interesting series of events like Marc Marot's (who I met recently):

A classically trained cellist, Marot dropped out of North Oxford art college because he wanted to be in a band. To keep the wolves at bay, he was a gardener for five years. Tim Rice was one of his customers.

"He took me aside one day and asked what a relatively well-educated person was doing digging his
Jerusalem artichokes," says Marot.

After that, Rice let Marot use his studio but advised him against working in the industry. In 1977, Marot and his band, Pools of Sound, nearly clinched a record deal with Virgin. "They did the usual
thing I'm now in charge of," says Marot. "They came to see the band and talked to us for months about what they might do with us and plans we might have.

"But then fate dealt a double blow. Punk burst on the scene, and Marot was hospitalised with a bout of toxoplasmosis, which he caught gardening. "The kind of jazz/rock/fusion we were doing was no longer wanted. Basically, the Sex Pistols killed me," Marot says.

He recovered from his illness but was told by the doctor to give up manual work. So Marot took a job in London working behind the counter of Our Price records in Hounslow. "It was a small, funky operation at the time and we were the smallest shop. We used to call it the `meager-store,'" Marot says.

Marot secured a job with a small publishing company after offering to work for free for six weeks. But his real big break came when he was offered a job as a talent scout for Blue Mountain, an offshoot of Island.

"I immediately said: `Yes'. It was Island and I desperately wanted to work for Island," says Marot who, with his brother, had been a collector of the label's records for years. What he didn't know was that Blue Mountain was also the personal company of Chris Blackwell, the place where he stashed all his favourite assets like Marley's catalogue, Free and U2.

"He was pissed off that they had hired someone he hadn't met and instructed the guy who did it to tell me to go. But he didn't," Marot recalls. He was fobbed off for weeks with a "trickle of excuses" as to why he couldn't start work.

Frustrated, he eventually just turned up and asked for a telephone. "About three days later, Blackwell summoned me to his office. My living legend was just about to fire me before I'd even started," Marot says. In the
event, Marot was so full of ideas for the company that Blackwell was bowled over. Instead of giving him the sack, he doubled Marot's salary and appointed him managing director of Blue Mountain. Marot took charge of Island when PolyGram, which was owned by the Dutch electronics giant Philips, took it over nine years ago.

Read the rest here:

I would have loved this book when I was at University and trying to break into the music industry, and I am sure others would too.

I got asked about my story last night, which sparked this idea, and the chap seemed genuinely interested. He then told me of his failed attempts at getting into Journalism, despite winning an award for work he'd done. Which was why he asked.

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Comment by Chris Thompson on March 27, 2010 at 1:42
Agreed, I'm trying to be too clever!
Comment by Alex Branson on March 26, 2010 at 16:54
Defying Gravity? Not sure I see the link (likely missing the obvious). For me it was always described as a vicious circle. You couldn't get work till you had experience, but to get experience you needed to do work, which you couldn't get because you didn't have experience.... and round and round it went. This is I believe the challenge young people face when trying to get into their chosen industry.
Comment by Chris Thompson on March 22, 2010 at 0:13
OK, I didn't realise INgrooves could handle digital book distro!

Yes, I'll start a group on here for contributors and we can begin the list.

Don't want to get bogged down on title but 'Defying Gravity' also sprang to mind???
Comment by Alex Branson on March 15, 2010 at 18:19
Sounds good. I had thought about the revenue for it. A point for each, or a pro-rata share would likely be enough. I think using this platform is probably good to introduce the idea.

How do you want to collect the submissions? Can you create a group and invite those in that are contributing?

INgrooves can handle the distribution certainly to Amazon Create Space, and I would hope to the iPad book store, etc (soon):

Sound good?
Comment by Chris Thompson on March 15, 2010 at 16:50
Agreed. How do you feel about collaborating on it? We could start by both agreeing and targeting potential contributors. I guess all would need a share in any publishing deal (thoughts?). We could ask them to make thier contribution here by inviting them after sounding them out?
Comment by Alex Branson on March 15, 2010 at 15:24
'making it' - I'd consider this to be different for the individual concerned. The book is supposed to be about people who have got the job they set out to get, which is what the reader would hope for. Different people will have different parameters. Clearly though, the more high profile their achievements, or the more well known they are generally, will make it more commercially appealing. I like the idea for the title.

I would imagine that if the book is successful, then the various universities around the country who run music business courses (or other industries) would potentially include it as part of the suggested reading lists, therefore giving an nice annual revenue.
Comment by Chris Thompson on March 12, 2010 at 22:56
I can think of several who would be great contributors. I'm sure most people could. Clearly those have who have become famous would as a result of 'making it' (possible alternative title with anchor 'Breaking The Vicious Circle') would make for a more commercial book though not necessarily more interesting. I'm not sure how you define 'making it' - I guess simply making a living doing what you love qualifies. As such there are one or two members who I believe have 'made it' in that regard. Members aside perhaps drawing up a short list would move this forward. Based of the six (or is it seven?) degrees of separation theory, collectively, we should be able to reach them.


I set up Who'd of Thought It in 2010, as a blog and place to share and develop ideas. 

It evolved into a small community and forum to post thoughts and canvass feedback, with me entertaining the notion of perhaps collaborating on and publishing some of the content to a wider audience. After gathering some initial traction (there are some novel concepts in the archive) other ventures took precedence.

'WoTI' now serves as a occasional pleasure, scrapbook of ideas and guest posts from those who dare. But never say never!

Enjoy. Chris Thompson

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