cover image Moguls and Madmen: The Pursuit of Power in Popular Music

Moguls and Madmen: The Pursuit of Power in Popular Music

Jory Farr, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-73946-1

Describing his book as a cautionary tale for aspiring musicians, L.A.-based journalist Farr profiles music-industry wheelers and dealers and probes the disjunction between their agendas and those of the artists themselves. As the music biz has become dominated by a few large conglomerations--six of them control 96% of the American industry, according to Farr--the moguls who run these conglomerates wield increasing power over the fates of bands and the future of popular music. Unfortunately, he contends, these men (they are almost invariably men) keep their eyes mainly on the bottom line and, with rare exceptions, care little about artistic integrity or innovation. Farr's mostly negative portraits depict a cutthroat and volatile pursuit of fortune and fame. Likely to make even charitable readers cynical about the American music industry, Farr's analysis of the paradox whereby rock 'n' roll rebellion is packaged for the masses is fresh and insightful. (Aug.)