As the Tribeca Film Festival continues, Tom Hanks managed to squeeze a Q&A in with Bruce Springsteen.
Bruce admitted he felt Born in the USA was too insincere and that even after so many years he still isn’t too comfortable singing it. It was only the intervention of Stevie Van Zandt, guitarist of E Street Band who finally convinced him to record and to release the 1984 hit which is not only still played today, but has legions of young new fans.
He eventually decided to give his friend the benefit of the doubt, and it turned out to be his biggest selling record. However, there was a reason why he eventually took the track on, and that was his financial situation. After avoiding paying taxes for so many years, he had racked up considerable debts, and when his first big pay cheque came in, it was mostly swallowed up by the debts.
He also went onto criticize the industries major players, stating that The Cards are stacked in the businesses favour, but stacked against the musician, something which is a recurring complaint in the arts industry.
We actually questioned whether it’s unfairly stacked in the favour of big business. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone for example had a budget of $125,000,000, including wages, it grossed over $317,000,000 yet the only income the actors receive off the franchise are royalties, which are actually not huge, especially for it was the first in the series of films. The rest of the cash turned over goes back into the business and pays for the CEO’s to award themselves vast wages and tax free bonuses while still keeping their share holders happy.
There are other situations also. Meat Loaf when he first set out before hitting the big time with Bat Out Of Hell, was so badly done over by his record company that he was on the brink of bankruptcy. It was only really his Second album Bat Out Of Hell II that he began to become financially solvent again.
Cher is another musician/actress who has had a tough time in the industry, being treated like a music machine in her early career. In the space of 10 years from 65 – 75, Cher has released 12 albums and several other material including Film, TV, Radio, Gigs and various other merchandise.
She explained however, that eventually they pushed her too far, and that she became impossible to work with under such huge pressure, and people would simply say that she is a bitch to work with because she stood up for herself and demanded better working conditions and the ability to have a little down time, leading to a few short breaks in her career while she pursued other interests.
And we all know what happens to the kids fresh out of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. Britney went wildly off the rails, famously shaving her head during that time, not to mention 2 divorces under her belt before hitting 30, and Christina went on to become a yo-yo dieting club queen.