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Did Frankie Take the Wrong Approach?

Back on August 5th, Allyson published a post about Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot, and his online campaign seeking to raise funds to produce a Quiet Riot documentary. From what I can tell, his efforts were successful, as he appears to have raised $23,691, and the fund raising goal was $20,000. I kept my opinions to myself when the fund raising efforts were underway, as I did not want my personal opinion to sway anyone's decision to donate their money toward this project. However, now that the campaign has ended and Frankie has the funds he needs, I feel free to voice my dissatisfaction with this entire concept. To me, this campaign reeks of a band member taking advantage of the fans. If Frankie wants to make a biography of his life and his band, then let him go about it though the conventional methods (i.e. self-funded or get financial backing elsewhere, but not from the fans). To me, it seems to be the height of arrogance to think that you are so important that your fans - those who made you famous - should pay you to make a movie about yourself. Without the presence of the fans, no one would be interested in this documentary. These are the people who, over the years, spent money on your albums, concert tickets, merchandise, etc. They made you famous. If anything, this movie should be a way in which you say "thank you" to those that made you successful, and not as another avenue to get them to contribute funds to your band. And then, even after the movie has been produced, those fans who donated less than $50 would still have to pay to buy the film that they helped fund, as their donations did not even include a copy of the documentary. Quite honestly, I was offended that such an idea would even be suggested.

I am not saying those who donated money were wrong or that they should not have done so, and I am also not saying that I would not be interested in a Quiet Riot documentary. I am just getting so tired of the constant cash grabs that bands keep making these days. It is almost as if fans are seen by some bands as banks from which they can make withdrawals whenever a whim strikes them. Perhaps, as I get older, I just get more cynical, but it seems that all too often bands that I have always admired are constantly looking for handouts from their fans. By supporting them for so many years, I feel as though I have already given plenty and do not appreciate being asked for more.

Reader Comments (26)

Good point< I hope Bon Jovi & Motley Crue are listening, you are nothing without the fans & money doesn't grow on trees. These bands should be doing concerts for under $70 to give back to us who made them rich!
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLooksthatkill
Frankie did not steal anyone's money, they GAVE it to him. Same goes for expensive tickets and meet-and-greets. People hand their money over willingly, the bands do not reach into the pockets and take it. Same goes for gig tickets. If you don't like how much they charge for tickets, rather than simply moan about it on internet forums, do not buy them. That's the approach I have started taking. It won't be long before bands and promoters get the message.

There is no "great debt". When you hand your money over, the only thing you should realistically expect in return is the thing you paid for (ie. the ticket or your CD). As a great man once said, "the only thing I owe the fans is a great performance".
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCerealDave
These are also the same ppl who are supportive of the new mach QR. No Rudy, No Carlos, no thank you. A fun band over the years, yes, but I just don't see the demand for scab QR in 2010/11... RIP Kevin!!
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Yeah, this is total BS. I agree 100% with Kari's post.
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Well the reason Frankie asked for "donations" is because he did shop the idea to many different sources. Viacom included ( they are Mtv and Vh-1 ) Viacom said they would do it but only to focus on "Come On Feel The Noise" and "Mental Health". Frankie wanted this documentary to focus on the entire span of Quiet Riot's career and decided the best way to get the funding was ask for "donations". He asked for permission from Kevin's mother and got her blessing so I see no fault with him doing this.

I do see fault with Viacom for being the company that would rather make documentaries about Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber rather than about a band like Quiet Riot that helped launch Mtv.

I also don't see the problem with people donating money to a documentary. I think people should donate to the documentary about Jason Becker. Jason was an extremely talented musician that was struck with ALS or Lou Gehrigs Disease and the people with the money to make a great movie or documentary about Jason's life have no real interest because he's not a Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber.Jason is still alive and has defied the odds of his disease he recorded many great songs including becoming the guitarist for DLR and performed on the A Little Aint Enough cd.

Maybe donating to the Quiet Riot documentary wasn't cool but maybe some of you can see it in your heart to donate to Jason Becker.
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlonghairedrocker
Kari is on the money. Any money Frankie made, has gone up his nose. He can't make a doco as a gift to the fans, b/c he spent the money already. So, I understand why he's asking for money. I do agree that from the fan's perspective, it's a bit rich, though. How does he need $20k ? What's he spending it on ?

I agree - I'd be happy to give money to Jason Becker, that's something else.
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Like the longhairedrocker said, Frankie has stated that the traditional methods of financing the documentary did not pan out because the titans-that-be wanted to only focus on Randy-era and then Metal Health-era QR. For a band with such a colorful history, this would've been a shame since we already know the backstory to these two versions of the band.

Brian, what you're witnessing is the shift in how the music business is financed. Because of piracy, bands now have to rely more and more on their hardcore fans to invest in future works. The industry currently has the mindset that they will finance albums, dvds, tours, etc by charging a boat-load of money for more access. This is based on the idea that the hardcore fans will always buy deluxe packages or more all-access forms of media.

I currently am working on my music/music business degree in college. The general mindset around school is that things like "Kickstarter" (the platform Banali used to raise money for the documentary) will be the way of the future for an industry collapsing from piracy. It's a shame, but that's what this music-should-be-free mentality has caused. Don't blame the acts.
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine
Metalboy! will reserve judgement until he sees the documentary. Then, and only then, will he give his opinion.

If it's killer, it doesn't matter how Banali got there.

If it suxx, all of the above complaining and criticism will be valid.

Metalboy! has spoken!
November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
You're an ass. Banali spent his money on his mothers medical bills. What little he made, spencer proffer made most of the money from thos records. And what does he need to spend 20 k on? Have you ever heard what a film budget is? It costs many many thousands of dollars to make a film. He used a common practice called crowd funding. Blain is right, its all you people who rip off artists downloading their music that have made the music industry how it is now.and then you go and post stuff about what assholes the artist is cause he doesn't give you more free stuff.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermetallove
You don't appriece being asked for money from bands you admire? Then don't steal from them. And what a rude blog. If you don't want to contribute, don't. To go and complain like he should not have raised money from fans at all because YOU didn't want to donate is just stupid. He traded rewards for backing, didn't ask for free money. You sound ignorant.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkillerbob
Wow this has become a heated discussion. First, I'd like to say I have not stolen or illegally downloaded anything in the last 20 plus years. As a teen we regularly swapped and copied cassettes. As I grew up I realized it was wrong.

The subject at hand leaves me with mixed emotions. I am dying to see the completion of this documentry but admit I did not donate because I have spent so much money on QR as they are one of my favorite bands. I do not judge those that do, in fact many of them get some great perks as a result of their donations.

I guess the only real problem I have with Frankie is his new touring incarnation of QR. It should be called Frankie and his friends performing the greats of QR. Without Rudy, Carlos, and especially Kevin, he is nothing but a great drummer and former member of a great band. He is insulting the memories we all have of QR by doing this. These are just my thoughts but I am sure many feel the same.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterreptileblvd
Killerbob - I don't think I sound ignorant at all in my post. In fact, I purposefully waited to comment on this subject until after the fundraising period ended so as to not influence anyone else's decision to give.

And I do not think that it is in bad taste to comment on bands that continue to view their fans as banks. Frankie is asking fans to pay him to make a movie about himself. I am sorry, but I see nothing redeemable with that approach. What is next after this? Are bands going to start asking fans to pay the production costs for new albums if they are unable to get funding from a label? It was a bad idea and was in poor taste.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
Honestly, if people didn't like the idea then they would not have donated to the movie.

And on Carlos and Rudy, both of them are kinda available now don't ya think. Rudy obviously won't be in Dio now and Ratt is on a hiatus so there's Carlos. Not dissing the current lineup at. Any Quiet Riot is better than no Quiet Riot for me. They're my #3 favorite band and have helped get me into this metal obsession.

Still they need a new album of new and good material if this reincarnation is to be successful.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
"What is next after this? Are bands going to start asking fans to pay the production costs for new albums if they are unable to get funding from a label? It was a bad idea and was in poor taste."

Yes, Brian, many bands are doing it, including Rhino Bucket. Someone has to invest money into these works if they are going to be released, and nobody is willing to. So the industry has decided to charge the fans, between deluxe deluxe 4-bonus CD CD releases, 180gram vinyl, Kickstarter, packaging Tshirts with CDs, Shopping Bags with CDs, raising ticket prices, etc.

I find it funny that for the past few years, everyone was yelling to the industry "CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL!" Then, when we change the model (and still not sucessfully, as revenue will be down another 10% this year staying on track with the past 10-year trend) everyone bitches and complains.

Unfortunately, its the hardcore fans who get screwed. But that's life, isn't it? Everyone wants their share.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine! :)
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Ahhh, but the examples you cite are for products that already exist. The slippery slope example I cite is before an album exists (similar to Frankie looking for money from fans before the documentary exists).

Hardcore fans only got screwed if they contributed money to fund the making of the documentary...and I am not saying they got screwed. If they are happy with their decision to just give their money away, then they weren't screwed; even though they don't get a copy of the movie they helped fund unless they donated $50 or more.

I don't think panhandling from your fans is the change in the business model that everyone was making reference to.

Quiet Riot has a limited buying population these days (which is not even further limited by their decision to carry on with a new singer), and for Frankie (who, I assume since the passing of Kevin, is the sole owner of the name) to ask those fans to pay him to make a movie about the band, is not a proper adaptation to the evolutions that have taken place in the music industry.
November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.
Brian... I'll agree to disagree. From everyone I talk to in the industry and around college, this type of thing is the future. I agree with you to an extent... but as I said before, the money to invest in a new product must come from somewhere, especially if you can't make back the money you front to make a new product.

What I mean about hardcore fans getting screwed: By buying these deluxe packages (or even normal releases), they pay for the majority of the costs creation of the product. The people who steal it get it for free. Because of this, the hardcore fans are financing the illegal downloaders' music libraries.
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine
Okay, I tried to stay out of this...Really I did...Blaine, you and I have had lengthy discussions about this before. the problem that I see is that you are only talking to people in the music industry and people who are teaching other people how to be in the music industry: an industry that chose litigation over innovation and we all see how that strategy has worked out. You're buying their rhetoric hook, line and sinker.
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Yeah, its crazy, I talk to people who actually MAKE the music, PROMOTE the music, RECORD the music, DISTRIBUTE the music, and gets that music into YOUR hands. That's akin saying that you shouldn't talk to doctor about how to give CPR.

Here's one who supports KICKSTARTER: Bob Lefsetz, the infamous and extremely well-known former-music industry consultant, music business lawyer. He champions for P2P and other illegal downloading services. Very anti-music business establishment. He believes that kickstarter will be the way forward for artists to get the money needed to release their music.

I completely disagree with that. I hate the idea of kickstarter. I think that whenever you can't get a return on an investment, its [music's] value is worthless. All I was saying is don't blame Frankie Banali.
November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine
What is Kickstarter?
November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian C.

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