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TIM DEVINE
Senior Vice President of A&R
Columbia Records

Where did you grow up?

I'm from the Midwest originally (Chicago and Kansas City), and have lived in New York and New Jersey as well, but I moved to L.A. when I was 12. I've been here ever since.

How did you decide that you wanted to go into the music business?

Like you, Michael, I saw the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" too. I was eight years old. In addition to being the shot heard round the world for music, that was the moment when I determined that I wanted to have something to do with whatever it was that I saw on TV that night. I may have been too young to understand that it was a business, but I knew that I wanted to be part of it.

Did you have a clue as to what aspect of the business you might want to be involved in at that time?

I knew I was never going to be a performer, so I guess I wanted to be behind the scenes. As I grew up, I became a voracious fan of music. Since I was too young to go to clubs, we used to go see bands at TV tapings like Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. That's where I first saw bands like Aerosmith, the New York Dolls, Van Morrison, Todd Rundgren, ELO, and Mott the Hoople. From there, I figured out the best way to get my hands on a lot of music was to become a record reviewer. First, I did it for my junior high and high school newspapers, and then I went on to become a freelance journalist, writing for Creem and Rolling Stone, among others. Because I was dealing with all the labels' publicity departments, I eventually got a job at A&M as a college rep. Their college department was located in their publicity bungalow on the Chaplin lot in Hollywood. At that time I was doing everything I could to get a broad background in the music business. Besides being a journalist, I also worked in retail at the Licorice Pizza record store chain. When I got to college--which was at the University of California at Berkeley--I continued as a rep for A&M, as well as a journalist and helping with the concert committee. We'd go to Winterland in San Francisco nearly every weekend to see bands like Fleetwood Mac, the Who, Genesis, Elvis Costello, and even the final shows by the Sex Pistols and the Band's "Last Waltz". It was an amazing time. Eventually, I became the music director at the college station KALX-FM and helped bring bands like Blondie and the Talking Heads to Berkeley..

How did you end up being a product manager at Warner Bros.?

I had a pretty broad background, and at the time, Warner Communications the predecessor to Time Warner was starting a management training program. About 3,000 people had applied for about three jobs, and I kept making the cut. A week before I graduated from Berkeley, I landed one of the three positions as a management trainee at Warner Bros. Records in Burbank. The program was great, insofar as it allowed me to spend a month in each of 12 different departments, beginning with Roberta Peterson in A&R, to working in the promotion and marketing departments, as well as spending a month on the warehouse floor at WEA Distribution. It was a priceless education; one day I'm at the WEA sales convention and the next day I'm in the studio with Captain Beefheart! I got to work with great people. To have the chance to have people like Mo Ostin, Lenny Warnoker, Russ Titelman, Jerry Wexler, Bob Krasnow, Ed Rosenblatt, and Russ Thyret as your instructors was an unbelievable opportunity. From there, I obtained my dream job at the time, which was becoming a product manager for WB.

Can you explain what a product manager does?

A product manager is like an in-house manager for a recording artist. You're involved in everything: from following through with what the A&R department delivers, to educating the company about the artist, devising the overall marketing and imaging plans, and working with every department to coordinate things like advertising, touring, sales, publicity and promotion on behalf of your acts.

So that job would kick in from the point when the label decides to sign an artist?

Yes. It's a very all-encompassing job, and it's a great training ground for moving on in a lot of different directions. I was fortunate at the time to work with a great roster of young and developing artists, many of who have become very large stars from that point forward. I was just out of college, and I was the very first product manager for U2 in America. I also worked with artists like Prince, Devo, Gang of Four, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, Steve Winwood and Little Feat. It was a great training ground for people like myself, (Interscope President) Tom Whalley and (Dreamworks President) Steven Baker and others at the time.

That must have been some pretty heady stuff for a 22-year-old, working with artists of that calibre.

Absolutely! I was just out of college, and standing on stage at Pauley Pavilion watching Bob Marley perform, knowing I was his marketing guy in the States. The whole U2 experience from their first day in America was an amazing journey. It was not only a very great learning opportunity, but provided a lot of satisfaction in terms of making a difference in people's careers. I still have relationships with a lot of artists and managers dating back to those days.

So what made you jump ship and go over to the A&R side of the business?

Well, I had been courted for A&R positions even as a marketing guy. I had had discussions with people like Chris Blackwell and Clive Davis at the time, but I didn't want to jump into A&R until I really knew the full spectrum of marketing. My fundamental belief is that you can sign a great band and make a great record, but if nobody hears it, what's the point? So eventually I was ready to make the move because I wanted to get closer to the source of the artistic nucleus, I guess.

Was it at that point that you went to Capitol?

Yeah. Actually, after I left Warner Bros., I managed some bands like the Dream Syndicate, Gang of Four, Thin Lizzy and Ultravox. Then I was head of artist development at MCA Records for a while. But it was the move to Capitol that finally brought me into the A&R world.

You did something that I always thought was amazing - you signed Bonnie Raitt. You pretty much flew in the face of everything that every A&R guy in the world was doing at the time, and had a huge success with her. What did you see in her that everybody else didn't?

Well, I knew that although she wasn't flavor-of-the-month, she was a woman who was steeped in experience, and soul, and the blues, and the great tradition of rock n' roll.

Some labels sign an artist of that caliber just to have that artist on the roster. Were you going for that kind of signing, or did you think she was capable of having a hit record?

Initially my thought was, here is a great artist with a great history, and Bonnie could be making records for the rest of her career and someday end up in the Hall of Fame or the Smithsonian as the great blues rocker of our time. My instincts were that she might not have immediate hits, but that she could maintain an incredible career up until the age of somebody like Aretha Franklin or even a Bessie Smith. The fact that we had such an overwhelming success which was hardly overnight, but a year in the making, for Nick of Time I think was attributed to her making a landmark album, really baring her soul on it, and to the enthusiasm of the various participants including myself, Ron Stone, Danny Goldberg, and the folks at Capitol especially Hale Milgrim and our publicist Judy Kerr. It certainly was not something you would have predicted on paper.

It was something that earned a lot of respect from all sides. It was a good artistic move and a good career move.

I had always wanted to sign acts that would eventually end up in the Hall of Fame, and I guess one way or another, I did.

When you signed her, did she have a pretty complete quiver of material, or were you signing the artist and hoping to hook her up with the right material?

I didn't hear a single new song before signing her. I went on a Saturday night out to a club in an area near Malibu called Trancas. I saw her perform with a small band, and I just saw the reaction of the crowd and knew that there was greatness there. We didn't listen to any demos. She didn't make any demos. She ended up with Don Was as producer because of her experience with a Hal Willner Disney tribute record that A&M had released. Everyone just set about looking for material. It was funny because on the first record, I think I got about 30 songs in to submit to her for consideration, and on the second album, Luck of the Draw, I probably got 600 submissions! But Bonnie knows what writers she likes. She's very inclined towards people like John Hiatt, Larry John McNally, and Jerry Williams. So we looked in that area. Since then, Bonnie has become much more of a songwriter in her own right. Each of the Capitol albums contained more and more of her original compositions as time went on.

With any artist you might sign, what are some of the elements that can make you get excited enough to get on a plane, or excited enough to sign an artist and not wait to see what everybody in the A&R community is going to do?

What I look for when I sign someone is quite a number of things. Some are definable and some are not. The definable ones include having some kind of focused image. A consistency of good quality material is important consistency being the key word. Some kind of seasoning is nice, so that they actually play with some kind of confidence or virtuosity or dexterity. Most importantly, it's an individualized musical message. You also have to feel that an act has a very good chance of making it or else you can't commit the kinds of resources necessary to break a band in today's environment. The intangibles are just things like the power and the passion and whatever star qualities that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You know it when you see it.

What percentage of the acts that you sign need more material versus coming to the party with a full arsenal?

I have tended over the years to sign artists that come complete with their own material. If you look at most of my signings over the years whether it's bands like Blind Melon, Mazzy Star, the Afghan Whigs, Concrete Blonde, Train, or individual artists like John Hiatt, Tal Bachman, Lloyd Cole and even Sinead O'Connor who I did a deal with at Columbia, they all are artists, not just performers. I'm not looking for outside songs, per se. If a co-write situation develops, it often comes from the artist themselves. It's hard to force co-writes on self-contained rock bands. If an artist is coming up short on material, I'm not beyond suggesting it and helping to arrange for it. But my first choice is to have the artist deliver the best material that they have to pursue their vision. I find material written by a sole writer to have a more personal impact than a group message. Can you imagine a team writing a song like "No Woman, No Cry"? I can't. I will add though that we have recently picked up a few acts that are songwriters, not just for themselves, but for other people. One is a group named Annetenna. They're the songwriting team of Anne Previn and Scott Cutler, who were the creative nucleus of Edna Swap and who wrote Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," as well as writing and producing tracks on the current Sinead O'Connor record. They're well known throughout the songwriting community and are currently finishing their album for us with Tchad Blake who just did the latest Pearl Jam record. We also have a great duo named Evan and Jaron who I put with T-Bone Burnett for their Columbia debut, who love to co-write with people. Their original demo contained a number of solid hit singles when we first heard it. Both acts have big pop hooks, but with a rock leaning sensibility.

How important is it for an artist who writes their own material to stick to fairly traditional song structures?

It depends. Unfortunately, for new bands, it's more about having songs that are of a convenient length for programming on the radio, which is usually about four minutes max. However, can you imagine the classic songs we never would have heard if this were always the case? I mean the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again", tons of Floyd tracks, "Stairway to Heaven," "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," "Light My Fire". C'mon, even Zeppelin's "Kashmir" is eight and a half minutes and I'd dare a new band to come up with a song as good as that! Of course the Ramones we're lucky to hit two minutes on a song. So what's it all mean? Write songs with impact. That's all that matters.

When you sign a band, do you often get involved in the choice of producer, or do you tend to find bands that have a producer in mind whose work they admire and you just help facilitate it?

I've done a lot of producer searching over the years and have a pretty good idea of different producers strengths and weaknesses, in terms of their backgrounds. Are they song guys, engineering-based, etc. It's about experience, intuition and a certain degree of trust.

What kind of stuff do you look for in a producer? Are there tangibles that you can look for?

Since the record making process tends to be an expensive one, and so much is riding on each artist's album, I tend to try to work with producers who have a fair amount of experience. I've done records with Bob Rock, Brendan O'Brien, Don Was, T-Bone Burnett, Dave Jerden, Andy Wallace, and whole host of producers, because you generally have one shot to get your record right. At this point in my career, I have relationships with most of the established, and quite a few of the up and coming, rock and pop record producers, as well as some great engineers and even arrangers like Paul Buckmaster and David Campbell, so there is generally a pretty wide list of people to choose from.

What are some of the differences in how a record would be made and marketed for a rock act, like the Offspring, versus a pop act like Britney Spears or the Spice Girls?

Rock acts have to make credible albums that are worth listening to all the way through. This is the basic tenet of the rock idiom. They have to define themselves as much through their records as they do through their live show. A touring base is still very important to the success of a rock band. If you look at some of the bands I work with, whether it's the Offspring or Train or back to Blind Melon, these are bands that paid their dues on the road and may do upwards of 200 shows or more in the life of an album. This is how bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, 311, Incubus all became "overnight" successes. Look at Dave Matthews. He was selling out shows in 11 states before he had a record deal! A pop act is more reliant of the impact of a 3-1/2 minute single at radio. Only after a pop act has had airplay success can they usually generate enough interest to go out and tour as a live act.

What are the odds of getting a pop act on the radio with playlists being as tight as they are?

Well, I think the current climate is rather favorable for pop acts. Radio programmers seem to be focused on the ability of single songs to react and deliver an audience. I don't think we've had as big a market for pop music since probably the mid-Sixties. Having said that, each artist has to approach the market in their own way, utilizing the strength of what assets they bring to the table. Every situation is different.

A good number of artists believe that major labels are the evil empire. Make a case for signing with a major as opposed to an independent label.

The first and obvious one is take one look at the charts, and think of all the acts that the public is familiar with. I bet you 98% of them are on major labels either directly or through various affiliations. Sure, occasionally you do have an act like the Offspring on Epitaph or an Ani DiFranco that breaks through, but in the main, most of your biggest acts are on majors. So you have to say to yourself, why is that?

Hmmm . . . I don't know Tim. Why don't you tell us (laughs)?

It's because the major label has the resources to fund a top-notch commercial quality recording and a full staff of people, not just in America, but all around the world, who are daily and diligently pursuing avenues of mass exposure whether it's publicity, or radio promotion, tour opportunities, or sales support. It takes a lot of manpower to be able to get an act above the radar in the crowded modern day record environment. It is an extensive proposition, both in terms of finances and manpower. When a company can deploy 5,000 people around the world on behalf of your record, you probably have a better chance of getting enough exposure to find an audience than you would from someone working out of a garage.

You have been involved in bringing some outside labels into the Columbia fold. Tell us about that.

When I first came here, I tried to look at some areas we could strengthen. When Rick Rubin's deal ended at Warners, I advocated bringing his American Recordings label back to Columbia. Rick had had his biggest records here in the 80's with the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and LL Cool J. His work with Tom Petty and the Red Hot Chili Peppers among others made him one of the best producers in America as well. The first record he did here was System of A Down, which has done very well obviously, and he's got some exciting new projects coming soon from bands like Palo Alto and Loudermilk. I also brought in Aware Records run by a guy named Gregg Latterman out of Chicago. They were the first label to provide national exposure to some regional bands like Hootie and the Blowfish, Better Than Ezra, the Verve Pipe and Tabatha's Secret, who eventually became Matchbox 20. We put the first Train record through Aware and they have a great slate of new artists coming this year. We are putting the finishing touches on a new label with Andy Gould and Ric Wake. Andy manages a number of successful bands in the hard rock genre, including Rob Zombie, Powerman 5000, Static X and Monster Magnet. Our first signing is a band from Florida called Endo which just did some work with Static's producer Ulrich Wild, which will knock you on your ass!

I think that musicians think, "Oh if I sign with a major, they're going to rape me monetarily and I'll be one of 230 acts that they're going to release this year. What are my chances of getting noticed?" However, my take is, those odds are probably better than being signed to an indie label that is going to put out 2,000 CDs per acts and has a marketing budget of $5,000 at best.

Right.

Musicians come up to me in every city and say, "I've got finished product, and I'm just looking for a record company to distribute me." Would you please explain the fact and fantasy involved in that scenario? Do record companies ever just find an act and say, "Gee, you did such a good job with your ADAT and your Mackie, we're going to put this record out as is, and we're just distributing it for you."

Record companies can and do pick up finished masters. I think it just depends on the material you're given. When I heard Train, they had a finished independent record that they had just begun selling in the Bay Area. We went and recorded two additional songs with Matt Wallace and resequenced and remastered the record, but essentially, that debut album (that eventually went platinum) is the result of the creative work embodied in their independent release. However, record companies are so much more than just a distribution vehicle. If somebody is merely looking for distribution, they should probably contact an independent distributor, because a record company is not a distribution company. The record companies have names like Columbia, Epic, Warner Bros., Atlantic, RCA, Capitol, Virgin and Arista. The distributors are the companies known as Sony, WEA, BMG, Universal, etc. These are two closely related, but ultimately different, kinds of companies.

And the major distributors don't take on unsigned, unknown independent artists and put them in their chain, though, do they? I imagine only an indie distributor like RED would take them on.

Yes. Sony owns a piece of an independent distributor named RED. In fact, I have put records out through RED as a way of developing them outside the major label system.

Is that because RED has distribution to stores and buyers that more closely fit the demographic that you're looking for in that project?

Sometimes. I think it can more closely fit the needs of certain projects without engaging the major label machinery at first. I've done this on records like Train. I did it with Dr. Octagon rapper Kool Keith. We began the career of a guy named P.J. Olsson by putting an independent EP through RED prior to his Columbia debut.

Have you met with desirable results by doing it?

Yes, it can be a good way to warm up the marketplace before pushing the big button on a project.

So it's kind of a test run, if you will. You're getting a feel for market acceptance before you spend the big bucks?

Sure, it can be a way to lay a base for an artist to set up the next hopefully successful venture with a major. I signed a band out of Orange County called Zebrahead who is in the Offspring/Blink 182 vein. They had wanted to put out an independent record through a Southern California label named Dr. Dream. I was happy to let them go ahead and do that because it gave them a piece of product to tour behind, and it allowed them to create a fanbase at the same time they were working on their debut for us. They ended up getting on the Warped tour as a result of that release, had a number one video on MTV2 and went on to sell 100,000 copies of their debut album, so it can be a win-win situation under the right circumstances.

A&R people always ask us to find them "something new and different." But when we do, they squirm in their seats and pass on the act. Are they just looking for more of the same, but with a new twist, or are they really looking for something new?

I can't speak for other A&R people, but as far as I'm concerned artistic originality is the zenith of what we look for. There's no denying the most important artists over time are the true originals. When the history of the music business is written, there are always big chapters on Dylan, Hendrix, Springsteen, Bowie, Sly Stone, Kurt Cobain, etc. An A&R person would give their eye teeth to discover just one of them. However, "new and different," doesn't necessarily mean "good and marketable." You can be different and just not fit the game so it's a judgement call. Nowadays, it's really hard to get something different through. Programmers want catchy hits, pure and simple. This can often result in a sort of generic, pablum rock. I don't have to name the bands but we all know them. Trouble is, without an overall importance, your days are numbered. You may be big today, but you're not gonna be making records as long as Neil Young or Lauryn Hill. The only advice I can give to young musicians is to try the best you can to make a real difference.

How about if an act says to you, "Our music covers a wide range of genres." How would you feel about that?

I think an act has to be focused on what they do best and has to come to the table with a largely singular vision before branching out musically. Even the Beatles, who went on to be some of the most creative and mind-expanding musicians of all time, still began as a four-piece pop band. Essentially, I would say figure out what you do best and put that best foot forward. If somebody is not interested in that, then you probably have to rethink your whole equation.

What is a typical day for you like in the world of A&R?

Surprisingly, it's not what a lot of people think . . .

You mean you don't listen to music from 8:30 am to 7:30 at night, non-stop?

I am constantly running into people who think an A&R person's job is to listen to demo tapes all day until they find one they like. This is far from the case although we take a lot of pitches, do showcases and demo deals frequently as well. A good A&R person spends a lot of time working with their existing roster to try to develop it, both creatively and eventually in the marketplace. I spend a lot of my time, of course, building the records of the acts I work with. I work with them creatively with songs and song structure, and on the dynamics of recording, the choice of studio and producer, and trying to assist in the creative realization of the artist's vision, combined with the marketplace necessities for singles to sell the record. I've also worked with a lot of artists that I may not have signed, because of personnel changes at a label and so forth, so that adds to one's responsibilities, too. At various times I have worked with acts like the Beastie Boys, Butthole Surfers, Cocteau Twins, Luscious Jackson, Soul Asylum, Stabbing Westward, the Offspring and even Paul McCartney handling their A&R duties after they were signed by someone else along the way. You try to ultilize your resources to lend a hand to artists and managers in navigating the complexities of this business. Because it's a packaged goods business as well and each and every project is completely unique from each other, there are a lot of below-the-radar elements involved with the nuts and bolts of releasing records. Things the public doesn't really think about like label copy, b-sides for different territories, remixes for various formats of clubs and radio, packaging issues, cover art for albums and singles, etc. Because of my marketing background, I interact with the various departments within Columbia to achieve the best results for my artists in terms of exposure, promotion, publicity, touring, video, retail programs, online marketing, international, etc. Fortunately, we've got a great staff of professionals in every area who are the best at what they do yet still welcome input and work on a collaborative basis to achieve as much success as possible for the artists we represent.

How many artists a year do you typically sign personally?

I would say I probably sign about three or four acts a year.

Are those acts that you find, or is it a combination of acts you find and acts that people in your department find and you give the green light to?

I have two scouts in this office, Jon Pikus, who works with me on Crazytown and Liars Inc., and Barry Squire, that go out every night and look for bands, cover conventions and go through all of the submissions that come in the mail, as do I. We also have John Weakland, who signed Neve and Union Underground, and Rod Kukla who both report to John Kalodner here in LA. We have a lot of coverage both on this coast and New York as well as a series of regional reps around the country. So we hear about most of the good stuff out there.

Do you take unsolicited tapes?

No, not really. The flood of material coming into an A&R office every week can be upwards of several hundreds submissions. When you've worked in the business as long as I have, you know a lot of people, and a lot of people know you. All I can say is there are always more pitches than the day is long. My time for dealing with new pitches is somewhat limited. So I try to start at the top of the pyramid and work down.

In other words, the top of the pyramid are the people you have the closest relationships with, and you work your way down from there?

Yeah. I'm not just looking for an act that is "good enough," or "deserves a deal." Every day that I come in, I'm looking to find the best act the world has to offer. Of course, that's easier said than done, but it's also the only thing that really matters. Right now I'm handling about a dozen artists. Given all the aspects of the job, you have to be very selective about who you add to that list.

Is it the time element, or because you don't want conflicts where you have two artists that are too similar to each other, or all of the above?

First of all, let's be honest. There aren't dozens of brilliant unsigned artists sitting around looking for record deals. If anything, this industry has over-signed, not under-signed. Secondly, like being a manager, an A&R person--or a record company for that matter--can only take on so many artists and still fulfill the qualitative and quantitative commitment to the artists that you've already acquired. You want to do the best possible job for every artist you sign, and that takes a lot of time and a lot of work. It doesn't allow room to sign a new band every week if you're doing your job right.

TAXI shopped Tal Bachman to at least a dozen major label A&R people about two years before you signed him. What did you hear that everybody else didn't?

A couple of things happened. I saw that the end was near for the current wave of indie lo-fi four-piece shoegazing bands that had had a good run throughout the early Nineties. A lot of the people who passed on Tal did so because I think they thought he wasn't cool enough. But what I saw was what I referred to before when I was talking about the consistency of material. Actually, it was one of your TAXI screeners, Jackie Holland, who first brought Tal to my attention. When she played me the tape, I heard hit, after hit, after hit. He flew to New York to showcase. I brought our chairman, Don Ienner, down to see him at Mercury Lounge. And three songs into the show, Donnie had me go to the car to call Tal's lawyer and make the deal. Tal is a great pop-rock singer-songwriter. He has written over a dozen songs that could someday be classic copyrights. We met with a bunch of producers and eventually did a great record over in Maui with a great guy, Bob Rock. At the time, Bob had wanted to get out from under the heavy metal producer tag with Metallica, Motley Crue, the Cult, etc.

I thought that was an interesting choice for producer. Was that your call or Tal's call?

We talked to a lot of different producers; Chris Thomas, Jerry Harrison, Rupert Hine, etc. But Bob turned out to be the perfect match. A lot of people may not know of Bob's background in bands like the Payolas and Rock & Hyde, who were on I.R.S. and Capitol respectively. Bob was a pop-rock writer-performer himself before he became a hard rock record producer. Because Bob and Tal are both from Vancouver, and Bob knew of Tal growing up, we all thought this was the perfect combination for Tal's debut album. The fact that Bob had a studio in Maui was just icing on the cake. And now Tal is at work demoing songs for album two.

Let's talk about Cake for a minute. What made you guys decide to do that signing? How long had you been romancing the band? What was it that first got you intrigued?

Will Botwin and I became aware that Cake was coming to the end of their deal with Capricorn. Will and I had always been fans of the group, and we decided to pursue bringing them to Columbia. They are a great self-contained creative unit. Their frontman John McCrea has a very distinctive musical vision. Based on their previous platinum level success, we felt we could take them to the next level on a worldwide basis. We spent the better part of a year pursuing them about joining us here at Columbia. They are working on their first record for us right now.

What do you think the next five years in the music industry might look like overall?

No one has a crystal ball as to where this business is headed. It's pretty obvious that the Internet will have a large role to play within it. Certainly more musicians will have access to a greater audience. The public, however, it strikes me, will always need some kind of filtering mechanism to help separate quality music from that which is not. There are certainly systems in place to deal with that already--record labels, radio stations, critical press, etc. The greater number of artists that come to market will inherently require greater levels of promotion to ultimately reach a mass audience. However, once the business can get a handle on monetizing digital music for the benefit of all the hard working musicians, producers, engineers, publishing, labels, and managers, the better off all musicians will be.

How about musically? How long do you think the current pop trend will last?

I've seen a lot of cycles come and go. Every time some musical trend gets bigger than life itself, it seems that we are historically around the corner from something new happening. It was true in 1967 when the psychedelic groups overtook the pop crooners. It was true in 1987 when new wave and punk out of Britain and the U.S. knocked off the corporate rock of the Seventies, and it will probably be true of the current wave in teen pop. Who will be the next Jimi Hendrix, the next John Lennon, the next Kurt Cobain to break through and change the world? That's what makes this job interesting, isn't it?