Scout is the new A&R rep of the people, for the people, by the people
It’s been curious since the launch of Scout66.com to hear so many reactions about the platform, and what it was designed to achieve.
Young people just out of college don’t get what Scout’s about. Those who’ve been out of college for a while get the concept, but don’t want to hassle with techie things like login portals, which really are annoying.
Moving on to those in their 30s and 40s, our fan base begins to broaden. Many women write to ask if Scout is named after the main character in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee is a simple lyrical work that has touched many lives since it launched January 1, 1960. The following quote from the book speaks to the core mission behind Scout66.com:
Atticus told Scout, “Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father's right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Many people who love Scout66.com are captivated by the rich earthy design that is reminiscent of Route 66, an iconic open highway that became a thoroughfare for many musicians of the beat and folk eras during the late 1950s and early 1960s. These people are from the baby boomer generation who remember Route 66 ran from Illinois southwest to Oklahoma and continued west through Texas and the southwest states to Los Angeles, formerly known as the recording capital of the world.
Creating Scout was a poetic experience putting so many idyllic concepts together.
Students just out of college don’t get what Scout’s about because they are likely too young to remember a time when newspapers everywhere sent reporters out regularly to write reviews for any number of live performances. Those reviews, or at least the good ones, were an essential ingredient in the traditional press kit.
About 12 years ago or so, newspapers stopped devoting space to concert reviews unless it was a mega tour: Think Sting, U2, Madonna, or any legendary brand name. Hence, the professional working class musician was merely lucky to receive reviews promoting live performances. CD reviews, however, were ubiquitous. Value was misplaced on the recorded product over and above the live performance.
The professional working class musician makes a living making music. These people don’t collect regular paychecks with all the taxes deducted. They don’t have health care packages for their families. There is surely no 401K in their future. Some have royalties from record label contracts that have since become extinct. They earn a living to pay their mortgage, make payments on cars that carry them to gigs. Many of them are putting their kids through college.
Right now musicians are finding every way possible to create a relationship with their audience in the fan2band model. Professional musicians can engage in building that relationship with their audience simply by asking the ticket buying public what they thought about the concert they paid to see.
A few kind words can make a big difference to a touring artist. If people in Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco consistently say the same thing about a certain band – will they be a good fit for audiences in Albuquerque Santa Fe, Dallas, Austin, San Marcos, Nashville and Knoxville? My guess is, yes!
Scout becomes the A&R rep of the people, for the people, by the people. Venues can go to Scout and read reviews from anywhere in the U.S. Venues take a risk with every booking; therefore they should be interested in what audiences have to say. We encourage venues to put up a page on Scout too, so there can be a cross reference for the artists and their audiences. It’s a new form of advertising for festivals, clubs, concerts halls, arenas, fairs, and outdoor series.
The customer is always right. At Scout, the customer writes what any given concert means to him/her, giving their stamp of approval as a paying customer to keep live music alive.
P. S. Until I was about nine years old, no one called me by my first name. Everyone called me Scout.