Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. In this special edition, Luke -- who is a candidate for Miami-Dade mayor -- explains how running a music record business is tougher than managing county government.
Every time irrelevant mayoral candidate Roosevelt Bradley claims that being mayor is no job for a "trainee" at mayoral forums referring to my alleged lack of experience in government, I just chuckle because he is right. I certainly don't know what it is like to owe my career advancement to the African American county commissioners he sucks up to. He basically admitted that is how he climbed the executive ladder at the transit agency during Monday night's NAACP meeting.
He told the crowd former Mayor Carlos Alvarez canned him as a way to retaliate against Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan, Dennis Moss and Dorrin Rolle for opposing the strong mayor ballot in 2007. He is their do-boy. So yeah, I definitely don't know what it is like to be dependent on political ass-kissing.
Besides, during the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain called President Obama a "trainee" too, so I am in good company.
However, I do know my experience as an independent music label executive prepared me for life in the public sector. Running a record company means developing a budget for your marketing department, your A&R department, your sales department, your overseas department, your retail department, etc. It is a serious undertaking that requires a sharp and shrewd businessman who can balance a budget that makes sure all the departments are working in concert.
Being a record executive also involves a helluva of a lot of lobbying. To get my artists air play I had to lobby over 600 radio stations. I was competing with other record companies also trying to get their artists on one of only three available slots.
I lobbied hundreds of retail outlets so that when a customer walked into the store the first thing they saw was a Luke Records artist's new album. I lobbied MTV, Vh1 and BET to get air time for my videos. I had to lobby music magazines to get coverage for my artists.
In the record business I dealt with a shit load of complicated contracts with all kinds of clauses and fine print. I certainly would not have negotiated a bullshit deal on the Marlins stadium because I know the difference between a good and a bad contract.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The other important thing I learned about winning in the music business is that I had to hire the best people to get the best results. You can't go hire your family members over folks with way more experience like Bradley did when he ran the transit agency. That is why Bradley got fired. If he was really done wrong then he should have sued the county to get his job back. But ass kissers don't know how to fight.
So next time Bradley calls me a "trainee" keep in mind that I trained myself in Luke's School of Hard Knocks.
Follow Luke on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.