by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + former Record Industry Adman
Funny to see all the young ones chattin’ away on the Twitter ’bout this year’s South-by-Southwest festival, aka SXSW.
What used to be just a good ol’ fashioned music fest in the unvarnished heart of Austin is now this slicked-up multimedia shindig known as much — or even more — for its interactive media than its music. Seems to me that the latte-sippers are now outnumbering the Shiner Bock drinkers. The times they sure have a’changed…
Back in ’95, when I was but a pup in the music industry, I got me an assignment to write an ad for MCA Records’ big concert in the middle of the street where no one could miss it. (Helps to have that big corporate concert budget, you know.) Now this ad was gonna run in the Austin Statesman, which would be filled with other ads from other record companies for other concerts all pretty much lookin’ the same, like the opposite sex in a bar after you’ve had one too many.
So I decided to be a little different by making my ad a Texas legend. Hell, I had the space to write all I wanted. And just like many legends and textbooks in Texas, this one was just made up. But I enjoyed writin’ it. And from what I hear, people enjoyed readin’ it.
And you’ll notice way at the bottom a plug for MCA Records’ website, which in 1995 was a new-fangled thing I also wrote. So I kinda like to think that we at MCA (R.I.P.) helped to sow all this multimedia business at SXSW that today’s kids are now reapin’.
So if you got the time and the inkling, give this piece o’ history a click and a read, and pour me another Shiner. I get enough lattes here in L.A.