Longtime Motley Crue manager Allen Kovac said one of the band’s best business deals ever was when they spent $10 million to take ownership of their catalog from their former record label.
He argued that the move – which other advisers told the band to avoid – put them in a position to cash in on the success of their biopic The Dirt, and that’s one of the key reasons they recently announced a reunion tour.
Kovac told Fox Business that “alcohol, drugs and ego” had stood in the way of the band’s continued success when he started working with them. “What changed everything was the … meetings where we get together twice a year and we’d be able to communicate and get over the challenges,” he explained. “Do I think it would have worked without it? Absolutely not.”
He added that “when you look at Motley Crue, they’re one of a unique set of artists that own their own masters. They decided they would agree with me as opposed to their lawyers and business managers and pay their former record label back $10 million of the $12 million they were owed so they can … use their masters with books, tickets and films to broaden their base globally. It takes courage to give up eight figures. It takes courage to try new things.”
Kovac compared Crue’s situation to that of pop star Taylor Swift, who’s currently waging a publicity war against the owners of her catalog. “Did she buy those masters? No,” he said. “‘I’m Taylor Swift and I deserve my masters.’ … The media is not really covering that. … That should have been a business transaction. Either her advisers gave her bad advice or she didn’t listen.”
Even though Motley Crue’s most successful album, Dr. Feelgood, is 30 years old, Kovac noted that The Dirt resulted in a shift of their majority fan base from the 45-58 age group to the 18-45 group. They also saw streaming of their music increase by more than 350 percent. “The most relevant statement is that global film, with a global internet and global streaming, is the future,” he said. “When I go to Amazon, I can see a Motley Crue book, I can see a Motley Crue documentary, I can see a Motley Crue live show, I can see the fact that they got a film, they got CDs out and they got streaming and they’re selling merchandise.”
Arguing that “hip-hop and pop is short-term, quick-gain,” while Crue and similar artists became the “soundtracks to people’s lives,” Kovac said that “managers and artists should move into 2020 and out of 1999, and so should record companies. You can’t make music in quarters. You can’t develop an artist in a quarter. It takes a couple of years, sometimes a lot more.”