Among the most passionate people about music are those who work in the music industry: at labels, as press relation people, as concert promoters, as booking agents, as managers, as music critics, and so on. RREVERB proposes to its readers a series of interviews with passionate music artisans.
Today, we meet…

BOB TELARO

What’s your name, what’s your role in the company you are presently working at, and since when are you working there? Where are you from and where do you live now?

My name is Bob Telaro; I’m the president of BTMusic Management in Montreal and Tab Records INC. as well as personal manager for Producer writer Tino Izzo and Legendary Jazz bassist Alain Caron. I’ve been managing Tino Izzo for close to thirty years as well as Alain Caron for about the past 15 years. I’m also Creative Director at Bloc Notes Music Publishing and am the artist IMA’s Tour Manager.  

Alain Caron’s early days with UZEB.

 

When have you started to work in the music business?

I was a musician and had my professional start on the road in the late 1970’s, traveling across Canada until I opened my first studio in 1986 in Montreal.

At what age have you started to love music?

At the age of four, I would be asked to sing and recite poetry at events by family members especially my grandfather for a few dollars…I guess it stuck to me. Big Beatles fan when I heard their first singles in the mid 60’s…must have been 7 years old in 67 when I discovered them…. was infatuated since then.

When you were 20, what was your dream (in the music world)?

To be a Rock star but was wise enough to realise by age 23 that I should give it up and concentrate on opening my studio and learning about the Record Industry. Always dreamt of having a label and discovering great talent.

Have you ever been a musician? Tell us about your career.

Was always a musician, let it go from the age of 23 till a few years ago when I decided to start playing again and was called into an ACDC tribute band which became 21 Gun Salute. Unexpectedly this band has taken off and we play about 50 shows a year. Having a blast touring at 50-something!

21 gun salute

ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Do you live from it?

I’ve been living from it since the early eighties, especially when I opened Pyramid Studios and started to manage Tino Izzo.

Is it still possible to make a living with music today? What do you need to do to make ends meet?

It is incredibly difficult to make a living in this day and age due to the shrinking Industry middle class revenue. Although the Entertainment Industry seems to be doing quite well, in my opinion, the top 10 tier of Billboard artist are making 90% of the Industry revenue, unlike the 80’s and 90’s where there was more of a balanced revenue flow and regional artists and labels could fetch a business model.  

Who did you meet in your musical path that was key to your development / success?

Everyone I met from small to big; helped shape my view and understanding of this business. Passion, talent, vision and stubbornness seemed to be all the common denominators.

What do you like about your current position?

I manage, I develop, I perform, I’m a Tour Manager and travel… I’ll clean the floors…I still have such a blast doing all sorts of stuff and am still quite motivated in fact as I learn more, I enjoy it more!

 

What would you change about the music business today

Music should not be free anywhere!!!!!

If the streaming, downloading viral community was paying their fair share of revenues based on their profits, Artists and all the people around them would be making ends meet. This would enrich our talent pool which is being starved of our greatest minds which decide to go into something else that will make them survive. Hence in my opinion, the plague of dull uninspired music that’s being shoved down our throat on pop/ac radios (There are fantastic new artists and products but too few in comparison to yesteryears.)

Which great personal goal have you not achieved yet?

Have not achieved anything yet.

Vinyl, cassette, CD or digital?

Vinyl for the integrity of sound, Nostalgic about the dying CD in which Artists would at least receive a full royalty and fans would listen to a good quality recording. Digital is all we got! It sounds horrible (mp3) it brings in little to no money to the artist and fans can cherry pick the single for .99$ but the artist may have written and produced a full 15 songs, with a full budget to hatch that one song, At .99$ no one recoups their investment. To boot; half of the distribution of that track is streamed and downloaded either for free or for a ridiculously low royalty which is absolutely impossible to live by. This is due to the advent of the internet and to companies like Apple which had the vision years ago and have purposely raped our industry to sell their hardware.

ON ARTISTS AND MUSIC

What are your preferred music genres? Was it always the case through your life?

Music with thought. No matter what style, from Progressive to Fusion, RnB to Pop; if it had greatness, I loved it!

bob telaro photo drum

On a desert island you bring those 5 albums (no more!)

Led Zeppelin The Song Remains The Same
Genesis LIVE
Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Abbey Road – The Beatles
A Night at the Opera – Queen
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John

That’s 6, Bob, but I hear you… which to remove from this elite list?… 😉 let’s hear them all 6! Playlist!

 

Who is the friendliest artist/music celebrity you’ve met?

All the real ones mostly all are! Burton Cummings (Guess Who)

Which brilliant artist should have made it big, but didn’t (yet)?

Ron Sexsmith

Who would you like to meet? What would you tell/ask them?

Clive Davis: How absolutely flabbergasted I am by his sense of talent and his ability to spot incredible talent.

Thank you Bob!

To know more about Bob’s various projects, click on the logos below.

bloc notes

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.