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…

HEIDI ELLEN ROBINSON FITZGERALD

PRESENTATION

What’s your name, what’s your role in the company you are presently working at, and since when are you working there?

heidi robinsonMy name is Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald, I am an independent PR consultant in the music biz.  I’ve been working independently since 2002.

When have you started to work in the music business?  

I got my first job in the music business in 1971 as Publicity Assistant at Columbia Records.

At what age have you started to love music?  

I have loved music as far back as I can remember, but it became an integral part of my life when I was about 11 years old when I became glued to the radio.

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

Simply to be involved in the music world, doing whatever, just to be a part of it.

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

I have absolutely no talent as a musician. My career details can be found here:  http://www.herfitzpr.com/hpr.com/About.html

(Note: the list of artists Heidi has worked with during her career is impressive: Van Halen, the Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers, America, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, Jethro Tull, Shaun Cassidy and the one and only Sex Pistols U.S. tour in 1978 in her days at Warner. Then launched her own PR firm in 1981  with the Beach Boys and Rod Stewart as initial clients, then added to her roster Ratt, Barry Manilow, Black Sabbath and John [Cougar] Mellencamp. At Jensen Communications (1985-1990), she worked with Jane’s Addiction, Van Halen, Santana and illusionnist David Copperfield, before joining Rick Rubin’s Def American Recordings. There, she developed campaigns for The Black Crowes, Johnny Cash, Slayer, Danzig, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Heidi was also implicated in the publicity campaigns for the Lollapalooza touring festivals from 1991 to 97.
In more recent years, she has worked aith ARTISTdirect (2001-03) and came back to her own PR firm, creating and implementing media campaigns for The Pixies, System of a Down, Tom Petty, Ministry… and the list goes on!)

ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS

Do you live from it?

Yes, seven days a week, at least 14 hours a day, and at least 360 days a year.

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

Yes, it’s quite possible.  You need to work hard, be responsible, deliver and juggle.

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

There are actually three people who, over the course of my career, have introduced significant changes in to the way I think and the way I do my job:  Barry Manilow (who taught me “no surprises,”), Perry Farrell (I learned to think on my feet, be ready for anything, turn lemons into lemonade), and Rick Rubin (“do the right thing at the right time for the right reason”).

Barry Manilow, Perry Farrell and Rick Rubin

The influencers: Barry Manilow, Perry Farrell and Rick Rubin

What do you like about your current position?  

I get to work out of my home and hang out with my three basset hounds.

What would you change about the music business today  

I would get rid of the agreed-upon and insane concept of working “24/7,” and I would demand that everyone MUST communicate either in person or on the phone.  No hiding behind email.

Which great personal goal have you not achieved yet?  

Winning the Lottery.

ON ARTISTS AND MUSIC

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

Personally, my favourite music genres are hard rock and classical, but I love nearly all genres of music.  I didn’t really discover classical music until I was in my early 20s.

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

  • Bach’s “Brandenburg Concertos,”
  • ELO’s “Eldorado,”
  • The Clash’s “London Calling,”
  • The Moody Blues’ Greatest Hits,
  • Handel’s “Water Music.”

Playlist!

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

I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many really wonderful artists, but if you’re talking about just straight-ahead, no barriers, no platitudes, beyond business “friendliness,” I’m going to have to go with three – Andrew Dice Clay, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Rod Stewart.  All really, really gracious folks.

Heidi, Andrew Dice Clay, Scott Ian (Anthrax), mystery man, Pearl Aday (Scott’s wife).

Heidi, Andrew Dice Clay, Scott Ian (Anthrax), mystery man, Pearl Aday (Scott’s wife).

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

Bombadil

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

King Arthur – “stay away from that bitch.”


All right! Thank you Heidi!
For more information on Heidi’s project, check out her website.

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 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. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.