Poor Dan Kennedy! After years of being a devoted rock fan, he finally lands his "dream" job in marketing at Atlantic Records. In the eighteen months he is there, he has to come up with new ways to promote products using the company’s recording artists, watch the company bought out by a group of investors (mass layoffs ensue), and become completely disillusioned with the music industry. (Kennedy also receives a pink slip after the buy out).
In Rock On: An Office Power Ballad, Kennedy offers a small, but funny glimpse into the on-goings of a major recording label, and it looks pretty bleak. He shows us the company’s inability to acknowledge new technology, its current lackluster roster of artists, and its need to sell, not just the single/album, but other unrelated products as well. All this, plus the ridiculous salaries of the executives are taken on by Kennedy, but in a superficial way. Instead of providing insightful, historical and cultural reasons for the industry’s problems, he offers his own quirky musings. Kennedy sort of takes a "boy, that’s too bad" attitude. However, that’s the point of the book. It’s meant to be more entertainment than knowledge. I enjoyed it. It’s a quick, fun read. But if you are looking for a well-thought out, in-depth statement about the present state of the recording industry, this is not the book for you.