CLIVE DAVIS Legendary record producer talks past, present, future of music industry

Nick Larosa writes:

One of the biggest trends in the music industry over the last 49 years is not a sound or style, but a man – Clive Davis. Fondly referred to by his industry peers as “the Man with the Golden Ears,” Davis’ ability to identify top-level talent has cemented him as a titan in his industry. He has won four Grammy Awards, the Grammy Trustees Award, the President’s Merit Award, and, in 2011, the theater inside the Grammy Museum was named after him. He is also credited with launching the careers of Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston and many more, which earned him an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer.

On Wednesday, Davis will give a lecture for music lecturer Jeffrey Jampol’s Music Industry 110: “Music Business Now” course to share what he has learned over his long and influential career. The lecture will be open to all students, taking place in Schoenberg Hall.

The Daily Bruin’s Nick LaRosa spoke with Davis to discuss his past experiences, current trends and the future of the music industry.

Daily Bruin: You’re coming as a guest lecturer to speak at Jeff Jampol’s “Music Business Now” course. How did you meet Jeff and the rest of his teaching team: Steve Berman, Tom Sturges and Arron Saxe?

Clive Davis: I know Jeff and have worked with him on a few matters, but I’ve mostly been working with Tom (Sturges), and I’ve known Tom for many years. He was head of (Universal Music Publishing Group) and before that … he was head of Chrysalis Music. We met when I was looking for a duet for George Michael and Aretha Franklin. We found “I Know You Were Waiting for Me,” and Tom Sturges came up with that song. That was the early 1980s, so I’ve known Tom for many years.

DB: You often emphasize the importance of education and even founded the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at your alma mater New York University. What does it mean to you to be a true student of the music industry?

CD: It means that music is one of the most important life forces that moves and influences you. If music is in you, it’s not a 9-to-5 job, it’s not something that you look at your watch to stop – it’s something that defines and exhilarates you, something that you want to know everything there is to know about. The reason that I founded the institute in my name is because ...........

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