ASCAP Expo Day 1

Well I just got back from my first day at the ASCAP Music Expo which takes place at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. I haven’t been to Hollywood in such a long time (I think decades) so it doesn’t resemble anything I remember. It has become quite touristy. Maybe it always has been that way on Hollywood Ave.

Driving on California freeways, what a treat! I grew up in the Bay Area and later on lived in the Southland for about three years. I really appreciate the freeways down here. Not only are they in great shape, but people who drive on them actually know what they’re doing. Here we all are just getting on down the road in an orderly fashion, going 80. The official speed limit on most freeways down here is 65. There are signs posted that inform us motorists that speed limits are enforced by radar. Yeah, right!

But I digress… I like to do that. I arrive at the ASCAP Expo, pick up my badge and my “goodie bag”, a small shoulder bag. The general session opens with Paul Williams, who is the current president of ASCAP. Paul Williams wrote a bunch of hits back in the 70’s: “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “Evergreen”, etc. He is also one very funny guy. He was in a few of the sessions today and would rip off these one-liners.

I went to a panel session about marketing in the digital age, and then a presentation about Music Online America which has created something called the digital album, then another panel with songwriters sharing about their songwriting process, then another panel of songwriters touting the benefits of TuneCore. The late afternoon session featured an interview of John Mayer by the editor of ASCAP’s music magazine, Playback.

John Mayer is very intriguing. He is very articulate. He is a strange mixture of cocky and humble. Not sure how he pulls that off but he does. It was interesting to hear him complain about having 2 million followers on Twitter. He says that once you get that large of a following, there will be plenty of people who hate what you have to say. He has decided he is through with seeking validation from external sources (like followers on Twitter).

I am not being very articulate about John Mayer’s articulation or on anything else at this point. It’s 11pm and I’m exhausted. I am really glad I’m here. I’m learning bunches. And exchanging business cards with people. You see, that was not even a real sentence. It’s time for bed.

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