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Tour:Smart: And Break the Band Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Tour:Smart: And Break the Band + This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring: "A Practical Guide to Creating, Selling, Organizing, and Staging Concerts" + All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Eighth Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979731305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979731303
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An inveterate self-promoter, Martin Atkins is, as usual, talking a mile a minute. But it's hard to resist being charmed by his rapid-fire banter, because as always, he has plenty of impressive accomplishments to tout."  —Chicago Sun Times


"Tour:Smart functions as an uncensored companion text to [Martin Atkins'] classroom teachings."  —Chicago Tribune


"In my six years of college, Martin Atkins was the man to clarify all the other instructors' psychobabble! He prepped me for the industry in a single semester."  —Michelle Cho, PETA


"This is not advice. This is the Holy Grail."  —Kraze


"If you are a music business major at university, this should be on your syllabus.  —Blogcritics Magazine



"Atkins embodies the entrepreneurial spirit with a unique merger of creativity and business sense"—Dr. David Herrera, Belmont University


"Having been a part of seminal bands like Pigface, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Killing Joke, and Public Image Limited, when Atkins talked about the business of music, people listen."  —Richi Corelli, soundsect.com


"The ultimate touring manual. . . . Tackles every conceivable aspect of getting the show on the road in a highly readable style."  —Mojo

About the Author

Martin Atkins is the owner of the record label Invisible and has been organizing multiband tours since 1995. As a professional drummer he was a member of the bands Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, and Public Image Ltd. He is a member of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association and a professor at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches the seminar "The Business of Touring." He lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Mr. Atkins is one of the few who have the right to put out a book like this.
gregZ
This book is full of interviews with professional tour managers, publicists, bookers, drivers, etc.
dave carter
The humorous and "real" tone of the book helps to make this an easy and informative read.
L. McClinton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Jane Vincent on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Man, I wanted to like this book, but I was really disappointed.
I'm in a bad that tours the country about twice a year, and has for the last few years, and I'd hoped this book would have some good advice. However, this book is aimed at bands who already play to a few hundred people a night, rather than for someone at my level. Also, it doesn't give you much advice on doing things without a big team behind you: for example, it tells you that you could book a tour without a booking agent, but doesn't give you much advice on how to actually do that.
I also felt like this book was aimed at men, and assumed that the audience it was speaking to was male (lots of sections seemed uneccesarily gendered) and HATED HATED HATED a lot of the sections about being a woman on tour. Ugh. The advice was things like "Don't pack too much makeup" and "Don't lose your keys." Srsly?
I've been booking tours and in touring bands for about 5 years now, and I felt like this was an interesting read for a peek into the life of a big band on tour, but was pretty irrelevant to a small band, and kind of insulting to female musicians.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mike on August 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, it's almost painful to look back at some of the mistakes I've made and the money I've lost over the past several years, and to think about how many of them I could have easily avoided by using the advice and tips that are in this book. This book is enourmous, and every page seems to contain information that could have helped me out at least once. It's great to finally have this book available, and I can't wait to start using some of the strategies it outlines. Could not be more highly recommended for anyone in a band, with a label, or in any way involved in or interested in the music business.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wesley Anderson on October 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Musicians, Promoters, Roadies, Club Owners, Merch Teamers, Street Teamers, Tour Managers, Band Managers, Production Managers and everyone else that ever thought about having anything to do in the performance music circuit....

... meet your holy grail.

This book is AWESOME! It is an extremely thorough overview of the gears that make up the live music and touring scene. Its not all polished up and proper - but thats what I love about it. The language and narration are real with sometimes crude or cleche phrases that are direct to the point but proficient in painting a picture.

Most of all, it is evident that the information provided is backed up by tried and true experience of a rainbow of contributors organized in a way THAT MAKES SENSE. I wish all industry books were written this way. All too often I pick up a book that some random guy wrote from his basement providing tunnel vision prospective with a 2+2=4 attitude.

Arithmetic is great and common logic is important but its the experience that lies between the text that reference books fail to capture. Not this one.

Perhaps you are trying to research a specific part of the industry such as a musician's prospective or a promoter and happened to stumble upon this. GET IT ANYWAY. To understand your gear's specific role, you have to understand the entire machine and there is probably some information in here to help you.

I am an Audio Engineer. Before that I was a performing musician. I have managed a technical team on the road and now I am researching perhaps opening a music venue. Although I could have just skimmed through this book to find the information that pertains to me, I find I am glued to every page with thoughts like, "huh, why didn't I think of that?"

You get my point. Buy it and pass it along.
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21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brian Skinness on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're leasing a tour bus and getting $1000+ a night for gigs, then the examples in this book might interest you. I found it beyond the practical level of most indie bands I know.
I was surprised and unappreciative of the level of profanity. It is possible to glean some good insights from the book, but it is more a compilation of several events and happenings in the authors life. The touring information was beyond the scope of 99% of indie bands wanting to book a tour...which is probably the audience for this book. So while it is interesting to read, it lacks continuity and misses the mark on practicality...in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this to review then hand over to my son and his band who
have toured relentlessly for the last 6 years. They have been through
3 record label deals that would make even the strong bands quit and go
back to a 9 to 5. Their lives are written in Marty's pages-but Marty
gives hope. Follow the do's & don't's like those who give advise here.
If you think you can work around the proven methods of earning a living
as a touring musician you will surely learn the hard way and have plenty
of debt to prove it. There is a lot of info here and some great ideas to
keep you earning money. Thanks, Marty for your insight because you lived
it and the fine contributions from others in the industry. This is a manual to consistantly refer to as you journey through the adventurous
career of entertaining the fickle public.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a legitimate how-to guide for any musical group that wants to tour. Where it fell short for me was the process of going from group of musicians with successful day jobs to successful touring musicians. It appears there is no way of making the jump without either financial support from your family or the willingness to dump your current life and live on the road. Our group was living in Manhattan/Brooklyn and would not have been able to tour for a month without quitting our jobs that paid our rent. This book does not provide an answer to these questions.
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