The Self-Management Secrets of Nick Lowe
Last year, I blogged about how in my rock writing days I had interviewed Nick Lowe several times. Last week, I saw Lowe at the Birchmere, in Alexandria, Va., with his wonderful new touring band. As always, he put on a musically strong, highly enjoyable show. I’ve seen him in pretty much every permutation: solo, with Brinsley Schwarz, Rockpile, Little Village and his various touring bands. Listening to his short, funny monologue at the beginning of the set made me think that Nick should write a self-management book and go out on the lecture circuit. He would be a natural, and I think lots of people would buy a book in which he told in his own words how he’s navigated a career, in a tough business, of more than 40 years. He certainly has managers and agents helping to guide him, but I believe that he has set the direction of what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. The result has been a strong, steady career as a singer, musician, producer and songwriter. In the mid-‘70s, he was a mentor (although I doubt he would call it that) for Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. He gets lots of press, partly because he is so good, but also because he gives great, highly quotable interviews. Above all, he continues to develop his craft. Lowe builds quality into his professional life. When he is not working solo, he only collaborates with top-flight musicians, either the lesser-known ones in the current band to the likes of Dave Edmunds, Ry Cooder and John Hiatt. It has been years since I’ve had a chance to talk with Nick, but if I had a minute now, I’d make my suggestion: write a book that would have appeal beyond the music world, and apply your considerable speaking talents to the lecture and presentation circuit. I would pay for that, and I know many others would as well.