Jim Mallonee - 35+ Years of Booking and Promoting the Greatest Artists of our Lifetime at the Highest Level

Ep.080 Cover - Jim Mallonee.jpg

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One can’t do a lot of things great at one time, but one can do a lot of great things over a lifetime. Jim Mallonee is the Senior Vice President of Southeast Booking for Live Nation and House of Blues Entertainment. With over 35+ years of promoting concerts in the Southeast United States, he has worked with some of the greatest artists in our generation. Any reputable booking agent that has booked a show in the Southeast over the last 35 years, has worked with Jim Mallonee. He is a true legend of our industry, and established longevity in the music business through kindness, mentorship, and building amazing teams around him. This podcast was recorded live from University of Central Florida (UCF). In this conversation we cover some of the many stories that Jim has to share, his journey, advice on getting into the business, and much more.

I met Jim Mallonee prior to working at House of Blues in New Orleans. It was while I was still at the Plaza Live. At the time, I had already interviewed for HOB New Orleans the first time, and didn’t get the job offer. From that interview I learned a lot, and the importance of relationships. I really wanted to get to know Jim Mallonee, and learn what characteristics it would take to get a job with Live Nation in the future. When I reached out, he invited me to lunch at House of Blues. From the first minute, he was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in the business full of wisdom, passion to teach, and wanting to empower others. I remember him ordering multiple desserts, just because he wanted me to try them. That was such a fun meeting. It was 2 years later, when I finally got a job offer to come to House of Blues New Orleans, where I met so many amazing people who have become my mentors. It’s a real blessing to have been able to work for Jim Mallonee’s team, and still having him as a friend many years later.

To learn more about the shows Jim Mallonee is booking visit http://www.houseofblues.com/orlando or http://www.houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach.

This episode was recorded LIVE form the University of Central Florida - the National Football Champions!!

Highlights from this episode:
[3:54] How Do You Stay Motivated
[5:47] Good traits of a Talent Buyer
[12:58] Background of Musician Days
[18:53] Day to Day Schedule
[23:09] Low Turnover Rate @ Live Nation
[26:24] Life Lessons
[28:23] Changing A Show Lineup Last Minute
[31:36] Social Media
[31:47] Small Artists Blowing Up
[33:33] How Artists Change Over Time
[35:20] Some Things Students Should Work on to Build Resume
[37:11] Booking Artists
[42:57] Balance Between Personal and Work Life
[46:34] First Concert
[46:53] Something Jim is Excited About
[48:28] Guilty Food Pleasures
[50:22] Hollywood Vampires
[52:15] Storytime

Quotes from Jim Mallonee:
“You need to listen with your head, not your heart. You’ve got to be able to be profitable."
“You’ve got to listen to what other people say about this artist.”
“Show em, be truthful, be ethical. Be ethical every minute of every day.”
“If they can count on you, they will remember that next time when something good comes along.”
“People by and large, people don’t forget when they see you take hard times and make them into as good as they can be.”
“I make myself manually a list of my goals for the day. And these change a lot. We work in a business that is very so peaks and valleys. You win big and loose big.”
“I don’t like to hire people that I have to boss and tell what to do everyday.”
“You’ve got to respect different styles. I want people of varied opinions, different backgrounds.”
“I bug the crap out of everyone I deal with. I say 'REALLY give me your opinion on this or that.’”
“Don’t get blind-sided. This is about a hell of a lot more than you. Quit being a bull-head SOB and move forward.”
“Take the first thing that makes sense with the company you are with, take the lowest level dog, work like a mad-demon. Make sure you take on 3-people’s jobs. Make yourself indispensable at all times.”
“It will take you 2-3 years to do 2-3 people’s jobs so you will be of value.”
“80 hours a week, every week without fail.”
“I generally do listen to every artist before we book them.”
“With breaking artists, it just don’t work with radio anymore.”
“Sometimes you just have to take the weekend off."
“Michael Rapino gives a damn about the people.”
“I’m inspired by moments.”
“Music industry needs heart."

Jim Mallonee's Definition of Making It:
"To get those (exceptional) moments"

Keep in touch:
chris.goyzueta@gmail.com
www.makingitwithchrisg.com
https://www.instagram.com/chrisgoyzueta/
https://www.facebook.com/makingitwithchrisg

Credits:
Host: Chris Goyzueta (Chris G.)
Producer: Jason Trosclair
Executive Producer: ONElive Creative Agency  
Music: Emily Kopp

Ben Weeden - COO of House of Blues Entertainment at Live Nation - Building the Largest Portfolio of Clubs & Theaters for the Most Powerful Concert Promoter in the World

EP050 Cover Ben Weeden.jpg

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher |

Benjamin Weeden is the COO of House of Blues Entertainment at Live Nation for their Clubs & Theaters division. In 2016, his team promoted over 10,000 concerts in the United States. The company owns and operates clubs and theaters all over the United States, and is most known for it’s House of Blues and Fillmore brands. Ben has been with the company literally since day one, having worked along with one of his mentors and CEO of Live Nation, Michael Rapino. In this conversation, we celebrate our 50th episode, and Ben shares a ton of insight and wisdom from his time in the Entertainment Business. We discuss his experience and how he got in, what makes a great talent buyer, what makes his division unique, the most in demand jobs at Live Nation, what his ideal curriculum would look at a Music Business school, and much more.

I have a ton of students that want to become Talent Buyers or work for Live Nation. Ben Weeden shares some great insight on what he personally looks for in Talent Buyers, and also the need for great promoters. In today’s touring industry, understanding social media, how to place efficient and effective ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagarm, etc. is crucial to being a great marketer/promoter. Also, Ben talks a lot about analyzing data in this episode. One of the jobs I consistently see posted the most is for data analysts. If you can learn how to make marketing decisions based on data analysis, and then sell tickets, that’s where the money is! If you can do that, you’re going to be very successful as a marketer. I love this episode, and how he shared the importance of getting used to promoting 100+ shows per year to become a good Talent Buyer, and put yourself through bootcamp to get ready for the big leagues with Live Nation.

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Highlights from this Episode
(5:30) Ben’s role at Live Nation
(7:00) New venues, acquired and built
(7:42) Sought out trends in the market
(9:50) Current trends in today’s music business, based on live shows
(13:00) Raising ticket prices for smaller, DIY artists
(14:51) Ben’s start in the business
(21:54) Advice for students aspiring to work in Live Nation
(24:50) Advice for talent buying without wasting money
(27:28) Most in demand jobs in the industry
(28:40) College degrees/classes that add value to the music business
(30:30) Courses for Music Business students
(33:17) Lessons learned from Michael Rapino and other mentors
(36:14) Advice on marketing budgeting for emerging bands
(37:53) Ben’s routine for stress relief and mental health
(41:15) Words of wisdom for future talent buyers/promoters

Quotes from Ben Weeden
“When expanding, population and disposable income are two of the most important data points”
“We’re trying to raise our tickets prices in such a way that it goes up with the inevitable rise in talent.”
“For better or for worse, the price of talent will never go down”
“We got to get better at pricing the house without pricing people out of the house.”
“In order to be a top-notch talent buyer, we generally look for buyers that have been playing with their own money, have been promoting a significant volume of shows (over 100 shows a year) and battling bigger guys [in the business]”
“I’ve got a lot of respect for buyers that go out on their own and carve out a niche for themselves”
“Learning the marketing side is very important because at the end of the day we don’t want just talent buyers, we want promoters.”
“We’re all going to book shows that are going to lose money; let’s just learn from it and make sure we don’t book that same show at the same price again.”
“On average, our senior promoters are booking over 200 shows a year…you have to get time with your family; you have to get time with yourself, you have to get time to take your vacations because this business just never stops…”
“It’s a tough business; it’s a grind; if you love music this is certainly the industry to be in nowadays given the importance of touring…you have to find the experience booking shows…take whatever experience you can”
“It’s a great time to be in this business, it’s only going to continue to grow, and there’s only going to be more opportunities…it is a real grind, you have to be prepared for that.”
“Get grounded on all the different facets, finance, marketing, operations and hopefully find a job at a smaller club, grinding it out and booking at a lower volume cause there is where you’re going to get experience.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Live Nation
Grand Rapids (20 Monroe Live)
HOB Anaheim
Buckhead Theater
Queen Theatre
The Van Buren
Bear Sterns                                                                                                
SFX Entertainment
Robert Sillerman
Brian Becker
Milano Concerti
Michael Rapino
Clear Channel Entertainment
Prince
Britney Spears
Neil Diamond
U2
Madonna
Rolling Stones
Ticketmaster
Artist Nation
Ron Bension
Facebook Campaigns
Instagram Campaigns
Ohio State

Get in touch with Ben Weeden
LinkedIn

Ben Weeden’s definition of making it:
“To continue to learn every day; I learn a lot from the younger people from our team as well as from the people above me. At some point, I would love to keep building and running this division and be thankful that I’m not in investment banking or selling insurance.”

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Keep in touch with us
chris.goyzueta@gmail.com
www.makingitwithchrisg.com
https://www.instagram.com/chrisgoyzueta/
https://twitter.com/chrisgoyzueta
https://www.facebook.com/makingitwithchrisg

Episode Credits
Host: Chris Goyzueta
Producer: Jason Trosclair
Executive Producer: ONElive Creative Agency  
Music: Emily Kopp
Show Notes: Manuel Pachamoro