DESMOND CHILD GUESTS ON DECIBEL GEEK PODCAST
Legendary songwriter/producer Desmond Child guests on this week's episode of the Decibel Geek podcast. In this hour-plus talk, Desmond looks back on his early days as a performer in the NY-based disco group Desmond Child and Rouge. This band was a favorite of KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley, who used to frequent the band's live shows. A friendship was struck as well as gold when the two collaborated on 'I Was Made for Lovin' You', a Top 10 smash that spanned the globe. Desmond's career in writing/producing took off from there. While the songwriting partnership with Stanley was harmonious, his dealings with the other boss of KISS, Gene Simmons, have been more complex. 'There was one point where they decided they weren't going to have any co-writers on their records. So, they made a big deal out of it because suddenly I was co-writing with KISS and Bon Jovi and Alice Cooper and Joan Jett and having #1 songs and they said 'Well, we have to go against the grain.' Gene started saying, 'Well, we're recording at our studio but we have guards outside the door to keep Desmond Child out.' I was so pissed off. It's like 'Hey guys, I helped to make you richer than you already were, you know? Why would you do that? You're hurting my feelings. If you're gonna attack somebody, attack the other bands (laughs), not the guy that's helped you. I was so hurt. I actually didn't write with them for a very long time after that. But, I came back to write on Paul's solo record. We wrote a great song called 'Live to Win'.'
While that early 90's quote from Simmons stung, Child has gone on to forge a friendship with the long-tongued rock legend. 'Now he's kind of a mentor to me. I'll ask him questions and he emails me right back. Because he has so much experience in every genre; film, television, records. He like an encyclopedia of wealth, of information; especially business-wise. He's a genius.'
While working with Rouge, Child used his songwriting prowess to help work through a big transition in his personal life during the making of the band's sophomore album Runners in the Night. 'It was all about my relationship with Maria because we had started the group together and we were together and then I fell in love with a guy and then realized I was really more gay than I was straight. The first song on that album's called 'The Truth Comes Out' and it's all about my coming out. We thought 'Well let's just put our lives into the music.'
While Desmond Child's songwriting credit list is impressive, boasting over 300 million in sales, his take on the current state of streaming music is sobering. 'Jon (Bon Jovi), Richie (Sambora), and I get 6 million streams on Pandora every quarter on average for 'Livin on a Prayer'; just the one song. Imagine all the other streams we're getting. Yeah, but we got a big check for $110.00 to split amongst the three of us and our publishers. The record companies get 96% of the money and we get 4% because they got in there and made deals and they bought into these companies and frankly, we got dicked. We've gotta turn that around. That's what the Songwriters Equity Act is that's coming through Congress this year. It's to re-establish the 50/50 licensing model for all music usages.'
Also sobering is Desmond's take on the future of terrestrial radio. 'Terrestrial radio will die. It's on its way out, it's over. The whole country of Norway just stopped stopped terrestrial radio; it went digital. So, Sweden's next, then the rest of Europe, then pretty soon the UK. It's gonna be here (USA) too and in Canada. In 10 years there will be no terrestrial radio. There will be no AM. There will be no FM and if it's tilted in that direction where we get 4% and they get 96%, it really hurts the music because people aren't going to choose this as a career. Think about this, when I came to Nashville in 1991, there were over 5,000 signed writers to publishing companies within the 440-Circle (interstate that surrounds Nashville). At last count, there were 237. In 20 years, that's how much music has diminished.'
While his resume is filled with superstars that have provided the soundtrack of millions of lives, Child looks back especially fondly at a songwriting session at a small house in New Jersey with two young rockers that would yield a massive anthem still spun by millions today. 'I rented a car and drove to NJ and went to this little house that was on the edge of a marsh. On the other side of the marsh, like Emerald City, was this oil refinery. It was like the most toxic place on Earth and that's where Richie (Sambora) lived. I had a title in my back pocket; You Give Love a Bad Name. Jon (Bon Jovi) loved that. He had a song on (7800) Farenheit, because he's very resourceful, called 'Shot Through the Heart.' So we started the song with 'Shot through the heart and you're to blame. You give love a bad name.' And history was made.'
The full talk with Desmond Child can be heard via the following links:
Official Website Post URL: http://www.decibelgeek.com/wordpress/conversation-with-desmond-child-ep195/
Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/dbgeekshow/Conversation_with_Desmond_Child_-_E...
Libsyn Directory URL: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/3643664