Ballroom Dancing

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Mary Sledd

SXSW Interview: Danny Goldberg

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 13

While currently a manager for a broad range of acts that include Steve Earle, the Hives, and Old 97's, Danny Goldberg has been present at several pivotal moments of rock history. Critic and activist Jim Fouratt began by leading the music mogul through his past, beginning with his being a writer for Billboard and then transitioning into publicity for Led Zeppelin. Then there was Goldberg's connection to the No Nukes concerts of the late 1970s, his managing Sonic Youth and Nirvana in the early 1990s, and finally heading up labels Artemis, Mercury, and Warner Bros. At times self-effacing, Goldberg spoke candidly about his decidedly liberal politics and values while also admitting to lying to journalists to make Kurt Cobain look better. Fouratt concentrated on Goldberg's political leaning for the last half-hour, with the current political season a hot topic. As a former CEO of Air America Radio, Goldberg proclaimed: "the mainstream media is lame. It's like a melting ice cube." When questioned about what he saw for the music business in the next five years, his realistic response: "Records are an artistic statement, but we have to learn to do more with less and be rational about what the economics are. It's a good time to experiment."

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