A lucrative business, as his office on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles shows. Because Jampol Artist Management Inc. resides in the Plaza del Sol - in the epicenter of Hollywood. The walls are littered with rock devotional objects, three employees and a secretary look discreetly stressed on an early Monday morning, and the boss receives behind a monstrous desk, which is completely overloaded with files, books, CDs and notes. The first impression: not a smooth businessman in a designer suit, but no Vollnerd either. Jeff Jampol is a big, brawny guy in jeans and T-shirt, whose handshake is painful and proves to be a mixture of music freak and marketing genius. Finally he discovered a gap in the market, which - because Rock'n'Roll is getting older and older - is absolutely crisis-proof and where he has no competition so far.
eclipsed: How do you become the manager of dead musicians?
Jeff Jampol: That was pure coincidence: I was friends with Danny Sugerman, who has worked for the Doors since he was thirteen. He called me a lot to get my opinion on some marketing stuff. Until he got lung cancer and made me his partner. I then took care of the business so he could focus on the creative. He taught me a lot. That's why I'm able to do this job in the first place, which is very special. And everyone who tries it suffers from what I call Jackson Pollock Syndrome.
eclipsed: The idea of doing something yourself without any problems, even if it is de facto impossible?
Jampol: Exactly. It's like looking at a painting by Pollock and thinking, "So can I!" A huge mistake that's already happened to me myself. Because when I looked at the Doors Empire back then, I thought, "It can't be that hard." Yes, it was. What's more, I had no idea what I was doing. And that's exactly the first symptom of Pollock's syndrome: that you have no idea that you have no idea. And Danny kept me alive until I understood what this business was about. This has ensured that Doors sales have literally exploded. When I started there, the band sold between 300,000 and 350,000 albums a year, and the numbers kept going down. But after a few changes there were suddenly one and a half to two million albums. And merchandising sales even grew by 800 percent. So I thought to myself: If this works for Jim Morrison, why not for others?
eclipsed: Why hasn't anyone before you come up with the idea of concentrating on this kind of "customer"?
Jampol: (laughs) Maybe it has something to do with myopia. Pop culture has long been ridiculed as a flash in the pan. That's why Beatles manager Brian Epstein had concluded the worst merchandise-deal of all time with just ten percent profit sharing. Everyone thought it was a fad. But fifty years later, rock'n'roll and pop culture still exist, and that's why we have estates and executors today.
If you name yourself after an English admiral from the seventeenth century, you have certainly set yourself a lot of goals. After the debut with the sympathetically provocative title "Don't Hear It...Fear It!" the successor with the also sympathetically provocative title "Check 'em Before You Wreck 'em" comes now.
Sysyphus Verlags GmbH
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Phone: +49 6021 4908-0
Fax: +49 6021 4908-25
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.