"Nadine has been at the epicenter of the music business both locally and nationally. She's seen it all, top to bottom."

Eric GodtlandEGM Management (Third Eye Blind and The KGB)

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San Jose Metro - Monday March 1, 2004  -  Hot Tips: Nadine Condon wrote the Cliff Notes to making it in the music industry

Hot Hits, Cheap Demos
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SUCCESS IS MADE UP of very simple little things: writing a good song, having a productive rehearsal, making an effective demo, getting the right gig, writing an engaging press release, finding a talented producer. Stringing together simple successes gives you larger successes" (page 20). Sure, it sounds like common sense but, as the old adage goes, common sense is not always so common. That's where Nadine Condon's new book, Hot Hits, Cheap Demos: The Real-World Guide to Music Success (Backbeat Books; $17.95), comes in handy for any aspiring career musician.

Broken down into nine fast-reading chapters and seasoned with "Nadine Sez" and "Real-World Success Story" boxes, Condon's book maps out the steps and strategies required to get out of the garage and onto a major label. It's ideal both for new bands trying to figure out how to get started and for more established bands that could use a few pointers.

Often referred to as the godmother of the music industry, Condon has some 20-plus years in the music biz working with the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Third Eye Blind and Jefferson Starship/Starship. Regionally, she's well known as the founder of Nadine's Wild Weekend, a semiannual multivenue music festival held in San Francisco that has included performances by Krenshaw, Ones and Zeros, Rivals, Dexter Danger and the Phenomenauts. Because she lives in the Bay Area, her book boasts a lot of local flavor and a familiar feel as she uses Bay Area groups like Counting Crows, Smash Mouth, Train, Luce, Stroke 9 and the Matches to illustrate her various points.

Condon's writing style is conversational and provokes thought. Discussing how bands can make people want to go to their shows, she writes, "A highly original and entertaining performance is one draw. Creating a social ambience that feels special is another. Most people go to live shows to be entertained, to socialize or to be part of a scene." Then she asks her reader, "Are you hitting these marks with your shows? Or are you just another derivative band on another boring three- to four-band bill, going through the paces?"

She's blunt, and she doesn't mince words. But she's also supportive and encouraging. She shows legitimate interest in new bands and local talent. As she notes, "No one starts out great." It takes time for bands to develop. In Chapter 3, "Write a Time Line," she lays out a working model for Year One (putting a band together) to Year Eight (release an album on a major label). Eight years may seem like an eternity, but it's a pretty average rate to fame these days. Her advice on self-promotion (Chapter 4), band websites (Chapter 5) and working with a manager (Chapter 7) is also particularly valuable.

Though Nadine's Wild Weekend took a hiatus in 2003 while Condon was finishing her book, the event is in the planning stages for 2004. Condon also offers band mentoring sessions and conducts Real World Music Business seminars throughout the year. Visit www.nadinecondon.com for more info.

SF Chronicle - Saturday December 20, 2003  -  Nadine's fans rockin' around this Christmas

The tinsel was hung by the amps with care, in hopes that St. Rock 'n' Roll soon would be there.

Even those on the sharpest edge of the San Francisco arts world -- indie rockers -- like to make merry at the holidays; so on Wednesday, the Red Devil Lounge on Polk Street hosted "Nadine's Xmas Special," billed as a "hip, hot, holiday shebang."

At the club, up-and-coming bands such as Kingstreet Crossing, Essence, PC Munoz and the Amen Corner, and Eli Braden of Fuse mingle with oldsters in the music biz, shining some apples, buying some drinks, ready to play some tunes. Cocktails called Reindeers are on special, and the red lights that dot the two- story interior create a look that's less like Christmas and more like a Frisco brothel circa 1900.

But most attendees are here not to pay homage to seasonal icons like Jesus and Santa but to salute iconoclastic Nadine Condon, godmother of Bay Area indie rock, founder of the showcase Nadine's Wild Weekend, humanitarian and now book author.

"My first!" crows Condon, holding up a copy of "Hot Hits, Cheap Demos: The Real-World Guide to Music Business Success."

"Pretty amazing, eh?" she says, in a voice that recalls the volume and energy of the Sex Pistols onstage. "I feel like a cherry has been popped. I'm already ready to do it again!"

Condon, a statuesque Nordic blonde, has, at 52, done almost everything else. Her music career has spanned two-plus decades and garnered her copies of 14 gold and platinum albums by virtually every Bay Area band that's made it big. Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth, Train -- all have called Condon their mentor.

In 2000, she starting teaching seminars in breaking into the business and decided to turn her course syllabus into a book.

"The two months I spent on the final rewrite were the happiest months of my life. I really believe now that I have been called to teach," she grins, while hugging well-wisher after well-wisher.

Also present in the room are three charities chosen by Condon to have table space and take donations from those feeling like spreading the holiday spirit around -- Little Kids Rock, which provides free instruments and instruction in music to mostly low-income public school children; Good Samaritan Family Resources, which helps immigrant families; and Catherine's Center, a transitional house for women leaving jail or prison.

"My charity work is huge to me these days," says Condon, who also works with a hospice in San Mateo County. "I always try to impart to aspiring musicians that no matter what kind of success they achieve, they should also aim to give something back."

Condon has filled her book with many such "Nadine-isms." Part of her coaching has always been about values as much as material success. And to Condon, every band that comes to her deserves a break.

"I started all this because young bands can't get anyone to listen to them. Not lawyers, not agents. No one will answer their questions. Now it's all written down, and I'd love to go around the country and speak at colleges and high schools."

She has made just one request of the bands she invited to play tonight: cover a tune by a Bay Area band from the '60s or '70s.

"The guys in Kingstreet told me they were going to cover something by Huey Lewis, and I had to tell them no -- Huey is from the '80s," she chuckles. "And they reminded me that they were barely born in the '70s. Yikes! Makes you feel old."

Kingstreet does as requested, playing "Somebody to Love" by the Jefferson Airplane, one of the bands Condon was intimately involved with in the '80s, when it was in its Starship incarnation. The band does an admirable job, and Condon's face registers her pride and pleasure.

After Kingstreet guitarist Blake Schaefer executes a particularly scorching solo, Miles Hurwitz, manager of the red-hot Oakland band the Matches, yells out from the bar: "Introduce your guitarist!"

Singer Matthew Burks is confused. "Did you say lose my guitarist? Oh, introduce him! I thought I was gonna have to ask you to step outside. This is Blake."

It does not hurt to remind up-and-coming young bands of their stage manners.

Up-and-coming female singer Essence (yes, her parents were Haight-Ashbury hippies) sings George Gershwin's "Summertime," originally sung by Billie Holiday in the '30s and made famous for a second time by Janis Joplin.

And singer-songwriter Eli Braden, who just released the album "Honeydripper" last month, chooses to perform a solo, acoustic version of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane." And later calls out from the stage: "I met Nadine 10 years ago and she has been setting me straight ever since."

Condon, the torch passer and educator, watches the musicians with motherly pride.

"I keep thinking maybe I should grow up, but rock 'n' roll is too much a part of me. And working with these musicians keeps me young. It's hard not to get excited on their behalf -- their whole future is ahead of them."

SF Weekly - Wednesday November 12, 2003  -  Need a Leg Up?
TUES 11/18 If you haven't heard of local music superpromoter Nadine Condon, chances are you're not a member of one of the scores of bands she's shepherded, from Jefferson Starship to Smashmouth to Third Eye Blind. But now that the scene veteran has penned a book that encapsulates her music-biz savvy, Hot Hits, Cheap Demos: The Real-World Guide to Music Business Success, anyone with the $12.50 cover price can absorb her sage advice. Condon commemorates her new tome at "Nadine's Wild BMI Showcase & Book Signing," with live music from Rich McCulley, Firecracker, and Beth Waters, starting at 8 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $6; call 861-5016 or visit www.nadinecondon.com.

Sunday SF Chronicle - Sunday November 9, 2003  -  AD-LIBS
7 x 7 Magazine - Tuesday July 1, 2003  -  SF Music Right Now - The Godmother
San Francisco Chronicle - Wednesday August 21, 2002  -  Condon keeps up her Wild ways
Various Bary Area Publications - Thursday August 15, 2002  -  Interviews with Nadine

Archives ...read past Press articles...

Industry Quotes

"As guest lecture at our Creative Arts Department at South Plains College, Nadine Condon was one of the most popular and respected speakers we have have ever experienced. Her insightful stories about her career in the music business were enlightening, entertaining and brought our students a wealth of information and inspiration. Nadine is a wonderfully talented and intelligent woman with vision, passion and genuine love for music, musicians and all who know and work with her. "
- Cary C Banks , Chairman, Creative Arts Department South Plains College

"Your keynote at the Music Business Chops conference last week really set the perfect tone for the afternoon. Your presentation style, as well as your content, motivation and professionalism, rallied the troops and made them hungry for learning how to take control of their lives and careers. At a time when it's so easy to get discouraged as a music artist, you kicked some major ass and altered some thinking out there. You told the truth in a way that gets people up and moving -- feeling good about what they do, and positive about what they can become. "
- David Schwartz, Producer, Music Business Chops Conference

"Nadine writes with truth and a perspective gained by hard work, hit records and veteran experience."
- Melissa Etheridge

"The one true constant of the San Francisco music scene is a straight talking Kentucky woman named Nadine Condon. She is rock music's north star. It is no coincidence that most any band (including mine) coming out of San Francisco, came through her office."
- Stephan Jenkins, Third Eye Blind

"Nadine's one of the few people I trust in this business. She's a straight shooter and her book tells you everything a musician starting out needs to know. "
- Craig Chaquico, award winning guitarist

"Nadine Condon is as on top of today's fast changing music biz and trends as she was twenty years ago when I first met her. She's had more than a little to do with the #1 records that we've worked on together. In fact, they couldn't have happened without her. Nadine is a rock n' roll institution."
- Randy Miller, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Jive Records (Brittany Spears, NSYNC)

""Nadine Condon is something very rare and special: a > music industry insider that has the artist's best > interest at heart. Between her book, seminars and > private mentoring, she has something wise to impart > to every musician striving to succeed in the business. > Nadine has meant more to the San Francisco music > scene, and made more of an impact than any other > one person could--and she's not even done yet"
- Little Yellow Perfect, SF Band

"Nadine's seminar will change the way you look at careers and success in the music business. Nadine empowers her audience to take charge of their own music careers using her vast knowledge of the industry's ins and outs, liberally laced with witty anecdotes that prove her points. We'll definitely be inviting Nadine back to Pacific."
- Keith Hatschek, Chair, Department of Music Management, University of the Pacific

"You helped me empower myself to accomplish really anything I desire. You broke the process of success down into steps I knew I could accomplish and not be overwhelmed."
- Solo Artist, Phoenix

"Just wanted to say I love, love, LOVE your book and feel as if I have my own Nadine Seminar at my bedside table- so much great information and easy to read. It reads as if you are talking to me directly…and you are! "
- Tom in San Francisco, band member

"Nadine Condon is one of the most dynamic and intuitive professionals I have ever been associated with. She taught me skills for success that I still use in my personal management company 15 years later. I can't imagine managing Travis Tritt without her early guidance."
- Gary Falcon, Falcon-Goodman Management (Travis Tritt)

"After our session last week, so much has happened I would like to express my gratitude for a wonderful talent that you possess. I feel as though all of my fears and hurdles have diminished. You really took away the blindfold from my eyes."
- consulting client, Montreal

"When we first started our band, almost four years ago now, I longed for a textbook that would simply tell me what I needed to do, when, and where I could expect to be in one year, two years, three years, etc. "Hot Hits" lays it out perfectly. Hot Hits is the book to read. Period."
- Jim, the Rivals, Band Member

"Throughout the years Nadine Condon has always been a great source to me for unsigned talent. If a band or artists is referred through Nadine, I always listen to it immediately after it arrives... Nadine Rocks."
- Rose Noone, VP A&R Epic Records. (Macy Gray, Howie Day)

"Nadine has contributed to many of our artist development stories over the years. Her insight and experience in marketing, press, touring, and event planning have given us, and the artists and labels we represent, a true competitive advantage."
- Andy Allen, President ADA (Associated Distribution Alliance-WEA)

"There's only one Nadine. Nadine Condon"
- Bill Leopold, W.F. Leopold Management (Melissa Etheridge, Maroon 5, Dave Koz)

"Nadine brings a wealth of experience and professionalism to any project she embraces."
- Deborah Dill, VP/ Creative Affairs, Domestic/International, Windswept Pacific Publishing

"Nadine is one of the most respected industry professionals I've ever worked with. Her abilities at promotion, public relations, retail, concerts, marketing and artist relations have helped our company and our clients tremendously. . She knows every aspect of the business inside and out and she knows just about everybody in the business. "
- Mark Graham, W. F. Leopold Management (Melissa Etheridge,Maroon 5, Dave Koz)

"Nadine has watched and been part of the evolution of the music business in the Bay area and nationally. We've worked on projects together, we've discussed ideas, and the "state of the industry" and I always take her calls seriously when Nadine calls about a new artist or an idea.""
- Dan Weiner, Monterey Peninsula Artists (Areosmith, Dave Matthews )

"Nadine has been at the epicenter of the music business both locally and nationally. She's seen it all, top to bottom."
- Eric Godtland, EGM Management (Third Eye Blind and The KGB)

"When it comes to music, musicians and the music industry, Nadine has the best instincts I've ever come across. She understands it all."
- Pat Baird, Ass't. VP, Media Relations, BMI

"I just wanted to thank you so much for our mentoring session last week. Justin and I learned ALOT about the business, promoting our band, and how to get more attention for our band. You're certainly a professional. "
- Norcal Band, Norcal Band

"Again, thank you for your time and advice. We will keep you well informed, and come to you with future dilemmas should any arise, cause you kick ass."
- band client, Northern California

"I think your book is the best "how to" book on the music business that I have ever read, and I've read a few... I just wish it had been written 20 years ago..."
- Dan, 20+ years as a Musician


Whoa! I got your book from Borders today and haven't been able to put it down...I've been looking for something to help me crystallize my desires and formulate a workable strategy and it seems like you wrote this book specifically for me... Again, thank you for the gift of your insights and experience. You've done something unique and very timely...

- Mike, Chicago, musician

"I love your clear, direct writing style that tells stories without either over-hyping or glossing over details. You are honest about how challenging a music career is, yet you also show how it is real and attainable. I'm recommending the book to all of my musically-inclined friends."
- Brian, Mt. Sterling, Musician

"I not only copied, dog-eared and highlighted the bejesus out of my copy, but made it mandatory reading for all of my artists. Nadine's words and wisdom provide a great no-nonsense foundation for our communication and is a continued lubricant for our collaboration. "
- Scott Poncetta, Artist Manager

"Many thanks for your advice in our mentoring session last year. As a result of us "thinking outside of the box", we just landed the cover article in a national magazine. The 3 page article and photos talks about how our band "did it ourselves" and recorded our album from start to finish. Wanted to let you know about our success story and say thanks again."
- band client, Bay Area

"Nadine, in 1985 you were VERY instrumental in the Starship having 3 #1 singles in a row. Songs that were #1 all over the world. Nadine could charm & influence every radio P.D. she could talk to. And she always found a way to talk to everyone."
- Bill Thompson, Manager Jefferson Airplane, Starship

""Condon draws on her business savvy as well as her can-do attitude to give practicval advice to aspiring music stars. Along the way she provides reaslistic ways for musicians to plan and evaluate their path toward success, and offers inspiring words of wisdom and encouragement. With her positive outlook and generosity of spirit apparent throughout the book, the author teaches musicians how to have a long rewarding career while enjoying the journey..." "
- Backbeat Books, 2003 Catalogue

"Nadine's insight and experience is helping me move the band I manage to the next level."
- Management Client, Sacramento