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Azoff’s Pandora Scat

02:01 PM Thursday 10/4/12 |   |

Pandora was the target of a stream of scatological invective from the always warm-and-fuzzy Irving Azoff, as the Live Nation Entertainment executive chairman sat for a one-on-one Oct. 2 with filmmaker Judd Apatow at The Grill, an annual media conference hosted by The Wrap in Hollywood.

  • Irving Azoff

    Accepting Pollstar’s Personal Manager of the Year Award. L-R: Timothy B. Schmit, Taylor Swift, Azoff, David Coverdale and Joe Walsh.
     
    February 7, 2008

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Described at various times by Azoff as “shitty,” “horseshit” and “on our shit list,” the Internet radio company can have no doubt how the Chairman feels about it. Pandora earned the wrath of Azoff for, among other things, petitioning Congress to drop the licensing rate for music played online.

“It’s horseshit,” The Wrap quoted Azoff saying. “The market cap for Pandora is like $1.8 billion. That’s roughly the market cap of Live Nation, and they are whining about wanting to pay artists less.” And, according to Azoff, the sound quality is “shitty” when compared to similar services including Spotify and iHeart Radio.

Azoff moved on to bemoan the state of the music biz in the “American Idol” and “The Voice” era, pointing out how few contestants have actually developed careers after a decade of competition shows.

He identified iTunes as the second major hit to the industry in recent years following piracy, but didn’t follow Apatow’s bite out of Apple or its founder, Steve Jobs, despite his claim that his client Eagles made no more than $550,000 from iTunes royalties. When Apatow claimed “Steve Jobs ruined music,” Azoff didn’t take the bait, instead diplomatically saying that Jobs “changed music forever.”

It wouldn’t be a chat with Azoff without some tales from his long and colorful career. And Azoff obliged The Wrap’s audience with a tale from his college days at the University of Illinois, starring Sly Stone.

Apparently Azoff had nearly been kicked out of the university over a prior Rolling Stones show he organized there, and wasn’t anxious to take a chance on the notoriously unreliable Stone. So he brought a uniformed cop to the star’s dressing room and had him pull his gun from its holster.

“I said, ‘If you don’t go on stage right now, I’m going to get kicked out of school, and he’s going to shoot you,’” Azoff reportedly said. Stone obliged.


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