Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
AdamPosted Thursday, January 19, 2012, at 6:38 PM
I am not a big American Idol fan but I remember the publicity about Adam Lambert, the runner-up on the ninth season. He successfully launched his first release and toured across the world despite the occasional controversies with his performances.
In the last sixth months I've read several articles about how his new release would be expanding his musical range. He has been working with top producers, getting involved in electronic dance and club music, and creating an album that critics were already labeling as a "must have" amidst all the Christmas releases.
Last month I saw his name attached to a 2011 copyright release date and I purchased a CD at a much lower price than I would have expected. The music on this release is very good, strong driving rock and roll that would have been very popular five to 10 years ago. And then it dawned on me.
Something is wrong with this picture!
It turns out that Adam Lambert indeed had a new album of material to release at Christmastime only now it has been postponed for an early spring release. He's missed out on the high volume of expected Christmas sales and has had to postpone his tour.
And the reason for this costly and potentially damaging career delay?
Several years ago, while trying to find a way of being recognized for his talent, Adam Lambert recorded a CD of rock and roll material with his friend Monte Pittman, the lead guitarist for Madonna. At that time signed to a management team that decided not to release the CD, Lambert lost all control over that music and any accompanying artwork with it.
Now that Lambert has become "a star," and just when he was ready to release his newest work that might turn him into a superstar, that old management team decided to make money from the person who is no longer their client. They released his earlier work knowing the public was watching for the release of what he had created in 2011, chose the album art that accompanies it, and thwarted his chance to go up to "the next level" in the world of entertainment, at least during these important months.
These kind of stories are not new in the world of professional music performers. I am a huge fan of Barry Manilow but grew tired of his re-treads during the 1990s. He finally got over his writer's block and created "Here At the Mayflower," a release in my opinion that is second only to his "2AM Paradise Café." Critics were re-discovering him and praising his newfound creative abilities when his earlier label decided to release "Ultimate Manilow" amidst great fanfare and thousands of dollars spent in marketing. That greatest hits release entered the top 10 and the Mayflower sunk on the charts as did his willingness to write and release any additional original works.
The same thing has happened to John Cougar Mellencamp on several occasions. It has even happened to The Rolling Stones.
I am not a professional musician or performer. I've never released an album of my own works, let alone recorded any CD. Yet there is a spiritual truth from their experiences that is timeless and needs to be uplifted yet once again.
There is permanence to what we do. Our choices, our actions, create a succession of consequences. Many of those consequences fall outside of our control to ever regain or reclaim. Others might use the things we've done in the past in order for them to make gain from them, no matter the harm to us.
So I try to warn teenagers about the photos taken of them that are put on the Internet. I try to warn friends about the comments they send in written form to others.
Who knows but in 50 years you might be running for President and be attacked for the things you say and do now. It could happen!
I want to tell people this: "Don't sell away the rights to your music!"
I really want to tell people this: "Don't sell away the rights to your soul!"
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P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.