It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, But Still Read the Fine Print

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Read every document. Look at every contract for every show. Run spreadsheets to see what the gross is going to be, what the costs are going to be, what the net is going to be. Become really involved in the business side of the music business.

That is the advice of legendary musician Don Felder, lead guitarist and back-up singer for the Eagles, and this week’s guest on Masters in Business. The classic band has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, and the record “Their Greatest Hits” was the best-selling album ever. The band accumulated five No. 1 singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and six No. 1 albums.

Felder is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and wrote the melody for the Eagles’ biggest hit, “Hotel California,” the main track on the album of the same name, which ranks No. 3 on the list of best-selling albums. The Eagles are the only band with two albums in the top 10 best-sellers (The Beatles have two in top 20). His latest album is “American Rock ’n’ Roll,” which features some of his closest musical pals, including Sammy Hagar, Slash, Richie Sambora, Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Mick Fleetwood and& Bob Weir, among others.

His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite host sites can be found here.

Next week we speak to Dave Goetsch, a co-executive producer and writer of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” the highest-ranked sitcom on TV. After a 12-year run, the show’s series finale airs this week.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.