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The Magic of Mushroom
Inside Mushroom Group
Gudinski’s Mushroom Group
Back in the early 90s I carefully placed precious content into a glossy white box, then tied it with purple, satin ribbon. Inside my band's self funded EP and a matching T-shirt lay brooding. The package was sent Attention: Michael Gudinski, Mushroom Records.
Back in the 90s you needed a label of influence behind you. Alas I was not signed to Mushroom, nor did I receive any acknowledgement of my parcel, despite my persistent follow up.
Regardless, I've long been a fan of Michael Gudinski's work ethic and vision. As a serial entrepreneur I find him refreshingly rugged and inspiring.
Father and Son
Michael sat on panel with his son Matt, who is now an Executive Director of Mushroom. Although difficult to compete with his father's passion, I did feel like giving Matt a kick from my seat in the front row, to bring some liveliness to his demeanour. There was a discussion between the two, admitting that Matt's laid back approach versus that of his hot headed Father makes for a great working relationship - and is ultimately good for Mushroom.
Michael said his success can be attributed to "commitment, belief and sacrifice,"….and "a vision for what's going to sell tomorrow," also played a critical part.
In February this year, Mushroom announced a "repositioning" of many of the 20 companies which come under it's significant umbrella. When Mushroom Records was sold back in the late 90s it caused some confusion for the brand. The intention is to now reconnect the power of Mushroom, and a new logo and Executive Director is just part of the shake-up.
Taking Dan Sultan to the World
It was obvious that the signing of Dan Sultan to the Mushroom Group excites Michael, as he sang along to Dan's latest clip, and even played a measured amount of air guitar….or were they drum strokes? Michael said he will be putting the full force of Mushroom behind this Artist, and expects to crack him on the overseas market.
Advice for upcoming Bands
When asked what advice Michael would give to upcoming bands, he said…"at the right time, you need the right people around you. Know when to let go!" He also said "don't let the media use you - use them! Don't talk to them if you haven't got anything to say."
The State of Play
There was a big round of applause when Michael said emphatically that every International Act playing in this country should be supported by an Australia Artist. This may be a utopian vision, but my money is still on Michael Gudinski working wonders for our Australian Music Industry.
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- Melbourne Rock School | School Holiday workshop for Teenage Musicians
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