The Satanic Record Mogul Cometh


My article on these bastards (and their real-life equivalents), is up on Coilhouse.

They’re powerful, immensely so, and rich beyond a mere prole’s wildest dreams. They tread the earth as megalomania-driven gods. If you’re a musician (or anyone, really) they want your talent, your creativity, your voice — above all, they want your name on the dotted line.

That’s the archetype of the Satanic Record Mogul, a creature that’s now receded into the shadows. But these scoundrels are at the center (or hovering over it, puppeteer-like) of such cult masterworks as Derek Jarman’s Jubilee (which deserves its own post in the future) and Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise. Even Mr. Boogalow of The Apple fits the mold.

But he is an imitator, a poseur, and The Apple is simply too damned bad for him to hold his own with the heavyweights. No, for the real better-to-rule-in-hell types, we’ll look in on two classic villains: Jubilee’s Borgia Ginz and Phantom’s Swan. Hoary old ghosts they may be, but beneath the cackling mad, gaudy exterior lurk the very real fears that still plague the music world, if with much less flair. Everyone signs up in the end.

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