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Employee of the Month: Roger Grierson
Chairman of Festival Mushroom Records
By Danny Canak,
(more articles from this author)
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Name: Roger Grierson
DOB: June 1957
Position/Company/Salary:Chairman of Festival Mushroom Records

[Danny Canak] How did you get your start in the music industry?

Roger Grierson I formed a punk band The Thought Criminals in 1977, and then we formed a label to release our own records, and record other bands whom we liked.

[Danny Canak] Best part of the job?

Roger Grierson Travelling, and being able to play a role in internationalising quality Australasian music.

[Danny Canak] Worst part of the job?

Roger Grierson The pressures of being a boutique company in an *industry* that's lost its way.

[Danny Canak] Favourite CD of all time and why?

Roger Grierson The Ramones' End of the Century for genius production by Phil Spector, mythic stories surrounding its recording, the greatest song about touring ever written, "Danny Says", and the peak recording of a band that has never EVER recorded a crap song.

[Danny Canak] Tell us about the best live show that you ever saw?

Roger Grierson The Birthday Party at the Trade Union Club. It was the end of the end for them, and if there was ever a band that looked like it had done a deal with the devil, it was them that night. Five or six songs in less that half an hour - that was the show. It was beyond mesmerising, and in every single way they were at the peak of their powers.

[Danny Canak] Favourite bars/clubs/pubs to hang out in?

Roger Grierson The Golden Century in Chinatown is the new Manzil Room (open late and catering to rock and roll drunks - its just that it's a Chinese restaurant, not a den of inequity; oh well you cant have everything). For gigs its hard to beat the Ding Dong in Melbourne or the Prince; and its good to see the Annandale and the Hopetoun have regained their true purpose in life

[Danny Canak] In the current climate, what advice would you give to someone looking at getting involved in the music industry?

Roger Grierson It's always been the same. At the start - Do It Yourself. Learn from experience and enthusiasm - get involved and learn how to create your own opportunities and soon you will find a wide range of people who want to assist you and can help you develop your ideas, and the ideas of anyone you work with. Get noticed by having the courage of your convictions. If you don't like the *system* (and you would be quite within your rights), then do it the way you want and damn the torpedos.

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