Can't Touch This

Memoir of a Disillusioned Music Executive

by Wayne Edwards



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/7/2015

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 204
ISBN : 9781504905978
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 204
ISBN : 9781504905961
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 204
ISBN : 9781504905954

About the Book

Hollywood, California. October 1988. “I’m afraid I’ve placed you in an untenable situation.” When you’re summoned by the company president and he starts the conversation with that, you know it’s not going to end well. He was firing me. I wasn’t surprised. But by the time the president sent for me, my ability to sign a sellable act was no longer a question mark. My first platinum act was about to blow past one million units sold. The decision to fire me, at the very least, was poorly timed. But from my standpoint this move had less to do with sales and more to do with corporate politics. My new boss and I, the two highest ranking black executives in Capitol Records, were openly feuding. My hope was that the new president had my back. And maybe he had for a while. But his loyalty was not to me. His boss, the newly appointed chairman and CEO of Capitol-EMI, had brought him on board. The chairman and CEO had also hired the new head of black promotion, who had in a poorly devised restructuring scheme, become my new boss. No matter how you did the math, the power base of the number-one white guy and the number-one black guy trumped any alliance between the two number twos. I was the lone outsider in the group and the low man on the totem pole. It was a bad combination that made letting me go the logical solution. Four years would pass, however, before I truly understood the magnitude of a moment that had far-reaching implications well beyond hit records and corporate business decisions. And so begins Can’t Touch This: Memoir of a Disillusioned Music Executive, the fascinating story of one man’s love affair with music and the industry determined to destroy it.

About the Author

As vice president of A&R, black music at Capitol Records, Wayne Edwards brought Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em, one of the biggest selling rap albums of all time, to the label. The album featured the smash single “U Can’t Touch This,” the inspiration for the title of Edwards’ first book. Other industry positions Edwards held include staff writer, product manager, West Coast marketing director, and director of A&R, black music, for CBS Records, and senior director of media relations for Mercury Records. Edwards holds a doctorate in sociology from City University of New York. He now serves as vice president for student affairs at State University of New York’s College at Old Westbury. Wayne and his wife, Jeanne, live in New York City. They are the proud parents of a son and four daughters.