Last week, it was that VH were going to sign with Interscope Records, and not Columbia, as originally expected.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter is saying the Interscope deal is expected to be finalized this week, marking the first time in 35 years that the band will not release music through Warner Music, its longtime label home.
So, what happened with the Columbia/Sony deal?
An insider tells the media website that the contract for the Sony deal was drawn up and approved, but hadn’t been signed, when Universal Music stepped into the picture.
The signing was a group effort involving UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, UMG International COO Max Hole, Interscope Geffen A&M vice chairman Steve Berman and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine, who, says a source, "heard the band was available and wanted to work with them. It was decided at the 11th hour.” What came next was a series of meetings that presented the band with a global plan that included extensive marketing, merchandising, touring and, of course, recordings.
In addition to the last-minute label positioning, the internal VH structure complicates things: David Lee Roth has a separate management, legal and accounting team than the three members of the VH family.
The main issue for Roth? He was apparently adamant about being on a west coast label. "He was never on board [with Columbia]," says the source. "It was as complicated as anyone would imagine, when one side says black, the other says white. The label was pretty skeptical that things would work out."
It's expected that as frontman, Roth will have to carry much of the marketing burden and it seems the band members ultimately want their singer to be happy with the deal, which is why they went with Universal's west coast-based Interscope.
VH will appear at the Grammy Nominations Concert on October 30, but they won’t be playing: they’re showing up to tell folks to tune in when the play the actual Grammys on February 12.
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