Dear Stargayzing Readers:
One of the things that made working at record companies in the 1980s and 1990s so great was that you would, on a daily basis, receive letters like this one from the “instrumental and vocal group known as LUCIA.” Aspiring artists would often take great pains to make their letters stand out, such as glue sticking snippets of lyrics to an otherwise formal business letter.
The missives were always accompanied by cassette tapes and the music was frequently as peculiar as the correspondence. As an underling at the labels at the time—I worked at Arista and Warner Music—I was frequently tasked with the job of listening and sometimes responding to these query letters. As an inveterate saver and because I am, as my boyfriend Rich tells me often, “a little bit off,” I still have many of these letters and tapes.
Looking at this missive today, it’s fun to play detective. Because of its formality, (yes folks, this is exactly what a real business letter looked like in the analog era—minus the glued on lyrics, of course), I can deduce that Mr. Anderson, the band’s manager, may have had a day job—say insurance or air conditioning. Music was most likely a side gig. The fact that this was typed by someone other than the author of the letter (the lower case “kh” under his signature tells us that), suggests that Pete was probably making a decent living. Given what was about to happen to the record business, Pete Anderson and the boys from LUCIA are probably in better shape than I am today. I am happy for the whole clan. If I had a fall-back job, say insurance or air conditioning, I might be making a decent living instead of writing about LUCIA. But we can’t go backward and I love writing Stargayzing.
Unfortunately the cassette of LUCIA’s demo has been lost, but due to the creativity of Mr. Anderson or someone in the LUCIA entourage, some of the lyrics remain; I enjoy reading them as poetry. I am glad to give LUCIA a second shot at stardom via their inclusion here and if they are out there and read this, I would sincerely love to know how things turned out.
In closing, if any of my readers are in possession of any old demos or letters, please feel free to reach out to me so we can make this a regular Stargayzing feature which I will call “They Wish to Secure a Major Label Record Deal.”
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