Rock & Roll Refugees: 10 People Who Escaped the Music Industry

Layoffs and the business' decline have scattered thousands of employees – so where are they now?

July 22, 2008 11:12 AM ET

The major record labels have laid off more than 5,000 employees since CD sales began plunging in 2000 — and that's not counting all the people who ran screaming from the music business on their own. All asked themselves the same question: Now what? "When you've spent 20 years in the music business, you don't have that many real-life skills," says Debbie Southwood-Smith, a laid-off Interscope Records A&R executive. The answer: teacher, nurse, financial consultant, door captain, stay-at-home parent, realtor, manager of a skateboard star, car dealer. Check out these 10 music-business refugees. READ MORE

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »