Mighty Mighty Strides From The Music Business Department at LSC

Joe Gittleman. Photo: Jay Hale.

By Eric Zawada

Fall of 2007 marked the first semester of the Lyndon State College Music Business and Industry department. Advisor to the program, Beth Norris, says that the ongoing process of this new major has been one of the most exciting events she has ever been a part of. Lyndon’s determination to grow in the music scene has already formed valuable connections with famed musicians such as Mighty Mighty Bosstones bassist, Joe Gittleman. Joe’s admiration for the program sparked his interest to seek his recent collaboration with the up and coming major.

“I think the music business and industry program at LSC works because of the emphasis on actual experience. It’s very important to identify the specific types of jobs that are out there and give students the necessary tools and time in the field needed to perform in the marketplace”

Joe’s background covers nearly the entire spectrum of the music industry. Joe first started his music career in Cambridge, Massachusetts during high school as a roadie for local bands of the Boston punk scene. It was there that he also began his days with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who would go on to great success with their 1997 break through album, Let’s Face It. An album that most people would recognize for the smash hit, “The Impression That I Get”, a song written by Joe that reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart. Besides success with his own band, he has aided in the success of others in a variety of ways. He has been the tour manager of Flogging Molly, and produced records for the Bouncing Souls and the Briggs. He is also the A&R representative and is currently a full time producer for the independent label, Side One Dummy Records. Since Lyndon extends the opportunity for students to explore Performance, Production, Digital Media, and Business concentrations, Joe will be able to offer advice for just about any question a student brings to the table.

Advising students will be a great outlet for Joe’s optimism about the future of music. Throughout our conversation we covered topics that seem to be looked on as the downfall of the industry, such as the pirating of music, and shrinking record sales. Despite what others might say about these issues, Joe maintained a positive outlook. “It’s different now, before an artist needed a record company to get their name recognized. Now the artist can take their career into their own hands. Free music is an opportunity, bands can use it to build a career.” That kind of insight will be very reassuring for students to hear, because in modern times the promise of future jobs in music can seem bleak. So needless to say the students and faculty are very excited about having Joe become a part of the music business and industry family. We believe that he will not only be able to encourage student’s to stick with the program but that he will be able to bring in future students to Lyndon.

How about Joe though? How does someone who is used a busy life on the road feel about moving to small town Vermont? Well simply but enthusiastically put Joe said, “I’m psyched”. “I used to live out in a house by a lake in the woods, I found it very inspiring and got a lot of writing done out there”. If that’s the case we can only hope that the move back east will inspire another great record for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. As we finished our conversation I asked Joe “So, are you excited to begin collaborating with Lyndon State?” I asked, to which Joe’s response was “I already am!