How to Turn Down at $10 Million Record Deal

In 1993, rock was undergoing a major fundamental shift.  Grunge was in full force, leading the way for alternative music in its takeover of the mainstream.  

Naturally, the record companies were all over this and we signing up alternative and punk bands all over the place, which is how groups like Green Day, the Offspring and the Stone Temple Pilots were snapped up.

Atlantic Records had their eye on a very fierce, very uncompromising punk band from Washington DC called Fugazi.  In addition to being very good, they had unbelievable street cred.  After some underlings were turned away, the label’s legendary head Ahmet Ertegun visited the band backstage after a show in New York with basically a blank check.  

The number “ten million” was mentioned, but Fugazi wasn’t interested and sent Ertegun away.  Gutsy…

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “How to Turn Down at $10 Million Record Deal

  • February 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I remember walking up and down Granville st in the 80's and seeing real punks…poor and stinky. My friends were in a band in the 80's and always talked about bands that "Sold out" and you could tell they would have in a second and I would bet Fugazi had tinges of regret after.

  • February 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Anyone who thinks that the members of Fugazi regret turning down a major label CLEARLY is not well versed with the band and its ethos. They would give concert goers that were moshing violently their money back in order to have them leave and protect fans, never sold t-shirts, and kept their shows way under what they could have charged.


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