Uncharted: Crime and Mayhem in the Music Industry, episode 003: Music and the Mob

[This is a descriptor for the third episode in my new true-crime-and-music podcast. Get it wherever you download your podcasts. -AC]

If there’s money to be made, chances are organized crime will want a piece of it. Whether you call it The M, the Mafia, the Costa Nostra, or “this thing of ours,” these groups, these families are close to the action in some way.

Construction, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, protection rackets, gambling, loan sharking, tax fraud, stock manipulation, corruption of public officials, porn—you name it and there’s a boss and a family that’s looking for a taste if not for outright control.

One thing that I didn’t include on that list is the entertainment industry. I mean, just look at the stories involving Vegas and Atlantic City. Stories about movies and studios. And there are mobsters who are fans of the music industry.

The mob has been involved in music almost since the beginning. As soon as crime families began to evolve, consolidate, and exercise power in the late 1800s, hooks were put into performers, composers, venues, and later, record labels.

The money came from shakedowns, skims, theft of copyright, counterfeiting, and fraudulent bookkeeping. Businesses, careers, and lives were ruined. People got hurt. And some people died.

The Mob and music: Have I got some stories for you…

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.

Alan Cross has 37816 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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