Careful planning, artist development and thorough radio promotion are now being worked out for one of Columbia's brightest hopes, Elvis Costello. Costello's tour will open in San Francisco where he has gotten considerable press and radio support. A live broadcast via KSAN and a retail store contest will "tie in the airplay, retail, live concerts, and broadcasts," says Pillot, who emphasizes that Costello will not be over-hyped. It is hoped that a well integrated plan of promotion and development will produce "an artist who'll be around for a long time." Pillot and Andon are presenting Costello in concert as a special guest star which they feel will "keep the pressure off. It's not necessary. We're building his career." Patience is a virtue here as both men acknowledge that a well-paced and designed program will produce real longevity for Elvis.
The Andon Pillot teamwork does not exclusively apply to newcomers, and is being effectively used to break new markets for established artists. An analysis of Billy Joel's appeal revealed him to be strongest in the east. So on the initial momentum of his latest release, The Stranger, Joel successfully opened his tour in the west and continued through the southwest and southeast. To keep the ball rolling, key concerts were broadcast and in conjunction with KZEW (Dallas), a television show was aired. This created, according to Pillot, an awareness of Billy Joel and "the kind of thing we're striving for. We find the possible weaknesses and go after them."
Andon and Pillot realize that each department at Columbia cannot work independently. That's why they've linked. Andon sees his department's functions as an integral aspect of all of the company's activities and says that "artist development is a generic term these days. It involves everybody and every artist needs development." Pillot adds that "it's a feeling, a state of mind which exists throughout the field force at Columbia Records. Like in the cases of Bonoff, Lake, Costello—we can certainly implement an artist development/ promotion situation, but it's the entire field force throughout the country who really have to believe that developing an artist is a way of life."